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Re: Headwaters

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2006/12/13 9:28
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Quote:

RLeeP wrote:

... But unless things have changed pretty drastically since I left, this infertility and low baseline Ph's he speaks of are more localized or spotty and not really ANF or region wide, at least to an extent that they would be anymore the dominant factor in fishery quality, say in the upper Tionesta drainage than they would in the upper Pine or Kettle watersheds. I always blamed the patchwork mineral/logging rights situation and the attendant disturbance from episodic drilling/logging activities as a more significant factor in the more geologically fertile watersheds of the general ANF region. And I think if you look at Commisssion stream surveys in these areas, you'll often see a boom/bust cycle in trout pops. that can be directly tied to these disturbances.



No, things haven't changed much recently, but I still disagree with the above.

OK Robert, I am willing to revise my earlier to say the southern half or even Southern two thirds of the ANF as being geologically challenged. Go ahead and throw in Clarion County for good measure if you like, but it’s biggest problem is the mining, drilling forestry, etc. That is the main problem in Armstrong and Jefferson Counties.

Look at Forest County. It is over 90 percent covered in trees. Yet, there are is only 1 Class A stream, and they added it a couple years ago. But it is so small you can’t find it when looking for it at it’s mouth along Tionesta Creek. And there isn’t all that much mining or drilling going on there (ANF), and there are dozens of first order streams that have been relatively untouched for decades. Yet most are no better than Class C. In fact, compare that area to the two Class A streams in Venango county. There is much more old drilling and new logging going on in those watersheds. Yes, much of the “P” watershed was logged in the last 10 years, and if you look at a topo, the area looks like a mine field with all those old wells. It was owned by President oil Company for Pete sake. Lets look at Warren County. Three class A streams listed in the whole county. It is a big county. Are you going to tell me that relatively untouched first order streams are hard to come by? How about McKean County. Three! It has had even less drilling. You mentioned the Upper Tionesta Watershed. There are two tiny Class A streams in the whole watershed, Only one of those is in what I would call the upper watershed. How about the East and South Branches. You are lucky to find a class B (some old problems there). I’m telling you that the sandstone in that area does not buffer acid well and it is not spotty. Clarion river watershed is a good example which you pointed out. Between those two watersheds, you have covered much of the lower ANF and a very large area.

Then you compared it to Kettle and Pine watersheds? I have to ask you. Did you make that comparison with a strait face? You tell me. How may class A streams are in the Pine and Kettle watersheds. And you can’t explain it all way with the lack of logging and mining.

The populations fluctuate a lot because they are marginal freestone streams to begin with. When your base PH is 5 to 6, it doesn’t take much to cause a drastic change.

Spotty? I don’t see that. Spotty would better describe the very few small pockets that produce Class A in NWPA. Those are all unique and certainly are the exception.

P.S. I realize none of what i just said is scientific. however, I will try to back this up with geological info. It is out there.

Posted on: 2007/6/26 14:43
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Re: Headwaters

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By the way, I am not arguing with Chaz. i agree with him. In the vast majority of cases, ponds or large pools on a stream have a negative effect. All i was saying if on a first order stream that is already impaired from natural or man made problems, a pond or wetland can have a localized positive effect on that first order stream provided the temperatures stay low enough. But i don't advocate damming the streams.

Posted on: 2007/6/26 15:18
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Re: Headwaters

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2006/9/18 8:28
From Attitudinally, one mile south of Lake LeBoeuf
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Well, Dave... I probably could have put it a little better and certainly, I'm working from dated information and largely from memory. Let me try and explain myself this way:

There is (or was at any rate) a distinct difference in the trout carrying abilities of the streams in the lower Tionesta basin (let's say from Lynch downstream) and the vast majority of the Clarion basin when contrasted with the streams in the Upper Tionesta basin and (many of) those in the Kinzua basin or direct tribs to the River.

In the early 90's for example, if I recall correctly, the combined Clarion basin and lower Tionesta drainage had 4 class B stocked stream sections, Hoffman Run (2), Ross Run and one section of the EB of Spring Creek. By contrast, the following streams in the upper Tionesta and direct Allegheny or Kinzua drainages were Class B or had Class B sections, 15 stream sections in all: Sugar Run (2 sections), NB Sugar Run, one section of the Chappel Fork, Two Mile Run (2), SF Kinzua Creek, Four Mile Run, Six Mile Run, NF Six Mile run, Browns Run, Little Hickory Creek, West Hickory Creek, Wolf Run (SB Tionesta watershed), Hemlock Run (at Kinzua dam). What is inportant is that in these stocked streams, the Class B biomass being measured was primarily brown trout.

Additionally, among wild trout pops in unstocked streams, many many more in the combined Upper Tionesta/Direct Allegheny drainage had mixed BT/ST pops or in some cases, dominant BT pops than in the Clarion/Lower Tionesta draiange where when wild trout were preseent , they were almost always the more acid resistant brook trout. While dated, this information comes from the AFM files at Tionesta.

