Dyberry Creek, East and West Branches
Why do preseason stocked brook trout appear to be leaving the East and West Branches of Dyberry Creek, Wayne County shortly after stocking? This is a question that WCO Kaneski and concerned anglers have been asking. Anglers having stocked these trout would return on opening day to see nary a brookie. Tests by Area Fisheries Manager Dave Arnold during the spring runoff period and prior to opening day revealed that water quality does not appear to be a problem in these streams. The pH values in both streams has ranged from 6.6 to 7.0, which is suitable for brook trout, as well as brown and rainbow trout.
Prior to the opening of the 2003 season a study was conducted to address this issue and involved the participation of the Bureau of Fisheries (Division of Fisheries Management, and Trout Production) and Law Enforcement (NE Region). On April 8, both streams were stocked with brook, brown, and rainbow trout originating from two different hatcheries based on source water. Trout raised in freestone water were stocked from the Oswayo Fish Culture Station in Potter County, and those raised in a limestone water were stocked from the Benner Spring FCS in Centre County. Freestone waters are typically or characteristically lower in calcium carbonates as compared with limestone waters which are rich in calcium carbonates. For identification in the field as to stream stocked and hatchery all trout stocked were marked with a distinctive fin clip.
Fisheries Management Staff accompanied by Commissioner Leon Reed, personnel from the Pleasant Mount FCS in Wayne County and WCO Kaneski, conducted the field portion of the survey via backpack electrofishing on April 10, 2003. The good news is that stocked trout were found in both branches; however varying degrees of movement from stocked area study sites were noted. A cursory look at the data indicates that trout from both hatcheries were fairly evenly represented at the time of the survey, thus stocking from either water type is acceptable. Furthermore, all three species were present in both branches, indicating that dispersal was not related to species. Most stocked trout were caught along the banks where cover was present and in areas of reduced stream velocity. Additionally, a few trout stocked in the branches were present in the main stem of Dyberry Creek upstream, in and immediately downstream of the Delayed Harvest area.
What does this mean for the preseason stocking in 2004? We will provide anglers with a more diverse fishing experience by stocking brook, brown, and rainbow trout in these waters. In addition, preseason stockings will be scheduled to occur the week prior to the opening day which should improve chances of trout remaining in these waters. We will continue to address this issue through a review of the data collected and additional examinations, as necessary.
-- Area 5
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