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Re: Class A stocking proposal by the PFBC

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Well we know the Little Lehigh is or was on the Class A list and this stream receives heavy stocking. Maybe this will be a vehicle for more Class A streams being listed as such? Spruce Creek probably has more Class A water than what is listed but because of political pressure only the George Harvey section has Class A status. I hope there is more to this proposal as Mike indicated because this seems to be a reversal of the direction PA FBC was heading.

Posted on: 2013/10/7 6:33


Re: Class A stocking proposal by the PFBC
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Okay, I went through the PFBC Meeting summary and found the exhibit listing the nine streams. Here they are:

Attach file:



jpg  Class A list for stocking.jpg (128.85 KB)
53_52529d15296ee.jpg 540X328 px

Posted on: 2013/10/7 7:37


Re: Class A stocking proposal by the PFBC
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To clarify, at least from the best of my understanding, the above streams listed are currently stocked and currently have a Class A population of wild trout. I can only assume they were recently surveyed as being Class A. Unfortunately, the actual stream sections are not identified in the listing.

If the proposal put forth by the FBC (found in the OP) is approved, these streams will continue to be stocked. If not approved, stocking will cease in all the above streams since the current policy is to not stock Class A designated wild trout streams.

Posted on: 2013/10/7 7:58

Edited by afishinado on 2013/10/7 8:18:42


Re: Class A stocking proposal by the PFBC

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Yep, all that hope I had for my fine stream actually becoming class A, getting some restrictions, and having the stocking stop was just a pipe dream.

Posted on: 2013/10/7 8:34
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Re: Class A stocking proposal by the PFBC

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Okay, so they have class A biomass, but it sounds like due to angler demand that it's not self sustaining enough to maintain itself.

Class A is defined as self sustaining AND wild..

it still seems to me that you need to reduce the harvest rather than add stockies to supplement the wild fish being harvested ?

Posted on: 2013/10/7 8:34
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Re: Class A stocking proposal by the PFBC

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I personally would stop stocking them.

All of the above are "destination" streams, though on several, I assume the sections in question are outside of the "destination" area. What better opportunity to highlight wild trout fishing in PA than to have a stream reach the point where it no longer needs to be stocked? If the goal is to highlight wild trout fishing, and slowly chip away at the meat hunter philosophy, well, here's exhibit A.

Don't get me wrong, if they are listed class A and stocking ceased, I support keeping a close eye on the populations there, and setting up some sort of standard like "below class A for 2 consecutive seasons, then stocking resumes". The reverse should likewise be true while stocked (if reaches class A for 2 consecutive seasons, then stocking ceases). Takes some work. But they are heavily used, "destination" streams. You gotta do what's right for the fish and the people, so you can't let the fishery die under any circumstances.

I can't support stocking good wild trout waters. From either perspective. Either potentially harming a wild trout fishery or wasting good stockers where they aren't needed. Stocking numbers have been declining over the years on the true put and take fisheries, and we want to waste them on good streams?

Posted on: 2013/10/7 8:47


Re: Class A stocking proposal by the PFBC
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Quote:

pcray1231 wrote:
I personally would stop stocking them.

All of the above are "destination" streams, though on several, I assume the sections in question are outside of the "destination" area. What better opportunity to highlight wild trout fishing in PA than to have a stream reach the point where it no longer needs to be stocked? If the goal is to highlight wild trout fishing, and slowly chip away at the meat hunter philosophy, well, here's exhibit A.

Don't get me wrong, if they are listed class A and stocking ceased, I support keeping a close eye on the populations there, and setting up some sort of standard like "below class A for 2 consecutive seasons, then stocking resumes". The reverse should likewise be true while stocked (if reaches class A for 2 consecutive seasons, then stocking ceases). Takes some work. But they are heavily used, "destination" streams. You gotta do what's right for the fish and the people, so you can't let the fishery die under any circumstances.

