September 21st, 1998
Low Water Levels in Many Pennsylvania Streams
May Require Changes to Fall Trout Stocking
by Steve Gossage
Long periods of hot dry weather during late
summer have caused many northwest Pennsylvania trout
stream water levels to drop severely. Even large streams,
such as Oil Creek, have dropped to a point where fish are
only able to survive by holding in the remaining pools.
Some small creeks, such as French Creek, have been
reported to be completely dry in places. This dry weather
has extended from the Ohio border, east to Potter County.
Some areas are reportedly worse than others are but all
have been influenced.
The Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission
will soon be starting their fall stocking of streams and lakes.
Without substantial rain in the near future, some, if not
many, streams will not receive the scheduled stocking.
The fish will be diverted to lakes rather than jeopardize
their survival by stocking them in low water streams.
Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission
biologist, Al Woomer, stated that stream surveys from
the last two years have shown Pennsylvania's wild trout
population to be flourishing. Without substantial rain
in the near future this may be effected. With fall weather
rapidly approaching, cool weather should soon lower
the water temperature This should help the survival of
the fish but rain is badly needed.
Anglers are being encouraged to limit
their fishing to areas not effected by the dry weather
and to carefully handle and release any fish caught.
These conditions can be extremely stressful on the
fish and the overall effect of the low water may not
be known totally until next year. ~ Steve Gossage
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