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Re: Commissioner's Meeting Today: Penns Creek and Big Spring

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From Oxford, Chester Co., PA
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FI: So it is safe to say that the change was made strictly for scientific purposes; to study the effect that such a reg change might have on the popn, one way or another.

After all, they must have expressed some purpose for the change.

Posted on: 2013/1/23 19:44


Re: Commissioner's Meeting Today: Penns Creek and Big Spring
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Quote:

Phish_On wrote:
Let me add a question to this thread, if you will? Do you think. Big Spring as a valuable wild fishery should be changed just because the wild fish in the stream aren't the 'native fish'?

Personally i have caught more brooks then bows in that stream.


Phish,
We've beaten this to death in many previous threads on Big Spring and the brooks vs rainbows debate. Apparently (for now) the commissioners..... feel that the answer to your question is "no."

(With emphasis on the "for now" part)

Posted on: 2013/1/23 19:45


Re: Commissioner's Meeting Today: Penns Creek and Big Spring
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Quote:

Tups wrote:
FI: So it is safe to say that the change was made strictly for scientific purposes; to study the effect that such a reg change might have on the popn, one way or another.


Yes. As far as I know.
It would not surprise me if there was some local pressure to change these regs....what the PFBC calls "social" issues. However, I'm not aware of this and somebody closer to the Penns Creek controversy could give you better info than I.

Posted on: 2013/1/23 19:47


Re: Commissioner's Meeting Today: Penns Creek and Big Spring

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FI- Figured as much. Not tryin to start another ethics debate lol.

Posted on: 2013/1/23 19:52
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Re: Commissioner's Meeting Today: Penns Creek and Big Spring

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FI: Ok thanks. It's apparent we're not sure why they changed the reg. I suppose reading the text of the proposal might shed some light. Sometimes it takes me a while.

P_O: The cold snap is preventing me from torturing fish for my personal amusement, and so the ethics discussion has been a fine substitute. lol.

Posted on: 2013/1/23 20:05


Re: Commissioner's Meeting Today: Penns Creek and Big Spring

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The Penns Creek proposal was originally to change it to C&R, artificials only, and this proposal came from the commissioners.

Their goal was to increase the number of large trout in the section. They believed that the number of large trout is being limited by the current "trophy" regs, which allows harvest of 2 fish per day, 14 inches and up.

The local fishermen objected to the change to no harvest and to ending bait fishing.

So, they decided to go with allowing harvest of 2 medium size fish, but protecting the larger trout. Again, with the goal of trying to get more big trout in the section.

Whether it will work or not, I don't know. But I think Pat is probably right, i.e. that the population won't change much, because most people are already fishing C&R there.

I don't think the landowners or local anglers are likely to object to this change.

Another reason may be that they wanted to try a slot limit. Other states have done this. It's been talked about for years here in PA. But this will be the first slot limit regs area in PA. If it works out here, they may try it elsewhere, particularly other "trophy regs" areas.

Posted on: 2013/1/23 20:24


Re: Commissioner's Meeting Today: Penns Creek and Big Spring

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So FI's hunch was correct, the change is a compromise made for social reasons primarily: increase the numbers of really big fish for angler enjoyment while preserving the opportunity to harvest some decent fish. If most anglers are already catching and releasing then the occasional removal of 2 fish in the slot should not significantly alter the popn structure ... I think.
No objection.

Posted on: 2013/1/23 20:32


Re: Commissioner's Meeting Today: Penns Creek and Big Spring

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I understand the commission's reluctance to create another new slot limit special regulation in favor of falling back on the C&R Reg, but sometimes compromise requires adjustment.

Posted on: 2013/1/23 20:35


Re: Commissioner's Meeting Today: Penns Creek and Big Spring
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Quote:

troutbert wrote:
The Penns Creek proposal was originally to change it to C&R, artificials only, and this proposal came from the commissioners.


Another reason may be that they wanted to try a slot limit. Other states have done this. It's been talked about for years here in PA. But this will be the first slot limit regs area in PA. If it works out here, they may try it elsewhere, particularly other "trophy regs" areas.


Troutbert,
Thanks for the clarification about the original artificial lures proposal.
I was thinking about the slot limit concept this evening and trying to remember if there were any trout streams in PA managed with this regulation. I couldn't think of any off the top of my mind. Thanks for clarifying that this will be the first one. I agree that it probably won't have much effect on population dynamics.... but the PFBC should be commended in my view for being willing to give the slot limit concept a try here in PA.

Posted on: 2013/1/23 20:55


Re: Commissioner's Meeting Today: Penns Creek and Big Spring

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Here we go again, there still has to be a rulemaking process on both of these changes. You will all have a cance to comment to PFBC.
They've got to get rid of Trophy Trout Regs.

Posted on: 2013/1/23 21:44
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Re: Commissioner's Meeting Today: Penns Creek and Big Spring

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Chaz: It sounds as though the commission IS proposing to get rid of TT regs on Penns in favor of a slot limit compromise reg. But you don't sound pleased.

Posted on: 2013/1/23 21:52


Re: Commissioner's Meeting Today: Penns Creek and Big Spring

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Browns spawn at about 3 to 4years of age, in Penns that means about 9 to 12 inches+ or -. What it alllows is for fish that make it through the 7 to 12 inch gaunlet to keep growing. I'd like to think it will work, but I have doubts, in part because I don't think anyone has ever really studied this concept. At least PFBC is going to study it, that's a good thing.
Keeping in mind that trout have to change their diet to grow bigger then about 14 inches, I don't see it happening, I hope I'm wrong.

Posted on: 2013/1/23 22:01
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It's time to stop stocking all wild trout streams no matter what Classification they are, and time to eradicate brown trout in some of our limestone streams and re-establish brookies in them.


Re: Commissioner's Meeting Today: Penns Creek and Big Spring

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In a stable popn, there are fewer fish over 14 inches than any other size class. With that in mind, it makes sense to allow a harvest of fish in a smaller size-slot because there are more of them to lose. Those who know seem to believe that there are relatively few trout harvested from the Penns TT because most anglers are already practicing C&R. So, it should theoretically be better to allow that small harvest to come from a size class that will lose fish through other forms of mortality anyway. Makes sense to me.

Posted on: 2013/1/23 22:11


Re: Commissioner's Meeting Today: Penns Creek and Big Spring

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I'm a fan of the change on Penns creek. I've seen bait guys take some real nice fish out of the trophy section. The big pools below Coburn get fished pretty hard with minnows and worms and I feel strongly that harvesting fish over 14" has a detrimental impact on that section.

I dont' really expect to see a big change in the number of 14"-17" fish from this reg. There are plenty of those fish in Penns now and I don't see that number changing too much. Where I think we may see a change is an increase in the number of fish in the 18"-22" range. It doesn't take very much harvest to put a dent in that population.



Posted on: 2013/1/24 10:42


Re: Commissioner's Meeting Today: Penns Creek and Big Spring

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I don't think you'd get that many in this section in that category regardless of harvest. Penns gets borderline temps. Live that long and their bound to hit a bad summer. And borderline temps harm big fish first.

That said, I think the opposite. If there's going to be any effect at all, it's on fish in the mid-teens. Lowering a population in general tends to lead to a better size structure.

Posted on: 2013/1/24 13:27



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