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Conservation  Conservation
Macroinvertebrate Survey Through the Seasons

Published by Dave Kile [dkile] on 09/13/2011 (5101 reads)
This past weeks flooding from Tropical Storm Lee left much of region devastated. The rains produced floods that rivaled the 1972 storm of storms Hurricane Agnes. Sadly, there are countless tales of significant property loss as result of flooded waterways from the Susquehanna in the Wyoming Valley to the Swatara in Lancaster County. Hoping everyone has a speedy recovery.

Clarks Creek FloodA lot of questions have been asked on the site as too what happens to the trout under such conditions?

The short answer is it depends, but for the most part fish and the aquatic life recovery reasonably well in these situations. That is not to say there won't be some short term issues. Trout and other fish instinctually know how to respond to these types of floods.

During high water fish will get into the safest flow of a a stream or river, which would typically be at the very bottom of a stream. This is where the velocity of the flow is the slowest. Rocks and other structure can provide some needed protection.

“The fish tend to hunker down,” said David Lemon, fisheries manager at the NY Department of Conservation’s Cortland office. “They get behind current breaks, in deep pools ... sit on the bottom.”

Certainly severe conditions can leave fish in some bad situations. Floods can deliver pollution and heavily silted water that can cause additional challenges. More problematic for trout is they can find themselves outside the banks of streams when the water retreats.

"Generally speaking the populations do quite well, bouncing back quickly, or never seeing a reduction. Occasionally seen, populations decline substantially and remain down for a number of years. This has usually been true only when the storm or flood has ravaged the habitat and for the long term left it much worse than before. In those cases, primarily brook trout streams, many to most of the pools were lost. The populations in those cases found a new and lower equilibrium," shares Mike Kaufmann, Fisheries Manager with the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission.

Probably the greatest threat to fish is the loss of habit during a significant flood event and not just for the fish, but the food chain as well.

While not as devastating in Pennsylvania, Hurricane Irene did pay a visit to New Jersey just before Tropical Storm Lee. Our friends over at TightLine Productions just produced a video showing how the fishing has bounced back after the hurricane and offering some hope for all us at Paflyfish. Thanks!



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Published by Dave Kile [dkile] on 08/26/2011 (4059 reads)
Hurricane Irene


It has been a pretty crazy week already with a once in a century 5.9 magnitude earthquake jolting the east coast on Tuesday. Our new threat is with Hurricane Irene which is bearing down on us and expected to strike North Carolina within hours. Already a Cat 3, Irene is forecasted to grind away at the coastlines from North Carolina to Maine. Unfortunately, many of the most Eastern streams in the Northeastern states are already above average for this time of year. More rain and strong winds will make for some pretty challenging conditions over the weekend.

I hope everyone takes appropriate precautions and prepares for what will be a wet and windy weekend for many. Maybe this storm will take out the swarm of locusts stink bugs that is due to onset us next week.

Have a good weekend. I am off to get some gas for my generator!
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Published by David Weaver [Fishidiot] on 08/22/2011 (3529 reads)
Resized Image

There is a common view among old Letort regulars that the stream is considerably more thick with weeds than in the past. In recent years, it's not uncommon to see the entire stream channel choked to within a few inches of the surface with elodea and chara. With weeds this thick, holding habitat for trout is diminished and some folks feel that it's negatively impacting mayfly populations. Worse still, these heavy weed sections are displacing the water flow up out of the creek's banks and into nearby meadows. With a chronic sinkhole problem in the upper Letort, water pushing up into the meadows is worsening the situation. Obviously, weeds in a spring creek are a natural characteristic and beneficial. Too much of a good thing becomes problematic.

This week, CVTU members went to work on a continuing process of cutting back some of these weeds. Using a cutter called a "weedrazor," channels were cut into the weeds and the cuttings were pulled out with rakes. An 80 yard section of the middle heritage section now has a much better channel. Since this process started, water levels appear to have dropped as much as a few inches. This meadow is still weedy (as it should be) but much improved. Just upstream of where we were working, an 18" wild brown could be seen in a clear section between weedbeds.

If you're interested in supporting, joining, or learning more about Cumberland Valley TU, please visit: http://cvtu.homestead.com/

Thanks,
Dave W

Photos courtesy G Giza
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Published by Dave Kile [dkile] on 02/20/2011 (3763 reads)
It is hard to imagine that back in my early days of fly-fishing how easily I jumped into my truck armed with just a Delorme Atlas and didn't hesitate to run across the state to find some new untested waters. This was great fun to explore many parts of the state that I heard about and fortunately had plenty of time to make these treks. The good old days had a downside to taking off for a five hour drive on some Lewis and Clarke expedition into some uncharted lands for myself. I soon learned weather and water conditions in one area of the state can be drastically different 200 miles away.

In the early days of the Internet, one of the early website sites I found incredibly useful was the USGS implementation of the Real-time Water Data and Streamflow Conditions. This website provides detailed reporting of the most recent and historical water levels for hundreds of streams and rivers across the country.

