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Creating a Catch and Release Area

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2012/4/18 13:53
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How hard is it to successfully lobby for a C&R area on our favorite streams?

I'm specifically wondering about Fishing Creek in Columbia County. I think it makes sense considering how cool the waters of the stream are year-round and the amount of insect life it sustains throughout the entire season. It can easily sustain native and reproducing trout populations and I think it is a shame that a large majority of fish are still taken every year. In my opinion, the logical areas for a special regulations section are the waters near Minnow Lane or the Boy Scout Camp outside of Benton.

I am currently living in the Philadelphia area and there are several catch and release sections on streams down here. Some of these streams are streams that, unlike Fishing Creek, can't sustain native trout populations. In my opinion, a fantastic stream like Fishing Creek needs to have the same conservation initiatives.

Posted on: 2013/10/10 9:53


Re: Creating a Catch and Release Area

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The landowner must agree to it. And there is a minimum length requirement. Usually there is a local TU chapter or other group who know the landowner, and supporting the regs change.

There was a special regs area on Fishing Creek, above Benton, but then the landowner changed his mind, and closed access, so that was the end of the regs area.

This access problem has happened on numerous other special regs areas on private lands.

On public lands like state forests and gamelands, you don't have that problem.

Posted on: 2013/10/10 10:18


Re: Creating a Catch and Release Area

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Do you know offhand what the length needs to be? There is a nice stretch of what I think is publicly owned land on Fishing Creek near Minnow Lane.


Posted on: 2013/10/10 11:14


Re: Creating a Catch and Release Area

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Quote:

mr7183 wrote:
Do you know offhand what the length needs to be? There is a nice stretch of what I think is publicly owned land on Fishing Creek near Minnow Lane.


I don't know the minimum length requirement.

What is the land ownership there?


Posted on: 2013/10/10 11:32


Re: Creating a Catch and Release Area

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I believe the land I mentioned is owned by the Fishing Creek Sportsman Association.

They stock fish and definitely have a bait fisherman contingent, so I suppose they could have some reservations making it C&R.

Posted on: 2013/10/10 11:52


Re: Creating a Catch and Release Area
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2006/9/11 8:26
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Hey 7183,

Fishing Creek / Columbia County is a really nice stream and holds both stocked and wild trout. There was a decent SR area in Grassmere Park 20+/- years ago. The SR was moved because fish were not holding in the section (acidic water?). A new SR was set up close to Benton, but as mentioned, a new landowner bought the property and rescinded permission for public access.

Contact the PFBC local office and ask about the situation. I would guess they have tried and are trying to find a suitable location on the stream for a SR area.

Keep us up to date on the status.

Posted on: 2013/10/11 6:12


Re: Creating a Catch and Release Area

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Quote:

afishinado wrote:
Hey 7183,

Fishing Creek / Columbia County is a really nice stream and holds both stocked and wild trout. There was a decent SR area in Grassmere Park 20+/- years ago. The SR was moved because fish were not holding in the section (acidic water?). A new SR was set up close to Benton, but as mentioned, a new landowner bought the property and rescinded permission for public access.

Contact the PFBC local office and ask about the situation. I would guess they have tried and are trying to find a suitable location on the stream for a SR area.

Keep us up to date on the status.


Thanks for the reply afishinado.

I have a question for the people more knowledgeable than I....

Do you think Fishing Creek could support a C&R area with no stocking at all? Or is stocking a necessary component to that stream.

Posted on: 2013/10/11 9:07


Re: Creating a Catch and Release Area

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2013/8/5 23:08
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Unfortunately I don't think that any of the local landowners or even the general public would support at catch and release program in the area you are talking about. Fishing creek receives heavy pressure from bait fisherman early in the year. While I do think that the boy scout camp is a great stretch of water, I also think there is year round opportunity to catch trout even though there is not catch and release area. This watershed is pretty large and tends to flood badly which spreads the fish out quite a bit anyway. I don't really think you would get exactly the result you are looking for. It's tough when you like a certain stream but I myself would rather fish little fishing creek, or even huntingdon creek over fishing creek. These areas are harder to access and receive less pressure. I could be wrong but I think you would need to close off most of the stream to see any kind of improvement in a sustaining trout population.

