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Re: Miners & Rock Run Lycoming County 7/5/08

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2006/11/2 8:50
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Quote:

salvelinusfontinalis wrote:
Troutbert,

Ill second the notion of thanking you for your insight. That is very interesting and is very possible that this is what happened at Grays Run. I wouldnt change the stream channel back either. The over hanging tree roots and other structure made for some good fish habitat. Though it did look very odd. The only question that I have is wouldnt, while the water was cutting a new stream channel, be dwindling downstream. I would think if the diversion was long enough that the "regular creek channel" downstream of the diversion could go quite sometime with out water. Causing fish to die or even get trapped. If when the water flowing to point A to point X goes around B,C and D section and meets the stream channel back at point E those sections would be threatened. If the fish dont retreat with the flowing water they could get trapped and die?


Yes, when the stream avulses, or jumps, into a new channel, the old channel may get de-watered and some trout and bugs may take a hit. What I've usually seen is that there is still some water going down the old channel, that the cutoff is usually not complete, so there is usually some water flowing down the old main channel, now secondary channel.

But I don't doubt at all, that some fish and bugs may die during channel avulsions. But if a stream/floodplain system is in a natural condition, i.e. just a stream flowing through a forested floodplain, and people aren't messing it with it, that is the situation where you are going to get the very best possible habitat and that will lead to high trout populations over the long haul.

Downed trees, logjams, undercut banks, leaning trees, channel splits and rejoinings are typical of normal forested floodplain streams. It's rare to find such places, but when you do, the habitat can often be just amazing. One pool right after another, with good overhead cover provided by the undercut banks and large woody debris.

Avulsions have a number of benefits to stream habitat. This stuff is a little complicated but here goes. The main limiting factor is pool habitat. You all have fished long sections of stream that are very shallow, lacking pools. This is what some of us call "walk-past water." When you're fishing, you just walk past and you keep walking until you find some decent holding water.

Avulsions, i.e. channel jumping or channel splitting, leads to pool formation in these ways. When channels split, the run parallel for a ways, then they rejoin. And when they rejoin, there is commonly a confluence pool at the junction. That's not a coincidence. You see the same thing where tributaries come in. It has to do with the vectors of the combining flows. Where currents converge, the energy of the stream is increased, and it carves down into the streambed sediment and forms a pool.

Also, when streams have multiple channels in some places, rather than just a single, monolithic channel, it is more likely that large woody debris will "stick" i.e. get lodged in the channel. And we all know that large woody debris is important to pool formation and overhead cover. Many streams have single, monolithic channels that were often man-made, and straightened to boot. In these channels, downed trees often just get swept downstream rather than sticking and creating habitat. Look around, you'll see this. Streams that have a complex structure, with multiple channels and meanders etc. tend to have more large woody debris, and better pools habitat.

Single monolithic channels often have a tendency to downcut, which is called channel incision in the literature. That's a bad thing because flood flows don't go out over the floodplain as in a normal system. They stay in the channel and all that flow creates massive bank erosion, leaving a wide channel with a shallow trickle flowing across the stream bed when the flow returns to normal. Thats a bad thing.

When there are multiple channels, with large woody debris, the fricition is increased, there are more obstructions, and more water gets forced out of the channel and flowing across the floodplain in high flow situations, as nature intended.

A channel avulsion often counter-acts channel incision. The blockage creates deposition in the channel behind the blockage. And the water is then diverted across the top of the floodplain. So the stream is "reset" at a higher elevation, clear up on top of the floodplain.

The old main channel, now a secondary channel, will begin to fill in. At normal flows it will have just a little water flowing or in some cases nearly none. But during floods, water will be flowing in this channel also. But it's no longer the main flow, it's away from the main channel so it carries the slower flood flows. And the sediment rich flood flows deposit in this low channel and gradually begin filling it in. So it's elevation is slowly raised.

These abandoned or "relic"channels also commonly form wetlands, at their former poolls, or oxbows. And these are often breeding areas for amphibians. And the secondary channels, with their fine deposits, often support herbaceous plants there are different than the plant life that is found on higher floodplain surface. Not that we care about all the at biodiversity stuff, hee hee....

BTW, if you go back to Grays Run, fish the section BELOW the bridge. Start at the lower state forest boundary and fish up to the bridge. You will see a lot of the features I described above. Channel splits, large woody debris, and tremendous pools and cover for such a small stream. The habitat is much better here than upstream from the bridge. That's because of periodic chanelizations in the section above the bridge. I know of at least 2 cases when there were bulldozers in there. There was a big controversy over this so maybe they've left it alone in recent years. And so maybe the habitat is recovering.

