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Re: Susquehanna spawning conditions

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2007/3/24 2:29
From Luzerne County, PA
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Wooly, I'm afraid I'm in agreement with you, sad to admit it, but I believe you're right.

Posted on: 2008/6/5 4:49


Re: Susquehanna spawning conditions

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From bucks cty
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Quote:

PennsCreek wrote:
The sewage plants do play a part in the problem because of all the nitrogen and phosphorous that is put into the river, depriving it of oxygen. They are also cracking down and lowering effluent limits because sewage plants are much easier to regulate compared to the agricultural sector. The farmers get away with alot because it is very hard to enforce the laws on that much land in the state.
A big part of the problem comes from the spreading of manure on fields, yes they are required to have it turned into the soil within 24 hours of application but how can that really be enforced on the big scale. I was rabbit hunting a farm down in lancaster county this past winter and witnessed the neighboring farmer spread manure on his field that day. The weather was in the low 30's that day and had been much colder earlier in the week. So the ground was pretty much frozen so the manure could not be turned in and then it rained the very next day, where do you think all the manure ended up. Just some food for thought.


Here is why I have trouble believing the problem is primarily related to sewage plants. The population of Pennsylvania has only grown 5% since 1970. The sewage treatment standards have continuously improved and many more communities are on treatment now than in the 1970s. The problem with the Susquehanna seems to be getting worse or at least peaked recently. So the effect of sewage should be constantly improving rather than causing further decreases in stream water quality. It seems counter intuitive to be a sewage problem.

Posted on: 2008/6/5 12:39


Re: Susquehanna spawning conditions
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From Altoona, PA
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tobasco,

I've been thinking the same thing. What I've been wondering is if all the pig farms that folks have been complaining about are the issue. There has been a growth in that industry in recent past.

Posted on: 2008/6/5 14:20
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Re: Susquehanna spawning conditions
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My throey is the past five years the Susky has experienced "the perfect storm". Three of the past five years the river flooded either before or during the spawn and left the reds either on high ground or swept them away. Along with the low water during several dry summers, the high water temps exacerbated the growth of columnaris (sp?) the disease that was wiping out the young bass and other panfish.

Chalk it up to climate change. If we are dealt a good hand this summer, the yoy should fair well because we did not experience the flooding this spring as we did in years past.

Thats the way I see it through my rose colored glasses.

Posted on: 2008/6/5 15:27
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Re: Susquehanna spawning conditions

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2007/8/2 13:30
From York, PA
Posts: 198
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"Thats the way I see it through my rose colored glasses."

Good for you, it's good to look for something positive in everything. Years ago, when I was a young, stupid Church Guy, I took a course "Possibility Thinking" by Robert Schuller. Very nice, but only rose colored glasses! I was after some truth, and he was after my money! LOL
I also have my fingers crossed. I hope this will be a great year for the Susquehanna. I hate to brag, but if anyone can catch some smallmouth bass with a flyrod in that river......... that would be me!!
But I also don't have my head in the sand! I can see all the dead fish, all the stink, all the snotgrass, all the stinkin' mud on the bottom that once was gravel, the lack of small bass, the lack of rockbass, all the plastic crap in the river and all the houses and all the posted signs and all the stinkin' boats and all the cormorants and all the stinkin' people!
Everyone hates Al Gore, because he is a slow talking liberal, so nobody watched "An Inconvenient Truth" or any of the other Planet Pollution movies.
Global Warming is causing "wackey weather" just turn on the TV and see all the killer tornadoes. Look at all the people in China choking from the sulfur stink in the air.
The world is too overpopulated! We can't wait until Jesus comes down from the clouds on a white horse with a sword in his hand to kill the non believers! Can you imagine if Jesus really came down on a white horse with a sword in his hand and had to fight a dozen F14's with lazer guided missiles and smart bombs?
Fishing will never be the same until the population goes down to the population of the great fishing days! 1/10th of what it is now!!
My 2 cents

Posted on: 2008/6/6 1:48
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Re: Susquehanna spawning conditions
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I'll be the first to admit that I don't know the answer as to why the Susky bass population crashed. I fish the lower Juniata and it crashed just as badly as the Susky as far as I can tell. This suggests to me that sewage plants in Dauphin Co can't be the entire problem - there must be similar problems in towns from Lewistown down to Newport. Moreover, if aging/failing sewage systems are the main problem, I would think other areas upstream would have been hit just as hard. Has anyone seen studies on water quality in different sections of the Susky? I do know there have been studies on columnaris indicating its prevalence in the lower Susky and Juniata. If there are specific sewage plants that are the problem it ought to be fairly easy to pinpoint them. Are there not aging sewage systems on the Allegheny and upper Susky? I also find the claim that "low, warm water" explains the lack of fish to be unconvincing. Back in the nineties we looked forward to very low water in the summer because it made for easy wading and you could catch dozens of fish every evening in the Dauphin Narrows, an area where I have have had very poor fishing the last few years. I still see tremendous numbers of crayfish and the white flies are still coming off (at least they were in 05 and 06) so lack of forage can't be a problem. As the saying goes, "more studies are needed." I remain skeptical of those who claim with certitude that they know the reasons for the decline of bass in these river systems.

Posted on: 2008/6/7 8:41


Re: Susquehanna spawning conditions

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From York, PA
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""Back in the nineties we looked forward to very low water in the summer because it made for easy wading and you could catch dozens of fish every evening in the Dauphin Narrows, an area where I have have had very poor fishing the last few years.""

