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PATU requests chapter involvement in adopting wild trout streams

Nov 06, 2016
The overriding goal of TU’s founding fathers was conservation of wild trout wherever possible as opposed to the random stocking of “cookie-cutter” hatchery trout. The objective of PATU's

The overriding goal of TU’s founding fathers was conservation of wild trout wherever possible as opposed to the random stocking of “cookie-cutter” hatchery trout. The objective of PATU’s Trout Management Committee (TMC) has been to reduce or eliminate the stocking of wild trout streams, especially those with viable populations of brook trout and Class A trout streams in urban areas that for “political reasons” are stocked in violation of Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission (PFBC) policy.
A wealth of scientific literature supports the conclusion that wild trout populations expand following cessation of stocking. The TMC believes that many stocked wild trout streams in Pennsylvania would significantly improve, possibly to Class A biomass standards, if competition from the hatchery product was eliminated.

Up to this point, our efforts to divert stocked trout from wild trout populations have been directed to the PFBC…but our success has been disappointing. The recent successful efforts of the Monocacy Chapter, led by Erik Broesicke, who opposed proposed management changes to Saucon Creek, a Class A Wild Trout stream, have led us to suspect that our efforts to conserve wild trout might be better directed to our PATU chapters.

In this light, we are suggesting that each PATU chapter adopt a stream to be removed from the stocking list and try to convince the local authorities to approve their request.  If you choose to adopt a wild brook trout stream or a stocked Class A stream, so much the better, but many Class C and B streams would also be worthy candidates for this initiative.

A recent development should add strength to the argument to cease stocking hatchery fish over wild trout, especially brook trout. A new parasite to Pennsylvania, gill lice, have been found in several Centre County streams and traced back to the cooperative nursery that stocked hatchery brook trout in these streams. The parasite is specific to brook trout, and infected hatchery fish have infected the wild trout in these streams.  The only way to control the spread of this potentially deadly disease to our wild brook trout populations is to stop stocking hatchery brook trout in streams that contain wild brook trout.

If you have further questions about how to proceed with this initiative, please direct them to either or both of the following co-chairs of the PATU Trout Management Committee:

Ken Undercoffer  kcoffer@atlanticbb.net
Dick Soderberg  rsoderbe@mansfield.edu