I think in many cases channel avulsions are part of a natural restoration process. I hope you enjoy all that. Sometimes I type faster than I think....

But look for some of this stuff when you're out on forested streams. It's dang interesting.

Posted on: 2008/7/11 17:56


Re: Miners & Rock Run Lycoming County 7/5/08

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2006/9/9 17:18
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troutbert,

again ty for your info and insights on this. That is very interesting.

here are a few more pics of miners run that spectorfly took on his camera phone. dang that thing takes good pics for a camera phone!

fall

falls

me beside a waterfall

me fishin

Posted on: 2008/7/15 16:04
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Re: Miners & Rock Run Lycoming County 7/5/08

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2007/6/19 21:49
From Lancaster County
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Grays Run was Selective Harvest; the PFBC did away with some of the "oddball" designations a few years back, to streamline regulations. If I recall correctly, when I fished it, there were only a handful (maybe two?) streams that were "Selective Harvest". I caught a few wild browns and natives, and one stocked brook trout. A few were caught directly upstream from the cement bridge, and then we camped further upstream, where there's a bridge across to cabins, and caught the bulk of fish up there.

Posted on: 2008/7/19 22:18


Re: Miners & Rock Run Lycoming County 7/5/08

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2007/3/24 2:29
From Luzerne County, PA
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I had the opportunity to fish Rock Run twice, both times I had very good luck above the bridge. If I remember correctly there were mile markers on certain signs all the way up Rock Run Road, the bridge is somewhere around the 10 mile mark, and there were campsites there, it's good to know you can still camp there, where would one get the permit?

We also hiked down at around the 5 mile mark, beautiful water there as well, I caught a beautiful native trout in that stretch.

Is it possible there are certain stretches of that stream that do support aquatic life (food) or is the entire stream devout of any such "trout food".

Posted on: 2008/7/28 4:29


Re: Miners & Rock Run Lycoming County 7/5/08

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2006/9/11 13:05
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henrydavid,

I think those mile markers you are refering to are campsite numbers.
And only a few of those campsites are still able to be camped at. To recieve a permit to camp, I think you just contact DEP with what nights (I believe there is a max number of nights you can stay too) and the number of the site you wish to stay at.

There is food in the stream, just not a lot of it. There is a fair midge population, but as far as huge mayfly hatches, there really isn't anything consistant. There used to be mines at the source.

Posted on: 2008/7/29 14:20
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Re: Miners & Rock Run Lycoming County 7/5/08

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Quote:

MKern wrote:

There is food in the stream, just not a lot of it. There is a fair midge population, but as far as huge mayfly hatches, there really isn't anything consistant. There used to be mines at the source.


MKern, do you have any more information about "mines at the source." I walked up a ways above Hawk Run, to the junction with the North Branch, and it does look to me like there might be acid mine drainage in the creek. A friend of mine who's pretty experienced about streams thought so too.

But I've asked people whether there were mines further up, and no one seems to know if there were for sure, or where the might have been, or where mine drainage is coming in (if it is for sure).

I've read historical stuff about the mines up Miners Run, and in various other places in the region, but never about mines in the far headwaters of Rock Run.

Any info on that you have would be appreciated. If we can find out about a source of mine drainage coming in up there, I think we could get DEP to fix that situation. They are doing a lot of mine drainage remediation elsewhere.

I drove the road that crosses the headwaters way, way up and I didn't see signs of old mining there. But maybe in between, in that real remote country, there might be mine drainage coming in.

You're younger than me and probably have the legs to just walk that whole thing, and check it out. If you can do the Loyalsock Trail in one weekend, you could do it!

Posted on: 2008/7/29 18:17


Re: Miners & Rock Run Lycoming County 7/5/08

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2006/9/14 20:03
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Quote:

troutbert wrote:
... do you have any more information about "mines at the source."


Troutbert, you should try a google search. Buried in this Pa Bulletin is this little nugget:

   59060101 and NPDES Permit No. PA0256315. Phoenix Resources, Inc. (782 Antrim Road, Wellsboro, PA 16901). Commencement, operation and restoration of a bituminous surface mine, with proposed post-mining land use which will be a sanitary landfill, in Duncan Township, Tioga County, affecting 76.5 acres. Receiving streams: Rock Run to Babb Creek, classified for the following use: CWF. There are no potable water supply intakes within 10 miles downstream. Application received: February 13, 2006. Permit issued: September 29, 2006.

