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Shohola Creek Basin
 
2009 Natural Trout Reproduction Surveys

Biologists from the Area 5 Fisheries Management office conducted electrofishing surveys on seven named tributaries in the Shohola Creek basin, and Shohola Creek to determine if natural trout reproduction was present. The surveys began on September 3rd and concluded on September 16th. The streams surveyed, locations electrofished, and results are listed and summarized in Table 1.

Shohola Creek

Two sites were sampled in Section 05 (Lower Boundary State Game Lands 180 downstream to the Delaware River, 7.85 miles),

  1. RM 0.56 which started downstream of the Knealing Road Bridge and went up to the base of falls upstream from the bridge, and
  2. RM 6.4 from a private lane bridge off of McKean Valley Road.

RM 0.56 – Four wild brown trout were caught ranging in size from 4 to 16 inches. The presence of a fingerling and two other age classes of trout indicates that this area of the creek supports natural reproduction of wild trout. One brown trout of hatchery origin was also present. In addition, 10 smallmouth bass ranging in size from 4 to 16 inches were present, of which two were of legal size (>12 inches). This site was located in the immediate vicinity of a previously surveyed area, which did not document the presence of wild brown trout or smallmouth bass.

RM 6.40 – No evidence of natural reproduction was documented for any trout species, nor were any caught. These findings substantiate the lack of natural reproduction reported in previous sampling efforts. Shohola Creek also supported a low density of cool/warmwater sportfish that included American eel, bluegill, redbreast sunfish, rock bass and white sucker. Fishes present are listed in Table 2. This stream provides anglers with a diverse sport fish community that also includes catchable trout stocked during spring in Section 04, which extends from the base of Shohola Falls to the downstream boundary of SGL 180, a distance of 1.52 miles.

Shohola Creek Basin Waters Examined

Balliard Creek

The presence of one 11 inch brook trout was insufficient evidence to list this stream as supporting natural trout reproduction. Its presence downstream of Sylvania Lake suggests that the stream environment may be seasonably suitable for trout movement. Fishes present are listed in Table 2. The fish community present provides less than a marginal experience for anglers.

Birchy Creek

This stream supports an excellent Class “A” wild brook trout population, which is more than sufficient evidence to list this stream as supporting natural reproduction (Figure 1). The estimated number of legal (> 7 inches) size brook trout was 36 trout per mile which is slightly higher than the PA’s average of 34/mile (Trout Summit 2002). There were no brook trout nine inches or greater caught during this survey. This water flows primarily through State Game Lands 180. The survey site was located south of I-84, as its northern reach flows into Shohola Lake via swampy habitat. Fishes present are listed in Table 2.

Burchards Creek

Supports a Class “A” wild brook trout population, which is more than sufficient evidence to list this stream as supporting natural reproduction. The estimated number of legal length trout was 54 fish per mile, which was considerably better than the PA average of 34/mile (Trout Summit 2002). There were no brook trout nine inches or greater in length caught during this suvey. Fishes present are listed in Table 2. This stream flows through private land closed to public access.

Billings Creek

No evidence of natural reproduction was documented for any trout specie, nor were any caught (Figure 2). Fishes present are listed in Table 2. The fish community present provides less than a marginal experience for anglers.

McConnell Creek

No evidence of natural reproduction was documented for any trout species, nor were any caught. Fishes present are listed in Table 2. The fish community present provides less than a marginal experience for anglers.

Taylortown Creek

Upstream Lake Greeley Inlet to SR 0006

Supports a Class “B” brook trout population which is more than sufficient evidence to list this stream as supporting natural reproduction. Excluding trout, the fish community was indicative of species in Lake Greeley.

Immediately Downstream Lake Greeley Outlet to Rowland Road

No evidence of natural reproduction was documented for any trout species, nor were any caught. Here, the stream supported a fair population of redbreast sunfish and fallfish with some individuals measuring up to 7 and 10 inches in length, respectively.

Taylortown Creek provides limited angling opportunity upstream and downstream from Lake Greeley. Fishes present are listed in Table 2.

York Creek

The presence of one 9 inch brook trout was insufficient evidence to list this stream as supporting natural trout reproduction. The surveyed reach was downstream from a dam, suggesting that water temperatures become too warm to support a sustainable trout population. However, the presence of one adult brook trout suggests that the stream’s environment may be seasonably suitable for trout movement. Fishes present are listed in Table 2.

See Figure 3 for photographs of several fish species captured during these surveys.

Table 1. Listing of streams surveyed, locations electrofished, and results.

Stream Electrofished location(s) Results
Shohola Ck. Knealing Rd (SR 1005) Natural Reproduction documented
Shohola Ck. Pvt Lane off McKean Valley Rd (T-401) Natural Reproduction not documented
Balliard Ck. Shohola Falls Rd (T-440) Natural Reproduction not documented
Birchy Ck. State Game Lands No. 180 Natural Reproduction documented
Burchards Ck. South-side of SR 0006 Natural Reproduction documented
Billings Ck. Gumbletown Rd (SR 4004) Natural Reproduction not documented
McConnell Ck. Upstream side East lane I-84 Natural Reproduction not documented
Taylortown Ck. North-side of SR 0006 Natural Reproduction documented
Taylortown Ck. Rowland Rd (SR 1003) Natural Reproduction not documented
York Ck. Madden Rd (T-416) Natural Reproduction not documented

Table 2. List of fish species present in Section 05 of Shohola Creek, and within named tributaries to Shohola Creek sampled from 3-16 September 2009. Y=Yes, N=No.

Common Name Shohola
Creek
Sec 05
Named Tributaries Surveyed in Shohola Creek Basin 3-16 Sept. 2009
Balliard
Creek
Birchy
Creek
Burchards
Creek
Billings
Creek
McConnell
Creek
Taylortown
Creek
York
Creek
Brook Trout N Y Y Y N N Y Y
Brown Trout Y N N N N N N N
Brown Trout - Hatchery Y N N N N N N N
American Eel Y Y N N N N N N
Blacknose Dace Y Y Y Y N N Y N
Bluegill Y N N Y N N N N
Bluespotted Sunfish N N N N Y N Y N
Brown Bullhead N N N N N Y Y N
Chain Pickerel N N N Y Y N Y Y
Common Shiner Y Y N N N N N N
Creek Chubsucker N N N N Y Y N N
Cutlip Minnow Y Y N N N N N N
Eastern Mudminnow N N Y N Y Y N Y
Fallfish Y N N N N Y Y N
Golden Shiner N N N N N N Y N
Largemouth Bass N N Y N N Y Y N
Longnose Dace Y Y N N N N Y N
Margined Madtom Y Y Y N N N Y Y
Northern Hog Sucker Y N N N N N N N
Pumpkinseed Y N N Y N Y Y N
Redbreast Sunfish Y N N N N N Y N
Redfin Pickerel N N N N N N Y Y
Rock Bass Y N N N N N N N
Shield Darter Y N N N N N N N
Smallmouth Bass Y N N N N N N N
Tessellated Darter Y N N N Y Y N N
White Sucker Y N N Y Y Y Y Y
Yellow Perch N N N N N N Y N

Figure 1. Birchy Creek in State Game Lands No. 180

Figure 1

Figure 2. Billings Creek at Gumbletown Road near Lords Valley

Figure 2

Figure 3. Photographs of several fish species captured in the Shohola Creek drainage

Brook trout
Brook trout

Redfin pickerel
Redfin pickerel

Eastern mudminnow
Eastern mudminnow

Bluespotted sunfish
Bluespotted sunfish

Creek chubsucker
Creek chubsucker

 
-- Area 5

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