Rock Run Water Quality Tests for July
Here’s the results of the monthly water quality testing at the mouth of Rock Run for July 2022.
- Air Temperature: 68° F
- Water Temperature: 62.5° F
- pH: 7.4
- Alkalinity: 7.7
- Linn Run Gauge Height: 1.73 ft.
- Linn Run Discharge: 7.0 ft³/sec
For all the stats for 2022, see the Rock Run Page.
The picnic ticket price on the order form members received is incorrect. The price of the adult ticket is $15.00 not $20.00.
The price of catering the picnic has gone up, but we held the line on the ticket prices. We want as many members to come and enjoy the picnic as possible.
Sorry for the confusion.
Limestone Sand Delivered to Rock Run Headwaters
May 17, 2022, Denny Hess led chapter volunteers Joe Bilotta, Bob Shusko and Monty Murty in a successful project to replace limestone in the headwaters of Rock Run, the largest tributary of Linn Run. Without the large volume of Rock Run’s cold waters, Linn Run may not be a trout stream in warm weather. Unfortunately the headwater springs that form Rock Run emerge from the ground at pH 4.5 and sometimes lower, way too acid for trout.
With a Growing Greener grant in early 2000’s Forbes Trail Chapter did something about that. We built a hardstand dump station in the Rock Run headwaters, and with a site prepared to facilitate gradual leaching of fine glass-grade limestone sand into the stream we began delivering acid-reducing limestone into the stream. It was left to us to keep funding the limestone. These sites are extremely remote and difficult to reach hiking, much less driving to, especially with a semi-tractor/trailer hauling 25 tons of steaming hot limestone.
May 17th we received the semi-annual delivery, and the huge and full truck got stuck in the mud! One of the personally satisfying things about volunteering with FTTU is working with friends who know how to work. Once Denny made the call that the truck wasn’t going to self-extract, the team instantly dived into organized work. Key to extracting the truck was Joe Bilotta driving back down the mountain and returning with his big Ram dually. Salvaging a big hook and clevis pin from Denny’s Jeep, and with buckets and shovels we got the wheels to grip and with Joe pulling we got the monster out of the mud “Highway from Hell” style!
Result; a fresh batch of limestone is ready to be moved into the stream over the next two years when we’ll do it again.
After almost 20 years of chapter hard labor and funding, brook trout have been restored to Rock Run to the extent that this past February the PA Fish & Boat Commission reclassified Rock Run from dead to a Wild Reproducing Trout Stream, Brook Trout no less, our only native stream-dwelling trout.
Well done good and faithful servant Ralph Koscianski and the members you’ve trained to follow in your footsteps restoring native trout.
With sore hands and aching backs yesterday we just stood there and looked downstream dumbfounded and thinking “The things we do for trout”!
Larry Myers Honored with Don Robb Memorial Award.
FTTU President Larry Myers was presented with the Don Robb Memorial Award for long-term service to the chapter at our May meeting at the PA Fly Co fly shop in Acme, PA.
Larry has served the chapter as President for two terms. During his tenure he initiated Forbes Trail’s highly successful Disabled Veteran’s Fishing Day, and the Linn Run Watershed Conservation Plan. By securing grants and through several successful fundraising campaigns, he strengthened the chapter’s financial standing and with his public realtions skills he raised the profile of FTTU attracting volunteers and new members. Our membership roster increased by at least 100 during his time in office.
Larry has spent countless hours coordinating with partner organizations, volunteers and schools to make FTTU projects and events happen.
For all of his efforts, the membership presented Larry with the chapter’s highest honor, the Don Robb Memorial Award along with a beautiful wood carving – “Linn Run Brookie” hand crafted by Rod Cross. This work of art incorporates actual driftwood from the Linn Run stream.
The membership, officers and directors would like to thank Larry for all of his tireless efforts making FTTU what we feel is the premier TU chapter in Pennsylvania.
Youth Group Fishing Day on Loyalhanna Creek
Twelve students from Ligonier Valley Middle School’s Outdoor Club got to test their skills fly fishing on Thursday, May 12th, on Loyalhanna Creek. This was the culmination of their winter-long, fly-tying and coldwater conservation studies program. Mentors from Trout Unlimited’s (TU) local Forbes Trail Chapter worked with the students for several sessions during the winter teaching them to tie a variety of patterns of imitation flies…trout bugs. Thursday, they got to try out those patterns on the Delayed Harvest Artificial Lures Only section of the stream in Ligonier. This was a high school sanctioned field trip to give the students stream experience with a sport they have been studying as part of their Outdoor Club.
