WV Brook Trout

T

troutbert

Well-known member
Joined
Nov 2, 2006
Messages
9,736
The TU Brook Trout conservation portfolio and Range-wide assessment tool identifies East Licking Creek as "Secure and Restore Persistent Population."
View attachment 1641228571

The prescription for that conservation strategy includes "nonnative trout eradication," though in lieu of that, you would think cessation of stocking might the closest thing to "eradication."
View attachment 1641228572

Instead of any of that, it's stocked with rainbow and brown trout.
View attachment 1641228573

I've used East Licking Creek as an example before for this very reason. There are no barriers upstream of the reservoir to remove to satisfy the "or connectivity enhancements" part of the conservation strategy. Habitat isn't the limiting factor in the stream according to the TU assessment. That leaves nonnative trout removal as the primary tool according to the TU assessment.

I don't suspect "eradication" is on the table, but the least they could do is stop adding more nonnative trout. The majority of the stream is on DCNR/SF property. It would be nice if DCNR had some pull with PFBC.

What does "redundant" mean, in TU's assessment?

And why don't they have something like "End stocking of hatchery trout" as one of the management goals to help native brook trout populations?

They've got eradication of non-native fish, improving connectivity, improving habitat... All good stuff. But aren't they leaving out the most obvious and usually FIRST action?
 
silverfox

silverfox

Well-known member
Joined
Oct 4, 2006
Messages
1,338
What does "redundant" mean, in TU's assessment?

And why don't they have something like "End stocking of hatchery trout" as one of the management goals to help native brook trout populations?

They've got eradication of non-native fish, improving connectivity, improving habitat... All good stuff. But aren't they leaving out the most obvious and usually FIRST action?
You'd think "not adding more" would fall under "eradicate."

"redundant" is defined as:
• Include at least 25 km or km² of brook trout-only (allopatric) stream habitat8 – these large patches have ample stream habitat where brook trout occur without competition with nonnative trout and meet minimum stream length criteria required for long-term viability (Hilderbrand and Kershner 2000). These patches also meet resiliency criteria.
• Include between 5 and 25 km or km² of brook trout-only (allopatric) stream habitat8 and have patch-average occurrence probabilities exceeding 0.3 – these moderately sized patches have high habitat suitability.

 
The_Sasquatch

The_Sasquatch

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 6, 2011
Messages
6,170
Location
Malden, WV
I tried to caveat what I said about WV so it didn't sound like such a rosy picture. WV has come a long way in a short period of time, but by no means would I suggest they're doing everything right. They stopped stocking brown trout over candy darters but continued stocking tiger trout. :unsure: Yes, the stocking is incessant too. Nonstop. Not to mention the fever they've tried to create around the lightning trout.

However, as I said before, WV has 5 "large" entire watersheds managed exclusively for brook trout with no stocking and C&R regs. PA has exactly zero. On that one point alone, in my mind, WV has been more progressive with brook trout conservation than PA has.
You're right. The 5 areas are something PA SHOULD do/have done decades ago. And I hope its something WV expands. I just don't want the PA guys to think I've somehow moved to a fly fishing mecca when, overall, the entire state is a huge chit show. It could be so much more than it is. And yeah-the lightening trout buzz...uggg. From the state level, whenever they puff WV up as an "outdoorsmen's state", they always talk about the wonderful trout stocking program. NEVER do you hear state officials tout the "wild trout fishery". I long to be back in PA fly fishing. I get depressed when I go out now because of the condition of our natural resources.

And the litter. You wouldn't believe the amount of TRASH. Everywhere. I go to a state park in NCPA, and it's generally spotless. Not here...even in the National Forest there's trash. It's depressing.
 
jifigz

jifigz

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 8, 2013
Messages
2,550
You're right. The 5 areas are something PA SHOULD do/have done decades ago. And I hope its something WV expands. I just don't want the PA guys to think I've somehow moved to a fly fishing mecca when, overall, the entire state is a huge chit show. It could be so much more than it is. And yeah-the lightening trout buzz...uggg. From the state level, whenever they puff WV up as an "outdoorsmen's state", they always talk about the wonderful trout stocking program. NEVER do you hear state officials tout the "wild trout fishery". I long to be back in PA fly fishing. I get depressed when I go out now because of the condition of our natural resources.