I can't support stocking good wild trout waters. From either perspective. Either potentially harming a wild trout fishery or wasting good stockers where they aren't needed. Stocking numbers have been declining over the years on the true put and take fisheries, and we want to waste them on good streams?



Agreed. A lot of good points made by Pat.

Let's face it, stocking is becoming too expensive for the FBC to continue at the current levels. Hard decisions must be made as to where and how to cut back. Why not cut back on the streams that have a good population of fish without stocking?

A stream reaching the Class A status should be hailed by the PFBC and viewed by PA anglers as a great achievement that wild trout are thriving and a fishery has become self-sustaining!

There are thousands of miles of water that cannot sustain coldwater fish in PA. Like I wrote earlier, use the fish stocked in Class A's to stock streams that are deemed suitable to add to the stocking list and increase stocking numbers and/or frequency in some of the current ATWs. Fishing success and satisfaction would increase in those streams since we would have more fish in the streams and/or more miles of streams to fish.

We had some discussion of this earlier, but heck I would cease stocking Class B's and put them in the "Pcray program" where if they achieve Class A population status in (say) two years, they will remain unstocked. If they fail to achieve Class A status, stocking can be resumed. That would insure, when you put on your boots and string up your rod, every PA trout stream will either be stocked or have a decent population of wild trout.





Posted on: 2013/10/7 9:33


Re: Class A stocking proposal by the PFBC

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There isn't a single stream on there that needs to be stocked... nuff said.

Posted on: 2013/10/7 9:39
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Re: Class A stocking proposal by the PFBC

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Quote:

5x9 wrote:
I don't think it's a big deal. The Class A designation will protect the water quality. The wild trout populations are apparently already thriving in the streams despite stocking, so I would assume they'd continue to do so. Also, the presence of stocked fish may keep the angling pressure off the wild fish.


I fish many of the stocked Class A streams as they are close by...I would question what is meant by "thriving" (more on that below). There seems to be an insatiable need to eat trout around here...I don't understand how people can eat so many trout without going beyond the 1 meal/week limit due to PCB's...or maybe they throw them out due to freezer burn...
The stockies help fill the need since there is nothing preventing the harvest of legal size wild fish, which also happens quite often...


Quote:

5x9 wrote:
The wild fish occupy the prime lies and out compete the stockies who aren't as adept at feeding themselves. Nor are the stockies as adept at protecting themselves from predators.


I disagree here. The stockies that adapt will eventually figure out the prime lies, the others will already be on the grill or in the freezer. I've caught plenty of small wild fish in crappy lies due to being pushed out by stockies...a 12-13" rainbow will certainly push a 5-6" wild brown out of a riffle, especially since 'bows like the fast water...

Posted on: 2013/10/7 10:12


Re: Class A stocking proposal by the PFBC

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As much as we'd like to see these streams listed as Class A, and not be stocked, we have to be realistic about it.

Let's use the Little Lehigh as an example. It has had the biomass to EASILY be classified as Class A for heck, forever. So why isn't it designated as such?

Simple. If it was designated as such, and not stocked, the public uproar would be heard in Harrisburg with the naked ear. The Lehigh Valley is the third largest metropolitan area in PA, and it's growing by leaps and bounds. Take away two of the 4 major limestoners here (LL & Monocacy) from the stocking list, and the potential for lost license revenue becomes obvious.

In simpler terms, designating them as Class A and eliminating the stocking isn't going to happen. Period. Wishful thinking, but unrealistic.

However, designating them Class A, and making an exception to allow stocking DOES have some benefits to the streams.

1 - They'll be eligible for the higher water quality standards protection that Class A designation affords. The Little Lehigh could REALLY use that!

2 - Elimination of the extended/reduced harvest season after Labor Day of a Class A designation would protect the spawning fish.

So realistically, while allowing an exception to the Class A designation to allow stocking isn't perfect in a lot of our member's opinions, it's better than nothing, IMO.

