Outdoors Notebook: Pennsylvania streams get 'wild trout stream' designation
Philip Weremeychik, 21, of New Kensington racked up 320 points and won in two categories of the recent Lock 3 and Clyde & Patti's Allegheny River Tournament. His catfish was a 44-inch, 30 1/2-pound flathead, and his carp measured 30 inches. Both fish were caught near Verona using chicken liver.
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As part of an ongoing effort to chart the native trout capacity of tens of thousands of Pennsylvania streams, and protect those with sustainable natural reproduction, the state Fish and Boat Commission recently added 34 stream sections to the state's list of wild trout streams.
At last week's commission meeting, streams in 22 counties were given the "wild trout" designation. In southwest Pennsylvania, all of Tebolt Run and a portion of Mounts Creek (Fayette County), a tributary of Whites Creek (Somerset) and all of Poplar and Sugar runs (Westmoreland) were added to the list.
Bear Pond Hollow, a tributary of Freeman Run in Westmoreland County, was removed from the wild trout list.
The listing of a stream section as a "wild trout stream" is considered a biological designation that does not determine how the water's wildlife is managed. The distinction can be valuable, however, in developing a baseline of the water's chemistry.
An additional three stream sections located in Central and Eastern Pennsylvania -- Spring Run, West Kammerdiner Run and Lackawanna River -- were added to the state's list of Class A wild trout streams.
Considered the best of the state's naturally reproducing, self-sustaining trout fisheries, Class A wild trout streams are managed as a renewable natural resource solely for the perpetuation of the wild trout fishery. Licensed fishing is permitted with all-tackle regulations but there's no stocking, and restrictions are placed on all land and water impacts within the Class A stream's upstream watershed.
Hot weather and the lack of sustained rains have reduced flow rates and water levels throughout the region. The Fish and Boat Commission doesn't close its launches or issue advisories for weather-related reasons, but some of its ramps have been impacted. On the Youghiogheny River between Boston and West Newton, the PFBC's Buena Vista Launch was barely usable last week, and anglers said low water made launching difficult from ramps at some parks and private marinas not managed by the agency.
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has closed two ramps within its Pittsburgh District because of low water levels. At Mosquito Creek Lake near Cortland, Ohio (west of Sharon and Greenville, Pa.), the Route 305 and Route 88 Causeway boat launches were closed when the pool level dropped below the summer average of 900.7 feet.
Washington County: Due to scheduled maintenance, Monongahela Lock and Dam 4 at Charleroi has been closed to recreational and industrial navigation through Aug. 3.
Venango County: A big log lodged perpendicular to the current upstream from the Third Street Launch in Franklin could impede Allegheny River traffic.
Fish and Boat commissioners approved a 2.7-mile section of the West Branch Susquehanna River as an approved trout water open to year-round fishing. The river section flows through the town of Clearfield in Clearfield County. The change goes into effect Jan. 1, 2013. Shovel head harvest
First Published July 22, 2012 12:00 am