And the litter. You wouldn't believe the amount of TRASH. Everywhere. I go to a state park in NCPA, and it's generally spotless. Not here...even in the National Forest there's trash. It's depressing.
PA has a lot of poverty and poor regions. But WV is one of the poorest states in the US. With poverty often comes trash, litter, and disrespect for nature. Why that is I am not 100% sure, but there is no doubt a correlation.

All things consider, I am very happy as a fly-fisher in Pennsylvania, especially central PA. I have wild trout waters everywhere and all around me. I can't complain. There are unstocked streams, stocked streams, brook trout, brown trout, I have ZERO complaints.
 
wildtrout2

wildtrout2

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 19, 2009
Messages
3,307
Location
Montgomery County, Pa
And the litter. You wouldn't believe the amount of TRASH. Everywhere. I go to a state park in NCPA, and it's generally spotless. Not here...even in the National Forest there's trash. It's depressing.
I never understood why people litter. I guess it's a "I just don't care" attitude? It is a shame, especially when it's happening in such beautiful areas. I watch my share of WV YT FF videos, and I've noticed even on remote streams you can see trash.
As Sasquatch mentioned, you don't see that in NC Pa. Thankfully, on all of the streams I fish, I almost never encounter any kind trash. Respect.
 
wildtrout2

wildtrout2

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 19, 2009
Messages
3,307
Location
Montgomery County, Pa
PA has a lot of poverty and poor regions. But WV is one of the poorest states in the US. With poverty often comes trash, litter, and disrespect for nature. Why that is I am not 100% sure, but there is no doubt a correlation.
You're absolutely right.
 
Fish Sticks

Fish Sticks

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 19, 2022
Messages
1,560
Location
Central PA
I wouldn't say it's a "pellet peg mecca" but it gets it's fair share of stockies and it sees it's fair share of angler usage. I fish it pretty often throughout the year, especially cold winter months and I'll still bump into fishermen. There was a couple there with their young kid at an easy access place just a couple weeks ago when I was there. I always enjoy catching the mixture of wild fish with the stockies that hold over.

It does have a lot of potential to be a specially managed brook trout waterway, though. With the cessation of stocking and anglers being encouraged to remove the wild bows and browns it could shine, for sure.
You're right. The 5 areas are something PA SHOULD do/have done decades ago. And I hope its something WV expands. I just don't want the PA guys to think I've somehow moved to a fly fishing mecca when, overall, the entire state is a huge chit show. It could be so much more than it is. And yeah-the lightening trout buzz...uggg. From the state level, whenever they puff WV up as an "outdoorsmen's state", they always talk about the wonderful trout stocking program. NEVER do you hear state officials tout the "wild trout fishery". I long to be back in PA fly fishing. I get depressed when I go out now because of the condition of our natural resources.

And the litter. You wouldn't believe the amount of TRASH. Everywhere. I go to a state park in NCPA, and it's generally spotless. Not here...even in the National Forest there's trash. It's depressing.
Yea wv could be managed MUCH better over all from a conservation standpoint when it comes to native brook trout. Its just by comparison PA is such an unmitigated dumpster fire when it comes to the initiative s that us anglers don’t really always pay attention too. Like WV actually does removal in some of the places it’s recommended. PA stocks places where eradication is recommended (like east licking creek example). West Virginia has a conservation hatchery for doing reintroductions after theses removals with success stories. Pa has no successful reintroduction projects. Both stats SUCK with stocking but like silver fox pointed out WVU has clusters of entire watersheds with no stocking and C and R species specific to brook trout. PA has not one brook trout specific reg. The study WVU did to look at brown trout on endangered candy darter and guyandotte crayfish PA would never do. They deny the existence of ANY effect on non game species and do not study it probably intentionally, known Dr. peter petokas(Herpatologist) has gotten on them about hellbenders and they didn’t study that.

My analogy to compare the conservation of native species between the two states would be of your dumpster diving for diner and find a half bitten cheeseburger with your least favorite condiment on it, its not great, but its better than the 3 day old egg salad that fell into a dirty diaper.
 
The_Sasquatch

The_Sasquatch

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 6, 2011
Messages
6,170
Location
Malden, WV
PA has a lot of poverty and poor regions. But WV is one of the poorest states in the US. With poverty often comes trash, litter, and disrespect for nature. Why that is I am not 100% sure, but there is no doubt a correlation.

