Susquehanna U. Research Finds Brook Trout Populations Down In Upper Susquehanna Watershed Due To Natural Gas Development

The following article was taken from the PA Environment Digest, Issue #719, April 9, 2018.

New research from Susquehanna University’s Freshwater Research Initiative finds that brook trout populations suffered most as a result of natural gas development if their habitats were already made fragile by other land uses.

They also predicted future loss of brook trout if natural gas development continues unabated.

Jonathan Niles, director of Susquehanna’s Freshwater Research Initiative, is a co-author of Brook Trout Distributional Response To Unconventional Oil And Gas Development: Landscape Context Matters, published in the latest edition of the journal Science of the Total Environment.

Niles, along with researchers from West Virginia and Loyola universities and the U.S. Geological Survey, assessed the role of landscape context, or pre-existing natural habitat quality, in predicting the response of brook trout to natural gas development.

Researchers compiled 2,231 brook trout collection records from 2006 to 2013 from the Upper Susquehanna River Watershed. Niles and his students, through their work with the Fish and Boat Commission’s Unassessed Waters Initiative, provided some of the data.

Researchers found that the streams most impacted by natural gas development were already endangered due to pre-existing land uses such as agriculture, residential and commercial development, or historic mining.

The additional stress of natural gas development, researchers predict, will further decimate brook trout populations.

“What this tells us is that we’re dealing with ecosystems that are already challenged,” Niles said. “Our results could be used to guide regulatory and conservation decisions by identifying streams in which additional stress will likely result in an adverse result for brook trout populations.”

Some of the samples examined by researchers were collected from streams pre- and post-natural gas development.

Of those samples, 13 percent lost brook trout after the occurrence of natural gas development.

“Some of the best things we can do from a landscape context is to better situate roads, limit duplication of pipelines that are crossing streams and reduce the size of well pads,” Niles said. “This is especially the case where the landscape has gone from forested to more impervious surfaces, as those changes can impact brook trout.”

Click Here to read a copy of the article.

Susquehanna’s Freshwater Research Initiative provides field-based measurements of the ecological health of the Susquehanna River watershed to state environmental agencies, conservancies, nonprofits and the public; and collaborates with more than 45 nonprofit groups, government agencies, and colleges and universities within the Susquehanna River and Chesapeake Bay watersheds.

The FRI trains Susquehanna University students for careers in environmental research and conservation in both field and laboratory settings.

For more information on their research, visit Susquehanna University’s Freshwater Research Initiative webpage.

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Science on the Sock Event to be held

The Susquehanna Chapter will have a table at the upcoming Science on the Sock Event on April 22 at the Consolidated Sportsmens on Route 87 north of Montoursville.  We will have table with brochures about Trout Unlimited and the things that we do as well as have fly casting instruction.  We are hoping to have a fly tying demonstration as well.  If you would like to help, please let us know.

Information was taken from the press release put out by the Middle Susquehanna Riverkeeper Association and is as follows:

River of the Year Focus of Family Earth Day Activities

 SUNBURY (April 10, 2018) – With all eyes on the Loyalsock Creek watershed as Pennsylvania’s 2018 River of the Year, the public is invited to join Middle Susquehanna Riverkeeper Association and its watershed partners for two free Earth Day programs on Sunday, April 22, along and near the Loyalsock Creek.

Earth Day will step off in the morning with a hike to Jacoby Falls with partner Keep It Wild! The DCNR trail adventure to the 29-feet-high Jacoby Falls is about three miles roundtrip. Families with children are encouraged to attend, and four-legged, well-behaved leashed dogs are welcome to stroll and sniff too. Depending on Mother Nature’s plans for unveiling the new season, participants may witness first spring wildflowers blooming under a canopy of hardwood and coniferous trees. Please bring water, a snack, and dog waste bags. Sturdy shoes are recommended. This public hiking trail is located near scenic Wallis Run just northeast of Williamsport. The trailhead can be found north of State Route 973 along Wallis Run Road (State Route 1003). Registration opens at 10:30AM at the parking area for the trailhead with the group departing at 11:00.

In partnership with Lycoming College Clean Water Institute, Science on the ‘Sock will run from 1PM to 4PM along the Loyalsock Creek on the grounds of Consolidated Sportsmen of Lycoming County, directly upstream from Pier 87 Restaurant along Route 87 in Plunketts Creek Township. Organizations and agencies will provide hands-on science activities for families, including a river table for water flow exploration, macroinvertebrate and fish identification, birding, tree identification, fish printing and other environmental crafts, a hellbender learning station, groundwater exploration, and more. There will be a river-related puppet show each half hour. Participating organizations include Loyalsock Creek Watershed Association, Lycoming County Conservation District, PA DCNR Department of Forestry, PA DCNR Worlds End State Park, North-Central Pennsylvania Conservancy, USGS, Lycoming Audubon, Chesapeake Conservancy, PA Department of Environmental Protection, Sierra Club-Otzinachson Group, Pennsylvania Amphibian and Reptile Survey, Susquehanna Chapter Trout Unlimited, Susquehanna River Basin Commission, and American Rivers. Participants will not be entering the creek. All activities are on land. Young scientists are encouraged to bring along their parents and grandparents for an afternoon of family learning fun.