So, I think I'll largely stick by what I said. The more severe acid depression of cold water fisheries in the ANF region is (or was) far from uniform or area wide. It was much worse in the lower Tionesta and Clairion drainages.

So far as the comparison with NC PA drainages like Pine and Kettle, this isn't my idea. It came from a Commission biologist who said that in many ways the better streams in the ANF were not at all chemically dissimilar from streams of the NC mountains. He didn't have an answer when I asked him why the fiseries are often so starkly different, but he suggested episodic extraction activity and the attendant sedimentation was a likely factor.

I'm just the messenger....:)

Posted on: 2007/6/26 16:57


Re: Headwaters

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2006/10/26 23:01
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Here's another trend I have noticed. The "buggiest" streams tend also to be brown trout dominated while the less buggy streams tend to be brook trout dominated. Do you think the acidity decreases fertility and provides a competative advantatage to more acid tolerant brook trout?

Or am I off my rocker again?

Thanks for the discussion.....this budding naturalist is learning a lot.

Another thing....these buggy streams also tend to be stocked with browns. I really think stocking increases the average size of wild fish while decresing the number of wild fish dramatically by having the stockers eat all the small wild fish. This is also influencing my perception......and upon further reflection, is probably more the reason for my intial observation.

I would mention specifics but I think some might object to me mentioning a lot of unlisted first order streams and smaller streams with access issues. I will PM if interested.

I also wonder if the Allegheny River and these headwater reseviors serve as a source of larger "lake run" fish as part of my observations. Surely the case in the fall, but I also wonder if there is a year-round effect.

Posted on: 2007/6/26 17:05


Re: Headwaters

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2006/9/9 17:18
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i dont belive your off your rocker
if a pond is feeding the stream and it is not man made but a naturally occuring pond, it is most certainly spring fed. it most likely has cool flows and as farmerdave eluded to, some headwaters streams can stand warming a few degrees. expecially if it is a wild brown trout stream, being that they have a sightly higher tolerance for warmth than brook trout. the headwater pond will increase bug activity and make the stream more fertile. this is a good thread. i have enjoyed reading it......
i have always avoided exploring streams with a headwater pond figuring they were man made and destoryed the wild trout. your given sal a whole new world of streams to explore. thanks guys!

Posted on: 2007/6/26 17:23
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Re: Headwaters

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>>Do you think the acidity decreases fertility and provides a competative advantatage to more acid tolerant brook trout?>>

Sure. I mean, I think it is generally understood and agreed that lower PH streams have less prolific numbers of aquatic invertebrates, but not necessarily a lower diversity of species. Although, below a certain Ph level, diversity also begins to become less. A good read on this process (if you can find it) is the decline in invertebrate diversity in VA's St Mary' River during a period of increasing acidity from the 1930's through the 1970's. It was one of the few such studies existing at the time of the earlier acid rain debates of the 70's and 80's.



>I also wonder if the Allegheny River and these headwater reseviors serve as a source of larger "lake run" fish as part of my observations. Surely the case in the fall, but I also wonder if there is a year-round effect.>

Speaking only for the River, there always was a significant movement of larger fish from the river into colder tribs. But this was mostly noticable in the autumn prior to the spawn. But I know of no reason why some of the movement would not also have been in summer as a response to river temps. I just know i never saw ti any degree while the autumn movement was pretty evident..

Posted on: 2007/6/26 17:24


Re: Headwaters

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2006/10/26 23:01
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Has anyone found a quick way of measuring pH and dissolved oxygen? This, along with temp measurements, would be a good way to quickly eliminate a stream as a productive trout stream while prospecting......

Posted on: 2007/6/26 19:38


Re: Headwaters

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i suppose you could get a pool kit to measure pH. this works fairly quickly but i would hate to hike in with a pool kit

Posted on: 2007/6/26 19:41
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Re: Headwaters

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2007/1/2 11:55
From Bozeman
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Litmus paper?

I'd imagine it might work, but it's not too sensitive I'd guess.

You can get a small aquarium kit. That should do the job.

Posted on: 2007/6/26 20:58


Re: Headwaters

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Quote:

jayL wrote:
Litmus paper?


pH paper
Good from 0-13, accurate to about 0.5.

Posted on: 2007/6/26 23:37
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Re: Headwaters

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2007/6/26 23:22
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Hello Farmer Dave,

On this one, I agree with you. And you covered it in great detail.

