?s re: the LeTort

redietz

redietz

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Seven foot, although shorter than I take to the Letort is a reasonable length. My Ed Schenk rod is 5' 2". I've tried to fish it there before and gave up. There are streams where it makes a bit more sense, though.
 
larkmark

larkmark

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rrt- it certainly is challenging fishing and terrain. Edges are often swampy and full of muskrat holes in places. You get high weeds on banks in summer in meadows and then the heavy cress along edges. Guys on this thread have covered methods fairly well. Most stay on banks but you just have to adapt. Some places you can get in and carefully wade if you watch where you step to stay out of the very deep silt. If you go downstream the bottom end in sections can be just like fishing any other stream. There are nice fish there too. some under the low road bridges. I haven't fished it in years but for a while enjoyed the challenge. I remember throwing a big grasshopper dry fly as far downstream as I could and then feeding line and letting it go almost out of sight. A big one grabbed it and dove into cress and that was the end when the 6x broke. Grasshoppers and ants were go to flies and also would drop nymphs and cress bugs off dry. Best results overall was fishing streamers early morning or with higher water. I rarely saw hatches but I know they have them.
 
Bamboozle

Bamboozle

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Obviously, the Letort has changed a lot, but no SO much in my lifetime. (I’m talking about the old Limestone Springs, current FFO section). Things spread out on occasion as weeds pop through the water’s surface, however for the most part the stream width seems essentially the same to me as it did when I first laid eyes on it in the 1970's.

I can't comment on water depth as I never wade and have only crossed the creek by wading a handful of times, but that LOOKS the same as well.

The weeds come and go but there were always more from below the “Big S” on up through Trego's and that seems the same more or less however, the “Barnyard” used have a lot of elodea & watercress and now there isn’t anywhere near as much.

The biggest change I’ve seen is the flooded areas from upstream of the "Vince’s Meadow" pavilion trail to a spot about 50 yards downstream from the ‘”Big S,” and below the spring confluence at the “Barnyard” to the I-81 bridge.

I noticed that area getting muddier & muddier and more under water from the mid-to-late 1990’s onward, especially after several of those back-to-back 100-year flooding events we had back then. The water level also appeared to go up, so instead of having maybe an inch or two difference between the bank and the water, the stream was now level with the bank and spilled over if it rose even a fraction during a storm.

The standing water on the bank would never get the chance to recede before the next rainstorm came and this went on and on for years until the stream bank disappeared under water.

Before this flooding, it was a piece of cake to walk along the bank from the I-81 bridge all the way to Otto’s & beyond. Now, even though the Barnyard is dry above the spring, inching along the old fence line below the spring confluence by the house is almost impossible without walking IN the water and spooking fish, and just below the “Little S” the streambank is now permanently under water.

I heard many theories about this “spreading” of the creek or raising of the water levels over the years, with the blame placed on either the quarry or siltation caused by general overdevelopment in the valley.

The last time I was fishing above the Quarry Meadow, it SEEMED to me that there is now a LOT more water coming from the quarry in that little raceway than in year’s past so maybe there is something to the quarry theory. I also haven’t seen that raceway withOUT water in years, as I did in the past. There was also a sinkhole problem in the Quarry Meadow maybe 20 years ago.

Those warning signs were downright terrifying…

There was/is a gauge on the Letort but I don’t know if it was tied into the USGS system or info is gathered from it by anyone. It would be interesting to see that data from the 1980’s until the early 2000’s if it is out there anywhere.
 
Dave_W

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I generally agree with Bamboozle's comments above and they reflect my experience going back to the early 80s. ^

I can remember at least one of the quarry meadow sinkholes going back (I think) to 1994 as I was part of the CVTU remediation effort on that one and a few others that have occurred in the same section in subsequent years.

Many of the old time Letort regulars believe that excessive weed growth is the main problem with the overflowing water levels in the FFO sections that Bam is referring to. Efforts to manage the weeds by trimming and and/or adopting English style river keeper cutting have been tried on and off for decades with mixed results, and some opposition, including by Fox.

My memory is that the weed levels in Letort are significantly higher now than a generation ago (ditto for Big Spring).

Overall, I still think weed cutting/pulling is worthwhile and CVTU did some of this last year with good results around B-brook and downstream. The trouble is, the weeds just grow so fast and getting folks together to do this work is tough. Most years, we are able to pull the canary grass that sprouts up in the spawning sections but removing enough weeds to get the water down in the mid FFO is just a huge challenge.
 
Bamboozle

Bamboozle

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I heard the weed theories as well but what is confusing to me is, the problem is worse where there aren't many weeds, especially weeds that break the surface and defect the water and the problem is year round, not just when the weeds are most prolific.

Speaking of the mid-section, has CVTU reached out to the owners of the proposed B&B below Vince's Meadow and/or speculated what if any issues may arise once it opens, IF it opens next year as planned?

Right now the Cumberland County Parcel Mapping website isn't working so I have no idea who owns what.

Hopefully their parcel only extends down to the old millrace...
 
T

troutbert

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Here's another theory I heard about the water level rise. I heard this around the early to mid-1990s. I don't know whether it's true, but some of you Letort regulars may have some observations about this.

The theory is that just below the I-81 bridge, some structures were built and filled with gravel, to create spawning areas.

And the theory is that these obstructed flow, i.e. acted as grade control structures, raising the water level back up under the bridge and into the meadows above.

Another thing you might check out is if there has been any change under the I-81 bridge, that would create a similar increase in grade elevation. For example, if there is a concrete sill under the streambed, and there was some sort of repair or replacement that increased its elevation.

The Letort is a very low gradient stream. So anything that creates even a small elevation in grade could have an effect pretty far upstream.



 
Dave_W

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troutbert wrote:
Here's another theory I heard about the water level rise. I heard this around the early to mid-1990s. I don't know whether it's true, but some of you Letort regulars may have some observations about this.

The theory is that just below the I-81 bridge, some structures were built and filled with gravel, to create spawning areas.

And the theory is that these obstructed flow, i.e. acted as grade control structures, raising the water level back up under the bridge and into the meadows above.

There was a time when there was a brief problem with added gravel at Charlie's place (the gravel there and up at Bonneybrook were trucked in and are not original to he stream bed) causing a mild damming effect and there were complaints of carp and siltation but this was rectified long ago.

One boondoggle from those days was the adding of 50 gallon drums in Fox's Meadow as it was thought that they would provide cover for spawning fish. This failed (no surprise) and CVTU has been pulling the old barrels out in recent years. When we think we got 'em all, some continue to show up.
 
Bamboozle

Bamboozle

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I always wanted to do more to help out but being 90+ minutes away most of my life plus old bones, makes it tough.

Other than my involvement back when Home Depot was in the planning stages, some Multiflora rose pruning on the trails or some $$$ thrown at it, I haven't done much.

Kudos & thanks to Dave, CVTU and anybody else who gets in there and helps the Letort!!
 
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