Posted on: 2013/10/7 10:38
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Re: Class A stocking proposal by the PFBC

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The idea that 'public outrage' makes Class A designation impossible is not an honest argument. What about our public outrage?

Changing the stream to Class A doesn't remove the fish- it proves that the resource is already there. While this change doesn't need to be made with huge fanfare, even if they are upgraded I don't see what the meat fishermen would have to argue against.

The meat is there. They're still allowed to fish and they are still allowed to take. I don't see how that would stop someone who enjoys fishing from purchasing a license.

Maybe just a more to-the-point visual campaign would soothe their worries:

Click to see original Image in a new window

Posted on: 2013/10/7 11:27


Re: Class A stocking proposal by the PFBC
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Quote:

Heritage-Angler wrote:
As much as we'd like to see these streams listed as Class A, and not be stocked, we have to be realistic about it.
Let's use the Little Lehigh as an example. It has had the biomass to EASILY be classified as Class A for heck, forever. So why isn't it designated as such?
In simpler terms, designating them as Class A and eliminating the stocking isn't going to happen. Period. Wishful thinking, but unrealistic.
However, designating them Class A, and making an exception to allow stocking DOES have some benefits to the streams.
1 - They'll be eligible for the higher water quality standards protection that Class A designation affords. The Little Lehigh could REALLY use that!
2 - Elimination of the extended/reduced harvest season after Labor Day of a Class A designation would protect the spawning fish.
So realistically, while allowing an exception to the Class A designation to allow stocking isn't perfect in a lot of our member's opinions, it's better than nothing, IMO.


Well said HA. This is worth pondering. While we, as wild trout devotees have a point of view - a correct one IMO:don't stock Class As - we need to keep in mind that the PFBC is trying to find a middle path in these particular cases.
I'm not sure about the closure of harvest in the extended season listed in line 2 above. Will this policy be in effect if the stream is still stocked? In other words, will the section be managed as "Class A" meaning no harvest after Labor Day.......or "Approved Trout Water" allowing harvest? Hopefully HA is correct. This is an angle to this debate that needs clarification (My apologies if this is clarified in the link as I didn't read it).

Posted on: 2013/10/7 11:33


Re: Class A stocking proposal by the PFBC
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Ed makes some good points and I would bet the proposal gets approved by the FBC.

For me, I really don't like the precedent it sets. A policy of not stocking coldwater streams with a thriving population of wild trout (unless it's popular place) doesn't hold much water....so to speak.

Posted on: 2013/10/7 11:53


Re: Class A stocking proposal by the PFBC

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Quote:

Gorosaurus wrote:
The idea that 'public outrage' makes Class A designation impossible is not an honest argument. What about our public outrage?


We're the minority - angler surveys have shown that we're a SMALL minority. You'd be surprised how many people think that trout in our streams only come from the white truck fleet. The concept of a wild, naturally reproducing, self sustaining trout population is a concept not understood by many anglers.

Looks to me like the PFBC is picking their battles wisely - they can win this one and provide some real tangible benefits for these streams.

As much as I'd like to see Class A designation with no stocking, I'll take the "half full" glass.

Posted on: 2013/10/7 12:22
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Re: Class A stocking proposal by the PFBC
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Ed is right that we (the wild trout fishers and TU types) are in the minority. Also, I agree with Ed that many of us would be shocked if surveyed many anglers about wild trout, and their very existence.

At some point in the not-so-distant future, I would hope that the PFBC would move in a direction away from the great white fleet we stock'em for you to keep'um direction, and move towards promoting and enhancing self-sustaining fisheries.

We just can't afford to spend our limited dollars on less and less fish. At some point (now?) the amount of fish and frequency of stocking will (has?) become so low that anglers will drop out.

Class A streams offer a great angling experience and need not be stocked. Use those fish to stock other streams with which are not Class A and are stocked very too lightly to satisfy the anglers fishing them.

Posted on: 2013/10/7 13:00



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