Category: Rock Run
Rock Run Water Tests for June
Here’s the results of the monthly water tests for June
Air Temperature: 58° F
Water Temperature: 57° F
Linn Run Discharge: 12.3 ft³/sec
Linn Run Gauge: 1.86 ft.
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”!
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.
Rock Run Water Tests for April
The testers braved opening day crowds to do water sampling on Rock Run. It was a beautiful but chilly spring day with air temps at 32°. Rock Run water temp was running at 39°.
pH came out at 7.65 and alkalinity readings were 5.0.
Linn Run gauge height was at 2.03 ft., and Rock Run was running medium/medium high and clear.
Rock Run Water Tests March 2022
Air Temperature: 54° Farenheit
Water Temperature: 41° Farenheit
Linn Run Discharge: 24.3 ft³/sec
Linn Run Gauge: 2.08 ft.
Rock Run Water Tests For February 2022
Neither rain nor snow nor frigid winter temperatures will keep the FTTU citizen scientists from their appointed rounds! A beautiful winter morning greeted the testers at Linn Run State Park on February 6th. Water levels were up with recent rain and snow melt and the air temperature was a chilly 17°.
Air Temperature – 17° Fahrenheit
Water Temperature – 34° Fahrenheit
Linn Run Gauge – 2.24 ft.
Linn Run Flow – 33.3 ft³/sec
pH – 7.7
Alkalinity – 2.8
The idea here is to record monthly pH and alkalinity readings at the mouth of Rock Run to track the progress of the chapter’s acid mitigation project on this important Linn Run tributary. The limestone sand deposits are placed in the headwaters to treat the stream for acidity. If readings at the mouth are good, then it can be presumed that alkalinity and pH in the entire stream must be healthy. A goal would be to have alkalinity readings of 10 at the mouth. We haven’t reached that goal consistently yet. Higher flows typically bring alkalinity numbers down as we see in his month’s readings, but overall, alkalinity of the stream has improved since the project began.
Rock Run Water Tests January 2022
Several days of rain brought the highest flows since January of 2021.
Air Temperature: 44° F
Water Temperature: 47° F
Linn Run Discharge: 48.9 Ft³/sec
Linn Run Gauge: 2.52 ft.
Year End Rock Run Water Tests
Icy temperatures and the first dusting of snow greeted the testers as the final water sampling at the mouth of Rock Run for 2021 was done on Saturday, November 27.
Air Temperature: 25° F
Water Temperature: 34.5°F
Linn Run Discharge: 7.95 ft³/sec
Linn Run Gauge: 1.76 ft.
The final averages for the year are 7.43 pH and 7.03 alkalinity. These are the best averages we’ve recorded since we began taking monthly readings in 2017.
2017-2018: pH-6.47, Alkalinity-5.9
2018-2019: pH-6.5, Alkalinity-6.1
2019: pH-6.5, Alkalinity-6.2
2020: pH-6.88, Alkalinity-5.92
2021: pH-7.43, Alkalinity-7.03
Plans are to add limestone to the headwaters in 2022.
Click Here Rock Run pH Chart 2021 for the complete 2021 chart.
Rock Run Water Tests November 2021
Here’s the results of water tests for November 2021 (taken October 30).
Air Temperature: 50° F
Water Temperature: 51º F
Linn Run Discharge: 16.0 ft³/sec
Good sign that alkalinity held up pretty well with recent rains and increased flow.
A kick-net survey was also done on the lower section of Rock Run. The survey scored a 28.4 which is in the fair range for a water quality score.
Click here pH Chart 2021 for a complete run down of 2021 water quality tests for Rock Run.
Rock Run Water Tests – October 2021
Mornings have turned chilly in the Laurel Highlands. Here’s the Rock Run Water test results for October 2, 2021.
Air Temperature: 54° F
Water Temperature: 53.5° F
Linn Run Discharge: 3.99
Linn Run Gauge: 1.55