Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Stock Answers Angler Input Is Sought in Proposal to Stock Hatchery Trout over Natives in Specific Conditions

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Stock Answers Angler Input Is Sought in Proposal to Stock Hatchery Trout over Natives in Specific Conditions

Article excerpt

Conventional wisdom holds that stocking hatchery trout in streams that contain native trout is ecologically damaging to the native fish. Unless it's not.

In some non-prime Pennsylvania waters, hatchery-raised trout were stocked in stream sections known to contain wild (or feral) trout. In surprising research, the state Fish and Boat Commission found that years after the stocking had occurred, the native trout population had increased or remained about the same.

That data challenges the intention, if not the language, of parts of the 2010-14 Strategic Plan for Management of Trout Fisheries in Pennsylvania, which reads in part, "There are a number of streams that may hold Class A biomass trout populations that have not been officially designated as Class A streams. ... This leads to inadequate water quality protection for these waters and inconsistent application of fisheries management strategies."

Fisheries managers and commission members are faced with a conundrum. They're considering a policy change that would permit the stocking of trout on 10 sections of seven creeks, mostly in Central Pennsylvania, that are not designated as prime Class A waters (Fishing, Little Lehigh, Martins, Monocacy, Penns, Pohopoco and Yellow creeks) but include some Class A-type habitat that holds a reproducing trout population. Those streams have been stocked with hatchery trout and log high angler use on the opening day of trout season.

Waters designated as "Class A wild brook trout," "Class A mixed wild brook and brown trout" and "Class A mixed wild brook and rainbow trout" are not being considered for stocking.

Fisheries division chief Dave Miko said portions of the research support both sides of the debate. Angler interest is high.

"The literature speaks to both halves of this, and there's a lot of polarized opinion out there," Miko said. "We've done research on stocking over wild trout and what happened with those native populations. We found that when we stopped stocking over native brook trout populations and went back and sampled, the native population had increased. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.