BIOLOGIST REPORT

Saucon Creek


Saucon Creek was surveyed by Commission biologists at two sampling sites on Saucon Creek, Northamption County from late July into early August. The sampling sites were within a 2.1-mile stretch of stream that has been managed under Selective Harvest - Artificial Lures Only regulations since January 1, 1997. The first site is located above High Street in Hellertown, and the second site is within Saucon Park in Bethlehem. The catch at both sites was dominated by wild brown trout, although a few stocked rainbow trout were present. The stocked rainbow trout migrated downstream from the Bingen area which is stocked with rainbows by the the Commission.

Site #1 - High Street Area (Site length 330 yards, water temperature 59°F)

Total number caught on first pass = 516
    Number trout 7 to 11 inches = 381
    Number of trout 12 to 15 inches = 27
    Estimated wild brown trout biomass = 191.3 lbs per acre
Site #2 - Saucon Park (Site length 330 yards, water temp 62.2°F)
Total number caught on first pass = 529
    Number of trout 7 to 11 inches = 388
    Number of trout 12 to 15 inches = 40
    Number of trout 17 to 19 inches = 3
    Estimated wild brown trout biomass = 188.1 lbs per acre
These results are particularly positive in light of the fact that Pennsylvania was and still is in a drought emergency.  Although the current drought may have had some impacts on the fishery, its effects based on mean stream widths were less than a drought in 1991. Mean width measurement (10 widths/site) for each site was:
    Site 1        1999 - 42.2 feet               1991 - 38.3 feet
    Site 2        1999 - 57.1 feet               1991 - 51.5 feet
The biologists were extremely pleased with these results. In fact, the catches and estimated biomass of wild brown trout at both sites were the highest recorded thus far.  Historical sampling records document the improvement of the trout population this decade, with the most marked improvement in biomass seen after the implementation of special regulations.
 
 
Survey Year
Management
High Street Site
Saucon Park Site
  1991* Stocked trout; 
Conventional regulations
58.4 lbs per acre 49.4 lbs per acre
  1992 Stocked trout; 
Conventional regulations
79.6 lbs per acre  51.0 lbs per acre
  1993 Wild trout; 
Conventional regulations
75.5 lbs per acre  41.2 lbs per acre
  1994 Wild Trout; 
Conventional regulations
91.8 lbs per acre 52.0 lbs per acre
  1999* Wild Trout;
Selective Harvest Artificial Lures Only (1997-1999)
191.3 lbs per acre 188.1 lbs per acre
 * Drought year 

-- Fisheries Management Area 5


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