Both the morning and afternoon events will be held rain or shine. Participants are asked to dress appropriately for weather conditions.

These projects were financed in part by a grant from the Community Conservation Partnerships Program, using Environmental Stewardship Funds, under the administration of the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, Bureau of Recreation and Conservation and administered by the Pennsylvania Organization of Watersheds and Rivers.

For more information, please contact Middle Susquehanna RIVERKEEPER® Carol Parenzan at 570-768-6300 or midsusriver@gmail.com.

 

 

 

 

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April Issue of the Susquehanna Ripples is Out

You can get your copy of the April 2018 issue of the Susquehanna Ripples by clicking here

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Loyalsock Creek Brook Trout Research Presentation Public Meeting on April 11th

Brook trout, Pennsylvania’s only native trout and a species responsible for billions of dollars in revenue here in the northeast U.S. are facing a number of threats to their survival.   Shannon White, a Ph.D. candidate at Penn State University, will present findings of her brook trout research in the upper Loyalsock Creek watershed studying their populations, individual behavior and ecology. Shawn Rummel of Trout Unlimited’s Eastern Brook Trout Program will describe brook trout movement and tagging studies in Little Bear Creek a lower tributary. Both researchers will discuss how the information gained may help inform management plans to improve the outlook for Pennsylvania’s official state fish species.  The public is welcomed to the Susquehanna Chapter of Trout Unlimited meeting to be held on Wednesday, April 11th at 7:00 p.m. in the Fellowship Hall of Covenant Central Presbyterian Church at the rear of 807 West Fourth St. in Williamsport (enter off Campbell Street). More information can be found at https://susquehannatu.com/   and www.thetroutlook.com/.                   

 

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House Game & Fisheries Committee Hears Apology From John Arway On Handling Of Proposed Fish & Boat Commission Cuts

http://paenvironmentdaily.blogspot.com/2018/03/house-game-fisheries-committee-hears.html

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Basic Boating Course to be offered

A basic boating course will be held on March 31, 2018 at the Tiadiaghton State Forest Building (just north of Waterville) at 10 Lower Pine Bottom Road, Waterville, PA 17776.  The class will run from 8 am to 5 pm.

The course is being taught by WCO Chad Lauer and to register, or for more information, you are ask to contact WCO Lauer at chlauer@pa.gov or 717-603-1553.  A minimum of 10 students are needed to have the class and the last count was that 5 had registered.

The PA Fish & Boat Commission’s PA Basic Boating Course was developed to supply boaters with practical information so they can make better informed decisions on the water. Instructors provide students with information to help them reduce the risk of injury and conflict on the water.

 

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Lefty Kreh

The following is from All the best for Lefty Kreh Facebook Page:

It is with deepest regrets to make this announcement.

Dear friends,

I am sorry to relay sad information to all of you.

Bernard Victor Kreh “Lefty” passed away today in the presence of his family. He passed without pain. He told us multiple times during the worsening of his illness how lucky he was to have so many friends. During these last few weeks he was so sick and without energy that he was unable to respond to any emails and the many phone messages left for him. I can say this was a-great comfort to him.

There will be a celebration of his life in the upcoming weeks. We will update you when plans are made.

Lefty would want us to celebrate life and not mourn him.

During the course of the week that I’ve been here, one thing he kept mumbling was Spirit Springs, over and over. When I asked him, what or where that is, he simply replied, that’s where he’s going, to fishing heaven, to Spirit Springs.

He passed peacefully and with no pain. He was surrounded by family and loved ones.
At the time of his death, a hard wind shook the house as if he was taking the winds home to my Grandma.

As he got me into photography, he once told me he had to carry a camera with him because you never know when something may take your breath away and you want to take it home for later.
So on ending this, I know myself and all of you are going to look to the water now, and if you come to a spot where something takes your breath away, I’m going to feel his presence each time and take a photo. That way I can take a bit of the inspiration and his spirit back home with me.

Tight Lines, best wishes, and All The Best,

Sam and The Kreh Family

In lieu of flowers, the family requests that memorial contributions be made to: Greater Baltimore Medical Center / Gilchrist hospice in honor of Lefty Kreh to Mail to: GBMC Philanthropy, 6701 North Charles Street, Baltimore, MD 21204; or online at https://www.gbmc.org/donate (Under “Designation” choose “Other.” Then in the next field, type: “Lefty Kreh Memorial”); or call: 443-849-3303.

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