USGS StreamgageIn 1888 the US Geological Survey started the first of National Streamgaging Program with a gage on the Rio Grande River in New Mexico and have been rolling them out across the country to the delight of all those that enjoy those waterways and streams.

I utilize the USGS site time and time again before heading out on my excursions now. I have cancelled or changed my plans on many a trip due to the timely data found from these gaging stations. I huge time saver in at least knowing there is some decent waters levels to my soon be fantastic fishing trip.

With recent funding reductions many of the real-time streamgages in New York and Pennsylvania may be discontinued. In total for both states it seems there may be about 70 sreamgages effected. Gages at streams like Spring Creek, Pine Creek, the Little Juniata River in Pennsylvania and the Salmon River, the Ausable River in New York.

It appears that there are no changes are planned for New Jersey, Ohio and West Virginia. Maryland has only one stream being effected by these funding issues.

Currently both the New York and Pennsylvania USGS Real-Time Water Data sites are requesting users who are willing to help with funding to potentially keep these gages up and running. At the time of this post I had contacted and USGS for more details and had no response.

So my suggestion is for the USGS is let us anglers, boaters and conservationists, "Adopt a Streamgage". Let us know what it would take for us to put our name in support of our favorite threaten metal shed next to the stream. If we can support some asphalt, why not a section of pristine fly fishing waters?

Reach out to your local USGS contact ask how you can "Adopt a Streamgage."

New York - 27 Streamsgages listed
Contact Rob Breault or Ward Freeman of the USGS New York Water Science Center at 518-285-5658 or dc_ny@usgs.gov

Pennsylvania - 44 streams listed
Contact Bob Hainly, Assistant Director of the USGS Pennsylvania Water Science Center, at 717-730-6971 or rahainly@usgs.gov

Maryland - One stream
Contact Jon Dillow of the USGS Maryland, Delaware, DC Water Science Center at 443-498-5524 or jjdillow@usgs.gov
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Published by Dave Kile [dkile] on 12/20/2010 (2584 reads)
The Pennsylvania Camo Coalition is new group dedicated to the preservation of our outdoors, but unlike many others they are uniquely focused on the interests of sportsmen/women in our region. I recently had a chance to catch up with Ed Boito, Special Campaign Director and learned a lot more about the group and the just what they are trying to accomplish in our region.

Dave Kile:  So tell us, who is the Pennsylvania Camo Coalition?
 
Ed Boito:  Conservation minded sportsmen/women and outdoor enthusiasts who want to learn more about conservation issues, be politically active on water and land issues, and defend our outdoor heritage in Pennsylvania.
 
paDK:  What is it that the Pennsylvania Camo Coalition is trying to accomplish? 
 
EB:  We are a free service for sportsmen and outdoor enthusiasts.  Our goal is to unite sportsmen and other outdoor enthusiasts (hikers, cyclists, kayakers, birders, etc)  through our common interests of resource conservation in an effort to influence the decision making in Harrisburg.  We will be organizing the members to contact their legislators when issues affecting our natural resources or outdoor heritage are on the front burner.  In addition, I will personally be advocating in the State Capitol on issues that affect sportsmen and natural resource issues.
 
DK:  When was the Pennsylvania Camo Coalition established? 
 
EB:  In November of 2009, PennFuture became the state affiliate of the National Wildlife Federation (NFW).  We learned from the NWF that other state affiliates had created successful Camo Coalitions which were active and successful in shaping the political debate on resource conservation in their respective states.  We started the PA Camo Coalition in late October of 2010.
 
DK:  Who are the major supporters of the organization?  
 
EB:  Other than ourselves, we don’t have any major supporters of the organization.  The costs to maintain the site are minimal.  However, we are hoping that other sporting organizations will support what we are doing and encourage their membership to join.
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Published by Dave Kile [dkile] on 12/16/2010 (2139 reads)
As mentioned earlier this month, Paflyfish is recognizing it's 15th year on the Internet. A look back comes up with many exciting accomplishments and activities for fly fishing in our region. A look forward shows an even greater promise to what what our fly fishing collective can become. The site has grown beyond just a stop along of the Internet with few static static maps. It is now a very diverse and dynamic fly fishing community. The conversations, events, information and sharing extend well beyond the borders of the state.

acid"With such a rewarding sport as fly fishing I am always surprised at the diversity of ideas and issues that can be discussed on the site. Conservation efforts, while not immune from the controversy, is the one topic we most often find agreement. Interestingly it is a topic not only we mostly easily agree, but has held such importance longer than all others.

As a boy I enjoyed many summers jumping around the waters below Resica Falls at the Boy Scout camp of the same name in the Pocono Mountains. A splendid stream and one I still treasure. Growing up I understood there were water pollution issues, but thought of them as being isolated to the urban waters like the Schuylkill near where I lived in the suburbs of Philadelphia. Not big fishing waters back in the day.