Posted on: 2007/6/27 0:01


Re: Headwaters

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2006/9/13 10:18
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OH,
The buggiest streams aren't always brwonie streams. The difference may be how cold the water is during the spawn. However, it is a general trend. Lower PH is more favorable to brookies, though a high PH isn't detrimental to brookies, browns tend to dominate these streams for a number of reasons which I won't get into.
The biggest difference in the ANF streams and the Kettle and Pine Creek drainages is Glaciers. Both of these watersheds are very close to or were cover in part by the latest glaciers to push into Pennsylvania. In both drainages there are even what some would call limestone streams, though they aren't really. They do look like they are though because there are large springs coming out of glacial till that have very cold water and lots of watercress, which is an indication that they are fertile.
Further west the glaciation ended before it reached PA so the soils aren't there to make it fertile. That's a simplification but that's what you have. All of these streams are on the Allegheny plateau, including headwaters of KEttle, Pine and most of the Pocono Streams. So what's the difference? Geology. And there are quite large ponds and wetlands in the Poconos headwater streams that make them warm water streams, but as they drop of the plateau they drop down through better geology and pick up more cold water thus making them trout streams that tend to be very fertile. But there are some that are very low PH anyway, because of the geology.

Posted on: 2007/6/27 5:09


Re: Headwaters

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RLP, I agree it is much worse in the lower Tionesta and Clarion drainages. Absolutely. But that is a very large area (not insignificant in my book). And can't argue about the upper Kinzua watershed and the northern parts of the ANF are similar in chemestry to NCPA. Geological maps also support that, although I had trouble getting info from work. My stomping grounds were the lower half of the ANF including the lower Tionesta and the Clarion River drainage.

Even still, many areas of the state can handle "episotic extraction" better than that region. I agree it is often a coontributing factor, but it can't posibly explain it all away.

Whatever. Id doesn't matter because you do agree on the main point (i think).

Posted on: 2007/6/27 5:34
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There are certain pursuits which, if not wholly poetic and true, do at least suggest a nobler and finer relation to nature than we know. The keeping of bees, for instance." -Henry David Thoreau--


Re: Headwaters

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Quote:

Chaz wrote:
OH,
The buggiest streams aren't always brwonie streams. The difference may be how cold the water is during the spawn. However, it is a general trend. Lower PH is more favorable to brookies, though a high PH isn't detrimental to brookies, browns tend to dominate these streams for a number of reasons which I won't get into.
The biggest difference in the ANF streams and the Kettle and Pine Creek drainages is Glaciers. Both of these watersheds are very close to or were cover in part by the latest glaciers to push into Pennsylvania. In both drainages there are even what some would call limestone streams, though they aren't really. They do look like they are though because there are large springs coming out of glacial till that have very cold water and lots of watercress, which is an indication that they are fertile.
Further west the glaciation ended before it reached PA so the soils aren't there to make it fertile. That's a simplification but that's what you have. All of these streams are on the Allegheny plateau, including headwaters of KEttle, Pine and most of the Pocono Streams. So what's the difference? Geology. And there are quite large ponds and wetlands in the Poconos headwater streams that make them warm water streams, but as they drop of the plateau they drop down through better geology and pick up more cold water thus making them trout streams that tend to be very fertile. But there are some that are very low PH anyway, because of the geology.


Chaz, I don't know whether to agree or disagree with you on this one. Having trouble understanding what you meant. If you meant "further west" as in the ANF, then I agree. Most of the ANF was not covered by that glacier. It kinda whent around it nad only the Northwestern parts of the ANF were glaciated. If you go east or west of the ANF, the glacier extended much further south. You are right that the streams that come from the glacial till tend to be more fertile in those surrounding areas.

http://www.dcnr.state.pa.us/topogeo/education/es6/es6.pdf

Posted on: 2007/6/27 6:06
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Re: Headwaters

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2006/12/13 9:28
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Quote:

OhioOutdoorsman wrote:
Here's another trend I have noticed. The "buggiest" streams tend also to be brown trout dominated while the less buggy streams tend to be brook trout dominated. Do you think the acidity decreases fertility and provides a competative advantatage to more acid tolerant brook trout?


Brook trout can handle lower PH. Browns are slightly less tolerant, and rainbows are third in line of the three.


I would say that acid effects the fertility. Higher PH (like the limestone streams) are much more fertile.

On the other hand, one of the best caddis hatches i have ever seen on a first order stream was on a stream section that is for the most part devoid of all trout. There were lots of chubs, but no trout, or at leat very few in that area. I was scouting and came across this hatch so i had to check i out. The problem with this stream is the PH, and as i found out later, I was below where the most acidic tribytary dumps in. There are trout in the watershed, but it is only a class D. I'm not a bug expert, but it seems in mildly acidic streams, caddis are the dominant hatch, and mayflies don't handle the acid as well. So I would say that the lower PH effects the bio-diversity. The more acidic, the less diverse. When it comes to the bugs, I go by what Chaz says.

Posted on: 2007/6/27 6:31
_________________
There are certain pursuits which, if not wholly poetic and true, do at least suggest a nobler and finer relation to nature than we know. The keeping of bees, for instance." -Henry David Thoreau--



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