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Trout Stocking Underway in Tioga County

Fish & Boat Commission prepares for upcoming fishing season

 

by Melissa Bravo - April 2, 2015

The annual stocking of our lakes, streams, and rivers for the upcoming fishing season is underway. Stocking of water bodies designated as Approved Trout Water’s will occur first in preparation for the opening day of trout season. This year’s this date coincides with Earth Day which is Saturday, April 18th. If you are going to head out and fish in Tioga County this spring there is still time to get your annual fishing license and Trout permit. Licenses can be obtained on line at the Fish and Boat website or from one of these thirteen businesses here in Tioga County. In Tioga County the following waterbodies will be stocked: Asaph Run, Beechwood Lake, Corey Creek, Cowanesque River, the East Branch of the Stony Fork Creek; as well as two additional locations along the main branch of Stony Fork Creek, Hamilton Lake, Long Run, Marsh Creek, Mill Creek, six different locations on Pine Creek, Seeley Creek, and the Tioga River. To attend one of these scheduled releases first check out the commission’s trout stocking schedule on line. There you will find information on where to meet; the time to meet; and the exact location of the release site. Check back often as release dates are subject to postponement due to weather conditions.

Fish are an important part of the diet of many of our native birds and mammals. In all there are more than twenty different kinds of native fish; and a few introduced species, found in the Susquehanna River watershed where Tioga County is located. Species within this watershed (that cover’s most of the north-central, central and south-central PA counties) include lampreys, carps, minnows, suckers, North American catfish, trout, sculpins, temperate bass, sunfishes, perches, and darters. However, where the waterbody’s natural habitat has been altered over the centuries by human activity or climate change, the PA Fish and Boat Commission is tasked with infusing these waters with additional stocking. Man’s alteration of the topography and flow of water has had a significant impact on the sustainability of many native species in PA waters. In many instances the species stocked would not survive in appreciable numbers without stocking.

You may have read or hear about consumption advisories for eating wild fish. That is because some very low levels of PCBs are present in just about all wild and PFBC hatchery trout in Pennsylvania. This is due the historical use of PCB’s or polychlorinated biphenyls. These are a group of man-made chemicals that were used in the United States and discontinued in 1977. Unfortunately, trace levels of PCBs remain throughout our environment. The most common source of exposure is from eating foods that may contain some level of PCBs. Such foods include fish, eggs, red meat, poultry, milk and cheese.

State hatchery trout, when stocked in Pennsylvania waters, and all other recreationally-caught sportfish in Pennsylvania, are subject to a blanket one-meal-per-week consumption advisory due to the presence of PCB’s.

Trout are stocked for recreational angling in PA. They are not stocked as a foodstuff. According to the Fish and Boat Commission, if they were sold as foodstuffs they would be well within the applicable FDA safety standards for PCB’s. The consumption advisory is generated for anglers who enjoy eating wild caught fish. The Fish and Boat Commission States that their “consumption advisories are information tools, not regulatory or safety restrictions. They are intended to inform, not alarm. They are designed to be protective of pregnant women, women of childbearing age, children, and anglers who regularly consume fish in larger quantities over long periods of time”.

After opening day, in-season stockings will continue in Tioga County. In addition to adults, fingerling trout are also stocked throughout the year. These juveniles will need to grow to legal size before they can be harvested. The commission also stocks adult and juvenile species of walleye, muskellunge, tiger muskellunge, striped bass, and channel catfish. These species are stocked for both sport fishing and for habitat improvement. Releases of walleye, muskellunge, tiger muskellunge, and striped bass are scheduled for release in Tioga County lakes in 2015. Species such as largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, bluegill, yellow perch, and rock bass are not stocked annually. Instead they might be stocked only once or twice into a water body in our area. This is because the population in the waterbody is thriving enough to sustain the specie population and still yield good fishing.

However, once Lake Nessmuck is refilled, the Fish and Boat Commission plans to restock the lake this summer with black crappie, brown bullhead, channel pickerel, channel catfish, largemouth bass, spotfin shiner and yellow perch. Anglers interested in knowing what has been stocked in the past can view the historic stocking record on line for Beechwood Lake, Cowanesque Lake, Hammond Lake, Hills Creek, Lake Nessmuck and Pine Creek. This site includes the actual number of fish stocked in the water body. This is a good place to look to see what kinds of adult fish (released three or four years ago) will most likely be of legal size this year. We wish you the best, anglers’ and don’t forget to share your trophy catch or your Mentored Youth Day picture with the readers of Wellsboro Home Page!

Credits:

Writing: Melissa Bravo

 

Produced by Vogt Media

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