The weather cooperated much more so than the fish unfortunately. Though most students did experience “hits” from trout over the two-hour period. Dylan A, an eighth grader actually got to yell “fish-on” while classmates and mentors cheered him on. The fish, a nice size rainbow, put up a good fight, but managed to release himself before Dylan was able to get him into the landing net. It was a pretty cool experience just the same. While TU promotes “catch and release”, we prefer it be on the angler’s terms, not that of the fish! Many of the Club students were experienced fly fishers and demonstrated their skills to the mentors. Others, while they may have fished before, were using a fly rod for the first time and welcomed instructions.
TU has worked with the Outdoor Club for many years. Mentors were excited to be able to renew their program with the learners after a two-year, pandemic hiatus. The students want to learn to tie their own flies, and to use a fly rod proficiently. “We can teach them all that. But we’re most interested in teaching them about the need to protect our coldwater streams and fisheries”, said TU mentor Bill Somogyi. “At some point, they will need to become the advocates to protect our trout waters so they and their kids will have streams like the Loyalhanna to fish.”
TU welcomes the opportunity to work with local schools and youth groups to teach coldwater conservation and fly fishing. LVMS students are fortunate that they have a premier trout stream, essentially within walking
distance of their school. They are quickly learning to be the stream’s ambassadors.
Rock Run Water Test Results For May
How’s that saying go? “Neither rain nor snow…”. The FTTU citizen scientists braved the rain, cold and wind to make their appointed rounds on Sunday May 1st. Monthly test results for the mouth of Rock Run were as follows:
• Air Temperature – 50° F
• Water Temperature – 48° F
• Linn Run Discharge – 13.9 ft.³/sec.
• Linn Run Gauge – 1.9 ft.
• pH – 7.7
• Alkalinity – 4.2
We also checked the contents of two leaf packs that were placed in Rock Run at the mouth in December. One of the packs had been washed away, but we counted 132 macroinvertebrates in the other. The majority of the sample was stoneflies and of those, the leaf eating roachlike stonefly was the most numerous. Also collected were net spinning caddis larva, a few mayflies, a crayfish, some sowbugs and a couple of cranefly larva.
The good news is that the stoneflies and mayflies are considered most sensitive to pollution so the fact that at least stoneflies are thriving in the stream is an indicator of good water quality.
Leaf Packs are leaves collected along the stream and placed into a net bag similar to what you might find potatoes or onions sold in at the grocery store. The pack is anchored to the stream bed and allowed to “soak” for a couple of months. The pack is then collected and sorted through to find what organisms have taken up residence there.
Pennsylvania Fly Fishing Museum Banquet
Mark your calendars, November 5th, 2022. The museum will hold its annual fundraising banquet on that date. It will be held at the Masonic Lodge, 1236 Holly Pike, Carlisle, Pa. The theme of the banquet will be a tribute to the late Ed Shenk, master of the Letort. Also, that night the museum will induct Pennsylvanians Al Caucci who created the Comparadun pattern dry fly, and Chuck Furimsky who since the 1990s has orchestrated fly fishing shows and symposiums at Seven Springs, Somerset, NJ and Lancaster, Pa.
Registration for the banquet will begin in June and you can register at the museum’s website www.paflyfishing.org.
FTTU Earth Day Litter Clean-Up
Forbes Trail Chapter of Trout Unlimited (TU) celebrated Earth Day by cleaning litter and junk from the banks of the Loyalhanna Creek in Latrobe and Ligonier on Wednesday, April 20, 2022. TU Director, Angie Schultheis, organized a crew to clean nine bags of trash from the Mission Road parking area in Latrobe along the creek. What’s most disturbing is, this is the third year in a row they’ve cleaned this same section.
The crew in Ligonier collected thirteen bags plus a grill and miscellaneous items along the delayed harvest section of the stream. The good news is very little litter was found adjacent to the stream indicating anglers are doing a much better job of carrying their trash back out with them. Kudos to the fishers!
Unfortunately, we can’t say the same about motorists. 99.9% of the litter collected was thrown out car windows, or deliberately dumped over the banks along the roadways. There is a very small percentage, a fraction of 1%, of the population, like the litterbugs who dumped a gas grill over the bank along Nicely Road, who still don’t get it. It not only creates an unsightly insult to our natural resources, it attracts others to do the same, just like the broken window syndrome in urban areas.
Trout Unlimited encourages fishers to pack out all their self-generated litter like candy wrappers, lure packaging, fishing line and bottled drinks. And we ask that they carry a bag to collect litter others have carelessly left behind. Litter attracts more litter. Hopefully pristine streams and stream banks will cause litterbugs to think twice.
We have world-class streams, parks, forests and trails in western Pennsylvania. Trout Unlimited asks all outdoor enthusiasts to do their part to help protect our natural resources and to keep them free of litter and illegal dumps. If you witness someone illegally dumping trash, you can report it as part of the Keep PA Beautiful, Illegal Dump Free PA Program at https://illegaldumpfreepa.org/report-it/. Don’t ignore it…report it!