Biologist reports logo Lehigh River Tributary Streams
West Bank
Luzerne & Carbon Counties

June-August 2006


During the months of June, July, and August, 2006, the staff of Fisheries Management Area 5 with assistance from Fisheries Management Areas 4 and 6, and Hickory Run State Park personnel surveyed nine tributaries along the west bank of the Lehigh River from FE Walter Dam down river to near Glen Onoko. This included initial inventories on Pine Creek, Linesville Creek, and three Unnamed Tributaries to the Lehigh River and follow up examinations on Leslie Run, Sandy Run, Buck Mountain Run and Black Creek. All tributaries surveyed contained a sufficient volume of water for electrofishing during this period. Survey sites began as close to the confluence with the Lehigh River as possible.

Wild brook troutWild Brook Populations

Three waters were found to contain only wild brook trout; no other fish species were present.

Unnamed Tributary -- Luzerne County -- River mile (RM) of entry: 76.52
This tributary is located between FE Walter Dam and the PA Turnpike Bridge. Site length was 307 m or 1007 ft, with an average width of 2.2 m or 7.2 ft. Brook trout sizes ranged from 25 to 224 mm (1 to 9 inches). A total of 158 trout were caught, of which two percent (3 trout) were of legal size (greater than or equal to 7 inches).

First Unnamed Tributary South of Black Ck -- Carbon County -- RM of entry: 58.58
This stream is also locally known as “Tank Hollow Creek.” Site length was 300 m or 984 ft, with an average width of 3.6 m or 11.8 ft. Brook trout sizes ranged from 50 to 249 mm (1 to 9 inches). A total of 197 trout were caught, of which six percent (12 trout) were of legal size.

Second Unnamed Tributary South of Black Ck -- Carbon County -- RM of entry: 58.19
Site length was 292 m or 958 ft, with an average width of 2.5 m or 8.2 ft. Brook trout sizes ranged from 50 to 249 mm (1 to 9 inches). A total of 248 trout were caught, of which eight percent (20 trout) were of legal size.

Second unnamed tributary south of Black Creek
Second unnamed tributary south of Black Creek

Mixed Brown and Brook Trout Populations

Leslie Run -- Carbon County -- RM of entry: 66.0
Site length was 300 m or 984 ft; with an average width of 4.0 m or 13.1 ft. Leslie Run contains a mixed wild brown trout and brook trout population. A total of 158 trout were caught of which 62 percent (98 trout) were wild brown trout and 38 percent (60 trout) were wild brook trout. Brown trout sizes ranged from 50 – 299 mm (2 to 11 inches), with 12 percent (12 trout) of the catch being of legal size. Brook trout sizes ranged from 50 – 224 mm (2 – 8 inches) of which eight percent (5 trout) were of legal size. The estimated number of legal brown trout and brook trout per stream mile is 64 and 32, respectively.

Other fish species present were bluegill, pumpkinseed, largemouth bass, American eel, blacknose dace, and longnose dace.

Waters with a low presence of trout

Pine Creek -- Luzerne County -- RM of entry 76.0
Site length was 300 m or 984 ft, with an average width of 5.0 m or 16.4 ft. Only one brook trout in the 75 mm (3 inch) length group was caught. The origin of this sole young of the year brook trout is not known, it may have been spawned in the stream or it might have immigrated from another water.

Other fish species present were American eel, cutlips minnow, longnose dace, and blacknose dace.

Linesville Creek -- Luzerne County -- RM of entry: 71.58
Site length was 300 m or 984 ft, with an average width of 4.5 m or 14.8 ft. Brown and brook trout were only found within the first 120 m (394 ft) of the site. Brown trout sizes ranged from 75 to 124 mm (3-4 inches), suggesting that they may be from PFBC fingerlings stocked in the spring. The sole 9-inch brook trout present was determined to be of hatchery origin. Given that trout presence was limited to the first 120 m of the site suggests that they are from the PFBC’s catchable and fingerling stocking programs.

Other fish species present were bluegill, largemouth bass, American eel, white sucker, blacknose dace, longnose dace, cutlips minnow, margined madtom, and tessellated darter.

Mine Drainage Impacted Streams -- No Fish Species Present

The 2006 survey in each of the three waters listed below continues to document the degraded conditions of the streams. No fish species were present during this survey, or in 1979.

Sandy Run -- Luzerne County -- RM of entry: 67.8
Site length 300 m or 984 ft, with an average width of 8.5 m or 27.9 ft.

Buck Mountain Run -- Carbon County -- RM of entry: 62.70
Site length 300 m or 984 ft, with an average width of 5.3 m or 17.4 ft.

Black Creek -- Carbon County -- Lehigh River RM of entry: 59.90
Site length 300 m or 984 ft, with an average width of 5.3 m or 17.4 ft.

 
-- Dave Arnold, Area 5 Fisheries Manager

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