| Fisheries Management Area 5 staff assessed the wild brown trout population in Section 5 of Saucon Creek
during August 2004. Section 5 extends from the upstream boundary of the City of Bethlehem property
downstream 2.1 miles to the S.R. 0412 bridge. This area was placed in the Selective Harvest – Artificial
Lures Only program effective January 1, 1997. Selective Harvest regulations have a two trout daily creel
limit (opening of trout season thru Labor Day), a 9 inch minimum length limit for brook and rainbow
trout and a 12 inch length limit for brown trout.
Two historic sites were surveyed as part of an ongoing monitoring program. The first 330 yard site is located immediately upstream of the High Street Bridge in Hellertown, and the second 330 yd site is within Saucon Park in Bethlehem. As in previous surveys the catch at both sites was dominated by wild brown trout. A few stocked trout most likely from stocking elsewhere on the stream were present at both sites.
Section 5 continues to offer anglers opportunity for a very fine fishing experience. The total number of brown trout sampled in 2004 (high water year) was similar to the catch of 1999 (drought year) at the High Street Site, but declined slightly at the Saucon Park site. The catch of legal size brown trout (twelve inches and longer) was similar at the Saucon Park site, and decreased slightly at the High Street Bridge Site. The number of trout fourteen inches and longer at the Saucon Park Site doubled from 1999.
The Area 5 staff is very pleased with the findings during the two surveys. The wild brown trout population in Section 5 continues to remain well above the pre-special regulation population (1991-1994). The 2004 survey documented the second highest recorded catch and estimated biomass of wild brown trout since 1991.
As part of an effort to simplify trout regulations, waters managed in the Selective Harvest program are being incorporated into other programs for 2005. On January 1, 2005 the Saucon Creek section will be managed under the Trophy Trout program. The main difference in the change will be the 14 inch minimum length limit for all trout.
|-- Dave Arnold, Area 5 Fisheries Manager|
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