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Blog > Conservation > Big Spring Update and PFBC Meeting - Part 2

Big Spring Update and PFBC Meeting - Part 2

Published by Dave Kile [dkile] on 2013/10/23 (802 reads)
This is the second half of the Big Spring Update and PFBC Meeting - here is the beginning Part 1

Stream Improvements in Section 2

I was really taken back by how good the project looked on Section 2 a few weeks ago. Much of this got rolling in the fall of 2012 when the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission (PFBC) outlined the agency’s habitat management plan for Big Spring Creek with Section 2. The project was finished late summer of 2013 as planned and supported by funds from the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission.

Big Spring Creek


The plan was to improve 2000 feet of habitat conditions in Big Spring Creek that would favor wild brook trout. To accomplish this the project focussed on narrowing the stream bed in addition to reducing: the rate at which the creek’s waters warm as they flow downstream, the amount of water surface area exposed to solar radiation and late-afternoon dissolved oxygen. Effort was taken to include specific gravel in the steam bed that would favor the wild brook trout during the spawn.

Upon visiting Section 2 of the creek it appeared much of the last of work had recently been completed in September. Clear evidence of the stream narrowing could be seen along the creek and the stream was noticeably deeper. Some areas it appeared as if over 20 feet of stream bed was reclaimed. Grass seed and tree saplings were planted along all the new habitat areas of the stream banks.

Big Spring Watershed Association


The efforts on the project looked great. It had only been a few weeks, but already the ground netting was keeping in the soil and grass was growing. This is the same effort put in to Section 1 back in 2010 with solid results along the stream.

While I was there I meet up with several members of the Big Spring Watershed Association (BSWA) who had come out to inspect the progress of the project as well. The members of the Big Spring Watershed Association are biologists, naturalist, local citizens and anglers who all are very anxious of the success of Big Spring Creek. The small group there were all in agreement with success of Section 2 up to that point.


Big Spring Creek Public Workgroup Meeting

The last PFBC Big Spring meeting must have been a real doozy because the PFBC was really prepared to deal with this meeting in a very civil and constructive manner. I give them a lot of credit for coming back out to take on the topic and have a good plan to keep the meeting well organized. Probably the only thing crazier than a public meeting on fly fishing is having a Internet forum on the topic. But, who would be stupid enough to do that?

Dave Miko


Dave Miko, Chief of Fisheries Management, lead the workshop for the PFBC. The front end of the workshop was an update by the PFBC that reviewed the progress of Section 1 and Section 2 of the projects.

Chief Miko did a nice job explaining the forum for the workshop, expectations and goals before the 40+ participants broke into four separate groups to battle it out discuss things. Attendance was a mix of anglers, citizens, members of TU and BSWA. Once into the groups, members from the PFBC led walked thru a series of questions about the progress to date, issues and future goals.

Big Spring Creek


A lot of solid information was shared and everyone had an equal opportunity to express their opinions, concerns and suggestions going forward. I noticed the one group was a little more well behaved with the armed WCO sitting nearby...kidding. Certainly a lot of strong and divergent opinions were shared on how the stream should be managed. Some people wanted to completely remove all the rainbow trout and others to just leave things as they are...some a little heated, but nothing that wasn't in line.

No real outcomes was finalized as the workshop was intended to gather feedback from the public and share it with the commissioners. With so many different views the public is going to all have to live with some compromises, which seems a little difficult for a lot of people everywhere lately.

Again, hats off to Dave Miko and team for coming up with a constructive format to handle the topic!






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Poster Thread
albud1962
Posted: 2013/10/23 9:32  Updated: 2013/10/23 9:32
Joined: 2006/12/3
From: Mechanicsburg, Pa
Posts: 422
 Re: Big Spring Update and PFBC Meeting - Part 2
I had a chance to look at the second phase of the habitat improvement. Looked like everything was stabilized well and some new deeper runs were created. Did not see any fish visible like the sections above, but it might take some time before they move down.



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