On Wednesday, June 16, FTTU volunteers gathered at the Grove Run Picnic area in Linn Run State Park to do a comprehensive aquatic macroinvertebrate collection and study of Linn Run and its tributaries. Andrea Kautz, Research Entomologist at the Powdermill Nature Reserve, and Josh Penatzer, Project Manager with the Loyalhanna Watershed Association, were the professionals who supervised the study. Previously, Andrea conducted a macro identification training session for volunteers via zoom, and both Andrea and Josh demonstrated the use of kick nets, explained the collection protocol, and oversaw the identification, sorting and scoring process on site. FTTU members with previous experience in macro collection led teams that carried out the kick net collection at 11 different sites within the watershed. Each site had at least 200 organisms captured. The samples were collected in buckets and brought back to the Grove Run Picnic Area where they were counted and sorted to the Genus level and then returned to the stream. All this work was carried out between 1:00 pm and 7:00 pm thanks to the great response we had from volunteers and Andrea and Josh’s guidance.
The numbers and types of macroinvertebrates inhabiting a stream are great indicators of stream health particularly the “high quality” Genus’s of mayflies, stoneflies and caddis flies.
The final report for the Linn Run Coldwater Conservation Plan will be produced in about one year. The study is to determine the overall health of Linn Run and the fishery. Next step, based on the information collected, is to determine if there are potential remediation projects we can undertake that might improve stream health and trout habitat.
In conjunction with the Loyalhanna Watershed Association, FTTU celebrated Earth Day on Thursday, April 22, by holding a litter clean-up day on two sections of Loyalhanna Creek. The Latrobe crew worked from the 982 bridge to about 100 yards downstream of the Mission Road Bridge (Murphy’s Bridge) and collected 15 bags of trash and some large junk items. This area had not been done in quite some time. We had 4 (and a half!) volunteers work this area including Angela Schultheis, Everett Schultheis, Ron Miller, Ed Barger and Scott Minster.
The Ligonier volunteers worked from the 711 bridge to the Two Mile Run bridge and filled 9 trash bags along with some large junk items. This area was last done in 2019 since we had to cancel last year’s clean-up. The Ligonier crew consisted of Joe Billota, Milt Claney, Rod Cross, Monty Murty, Larry Myers and Bonnie Robinson.
The L.W.A. provided gloves and trash bags and Penn Dot will pick up the piles of trash. Thanks to all who participated!
Forbes Trail Chapter TU invited Eric Harder as a guest presenter at one of its recent meetings. The link you see will take you to that presentation which was recorded on Zoom.
Many of us enjoy the Yough River and its tributaries for fishing, rafting, kayaking and boating. And of course many of you are familiar with the Yough River Trail, part of the Great Allegheny Passage that parallel’s the river from Confluence to McKeesport. The Yough River stretches from beyond Deep Creek Lake to where it enters the Monongahela River in McKeesport. It is 134 miles long and stretches through WV, MD and PA.
Eric Harder, AKA the “Youghiogheny Riverkeeper” with Mountain Watershed Association, discusses the Association’s advocacy, conservation, and outreach initiatives within the Laurel Highlands region. Specifically, Eric covers water quality concerns within the Yough Watershed and ways residents can help “Defend the Yough”!
Trout Unlimited works closely with watershed organizations like MWA across the Commonwealth and across the US to help preserve and restore our precious coldwater fisheries.
If your organization is interested in having Eric make a similar presentation, contact Eric at firstname.lastname@example.org or 724-455-4200 2#
You can view the entire meeting on Facebook FTTU Youghriverkeeper Meeting.