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Big Spring Habitat Work

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I read on another site that habitat work began on Aug. 30, on the upper part of the creek.

If anyone stops by there, maybe you could give us a report on the work.

Posted on: 2010/9/8 10:55


Re: Big Spring Habitat Work
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What is/are the planned improvement(s)?

Posted on: 2010/9/8 11:19
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Re: Big Spring Habitat Work
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Not to change the topic, but I Googled it (Big Spring Habitat Work) and did not find anything recent. I did find this about some Spring Creek Habitat work being completed. Just FYI.

http://www.centredaily.com/2010/08/15/2151847/end-in-sight.html

Posted on: 2010/9/8 11:29


Re: Big Spring Habitat Work

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Here the link to an article about the Big Spring Ck work.
http://www.cumberlink.com/news/local/ ... df-837a-001cc4c03286.html

Posted on: 2010/9/8 13:37


Re: Big Spring Habitat Work
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Thanks. Looks like they are working in the ditch.

Posted on: 2010/9/8 13:54
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Re: Big Spring Habitat Work

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Just seeing that machine parked right in the middle of that stream gives me the willies.

Posted on: 2010/9/8 15:40


Re: Big Spring Habitat Work

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It's a project called the Jack M Project, so he can go there and catch all the stocked trout he wants.
In all seriousness, Big Spring does not suffer from thermal stress, even on the hottest days of summer. Providing more cover and narrowing the stream may help, but the issue as I see it is to get rid of the rainbows. Then you see the brook trout population expand and you see big brookies, the way it used to be before there was a fish commission and before there was stocking.

Posted on: 2010/9/8 17:11
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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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As Maurice says..."just sayin" but would it be something if the FBC decided to make Big Spring a brookie fishery? It would be the only major limestone brookie fishing in the State (entire East? Entire nation? Entire planet?), rather than just having brook trout relegated to the headwaters of infertile streams or minor tributaries of a larger stream.

They could electro shock the stream and remove all the wild rainbows they capture and plant them in a stream like the YB? Also, maybe allow harvest of rainbows only by anglers. Every year the stream could be shocked to track the progress of the brookies and mop up the remaining bow population.

I realize not all the bows would be removed, but the vast majority would be relocated (or fried up in a pan) and we can see what a fertile stream with a healthy and large population of brookies is like. Again, just sayin'.

Attach file:



jpg  BS Brookie.jpg (6.74 KB)
53_4c8a3a6c8b1c8.jpg 208X144 px

Posted on: 2010/9/10 10:02


Re: Big Spring Habitat Work

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I don't think there's any way to keep the browns out, and they'd assert their superiority within a handful of years.

Posted on: 2010/9/10 10:26


Re: Big Spring Habitat Work

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I may be able to get by there today and get some photos.

Posted on: 2010/9/10 10:35


Re: Big Spring Habitat Work
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Quote:

jayL wrote:
I don't think there's any way to keep the browns out, and they'd assert their superiority within a handful of years.


Actually the browns have done rather poorly at reproduction there.

It appears to be more suitable spawning habitat outside the ditch for Rainbows.....I think that what the project is trying to address. To make the habitat more suitable for Brook Trout Spawning.

Just sayin'

Posted on: 2010/9/10 10:52
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Re: Big Spring Habitat Work

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Interesting.

But let's say the rainbows are removed, and we're left with just brook and brown trout.

I suspect that the browns might outcompete them in the absence of rainbows.

But I have no idea what I am talking about.

Posted on: 2010/9/10 11:00


Re: Big Spring Habitat Work
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Weed out all those pesky brown and bow invaders

Here is the latest BS survey I can find:

http://www.fish.state.pa.us/images/fi ... 2007/7x09_19bigspring.htm


Fishidiot knows the stream very well and is encouraged with the progress the brookies are making as of late. I'm sure he will check in on the thread.

Posted on: 2010/9/10 11:13


Re: Big Spring Habitat Work

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JayL wrote:

Quote:
I suspect that the browns might outcompete them in the absence of rainbows


Evidence supports that conclusion. However, most of that evidence looks at small freestones where the brook char battle not only browns but thermal and other environmental issues, which the browns are more tolerant of. In the spring creek, that thermal advantage to the brown does not obtain, and some of the other environmental issues are improving as well.

Maybe that will turn the tide. I say that despite being aware that these spring creeks were once brook char streams and you have that evidence as well. Thing is, people kept doing everything they could to help the browns.

For example, and this is speculative to say the least, it seems to me that if people had allowed the limited spawning habitat alone in the Letort, that would be a char stream instead of a brown stream.

I think CVTU to this day continues to provide spawning bed assistance to those spoiled rotten browns (that is not meant as a criticism of those efforts). Obviously I am rooting for the char at Big Spring--that last statement is not intended as a call for getting the browns out of the Letort. Those are special fish.

Another fascintating angle is genetic strain. To what extent are the char of limestone or freestone genetic strain, and how much difference that could make. Here it is my turn to not know what I am talking about, but there's bound to be relevance in there someplacelace

Posted on: 2010/9/10 12:55


Re: Big Spring Habitat Work
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Missed this thread after a couple days. Yes, the work has started and the plan is to have it finished by Oct although this deadline is waiverable. To be honest, I've struggled to get the details of this plan. I have tried inumerable phone calls and emails, including to PFBC personnel, and have not been able to get a copy of the project. I've gotten only the run around. Some folks in CVTU whom I have great respect for, and confidence in, have endorsed it. Truth be told, I'm skeptical of what this project will produce. Big Sp has seen so many "improvement" projects over the years, many of them detrimental or otherwise ineffective, that this may just be another. Many fishermen do believe that the area under construction would be better with some greater depth as it's currently very shallow. Thermal issues are not a problem here - it's in the low 50s all summer long. There could stand to be more cover and evidently that is the goal of this project. Currently, wild brookies are thriving in that exact area. Browns are there too although in diminishing numbers since the closing of the hatchery 9 years ago. Recent surveys continue to turn up some wild brown YOY but they're rare now. Wild rainbows are also thriving and their impact on brookies is speculative at this point. Many of us are concerned about the rainbows, although they're beautiful fish and, anywhere else, would be considered world class 'bows. I'm currently working on a research and writing project on Big Sp and know from my research that concern about rainbows is nothing new. Charlie Fox was heckling the PFBC about this over 50 years ago, long before the fish barrier was built in 1977 (and removed in 1994). Personally, as I've stated before, I'd favor the re-construction of such a barrier but no plans, that I'm aware of, include any type of barrier at this point. While the old barrier was up, for a few years at least, PFBC folks did routinely shock and remove browns/bows and relocate them below the barrier however this was abandoned as weed clogging made the barrier ineffective and fish found their way over it.

Posted on: 2010/9/12 22:10



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