PFBC changes wild trout list

ROB WNUK

BY KEVIN WOODRUFF

Among its 99 changes to the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission Wild Trout Stream list for the state were some additions, alterations and removals of local waters.

The PFBC added Sugar Run, a tributary to Marsh Creek in Wyoming County, as one of its Wild Trout Streams, while removing Deacon Brook, a tributary to Mitchell Creek, in Susquehanna County.

The East Branch of the Tunkhannock Creek, a tributary to Tunkhannock Creek, was adjusted on the list to reflect an increased population of wild trout.

PFBC biologist Rob Wnuk said that wild trout are analyzed each year in creeks throughout the state to monitor where there are populations of trout thriving.

The biological survey is done through “electrofishing,” a method that temporarily stuns the fish to allow for analysis by biologists.

In order to qualify as a wild trout stream, biologists must find at least three young-of-the-year trout in an area along a stream. Alternatively, two trout of a different age would also qualify a body of water.

Wnuk said that this designation is important because if a stream is deemed to hold a population of wild trout, there are more stringent environmental protections.

“It limits against discharge from industrial facilities and stream crossings,” Wnuk said.

He pointed out that the goal of the designation is to protect the trout population against degradation.

“This is a program that’s been going on for quite some time,” Wnuk said. “I’d say since the early 1970s.”

However, the PFBC has been ramping up its efforts in order to analyze all streams in Pennsylvania to protect them against development.

He said that in the northeast, much of it relates to Marcellus shale exploration, however, there are other industrial factors in other areas of the state.

“Gas development is a part of it,” Wnuk said. “But any development is a concern.”

A detailed description of local changes to the Wild Trout Stream List is as follows:

Additions

Sugar Run in Wyoming County, a tributary to Marsh Creek, from headwaters to mouth.

Adjustments

East Branch Tunkhannock Creek in Susquehanna County, a tributary to Tunkhannock Creek, headwaters downstream to SR374 in Lenox Township, limits adjusted upstream and downstream based on recent survey data.

Deletions

Deacon Brook in Susquehanna County, a tributary to Mitchell Creek, outlet unnamed pond at Lewis Corners, downstream to mouth.