All things consider, I am very happy as a fly-fisher in Pennsylvania, especially central PA. I have wild trout waters everywhere and all around me. I can't complain. There are unstocked streams, stocked streams, brook trout, brown trout, I have ZERO complaints.
Yes. With poverty comes trash. It took me a while to understand it, honestly. Because it's like, you don't need money to clean your yard and not chuck your trash on the ground.
But you gotta understand too, WVians have been told their whole lives that "our state is trash"-so, why not just trash it? It's a sad mentality that comes from over a century of systemic oppression. Even BEFORE 1863, the "Eastern Counties" (IE-Virginia) treated this place like crap. They poured all the financial resources into the East, starved the Western counties, and basically only ever used us for prisoners and insane asylums. It's a long, sad, tragic history.
 
L

lycoflyfisher

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 15, 2014
Messages
1,035
Fish sticks the difference in that comparison is the WV species are federally listed endangered species, vs no formal T&E listing for hellbenders in PA.
 
jifigz

jifigz

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 8, 2013
Messages
2,550
Yes. With poverty comes trash. It took me a while to understand it, honestly. Because it's like, you don't need money to clean your yard and not chuck your trash on the ground.
But you gotta understand too, WVians have been told their whole lives that "our state is trash"-so, why not just trash it? It's a sad mentality that comes from over a century of systemic oppression. Even BEFORE 1863, the "Eastern Counties" (IE-Virginia) treated this place like crap. They poured all the financial resources into the East, starved the Western counties, and basically only ever used us for prisoners and insane asylums. It's a long, sad, tragic history.
One rather funny part of people's viewpoint of WV is of it being the brunt of jokes regarding hillbillies, rednecks, etc. I was born Mifflin County and have spent the majority of my life here and we are one of the poorest most economically depressed counties in PA. We have some pretty serious poverty, trash, and rednecks ourself and before modern roads connected these regions all of these areas, Mifflin County included, were isolated by the mountain topography. We poke jokes at people that we are hardly much different than, especially if we go back into the not so distant future. It's these same folks that cling tightly to the stocked trout economics and draw. I know many of these folks myself and trying to rationalize with them about wild trout is like pissing into the wind in a tornado. They want stockies, it's tradition, they'll keep limits, then throw em out freezer burnt in a year.


Take Kish for example... They should stop stocking it. It's a great stream. If they quit stocking it though the courthouse might get burnt to the ground in an uproar, though. Lol. I've come to the conclusion that I'm fine with it being stocked. The wild browns do fine despite the stocking. It would be better without stocking over them, but hey, I can compromise and we can all try to be happy.
 
T

troutbert

Well-known member
Joined
Nov 2, 2006
Messages
9,736
And the litter. You wouldn't believe the amount of TRASH. Everywhere. I go to a state park in NCPA, and it's generally spotless. Not here...even in the National Forest there's trash. It's depressing.
The trash situation has improved a lot in PA over the years. People have been working on that.
 
Fish Sticks

Fish Sticks

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 19, 2022
Messages
1,560
Location
Central PA
Fish sticks the difference in that comparison is the WV species are federally listed endangered species, vs no formal T&E listing for hellbenders in PA.
Yea I figured that was why. David Thorne of WV DNR told me the feds were involved with that one, i knew they were involved.

I was pointing out the parallel that there were external concerns brought to managers in both cases. Obviously when you come knocking with the ESA and you get more results but Dr. Petokas had become aware of a singular population of PA hellbenders in a northern potter county stream where a stocking was to be relocated too and he sent a letter to PFBC asking them please not to stock over that population due to concerns about predation by nonnative trout species on larval and juvenile hellbenders, a serious concern according to Dr. Petokas. He was ignored.

If you look at pine, kettle, sinnamahoninng these are both important seasonal dispersal corridors/food sources for native brook trout but also happen to be prime hellbender habitat. Same thing with loyal sock. Since both of those species are listed as “species of greatest conservation need” in the state wild life action plan and invasive trout are harmful to both species and you have subject matter experts on the ecology of both of these organisms recommending this stocking not continue, they should take a page out of WV book here.

Lesson learned here is we are forced to pay with our license dollars to contribute in a large way to drive species populations down and of them tank hard enough for ESA listing we will go for the pound of cure and scoff at the ounce of prevention.
 
Top