It was not until I moved to Indiana, Pennsylvania did I understand that the pollution issues extend well beyond the cities. I saw the devastation that the acid mine water drainage had done to so much of waterways in western coal regions in streams like Little Mahoning Creek and Bear Creek.


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Published by Dave Kile [dkile] on 10/11/2010 (2315 reads)
MarcellusFor those not aware of this legislation, the PA House of Representatives has passed a severance tax on the Marcellus Shale Gas Extraction. The importance of this tax is to build a fund to help protect the environment form past, current and future impacts of this activity. Currently the PA Senate has just two days to pass this legislation or it will die and the areas of the state impacted by Marcellus Shale will be unprotected.

It is easy to help pass the tax, just click the link below and fill in the form, the text of your email is provided and you can edit it to your specifics if you wish. It only takes a few minutes.

The Penn Future direct link to email your Pennsylvania State Senators.

Although the Marcellus Shale gas extraction may not directly affect your home watershed, it does affect many of our treasured trout streams and forested areas upstate and to the west. This is an important piece of legislation to protect our states natural resources. Every other state that has MSGE has levied an extraction tax except Pennsylvania and the senate is stalled wishing not to pass it. They need to hear from every constituent.

Pennsylvania Trout Unlimited is encouraging the passage of this legislation with an appropriation of 2%-4% going to the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission Among other conservation agencies. It may be helpful to include this in your text.

Thank you for helping to keep Pennsylvania's natural resources protected.
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Published by Dave Kile [dkile] on 10/05/2010 (1899 reads)
Valley Forge National Historical Park got pounded by the rains of last Thursday and Friday. 9.5 inches of rain in a 24 hour period wreaked havoc on the riparian buffer fences. Most of them are down. Some can be pulled up again but many will need new posts. The Park is calling for volunteers for this week. If you can volunteer time during the week, that would be great. If not we will hold a workday in conjunction with the Park this Saturday, October 9, 2010 – meeting at the Wilson Road iron bridge at 8:30 AM and working until 1:00PM (or whatever part of the day you can spare). Many of you have worked on the deer fences before either installing them or restoring them after past hurricanes. We have an ownership in these riparian areas and they need their protection. Please give us a hand on Saturday.

Thank you in advance,
Pete Goodman
President
Valley Forge Chapter of Trout Unlimited
http://www.valleyforgetu.org/
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Published by Dave Kile [dkile] on 09/21/2010 (1979 reads)
The Muddy Creek Chapter of Trout Unlimited like so many TU chapters in Pennsylvania does an amazing amount of work with conservation efforts for it's watershed. I am a big fan of these guys and the effort they make to keep up with projects in all aspects of the watershed.

The public is invited to attend an Open House on Saturday, September 25 from 11:00 am to 4:00 pm. Come out to see the recent renovations to the Chapter’s Co-operative nursery grounds where they raise 8,000 trout that are stocked for the public in the Muddy Creek Watershed.

Activites will include:
Trout and Native Plant Nursery tours
Aquatic life exhibits
Trout egg incubator exhibit
Fly tying demonstrations
Fly casting demonstrations
Stream improvement project tours.

Food will be available for purchase including hamburgers, hot dogs, brauts and soft drinks. Chapter merchandise will also be available for purchase with a fly fishing rod raffle leading the fundraising effortin addition to bucket raffles for an Orvis Battinkill Bar Stock II 4/5/6 reel, Orvis Chest Pack, Framed shadowbox of flys and an assortment of 64 flys. We will also have fly tying materials for sale at bargain prices along with our fishing caps and collectible patches.

Directions to the nursery grounds are: Rt.74 to Brogue, turn at the Brogue Post Office onto Muddy Creek Forks Road, continue 2 miles to Left on Sechrist Rd, Follow Sechrist past Allegro winery to stop sign. Nursery grounds will be directly across.

Visit the MCTU website at www.muddycreektu.org
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Published by Dave Kile [dkile] on 11/08/2009 (2929 reads)
AlbyPerkiomen Creek, the chapter's namesake is the main focus of the restoration efforts at the chapter, in an attempt to extend a growing wild trout population.

By working with landowners, state and local leaders, and other state organizations, Perkiomen Valley Trout Unlimited has had great of success in restoring key tributaries of the Perkiomen, through several miles of tree plantings, streambank restoration and structure, educating communities and landowners on best land management practices.

Now comprised of about 200 members the chapter is working hard to complete the major work of restoring stream banks and water quality. Water quality has already improved enough in the main branch that a noticeable difference has been recorded in the water quality of the Green Lane Reservoir.

The chapter has a fund raising raffle underway to support local Trout in the Class and stream restoration efforts. Details for the the raffle and prizes can be found on the Perkiomen Valley Trout Unlimited website.


Membership Meetings - Perkiomen Valley Trout Unlimited general Membership Meetings are held every 3rd Monday of the month between the months of September and May, starting at 7:30pm in the Upper Perkiomen Valley Free Library Community Room at the Upper Perkiomen Valley Library 350 Main Street Red Hill, PA 18076.

Photo by culmer
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