A slate of 146 streams are proposed to be added to the Pennsylvania Class A Wild Trout Waters and Wild Trout Streams lists, but they need your help.
Surprisingly, streams that have trout populations meeting the Class A requirement are not automatically designated as such. And on April 24th the PFBC will vote on whether to add each of these streams to the Class A Wild Trout and Wild Trout Streams lists.
Streams on the Class A list receive special protection against the influences of development and industry. That’s not only good for trout and fishermen, but good for clean water and public health too.
The PFBC provides a period for public comment, and that deadline is almost here. Before March 20, 2017, please take five minutes to fill out the online form for comment on proposals and ask the PFBC to include these 146 streams into the Pennsylvania Class A Wild Trout Waters and Wild Trout Streams list.
*** Follow this link to the online form for public comment. ***
Case in Point
What Bill Anderson and the Little Juniata River Association have done for their own river serves as a prime example of what Class A distinction can lead to. I asked Bill how important the Class A distinction can be for a watershed, and here’s some of what he told me:
The capability to identify wild, self sustaining trout populations as a vehicle for attaining additional protection has been vital to our efforts to protect and improve the Little Juniata as a premiere brown trout fishery.
In 2006 we pointed PFBC to two of our Little J tributaries, Kettle Creek and Sandy Run. As a result of electroshocking surveys conducted in the fall of 2006, both streams were relisted as having Class A wild trout populations. The result was that (on the recommendation of PFBC) both streams received upgraded “Designated Use” by PADEP to “High Quality Cold Water” thus they were protected when developers sought to build 1500 houses on steep slopes in the Kettle Creek water shed and similarly protected from a 100 acre parking lot which would have drained into the Sandy Run wetlands.
Cheers, Bill! The Little Juniata River continues to improve due to the efforts of Bill Anderson and many others who have sought to gain the Class A Wild Trout designation for the Little J and its tributaries.
There are success stories like this all over the state.
Please take the time to encourage the PFBC to add these 146 streams to the Class-A Wild Trout and Wild Trout Streams Lists.
Here are links to each proposal:
(Use these titles as the “Title of Notice” on the online comment forms)
Proposed Changes to List of Class A Wild Trout Waters April 2017
Classification of Wild Trout Streams Proposed Additions, Revisions, and Removals April 2017
This two-page fact sheet from Trout Unlimited provides an excellent explanation of what is at stake, why it matters and what you can do.
If you’ve ever smiled while releasing a wild trout, please take five minutes to fill out the online form.
*** Follow this link to the online form for comment. ***
Thank you. Together we’ll continue to protect and improve the waters that we all love so much.
Enjoy the day.
T R O U T B I T T E N
I’ll probably take some heat for this. Class A designated streams are a great idea. It improves trout reproduction in many streams. But, sometimes, I think that designation is just a reason to stock less trout. Many waters thrive as Class A, but in many of those so designated waters, fish get no larger than a few inches long even though they are self-sustaining. All-in-all I think it’s a good plan.
Thanks for the input, Bruce. To me, it’s OK if those fish only get a few inches long. If that’s what the river naturally supports, then I’d rather see wild fish a few inches long than see trout stocked on top of them.
But … I’ve seen small streams where the wild population really thrived once the stocking ended. In places that used to hold only a few small wild fish among the stocked ones, the wild fish now grow much larger and there’s a greater abundance once the stocking ended.
I should note, though, that Class A Wild Trout designation does not always mean that stocking will end.
Stocked or wild, though, is a secondary issue. More importantly, the Class A designation is a vital tool for the protections it can afford the river itself, as Bill Anderson explains above.
Many years ago, when I lived in New Jersey, I was fishing a small trout stream when i met another fisherman who loved close by, We got to talking and, when he realized that I was an ethical fly fisherman, he let me in on his secret. There was a bridge not far from where I was fishing, and that was the cutoff point of the state stocking program. In other words, they never stocked above the bridge. And that, he told me, is where the good fishing begins.
I spent many a wonderful summer evening fishing the unstocked part of that little stream. Needless to say, it had many more fish, more quality fish, and healthier fish than the state stocked stretch. I also never ran into anyone there, except for my new friend.
I agree, Domenick. I should clarify that I’m speaking only of streams that won’t produce trout year around.
One stream I think would do really great without stocked fish is Yellow Creek.
Yeah, for sure, Bruce.