Susquehanna Chapter Trout Unlimited Presents “Alaska Night”

If you have ever thought about taking a trip to fish for salmon, grayling, rainbow trout, and dolly vardon in Alaska, you are invited to a special program on October 10th at 7 pm at Covenant Central Presbyterian Church Fellowship Hall, rear of 807 W 4th Street in Williamsport. Chapter members including Jim Latini, Dave Wonderlich and Walt Nicholson will highlight their favorite rivers, fisheries and scenery of the 49th State. Each summer, millions of salmon run up Alaska’s rivers to spawn, creating an incredible natural bounty of food resources for other fish species, wildlife, and the local populace. Surprisingly, it is possible find spectacular angling opportunities which are accessible by car along the basic network of highways. The public is invited to this program which will discuss current salmon conservation issues as well as the how and where to go for an unforgettable “bucket list” experience.

Charles R. Meck

The angling world has lost another true leader and champion. The Chapter sends our thoughts and prayers out to the family and friends. The following obituary was taken from https://m.legacy.com/obituaries/centredaily/obituary.aspx?n=charles-r-meck&pid=190272030&referrer=0&preview=false

Charles R. Meck May 28, 1932 September 18, 2018 Charles R. Meck born May 28, 1932, (age 86), passed away peacefully on September 18, 2018, surrounded by family at Fairport Baptist Home in Fairport, N.Y. Born in Cressona, to the late Ted and Mary Meck. Charlie was a life-long resident of Pennsylvania until the past five years when he resided in Macedon, N.Y. Predeceased by his wife, Shirley Wert Meck, whom he married in 1956. Also predeceased by his brothers, Harold and Jerry; and sister, Beverly. Charlie served in the Army during the Korean War in Fort Bragg as an artillery man on the atomic cannon. He went on to receive his Bachelor’s Degree in Biology from Penn State, and received his Masters in Administration from the University of Scranton. Charlie worked at Penn State in Continuing Education for over 25 years. His life-long love was enjoying the outdoors, especially fly-fishing. Charlie was a noted author and fly fishing expert. He wrote 15 books on fly fishing, as well as numerous magazine articles. He loved teaching others the sport of fly fishing and the appreciation of the beauty of the natural world. Charlie was inducted into the Pennsylvania Fly Fishing Museum Hall of Fame. He was also a member of the Outdoor Writers Association and PA Outdoor Writers Association. Surviving are his two children, Bryan Meck and wife Julie, of Palmyra, N.Y.; his daughter Lynne Nowaczek and husband Rick, of Hillsborough, N.J.; three grandchildren, Lauren (Zack) Dendler, Matt Nowaczek, and Pierce Meck; his brother, Dennis Meck, of Pennsylvania; sister-in-law, Sonia Meck, of Ohio; brother-in-law, John Miller, of Pennsylvania; and many friends and family. There will be a visitation on Sunday, September 23, 2018, from 3-6 p.m. at the Koch Funeral Home in State College. On September 24, 2018, at 10:00 a.m, there will be a memorial service at Koch Funeral Home with the Reverend Carl Campbell officiating. Burial will follow at Centre County Memorial Park. If desired, donations can be made to Little Juniata River Association (LittleJuniata.org) or Project Healing Waters.org.

Published in Centre Daily Times on Sept. 20, 2018

PA Environment Digest Blog: Penn State: Few Hatchery Brook Trout Genes Present In PA Watershed Wild Fish

By: Jeff Mulhollem, Penn State News

Despite many decades of annual brook trout stocking in one northcentral Pennsylvania watershed, the wild brook trout populations show few genes from hatchery fish, according to researchers who genotyped about 2,000 brook trout in Loyalsock Creek watershed, a 500-square-mile drainage in Lycoming and Sullivan counties celebrated by anglers for its trout fishing.
This finding is important because, according to lead researcher Shannon White, a Penn State doctoral degree student in ecology, a debate continues in many states — including Pennsylvania — about the potential effects on wild trout populations, when hatchery-raised brook trout are stocked in streams where wild brook trout are present.
Supplementing wild populations with captive-raised fish increases angling opportunities and has occurred in Pennsylvania for more than a century, White pointed out. But uncertainty remains about the long-term effects of genetic introgression from hatchery-raised fish on wild populations.
In particular, she said, introgression between hatchery and wild individuals can cause declines in wild population fitness, resiliency and ability to adapt to changing habitat and climate that could contribute to local population loss.
“This was the first study that we are aware of that looked at genetic introgression on wild brook trout in an actively stocked watershed,” White said. “We were somewhat surprised to find more than nine out of 10 fish we evaluated had the wild trout genotype, because similar studies of wild salmon, rainbow trout and other salmonids have shown significant genetic introgression from stocked fish.”
Researchers quantified the extent of introgression in wild brook trout — meaning they possessed genes from stocked, hatchery trout — at 30 sites in the Loyalsock Creek watershed, and genetic assignment tests were used to determine the origin — wild versus captive-raised — for 1,742 wild-caught and 300 hatchery brook trout.
To determine if introgression was higher or lower in certain habitats — possibly indicating that habitat could predict the probability of introgression — researchers examined the correlation between introgression and 11 environmental variables.
In the end, there was very little statistical evidence to suggest that habitat characteristics affected the probability of introgression in the studied streams, noted Tyler Wagner, adjunct professor of fisheries ecology, whose research group in the College of Agricultural Sciences conducted the research.
“But this result was largely driven by the fact that we had such low rates of introgression to start with,” said Wagner, assistant unit leader of the Pennsylvania Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit at Penn State.
Even with frequent stocking at most sites, more than 93 percent of wild-caught individuals were judged to be of genetically wild origin, and slightly less than 6 percent of wild-caught brook trout were introgressed.
There are good reasons why hatchery-raised, stocked brook trout have mostly not introduced their genes into the wild brook trout gene pool in the Loyalsock Creek watershed, and likely not in most other watersheds across Pennsylvania, White pointed out.
“Why brook trout aren’t showing high rates of introgression is still uncertain; however, our guess at this point is that it stems from the high mortality of hatchery-raised fish,” she said. “Studies have shown that hatchery raised fish have low fitness and survival and most die within a few months of stocking due to angler harvest, predation or environmental factors. They are stocked in April and May and most of them are gone by July, so few make it to the October-November spawning season.”
Another factor limiting genetic introgression, White believes, is that small-stream ecosystems are difficult places for hatchery fish to survive.
“Compared to a larger river or lake, small streams are tough,” she said. “It is harder for trout to find food and avoid predators. One thunderstorm can completely change flow patterns. Given that stocked fish are not very good at living in the wild to begin with, when they are put into these really volatile systems there is higher mortality.”
The research, recently published in Evolutionary Applications, likely has management implications, White believes. But she stressed that the findings should not be misconstrued as a green light to stock brook trout over wild brook trout populations.
Just the opposite. White urges state agencies and private groups to make stocking decisions on a watershed basis, rather than a stream basis.
“In our research we saw evidence that hatchery trout — and their genes — traveled farther than we would have expected, into small tributaries far from stocking points,” she said. “That is one thing we found in this study that surprised us — the large spatial scale at which introgression occurs.”
Also involved in the research were William Miller, former Penn State doctoral student, and Stephanie Dowell and Meredith Bartron, with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Northeast Fishery Center, in Lamar, Pennsylvania.
The R.K. Mellon Freshwater Research Initiative, the National Science Foundation and the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service supported this research.
Shannon White can be contacted by sending email to: slw361@psu.edu or by calling 804-387-3498.
To learn more about trout in Pennsylvania, visit the Fish and Boat Commission’s Trout webpage.