Discussion of River of the Year Designation on WKOK radio

On January 19, 2018, Mark Lawrence and Ben Reichley discussed Loyalsock Creek ‘River of the Year’ designation, and the many man made issues facing the creek; the endangered Eastern Hellbender, and other Loyalsock Creek specific topics. Guests: Carol Parenzan, Middle Susquehanna Riverkeeper, Mel Zimmerman, Biologist, Lycoming College emeritus professor, Director, Lycoming College Clean Water Institute, Loyalsock Creek Watershed Association, on the science, threats, volunteers, and all the research taking place on the creek. Walt Nicholson, President, Susquehanna Chapter Trout Unlimited, talked about the issues facing the creek.

If you missed it or want to listen to it click the link below.

 

https://susquehannatu.files.wordpress.com/2018/01/2018-01-19-on-the-mark-radio-show-river-of-the-year.mp3

 

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Meeting to be held to discuss the Muncy Boat Launch

A group of concerned individuals have created a group on facebook, “Rebuilding the Muncy Boat Launch.” The individuals of this group share concerns over the closing of the Muncy Boat Launch which was closed in July 2016. The Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission felt the launch was unsafe and posed a hazard to users because of dropping water levels and a large sandbar that exists between shore and water. The sediment can be hazardous to individuals by getting their feet stuck as it can be several feet deep.

The group is looking for repairs to be made so that the boat launch can reopen or to have it moved elsewhere, but remain in the general area. A meeting is scheduled to be held on February 1, 2018 at Trout Pond Park (1935 Route 405 Highway, Muncy, PA).  This is located between Muncy and Hughesville. The meeting is scheduled to begin at 6 pm.

State Representative Garth Everett, PA Fish and Boat Commission Executive Director John Arway, Commissioner Eric Hussar, and Paul Urbanic with the PFBC Bureau of Engineering are scheduled to be at the meeting.

If you are interested, please check out their page Rebuilding the Muncy Boat Launch for more information and contact information and more importantly, come out to the meeting.

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January 2018 Issue of the Susquehanna Ripples

The January 2018 issue of the Susquehanna Ripples (the official newsletter of the Chapter) is now available.  Click on the link below to get your copy.

2018-01 Susquehanna Ripples

 

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Annual Watershed Summit to be held

The public is invited to the annual meeting of area watershed associations, public officials, and conservation organizations which help to preserve, protect, and enhance our area streams and watersheds. Please come to learn about the volunteer efforts and beneficial projects accomplished by our area’s many watershed groups, conservation organizations, and agencies during 2017 and their upcoming plans for 2018. Each year, these groups have carried out projects including improving stream habitat, stabilizing stream banks, monitoring water quality, and educating land owners and the public about watershed issues and best practices. For more info: Susquehannatu.com or Facebook @ SusquehannaChapterTU. This informative meeting will be held on Wednesday, January 10th at 7:00 PM at the Covenant Central Presbyterian Church Fellowship Hall at 807 West Fourth Street (enter off of Campbell St.) in Williamsport .

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Loyalsock Creek Finalist for Pennsylvania 2018 River of the Year

The 64-mile-long Loyalsock Creek is making a big splash for a small waterway tucked within the mountains of north-central Pennsylvania. It has been selected as one of five finalists for Pennsylvania’s 2018 River of the Year, with the winner being decided by the public through an online voting process.

The Loyalsock Creek was nominated by Middle Susquehanna RIVERKEEPER® Association, Inc. in partnership with Loyalsock Creek Watershed Association (LCWA). After a review of all nominations, the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR), in cooperation with the Pennsylvania Organization for Watersheds and Rivers (POWR) – an affiliate of the Pennsylvania Environmental Council, chose five finalists for 2018: Lackawanna River, Little Juniata River, Lower Susquehanna/ Susquehanna Riverlands, Connoquenessing Creek, and Loyalsock Creek.

The Loyalsock Creek, with its headwaters in western Wyoming County, flows through Sullivan and Lycoming Counties before entering the West Branch Susquehanna River. It is home to ongoing university research and local watershed improvement projects, which, in addition to the uniqueness of the watershed itself, is one of the selection criteria for the river of the year designation.

“The Lycoming College Clean Water Institute (CWI) supports the nomination of the Loyalsock Creek to be 2018 River of the Year,” shares Dr. Mel Zimmerman, CWI Director and Professor Emeritus of Biology at Lycoming College. “The Loyalsock Creek flows through some of the most pristine parts of the Loyalsock State Forest, several Pennsylvania Game Lands, and the unique topography of Worlds End State Park. For much of its length, the Water Quality is considered Exceptional Value/High Quality. Designating the Loyalsock Creek as River of the Year will highlight this jewel watershed in north-central Pennsylvania to the rest of the state.”

According to Dr. Zimmerman, the Loyalsock Creek is home to over 36 species of fish, 130 macroinvertebrates, and a population of the largest salamander in North America – the Eastern Hellbender. Currently the Hellbender is being considered as the Pennsylvania state amphibian.