You bring back such wonderful memories that it almost makes me cry!
The Dauphin Narrows and upstream in Perdix is where I used to wet wade all the time in the late 80's and the 90's. The fishing was Nirvana.
Standing in 3' of clear water, at mid day, in the bright sun, I could see lots of 10" smallmouth bass all over the place. The bass were so thick, they were "pesty" When I put a streamer in front of me to see how it looked in the water, a small bass would smack it right in front of me! LOL I always had to jerk the fly out of the water.
You talk about "dozen" days, but I can remember 100+ days! Mostly small bass, 10" to 14", but that's just fine with me. I could catch some huge bass, but that would involve a spin rod with a big spook at sun up. I like the action much better. Even so, I always got my share of huge bass with the tiny lures on a 6wt.
You're correct, we can't just blame the sewer plants. And it's all over. The salt water fishing is only 5% of what it was 30 years ago.
IMHO I can see huge changes in the Susquehanna since the 90's.
- Mud on the bottom. Before it was a gravel bottom clean water paradise.
- Sick fish. Sores on some and I still remember the millions of dying YOY gasping for breath in 03' at the Narrows.
- Fully exploited fish. All the Penrod boats make me sick, and all the jets going over the same area every day with the same stinkin' green pumpkin tubes. Good God, why don't those guys try a flyrod or at least use a different lure?
- Every time it rains now, we get the smelly brown water. Too much concrete and too many people living near the water.
- I C&R everything today, but back then I kept a few for table fare. Smallmouth grow about 4" a year, and if we had anything but horrible conditions there should be millions of bass in the Narrows area. Even 8"ers, I'd be happy with that....... nice fun with a 5wt!
I didn't take pix back then, but the memories are as clear as day to me.
No more whining. I still catch a few, very few, and with a nice flyrod it is truly a pleasure.

Posted on: 2008/6/8 1:12
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Re: Susquehanna spawning conditions

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Regarding upstream areas on the Susque. The summer loads of bass were dying a friend and I fished the river several places between the New York line and Wilkes-Barre. There were loads of juvenile bass dying up there too. They were all along the margins of the river. Thousands of them. We didn't see any dead adult bass though.

Posted on: 2008/6/8 8:48


Re: Susquehanna spawning conditions

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This ia very depressing!!!!!!!!

Posted on: 2008/6/8 19:58


Re: Susquehanna spawning conditions

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2006/9/10 16:07
From Pine Grove
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Wooly's last post took me back to the 80's in Millersburg. I was a spin fisherman only back then, and whenever I'd change Mr Twisters I would leave the line hang in the water while I put my pill bottle full of lures away. 9 times out of ten you would have a smallie on the other end of the line when you picked it up. I've often wondered if the big bass regs allows for too many breeding sized fish and they are just overbreeding themselves and causing disease such as columnaris to break out. Either way, I miss those days.

Boyer

Posted on: 2008/6/9 7:25


Susque bass

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Quote:

I've often wondered if the big bass regs allows for too many breeding sized fish and they are just overbreeding themselves and causing disease such as columnaris to break out. Either way, I miss those days.


I don't think so because a friend and I fished way up above Towanda, not far from the New York line and they were dying off up there too. That's a very long way from the big bass regs area.

It also seems to indicate that the problems are not just here in PA, because as far upstream as we were, most of the drainage was coming from New York state.

Posted on: 2008/6/9 8:24


Re: Susque bass
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2006/9/9 19:16
From Dallastown, PA
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TB,

When did you see the bass dying? was it this year, last, or '03 in reference to the other posters?

It wasn't clear in your post, at least not to me.

Maurice

Posted on: 2008/6/9 8:45
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Re: Susque bass

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Quote:

Maurice wrote:
TB,

When did you see the bass dying? was it this year, last, or '03 in reference to the other posters?

It wasn't clear in your post, at least not to me.

Maurice


Maurice, I checked my notes. It was August 6, 7, 2005. That was the year there was a lot of news about die-offs in the lower Susque. So we went to the upper river hoping to avoid that. In a correction to my last post, we fished around Tunkhannock, not Towanda, on the first day. Then fished above Tunkhannock on the second day. And there were loads of dying juvenile bass in that section. These areas are well above Wilkes-Barre, so very far upriver from the Harrisburg area.

I'm not saying the river is dead up there by any means. We caught some adult bass. And we didn't see any adult bass dying. Just hordes of the little ones.

The fishing was slow, but my theory was that the adult bass were probably gorged from eating the dying juveniles. It might be good fishing there this year. I'm hoping someone local will give us a report.

Posted on: 2008/6/9 11:32


Re: Susquehanna spawning conditions

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2006/9/11 11:39
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Dear woolybugger,

I would like to know where it was on the Allegheny that as you said "smells like a sewer", I fish that river quite frequently and many of the northern stretches are pristine, clean and clear and some of the best smallmouth fishing I personally have ever had. The "Wild Area" declaration was the best thing that ever happened to the stretch of water that I fish and our biologists should be looking hard at what is going right for that fishery so they can figure out whats wrong with the Susky. The Little J is another huge success story as well. Please do not try to pass off the "convenient lie" (what I like to call it) of global warming as the culprit when the state looks the other way at agribusiness dumping their crap in the water and killing off the invertebra and fish life.

JA

Posted on: 2008/6/10 15:47


Re: Susquehanna spawning conditions

Joined:
2007/8/2 13:30
From York, PA
Posts: 198
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wingshot,
That was a bit south of you. It was summer 05' and I never went back!
I'm glad the Allegheny is still great fishing. I won't blame anything on Global Warming. So sorry.

But please, two questions:
- Does the Allegheny still have a gravel bottom? or are you seeing mud on the bottom? And snotgrass, do you have any?
- Do you have a good supply of small bass? Any dead fish floating down the river? Finally, any sores on the fish you catch?

Posted on: 2008/6/10 21:09
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