Not sure its the same Rock run, but it doesn't sound good for any CWF to me.

Posted on: 2008/7/29 21:06
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Re: Miners & Rock Run Lycoming County 7/5/08

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Different stream.

This is Rock Run, tributary to Lycoming Creek, at Ralston.

Posted on: 2008/7/30 8:31


Re: Miners & Rock Run Lycoming County 7/5/08

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2006/9/11 13:05
From Lewistown
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troutbert,

I am going by heresay, which I know can be extremely inaccurate, but it's from both of my soon to be wife's grandfathers.

I know if you travel up the road at the top, is switches to yellow dog road and a few other names and ends in a small town which name elludes me right now. I know of this town because I heard of a cold water pond, which is a source to rock run (I believe the noon branch). I have never found the pond, but have located it on several maps, and have yet to make a second trip up that way. If I remember correctly, the nearby towns to the pond had small mining operations, or were heavy in small machining mills.

I believe that hawk run is void of mines, but upper rock run and the noon branch have pockets of that orangish mud in places.

I personally fell in love with that area years ago, and used to a ton on exploring (very little fishing however). But in all my hours up there, I have seen only a handful of fish up that far. I'm sure way up the stream in similar to hawk run, but I could be wrong because I know of 3 tribs. that look massive at their mouths, but 200 yards upstream they are 2 feet across. I also feel that my time spent walking around up there was semi pointless from a fishing stand point, but is probably worth a light backing packing trip for a few days, if not for the fishing, at least for the scenery. I find it more rewarding up there, than at all the marked waterfalls and pull-offs. However, it still lingers in my mind that hundreds of people journey as far if not further than I do every year ---- I like to think I'm the only person for decades to see some of those places. Still a special place, none the less.

Posted on: 2008/7/30 13:59
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Re: Miners & Rock Run Lycoming County 7/5/08

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You had me looking at my maps. I couldn't find Noon Branch. I've gone pretty far up Hawk Run and haven't seen any evidence of mine drainage. It looks clean to me.

"Pockets of that orangish mud" don't always indicated mine drainage. The orange is iron oxide (rust) and you can often see that where groundwater is coming to the surface. The contact with the air oxidizes iron dissolved in the groundwater so the iron precipitates out.

I'll just have get well rested and then do the hike up through there sometime. Looks like nearly 4 miles following Rock Run from the Yellow Dog Road up to the road up near Ellenton.

Your right about exploring remote country. There's nothing like it. Do that while you're young and able.

It could do that hike, up and back. But I'd be hurting for several days afterward.

If anyone has anything magical for "muscle recovery" after hiking 8 miles along rugged streams, I'm all ears.

Posted on: 2008/7/30 22:30


Re: Miners & Rock Run Lycoming County 7/5/08

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2008/5/5 11:30
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Troutbert..I tore my ACL last spring and the best thing to do prior to any hike is stretch about 15 minutes prior and drink 1 bottle of water before you start. With feet together bend at the waist slowly and attempt to touch your toes at least and hold for 10 seconds. Attempt this 5 times and take one 30 second break between each attempt. Do not try and rock to touch your toes..nice steady pressure of reaching and the weight of your arms, upper torso will do the work for you. You will see that on each attempt you will get a good bit closer if not have the ability to touch your palms to the ground. This strecthes your lower back, thighs, and glutes. Also do calf raises..place both hands on the roof of your car and then raise one leg behind and on the other foot stand on your toes for 10 seconds..do the same for each leg agina 5 times each. When finished with the hike repeat the touch your toes @ 3-4 times. You will be amazed at how just doing this will allow you to move around and recover a lot quicker. Doing the stretch after squeezes the lactic acid buildup in the thigh and glutes which is what causes your stiffness.

I do this everytime I go fishing and have had no issues with feeling sore especially on my repaired knee.

Then later that evening elevate your legs; lie on couch and rest ankles on arm rest and sip your scotch!

John

Posted on: 2008/7/31 9:09


Re: Miners & Rock Run Lycoming County 7/5/08

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NittSpike,

Those sound good, I'll try them. I do the forward bends. Palms to floor, that'll be the day. I can get my fingers to the floor though. And I couldn't do that even in high school. So, yes you can make progress in flexibility, if you keep at it over a period of time.

The calf raises is a new one for me. I can feel that one. Good exercise.

I'll try the old Scottish remedy too...

Posted on: 2008/7/31 11:19



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