August 31, 2009

Doom & Gloom...Well, Sort Of

This article popped up over the weekend about how global warming will wreak havoc on various animals, both large & small - including sheep & fish - yet how cockroaches will be unaffected and are clearly poised to take over the world!

Comic courtesy of

Weird Ways Global Warming is Changing Animal Populations

by Naturally Savvy on 08.28.09

No More "Gone Fishing" Days?

Do you whittle away summer days fishing? Good luck, if climate change continues to accelerate. A new study shows warmer temperatures will kick off a chain reaction in lakes that will cause a dramatic drop in fish.

Warmer temperatures, thawing of permafrost and changes in precipitation are expected to cause more colored organic matter to run off into lakes, turning the water brown. Brown water keeps the sunlight from reaching the bottom of the lake. Algae at the bottom of the lake can't survive without sunlight. The organisms that eat algae won't have enough to eat and many will die. The fish that eat those organisms won't have enough to eat and they too will die. So, fewer fish are the end result.

Read the entire article at

In posting this, I do feel the need to place some context on the article - take it for what it's worth. I found it on, so you know what the (apocalyptic) perspective is going to be. Even so, the study (click on the link within the article) seems legitimate, so who am I to argue?

August 28, 2009

Please Keep These in the U.K.

I must admit that one of my favorite channels to watch is The History Channel, but it's not why you'd think. The History Channel airs this show called Monster Quest - where these "scientists" go out and try to find things like the Sasquatch, Chupacabra, Swamp Monsters, Living Pterodactyls, and crazy stuff like that. A recent episode was about "big cats," where they claimed that black leopards or jaguars were running around the forests of New York state.

They tried to track them using infrared cameras and stuff, found what they thought were some tracks and claw marks, but no cats themselves. The deduction was that somebody kept the exotic cats as pets, and when they got too big ditched them in the woods.

Now with that random segue complete, here's an article I found about a South American piranha in the River Torridge (U.K.), a waterway more commonly home to brown trout and salmon.

Devon River Team's Piranha Shock
A "killer" fish native to South America has been found in a Devon river

The Environment Agency said its staff were amazed to find a dead piranha in the East Okement tributary of the River Torridge.

The piranha, which has razor-sharp teeth, is generally considered to be the most ferocious freshwater fish in the world.

The 35cm (14in) fish was spotted by Bob Collett, Dave Hoskin and Eddie Stevens during a sampling trip on the river. Among the species the team would have expected to find in the river were salmon, brown trout, bullheads, stone loach and minnow.

"What we actually discovered was something we would not expect to find in our wildest dreams - we could hardly believe our eyes," Mr Stevens said.

"After completing 20m of the survey, a large tail emerged from the undercut bank on the far side of the river.

"Our first thought was that a sea trout had become lodged in amongst the rocks and debris collected under the bank, but when it was removed from the river we were speechless to find it was a piranha."

Tests carried out on the dead piranha revealed it had been eating sweet corn, which proved it must have been kept as a pet.

Read the entire BBC News article here:

August 25, 2009

Growing Interest in Tenkara

Earlier in the spring, there was a big (okay, actually not that big) to-do made about Tenkara, and more specifically Tenkara USA.

For those of you that are not dorks like me and don't read tons of fly fishing blogs, Tenkara is essentially fly fishing without a reel. You more or less use the same motions, but like I said, there's no reeling in - so no drag to assist you in landing the fish. They call it "streamlined fly fishing;" you know Daniel-san crazy Far-East samurai type stuff.

So now I'm sorta wanting a Tenkara outfit. What's especially cool about these rods is that they are telescopic, so they pack up really small, making them easy to transport. Problem is streamlined fishing ain't cheap, with rods starting at $130.

This revelation coincides with the dropping off of my car at the dealership tonight for its 60K mile service and inspection. I think I either need new brakes or my rotors resurfaced too, so I'm probably looking at a service bill for a grand (at minimum). Tenkara may need to wait...but just for a little bit...

August 20, 2009

Dam Be Gone

Here's a little article about a dam removal in Allentown that should have a positive impact on the fishery.

Jordan Creek's Waters to Flow Free
Environmental group and chemical company partner to remove dam with no purpose
They finally decided the dam on the Jordan Creek wasn't worth a ... darn.

So a chemical company and an environmental group are having the old concrete barrier obstructing the Jordan just north of Allentown demolished this week, hopefully opening up miles of creek for trout and herring to spawn.

This dam on the Jordan Creek is slated for demolition this week. The dam serves no apparent purpose and officials aren't completely sure why it was built in the first place. (Monica Cabrera/The Morning Call / August 17, 2009)

''It's very important,'' said Sara Strassman of American Rivers, which is working with GEO Specialty Chemicals to tear down the old dam near the company's South Whitehall Township plant. ''This is sort of a new legacy of how we are going to treat our rivers.''

No one seems certain how long the dam has been there or what it was built for -- it hasn't had any identifiable purpose for years other than serving as a convenient place for sediment to congregate.

The structure was known as a ''low-head'' dam, meaning only a few feet of it were visible above the creek bed and water was fully capable of flowing over it.

Fish were less capable, though.

Strassman said species such as river herring should be able to make it into the upper stretches of the Jordan from the Lehigh River. But the dam prevented that from happening; such obstructions can also affect water quality, making it harder for fish to survive near them.

There are an estimated 7,000 dams in Pennsylvania, Strassman said, but only a relatively small batch of them are actually used for anything now.

