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Re: Spring Creek Allegheny NF Fishing Info

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Millstone Creek, just west of Spring Creek, is another mystery.

I checked the reproduction list and could not find anything in that whole watershed that is on the list. This includes Millstone Cr itself, and its East and West Branches, and 15 named tributaries.

The majority of this watershed is in the Allegheny National Forest. Are there really NO wild trout in that entire forested watershed?

Or have they never assessed the small tribs in this watershed?

If there are really no wild trout in that whole watershed, that's truly bizarre, and begs for an explanation. There are wild trout in the small streams in other streams in the region.

Posted on: 2013/2/27 11:28


Re: Spring Creek Allegheny NF Fishing Info

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Natural repro list, and then a rough outline of the areas that I would consider to be anomalously weak.

Attach file:



jpg  natural repro list.JPG (125.05 KB)
1353_512e521f2bf52.jpg 724X462 px

jpg  weak areas.JPG (131.77 KB)
1353_512e522a28c8a.jpg 724X462 px

Posted on: 2013/2/27 13:36


Re: Spring Creek Allegheny NF Fishing Info

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2010/3/10 9:38
From Brookville, PA
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Many of those streams in the west most area have never been surveyed. I know there are a lot more wild trout present than that map shows in those areas.


Posted on: 2013/2/27 14:04


Re: Spring Creek Allegheny NF Fishing Info

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If you look at the new list of additions to the wild trout list, there are five tribs to Millstone Creek / East Branch / West Branch that are going to be added.

I agree though, that stream baffles me with the changes that have taken place. It used to be one of my go-to native streams, but they have disappeared in the last 15 years.

Posted on: 2013/2/27 15:54


Re: Spring Creek Allegheny NF Fishing Info

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Quote:

bearfisherman wrote:
If you look at the new list of additions to the wild trout list, there are five tribs to Millstone Creek / East Branch / West Branch that are going to be added.

I agree though, that stream baffles me with the changes that have taken place. It used to be one of my go-to native streams, but they have disappeared in the last 15 years.


So these are streams that are proposed to go on the list, but haven't been put on yet?

Do you have a link to those?

Posted on: 2013/2/27 16:00


Re: Spring Creek Allegheny NF Fishing Info

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On the PFBC page for streams recently surveyed being considered for wild trout designation:

http://www.fish.state.pa.us/wild-trout-designations-step1.htm


Posted on: 2013/2/27 18:03


Re: Spring Creek Allegheny NF Fishing Info

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Quote:

bearfisherman wrote:
On the PFBC page for streams recently surveyed being considered for wild trout designation:

http://www.fish.state.pa.us/wild-trout-designations-step1.htm


Thanks for the link. Interesting reading!

Posted on: 2013/2/27 19:49


Re: Spring Creek Allegheny NF Fishing Info

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Quote:

3. It is obviously a combination of factors. Water chemistry only being one of them. And perhaps you cannot look at them as independent variables. If water chem is borderline, perhaps a fishery can be sustained as all other factors are nearly perfect. But as other factors become more borderline, the borderline water chemistry is more damaging.


Most of the streams of this area, once they flow far enough to get big enough to get more interesting, loose gradient and have a flatter riparian texture even while being in a steeply-sided valley. Almost all have been the victim of logging, maybe 3 times over. They got wider, flatter and with finer-grained bottoms and fewer holes. Fallen trees and old root wads are gone as is large overhanging cover. A nice wild trout stream, Horse creek, where I caught my 1st trout, is only really "nice" once you get closer to the river where it gets steeper, narrower and with more, deeper holes and runs ALONG WITH fallen timber in the stream and overhead cover. Above the Rt. 62 bridge, it has a LOT of flat, uninteresting water between the better stuff. Plus, it gets a large does of very cold, clean class A brookie water in the form of Slate Run. So, where this not to be so, it would be a "meh?" stream. I'm saying, along with the chemistry thing, Spring Creek in the ANF would be the same thing, as it does not plunge through a chasm into the Allegheny river.

I lived in Warren for 5 years and found the surrounding land, especially to the South and East to be very poor based on its understory vegetation. Growing up 50 miles to the SSW, the woods, soils, waters, whatever, all looked different. That high Allegheny plateau isn't a place Id pick for good fertility for much of anything.

Posted on: 2013/2/28 21:33


Re: Spring Creek Allegheny NF Fishing Info

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It's a little more difficult at this zoom level. Too far out to make judgements on individual streams, too close in to judge broad areas. But looking at the below, very broad view, it's very hard to argue that geology (rock type) doesn't play a huge part.

