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Donegal Creek, Lancaster County, 2/16/2013

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Fished Donegal from 11:30 to 5 today and managed 19 rainbows. Missed a ton and lost 8 as well! My first trip of the year and it was good to shake the rust off. They all came on either pt nymphs sz 16 and egg patterns. All of the fish had good color and nice fins...didn't catch a single one that looked like a stockie. So can anyone tell me when the last time this was stocked? I was shocked i caught that many in February since Donegal isnt on the pfbc stock list anymore. Any chance these were all actually wild??? All were 6-10" long and looked as pictured.

Posted on: 2013/2/16 19:09


Re: Donegal Creek, Lancaster County, 2/16/2013
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The fish you're catching are fingerlings stocked a few months ago. You'll note that the adipose fin has been clipped on the fish in your pic. This section of Donegal isn't on the stocking list because it does not currently receive adult sized trout.

Lots of folks have been catching them and they seem to have held up well over the winter (so far).

Posted on: 2013/2/16 19:23


Re: Donegal Creek, Lancaster County, 2/16/2013

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Thanks! That makes sense. Are they going to continue this and were they stocked throughout?

Posted on: 2013/2/16 19:26


Re: Donegal Creek, Lancaster County, 2/16/2013

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That shows how bad i am at identifying wild rainbows

Posted on: 2013/2/16 19:28


Re: Donegal Creek, Lancaster County, 2/16/2013

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I think the fingerling program is proposed through 2015. The fish have dispersed on their own nicely throughout much of the C&R area. The fish were stocked this year in early October.

Posted on: 2013/2/16 19:32


Re: Donegal Creek, Lancaster County, 2/16/2013
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Why did they clip adipose fins? Perhaps to distinguish them from the wild browns I guess.

Posted on: 2013/2/17 0:21
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Re: Donegal Creek, Lancaster County, 2/16/2013

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I've been told that clipping the adipose fin is common in experimental stockings by the PFBC. In support of the OP's comments these fish have colored up nicely and most fins and tails are in very good condition. (The one in the photo does show damage on lower edge of the tail consistent with a stocked fish). Some of them are also sporting distinctive blue par markings. Without the clipped adipose, a legitimate debate could be had about stocked vs. wild on some of these fish.

Posted on: 2013/2/17 7:02


Re: Donegal Creek, Lancaster County, 2/16/2013

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Yes, and we want to avoid that identification debate because we want to do follow-up population estimates that will be used to measure biomass and survival of the stocked fingerlings. Such surveys will be done annually through 2015 and each C&R FFO area that received fingerlings last October (5 waters) will be evaluated. Fingerling stockings are planned to occur each fall during through 2015.

I have been pleased that anglers (message board participants) have been keeping me informed with respect to the fishes' progress over the winter through their descriptions and photos. My only concern at the moment is that some of fish (not the one above) are thin, suggesting a lack of forage vs the number that were stocked, a limited amount of forage in the winter months, or a limited amount of forage in general in this distressed stream. It will be interesting to see more photos over the next few months. Additionally, their condition may improve as they spread out, moving away from the concentration points where they were stocked.

Posted on: 2013/2/17 8:45


Re: Donegal Creek, Lancaster County, 2/16/2013

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The par marks threw me. Great color and none i caught were noticeably skinny. All fought better than standard stockies i thought. Hopefully the small fish discourage the poachers i always see evidence of

Posted on: 2013/2/18 15:12


Re: Donegal Creek, Lancaster County, 2/16/2013

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How were you catching them? Indicator nymphing? Would you mind telling me a little about your setup? I've been trying to learn nymphing since October, and it's still a bit of a mystery to me... I've been getting to the donegal for a couple hours here and there, and usually am happy to land a fish or two.

Posted on: 2013/2/27 19:17


Re: Donegal Creek, Lancaster County, 2/16/2013

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Jeremy I usually use a small foam indicator when nymphing. The most important things are drift and enough weight to get down in these colder temperatures. I was told when I first started fly fishing that if I wasn't getting hung up a decent amount that I wasn't using enough weight for the current. I keep the indicator about 2 times as deep as the water...another tip I got when starting. Other than that it has been a lot of trial and error... if nymphs aren't working and I know fish are around i'll switch to something like a streamer or egg pattern

Posted on: 2013/3/5 12:06


Re: Donegal Creek, Lancaster County, 2/16/2013

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If you look closely at the caudal fin you can see it is pretty beat up probably from being in a concrete raceway. You would never see that fin degradation on a wild trout.

Posted on: 2013/3/8 23:22
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Re: Donegal Creek, Lancaster County, 2/16/2013
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Quote:

wbranch wrote:
If you look closely at the caudal fin you can see it is pretty beat up probably from being in a concrete raceway. You would never see that fin degradation on a wild trout.


In addition to the clipped adipose.

Posted on: 2013/3/8 23:25
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Re: Donegal Creek, Lancaster County, 2/16/2013

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Quote:

Maurice wrote:
Why did they clip adipose fins? Perhaps to distinguish them from the wild browns I guess.


Lol Maurice

Posted on: 2013/3/8 23:44
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Re: Donegal Creek, Lancaster County, 2/16/2013

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Quote:

Maurice wrote:
Why did they clip adipose fins? Perhaps to distinguish them from the wild browns I guess.


I dont think a lot of people caught what you did there.

Posted on: 2013/3/9 11:20



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