Many of those dams were built decades ago for such purposes as aiding in milling operations or measuring the rate at which water was flowing in a stream, but have long since been abandoned.

Read the entire The Morning Call article here:

August 17, 2009

Cannot Figure Out The Logo...

I was flipping through the new September issue of Field & Stream magazine tonight and toward the back there's a full page ad for G Defy (gravity defy) shoes. They're sneakers with springs in the heel that are supposed to have a laundry list full of benefits. That gimmick isn't why I'm posting this - I've seen something similar pretty much in any SkyMall magazine I've ever paged through. My question is, WHAT'S WITH THE LOGO?
"Hmm...Nike Swoosh...taken....
Reebok Vector....taken.....
adidas 3 stripes....awww, that's taken too...
A-HA! about some semen!"

So, you've make these super gravity defying shoes, and the best logo you can come up with is a sperm? I was hoping the video below would reveal the secret to the logo...but all I found out was that the dude at 1:35 has clearly never shot a basketball before shooting this commercial.

August 15, 2009

Kepner Creek Streambank Restoration

On Saturday, July 18th, the Stony Creek Anglers held their annual Adopt-A Stream Project near the High Arch Bridge over Kepner Creek. Under the supervision of the PA Fish & Boat Commission, we created a shot rock & log bank extension/fish habitat.

Besides tossing literally tons of rock down the hill, I assisted in digging the trench for the left support, and it was amazing some of the stuff that was coming out of the ground. Not only old chunks of stone & asphalt, but bricks, ceramic, and iron too, as this particular bank was a site for demolished building materials from previous structures on the Norristown State grounds.

It was an fun (but tiring) project.
Some pictures are below, I think I'm resting in most of them...

August 12, 2009

Florida Vacation

Just got back from Florida yesterday. Was there for about a week visiting family. Vacation was a lot of sleeping, swimming in the pool, and other Lilly-centric activities, however I did sneak out back to do some fishing. Nothing crazy, but here's a sampling. All caught on a gold #2 Mepps Elix Spinner.

August 9, 2009

Field & Stream PA Natural Gas Drilling Article

Last month Troutrageous! posted about the Natural Gas Drilling that is going on in Pennsylvania, and the negative impact it could potentially have on our fisheries (& trout). Field & Stream has finally posted the article referenced to it's website, a bit of it is below:

Natural Gas Drilling Threatens Trout in Pennsylvania (and Other Appalachian States)

Natural gas extraction in the Marcellus Shale Formation of New York, Pennsylvania, Maryland, West Virgiana, and Ohio threatens coldwater fish like trout.
Article by
Anthony Licata. Uploaded on July 24, 2009

Western sportsmen have been dealing with the ramifications of natural gas extraction for years, but now Eastern sportsmen need to brace for impact. Widespread gas drilling is hitting Appalachia, and unless environmental regulations and enforcement catch up with the drilling, there could be major damage to world-class trout water, from small mountain streams to the Delaware River.

Gas and Cash The gas lies in what is called the Marcellus Shale Formation, a 600-mile sheet of sedimentary rock (see sidebar). Until recently, extraction wasn’t cost effective, but advances in technology and higher gas prices have made it lucrative. Extremely lucrative. Gas companies have been offering landowners as much as $2,500 an acre just for lease rights; royalties are paid on top of that, and sums can be huge. Suddenly a small farmer or modest hunting club might be looking at a million-dollar windfall. The states are also leasing public hunting land, licking their chops at the prospect of an industry that could fill coffers and balance budgets for decades.

There is no stopping Marcellus shale drilling. There is too much money to be made. But it has exploded so suddenly that state natural resource departments have been caught flat-footed and are struggling to get adequate regulations and compliance staff in place.

Water and Trout In a process called hydro-fracturing, first, a well is drilled thousands of feet down and, by way of directional drilling technology, turned horizontal. The gas is released when the shale is “fracked,” basically broken up by a mixture of water, sand, and chemicals that is forced down the well. As much as 3 million to 9 million gallons of water are used per well. A well may need to be fracked a few times during its life.

Where this fracking water comes from is one of the major threats to fisheries. Trucking water in is expensive; it’s cheaper to run a fire hose to a local source. Because well sites are often in undeveloped highlands, these sources are often small trout streams. Regulations for drawing water vary among the states, and there are questions about how well current regulations protect waterways. There is also a question of enforcement. Four gas companies have already been caught withdrawing water from Pennsylvania trout streams without permission.

After the fracking mixture does its job, it is pumped out and must be disposed of. It contains toxic chemicals such as arsenic and hydrogen sulfide. Before being discharged, it must be trucked away to a plant for treatment.

Read the full article on Field &

August 4, 2009

I'm Not a Good Golfer

Actually, I never play golf (despite literally living between two courses), so I never give myself a chance to be good. I'll go golfing as a work function every now and then...actually played Trump National in Bedminster, NJ last month for work. Surprised they let me through the front gates. Didn't keep score though, my golf score would be one of the few numbers "The Donald" wouldn't appreciate having so many zeros at the end of it.

Anyway, point is I probably could have shaved a few strokes off my game if I had one of these Trout Putters. And for a mere $17.95, maybe I could afford to replace some of the balls I lost in the water hazard.

August 1, 2009

Hey Mickey!

The ACPPA wrapped up it's summer arts intensive session last week with an art exhibition/variety show. Lilly (and the rest of the Red Team) summoned Toni Basil straight outta 1982 and performed 'Mickey.'
Lilly is all the way to the far right.