Speaking as a board member of the LCWA, Dr. Zimmerman praises this group for over 30 years of dedication to conservation and environmental projects on the “Sock.” As a dedicated group of volunteers, LCWA directs or supports partnerships that have been actively involved in projects such as stream restoration, abandoned mine drainage (AMD) and acid rain treatment, stream clean-ups, and educational outreach that includes public meetings, the annual fishing derby, and youth/school environmental programs.

The nominating organization of the winner of the Pennsylvania 2018 River of the Year receives a DCNR leadership grant to help fund a year of celebratory activities and programs, including a sojourn or paddling event. The waterway is also commemorated with a watershed-specific poster displayed throughout the state during the year.

“The Loyalsock Creek,” offers Carol Parenzan, Middle Susquehanna RIVERKEEPER®, “has held a special place in my heart since I took my first unplanned cold water swim in her during a canoeing expedition as a teenager. Today, it is my ‘go-to’ place when I need to reconnect with the watershed and remind myself why I advocate so strongly for clean water throughout my 11,000-square-mile Susquehanna River territory. The Loyalsock brings me peace. It reminds me that it’s okay to slip into a quiet eddy behind a rock when needed to catch my breath before peeling out and dancing again with the current of life. We all need those eddies.”

Don’t let the designation of “river” take you outside the selection buoys! The competition is open to any Pennsylvania waterway – streams, creeks, rivers, and even lakes. To cast your vote for the Loyalsock Creek, go to www.pariveroftheyear.org. The last opportunity to show your “Loyalsock Love” is December 22 at 5PM. One vote is allowed for each email address.

For questions or comments, please contact:

Carol Parenzan, Middle Susquehanna RIVERKEEPER® Association, Inc., 570.768.6300, midsusriver@gmail.com

Dr. Mel Zimmerman, Lycoming College Clean Water Institute and Loyalsock Creek Watershed Association, 570-321-4185, zimmer@lycoming.edu

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Coldwater Heritage Plan for the Rock Run Watershed

At our meeting last night, November 8, Shawn Rummel Phd, (Field and Research Manager of Trout Unlimited’s Pennsylvania Coldwater Habitat Restoration Program) presented the final report for the survey that was done of the Rock Run Watershed.

The final report is attached here for your review.  If you would like a copy emailed to you, let us know at susquehannatu@gmail.com.

2017-11-07 RockRunCHP_Report_Final_withAppendix

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Stand up for PA Fish & Boat

The following is from Charlie Charlesworth, President of the Pennsylvania Council of Trout Unlimited.  Please share this with your family and friends and contact your Representatives to urge them to not support Senate Bill 935.

The Pennsylvania Fish & Boat Commission (PFBC) is an independent agency supported by license and registration fees for anglers and boaters. Raising these fees requires action by the General Assembly — which has not approved an increase in 12 years. As a result, the PFBC has had to cut staff and defer maintenance. Last month, the commission cleared the way for more severe cuts.

Legislation to fix this problem is languishing in Harrisburg. Instead, lawmakers are considering a separate bill that would interfere with the Commission’s independence by imposing an eight-year term limit on the executive director. This would effectively force the PFBC to select a new leader early next year.

We oppose this legislation for two reasons:

(1) It upends the tried-and-true process by which Commissioners decide when it is time for fresh leadership.

(2) It distracts from the main issue at hand, which is the need to put the PFBC on sound financial footing so it can do the critical work of protecting and enhancing our fisheries.

This legislation, Senate Bill 935, has cleared the Senate and is awaiting action in the House.

Please reach out to your House representative today and make your voice heard on this issue.

First, visit this page to find your legislator, then call or email to urge him or her to oppose Senate Bill 935.

Phone numbers and email addresses can be found here.

We would suggest using the follow sample comments in your messages or conversations:

Dear Rep. [name]:

I’m writing in opposition to Senate Bill 935, establishing a term limit on the executive director of the Pennsylvania Fish & Boat Commission. This bill would threaten the independence of the PFBC and upset the normal process by which Commissioners decide when it is time for a change in leadership. More importantly, it would fail to address the underlying fiscal issues that plague the agency.

It’s understandable that PFBC leaders, who are charged with safeguarding our fisheries, and lawmakers, who provide necessary public oversight, are frustrated that the Commission’s financial shortfalls are not being addressed. And it’s regrettable that debate about this issue has become so contentious.

I’m an angler and conservationist, and I support legislation that would allow the PFBC to raise its license fees so it can get back on sound financial footing. It has been 12 years since the last fee increase. Sportsmen like me are willing to pay a little more, because we know first-hand how much the Commission does to protect and enhance Pennsylvania’s economically valuable fisheries.

Unfortunately, Senate Bill 935 does nothing to move the PFBC closer to a stable balance sheet. I would urge you to oppose this bill, and instead work with your colleagues to pass legislation like Senate Bill 30 that would allow PFBC to get back to the job of protecting our streams and our fisheries.

Sincerely,

[your name]

 

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