Attach file:



jpg  WPA geology.JPG (77.92 KB)
1353_5130c0f3702d7.jpg 550X577 px

jpg  WPA wild trout.JPG (112.30 KB)
1353_5130c0faadb3b.jpg 521X562 px

Posted on: 2013/3/1 9:53


Re: Spring Creek Allegheny NF Fishing Info

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Geology does play a huge role. The Allegheny Plateau sweeps across the entire Commonwealth from SW to NE PA and it is very different in the NE then it is in the SW or NW. The biggest difference is glaciations, much if the Plateau in the NE was cover by glaciers during the last ice age and you see this everywhere from the Upper Delaware Valley the NB Susquehanna River.
There are large boulders in the woods, the plant life is very different; there are glacial bogs everywhere, along with Northern forests. The cap rock is very hard so water doesn't penetrate readily, but gathers in the wetlands bogs, marshes on the top of the Plateau. At the top the water is not very fertile, but where it is flowing there are trout. As the streams start to drop they pass through a more fertile layer of rock and suddenly become very fertile and you find excellent macro-invertebrate life as well as bigger healthier trout.
The vegetation also changes because the soils are also more fertile. On the top you find spruces, and northern conifers, further down you find more hardwoods. Also up on the plateau the trees are shorter, much shorter than the trees below as the topography drops indicating more fertile soils and warmer temperatures. It’s very complex.
I have the impression that by the time the streams get to the better geology in the ANF they are already too warm for trout to survive either that or everything is harvested that moves. I’m not sure if the acid rain problem is as bad as it once was up that way, it’s hard to tell because some streams have so few trout.

Posted on: 2013/3/1 11:01
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Re: Spring Creek Allegheny NF Fishing Info

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As much as geology has a lot to do with it, something else has happened recently - in the last 20 years. It could be that the soils, as poor as they are in that area, have completely lost an buffering ability and now the streams "spike" with precipitation events. Maybe it's something else.

But I know that the fishing has gone downhill. I know that there is a large catch and keep factor there, but there always has been. The streams don't hold stocked fish well anymore, and the wilds are all but gone.

Posted on: 2013/3/1 12:09


Re: Spring Creek Allegheny NF Fishing Info

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They do get too warm. I have taken temperature readings on Spring Creek, the lower section, that are 80+ during July and early August, sometimes as early as late June. During one of the few years we have a relatively wet, cool, summer (2009 comes to mind) the lower reaches of Spring Creek will hold stocked trout until fall. Millstone creek gets warm too but I have always been under the impression that it's more of a water quality issue there. I have never witnessed it firsthand but they say when it gets stocked in the spring the trout usually head downstream for the Clarion almost immediately. My success fishing the Clarion in this vicinity would suggest that to be true. I know the major branches of Millstone are literally red and very tannic.


Posted on: 2013/3/1 12:19


Re: Spring Creek Allegheny NF Fishing Info

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Quote:

bearfisherman wrote:
As much as geology has a lot to do with it, something else has happened recently - in the last 20 years. It could be that the soils, as poor as they are in that area, have completely lost an buffering ability and now the streams "spike" with precipitation events. Maybe it's something else.

But I know that the fishing has gone downhill. I know that there is a large catch and keep factor there, but there always has been. The streams don't hold stocked fish well anymore, and the wilds are all but gone.


Those of you who have been doing the water sampling on Spring Creek, have you actually seen big pH drops with heavy rains and/or melting snow, and how low does the pH drop in these events?



Posted on: 2013/3/1 12:26


Re: Spring Creek Allegheny NF Fishing Info

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A lot of streams, in my view, have actually gotten better. It's a little tough for me to tell, I'm still relatively young, so did the stream get better or did I get better at fishing it? It's especially true because I visit the area more rarely these days, so it might be years between my last visit to a stream and my next.

But, for me, many streams fish considerably better than they used to, and the occasional brown certainly shows up more than it used to.

Acid deposition has improved in NW PA. They keep good track and it's simply a fact, and it's the result of scrubbers on coal power stacks upwind. That said, it's still acidic. And was was mentioned, there's the effect of "using up" the buffering capability of the more infertile watersheds. i.e. acid rain effects are partially cumulative, and we're still adding, just at a lower rate. So my take is that whether the improvement in the acid rain situation corresponds to higher, or lower, pH in individual streams is highly variable. And one stream, which still has buffering capability remaining, may improve, while another a hill or two over, just exhausted the last of it's buffering capability and gets worse.

Posted on: 2013/3/1 14:43


Re: Spring Creek Allegheny NF Fishing Info

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2012/2/3 16:30
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I used to fish that area a lot in my early days of fly fishing, but it has been ten years or so since I have gave that area a serious day of fishing. The vast majority of the fish in Spring Creek and Millstone creek are stockies. There is a tributary (or atleast used to be) to spring Creek that held Brookies, but as far as the main stem goes it gets way to warm for resident trout. I have caught smallmouth out of the lower end before and took water temps in the high 70's.
There is always that rare catch of a wild brown in Spring or Millstone, but I would assume the fish are travelers, constantly changing location with the seasons.

Posted on: 2013/3/2 9:51
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