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Re: Big Spring Habitat Work
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Back up to Big Spring recently to check on the work project, which was completed at the end of Sept. In the meantime, the filled in areas along the bank have greened over with grass, as can be seen in the new photos I've posted below. Rooted vegetation is increasing in the project area, esp in the areas that are now deeper and slower. In large part, the aim of this project was to enhance brook trout habitat by converting what had been several hundred yards of flat, shallow water that was flowing fairly quickly into a narrower stream that was deeper and generally slower. In between these deeper slower new sections, plunge pools were created with logs allowing gradient to "step down" several plunge pools to the next slower pool. As I mentioned further up this thread, I don't claim to know what effect, if any, this will have on the brookies in this area. However, brookies currently are heaviest up in the "ditch" section (where they have historically been heaviest) and this new project water now resembles the ditch much more than it did before. Again, I think this project has turned out very well and I'm optimistic. I did spend some time looking for spawning brookies in the new project water. I didn't see any, although it may be early as BS brookies have historically been very late spawners. Did manage to catch a couple brookies, one of which was a pig (see Photos section). There were some rainbows spawning - BS 'bows are fall spawners - and I watched 'em for a few minutes, getting a pic of a beautiful 20" fish on a redd.

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Posted on: 2010/11/7 8:59


Re: Big Spring Habitat Work

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It sloughs or braids off in many places along it's length , more of the same below the Heritage water , that machine makes me nervous , one broken hydraulic hose or oil leak and YIKES , the only thing i see that i really like is the limestone lined along the banks.

Posted on: 2010/11/7 10:06


Re: Big Spring Habitat Work

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FI- here are some pics from before the work- I believe the same area as your 1st photo.

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Posted on: 2010/11/7 10:22
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Re: Big Spring Habitat Work
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Quote:

osprey wrote:
... that machine makes me nervous , one broken hydraulic hose or oil leak and YIKES .


While the large back hoe was parked close to the stream (the stream is bordered by a road with little or no parking across it) due to limited space, the work is completed and the machines are no longer there.

Acristickid,
You're correct. The photos you posted show the same spot as the upper photo I posted. The camera position is right where the old fish barrier used to be and is looking downstream along the PFBC parking lot.

Posted on: 2010/11/7 10:37


Re: Big Spring Habitat Work

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Fishi...........I lived on Oak Flat Road/Nealy Road at the bottom end of the Heritage stretch , i'm not in protest of improvements just that an accident with a machine like that would have been devastating , i question the use of heavy machinery on ALL improvement projects , yeah i know you dodged the bullet this time , and i hope the project pans out , the brookies were already coming back in the ditch 2 years after they closed the hatchery but they weren't as nice as the ones in your pics , i REALLY am glad everything worked out.

Posted on: 2010/11/7 13:01


Re: Big Spring Habitat Work

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I guess some people have never seen what a limestone brook trout stream hasever looked like. As many limestone streams as we have in PA there are that many different types of limestone brook trout streams.
Iwill reserve further comments on Big Spring until I see the improvements for myself.
Oh and another thing, brook trout in limestone streams grow as large as the trout that are in limestone streams now.

Posted on: 2010/11/8 21:01
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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: Big Spring Habitat Work

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2009/10/15 13:45
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Quote:
i'm not in protest of improvements just that an accident with a machine like that would have been devastating , i question the use of heavy machinery on ALL improvement projects


Try doing it by hand.

I was out there 10/26/2010 and photographed the entire sections repaired but decided to get "artsy" and did it in black and white. Really didn't work out well but for those interested shoot me a PM with your email address and I will send them to you.

One question I do have is right below the footbridge (technically big enough for a car) on the right bank when facing down stream. Why did they not stabilize those banks? Seems to be eroding pretty quickly and it will get into that tree soon enough. Also, while you guys are being so kind as to entertain my questions, what is the big square concrete box thing?

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Posted on: 2010/11/8 21:08


Re: Big Spring Habitat Work
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Jdaddy,
I'm not sure the answers to your questions. The bridge is used by cars and used to be further downstream but was moved to it's current location about 20 years ago. The soft spot you circled in the photo has been there a long time and I have often wondered if there is some spring seepage. That whole grass section down to the tree is spongy and stays that way during cold weather so I've always assumed there is spring influence. The bank hasn't eroded much even though it is soft as you noted. As you know, Big Spring doesn't see great water level fluctutions and the banks don't erode much. The folks across the street keep it nicely mowed but sometimes I think thicker riparian vegetation might be helpful here.
I too have wondered about the box. My guess is it may be related to the spring(?). Fifty years ago, there was a private fish hatchery in that area and it may be a remnant of that operation. If so, however, my assumption would be that the PFBC would have removed it. I don't know.

Posted on: 2010/11/9 8:36


Re: Big Spring Habitat Work
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Quote:

osprey wrote:
I lived on Oak Flat Road/Nealy Road at the bottom end of the Heritage stretch.


Sorry, didn't know you'd been a local guy. For the clarity of our readership I thought it useful to point out the narrowness of the road.
Did you grow up in that area? I've got a question about some Big Spring history - please check your PM.

Posted on: 2010/11/9 8:58


Re: Big Spring Habitat Work

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Quote:

Fishidiot wrote:
Jdaddy,As you know, Big Spring doesn't see great water level fluctutions and the banks don't erode much. The folks across the street keep it nicely mowed but sometimes I think thicker riparian vegetation might be helpful here.


Streambank vegetation should never be maintained as mowed lawns. That will harm the stream in every case.

Posted on: 2010/11/9 11:02


Re: Big Spring Habitat Work

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Steam restoration projects are always going to look bad and unnatural- at first. You have to give them a few years.


It's occurred to me that one way to deal with the heron problem on some streams would be to construct something like plank bridges or piers over open, shallow stretches (provided they have a steady flow, like small spring creeks). And put some sort of barrier at the edges, so the herons can't perch there.

It it's done right, at least some of the water underneath such structures would still be fishable.

(I'd also appreciate some fishing platforms or catwalks on the banksides of the marshy stretches of the LeTort, of course. But that's a different matter.)

Posted on: 2010/11/9 11:35


Re: Big Spring Habitat Work

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Big Spring is an Indian word meaning ankle deep and 100 feet wide

Posted on: 2010/11/9 20:45
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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: Big Spring Habitat Work

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Quote:
Big Spring is an Indian word meaning ankle deep and 100 feet wide


But do you know what Esopus is indian for?

Posted on: 2010/11/11 9:27


Re: Big Spring Habitat Work

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Nope! Fishidiot send me a pm and ask some of your questions, my neighbor grew up there. He's got stories of big fish.

Posted on: 2010/11/11 17:27
_________________
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: Big Spring Habitat Work
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2006/9/9 17:32
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Quote:

Chaz wrote:
Fishidiot send me a pm and ask some of your questions, my neighbor grew up there. He's got stories of big fish.


PM sent. Thanks in advance.
DaveW

Posted on: 2010/11/11 18:08



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