Posted on: 2013/10/11 22:51


Re: Creating a Catch and Release Area
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Quote:

HopBack wrote:
Unfortunately I don't think that any of the local landowners or even the general public would support at catch and release program in the area you are talking about. Fishing creek receives heavy pressure from bait fisherman early in the year. While I do think that the boy scout camp is a great stretch of water, I also think there is year round opportunity to catch trout even though there is not catch and release area. This watershed is pretty large and tends to flood badly which spreads the fish out quite a bit anyway. I don't really think you would get exactly the result you are looking for. It's tough when you like a certain stream but I myself would rather fish little fishing creek, or even huntingdon creek over fishing creek. These areas are harder to access and receive less pressure. I could be wrong but I think you would need to close off most of the stream to see any kind of improvement in a sustaining trout population.


Good reply above by HopBack.

The stream is extremely popular in the early season for anglers to harvest stocked trout. While I agree bringing back a C&R or DH regulation area would be nice, don't shortchange the steam (HopBack). There are plenty of wild browns in the stream as well as some holdovers. I found a few places away from the stocking points (and anglers) that held wild fish early in the season. In other words, fish where there is no stocking early.

A little later in the season you will have the stream pretty much all to yourself to fish for plenty of wild browns and holdovers. The summer season is tough as it is in most any freestoner. But,I believe you can find some rewarding fishing there early season through late spring and again in the fall through the winter, especially in the upper stretches of the stream just below and above Benton.

Good luck.

Posted on: 2013/10/12 6:19


Re: Creating a Catch and Release Area

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Or, as an alternative, try Huntingdon Ck. It is a great place to fish, but smaller than Fishing Ck.

Posted on: 2013/10/12 8:21


Re: Creating a Catch and Release Area

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2007/2/4 18:36
From Jefferson Hills, Pa
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I wish there was a set minimum length to C&R or D.H. waters. Prehaps 2 miles of creek or river bed? I don't know broach the landowner end of this idea, it's just to get the idea out there. My example would be the D.H. section of Slippery Rock Creek. My father and I fished it about 10 years ago. Nice lookin' creek, would like to get back there someday, but the D.H. section is only a 1/2 mile long. It concentrates so much pressure in one place. Thoughts anyone? Till then, I'll stick to the All-Tackle section of the Yough.

Posted on: 2013/10/12 10:05


Re: Creating a Catch and Release Area

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Funny you say Huntington Creek, my family owns a cabin on Hutington and we also think it's a great fishery. However, it's difficult to find trout on both streams in the summer and I often wonder where they go. That's actually why I created this topic to begin with.

Are you guys familiar with the Minnow Lane portion of the stream? There is a stretch from Zaners Bridge that extends about 1.5 miles that would be a good section for C&R. In my experience, it doesn't receive a ton of bait pressure. Most bait fisherman tend to fish the dams in town and near Mill Race.

Posted on: 2013/10/13 11:22


Re: Creating a Catch and Release Area

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Also, re: Huntington. There are a few obsolete dams on that stream that should be removed to help the stream. The Jonestown Dam comes to mind.

Posted on: 2013/10/13 11:25


Re: Creating a Catch and Release Area

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2006/9/13 10:18
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My opinion is that on Fishing Creek any special regs area should be on water that is not stocked and hopefully on public land, or at least open to the public. There are guidelines, minimum length is 1 mile, but PFBC may allow a shorter reach, there is a minimum of the parking also required, beyond that I'm not sure about what PFBC asks for.
An excellent area for special regs on Fishing Creek would be all of the watershed in the state forest and SGL. There is already parking and it is all public access. DCNR would like nothing better then to have those reaches not stocked. And you could include all the tributaries too.

Posted on: 2013/10/19 9:40
_________________
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: Creating a Catch and Release Area

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Re: Huntington Ck...I was speaking above primarily about the stretches above the confluence of Kitchen Ck in Ross Twsp and the SGL.

As for C&R, Your comment about the desirability of a C&R area outside of where the bait anglers go is somewhat contradictory unless you feel harvest by anglers other than bait anglers is having a lasting, long term or constant negative effect on the abundance or length distribution of the trout population. C&R regs should not be applied gratuitously. They are one tool that may be used where harvest is a problem as I have defined it above. Given that Huntington Ck is a wild Brown Trout stream , it is lightly fished where I have described, and it is a free stoner (all conditions where in combination special regs do not tend to work in Pa) it is extremely unlikely that C&R regs would have any biological or fish pop benefits; the impact would probably only be a feel good effect on some anglers while reducing the enjoyment of others.

Posted on: 2013/10/19 10:05



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