Showing posts with label Schuylkill River. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Schuylkill River. Show all posts

January 11, 2011

I Will Likely Alienate 85% of You With This Post

In looking at my Google Analytics stats for the full year 2010, there were a lot of interesting things to observe.  One of them is that only about 15% of my blog's traffic comes from the State of Pennsylvania.  (For those slow on the uptake, that happens to be the state in which I live).  As such, the post I'm about to write runs the risk of being a snoozer for most, but considering it involves my "home water", it...well...hits home.

The State of Pennsylvania has released its updated fish consumption advisories for 2011.  For the most part they have stayed the same as in years past, warning anglers not to eat more than a certain amount of fish due to unhealthy levels of mercury, PCBs, etc...

“Pennsylvania’s fish advisory message is consistent with the story being told throughout the country – eat fish, but choose wisely,” said PFBC Executive Director John Arway. “Pennsylvania’s waters offer a bounty of clean, safe fish for people to eat. The information provided in our advisory serves to guide consumers about their choices.”
The advisories are only for fish caught recreationally and do not apply to fish raised for commercial purposes or those bought in stores or restaurants.
“Consumption advisories are not intended to discourage anyone from fishing or eating fresh fish in moderation,” DEP Secretary John Hanger said. “However, at-risk groups and people who regularly eat sport fish are most susceptible to contaminants that can build up in fish over time and should space out fish meals according to these advisories, and in consultation with their physician.”

That's cool & works for me.  Until I read them.  Especially these two consumption advisories which struck me as quite odd; to quote:

One meal per month advisory has been issued for Corbicula (Asiatic Clam) in the Schuylkill River in Chester, Montgomery, and Philadelphia counties. 
Asiatic Clams - A "no-no"

Brown Trout in Valley Creek in Chester County has been reduced to a one meal per month advisory 
A PCB laded Valley Brown

Why do these seem odd to me? Well if you check your Pennsylvania fishing regs for 2011, you'll find the following:

Mussels & Clam Season is deemed "Closed Year-Round"
Valley Creek is deemed "Catch & Release, All Tackle Only"

You catch that?  So you can't legally harvest Asiatic Clams from the Schuylkill or Brown Trout from Valley Creek to eat them in the first place...why bother with the consumption advisory?  I guess it's the state's responsibility to let you know how f'd up your fish are, but it makes no sense to me.

What he wrote.

To their credit, they did spell out the Valley Creek contradiction a little bit if you read the release, but totally neglect stating you can't take clams at all.  While I don't know anyone harvesting Asiatic Clams (wonder if they taste good on pasta?), it sounds like a potentially confusing directive for both species, especially for recreational anglers not already versed in the various state fishing regulations.

Just my two cents.

October 10, 2010

4th Annual Schuylkill River Festival

Yesterday (Saturday) was a beautiful day in terms of weather.  It was in the low 70s with blue skies and a slight breeze.  Lilly & K.C. were headed off to the birthday party for one of Lilly's school friends, so I found myself with an afternoon to myself.

Usually under circumstances like this, I'll grab the rod, jump in the SUV and head off to some water.  Today, I decided against that - as Lilly & K.C. were only going to be gone for a few hours, and I'm planning on going fishing on Sunday morning anyway.

I remembered there was going to be the Schuylkill River Festival up in Pottstown, so I decided that was where I was going to head.  Had never been there, but figured at minimum I could grab some lunch as you gotta love the food typical to events like this.
So many tasty options...

I was shocked as the size of the festival when I got there.  It was really quite large, and for being that size, very well organized.  It was a blast - I spent some time going table to table, chatting with a varied group of people - an officer from the PA Fish & Boat Commission, a gentleman from the Philadelphia Canoe Club, some really nice folks from the Audubon Society, as well as a representative from the Parks & Recreation department.  It was good to see so many clubs and interest groups present, in addition to the normal festival-type vendors.
Clydesdales - but no Budweiser
Native American demonstration
Schuylkill River Mural
Close up of angler - "FISH ON!"

Luckily, I was able to get a hold of K.C. around 2:45PM to tell her to come on over and meet up with me.  There was tons of stuff for Lilly to do - a petting zoo, games, and of course the omnipresent bounce house.  They arrived a little after 3PM, and we enjoyed ourselves until things started to shut down around 4PM.
Clown on stilts - yes, that's a Mariachi band in the background
Music by the river

I'll definitely make a point to mark this on the calendar for next year.  It was a really fun event, one I think I'd enjoy spending a little more time at.  If you're local to the Pottstown area, you may want to do the same.

October 2, 2010

Chocolate Milk Anyone?

After a long, hot, dry summer, the fall has brought it's first serious rains to the area.  The storm we had on Thursday night into Friday morning is the kind that transforms your normally slow 45 minute commute to work into about an hour and 45 minutes of bumper-to-bumper gridlock.  It's also the kind of rain that floods 4 of your employees' basements to the point that they need to call out the next day to clean up the mess.  Not good stuff.

Took the opportunity to check out the flows on one of my favorite trout streams (Valley Creek) during my lunch break.  My office is literally about 5 minutes from where I fish, so it wasn't like I making a big effort here.  Driving back was a sight unto itself, with all of the downed tree limbs (some quite large) and a lot of the creekside vegetation totally washed away. It looked very different from the last time I visited over Labor Day weekend.  It was as if someone took a giant bottle of Hershey's syrup, a giant spoon, and did some serious stirring.

Here's the view looking downstream from atop the Wilson Road (Metal) Bridge:

And a corresponding view upstream:

Since I don't have a "before" picture, it looks like the water was about 3 or 4 feet higher than usual.  That's typically what the drop is from the bank if you want to wade the creek.  As you can see above, there is no drop from the bank.  Valley's flows are also very gentle, these were downright rapids in spots.

I don't think there's going to be much (successful) fishing there this upcoming weekend.

Also made a side stop at the Schuylkill River where it runs through the area.  The picture sucks, but needless to say, it's quite high too. Keep your kayaks in your garage.

September 10, 2010

Schuylkill River Art Exhibit

This is kinda neat - if you're passing through the Pottstown area over the next few weeks.

There's a Schuylkill River Art Exhibit going on at the Montgomery County Community College campus in Pottstown now through October 22nd.  The gallery will display original artworks based on "Themes of the Schuylkill River Heritage Area."  (Click HERE for more info)
"Return of the Shad" - Bob Hakun

Also, in about a month - Saturday, October 9th, 11AM to 4PM - the 4th Annual Schuylkill River Festival will be held at Riverfront Park in Pottstown, PA.  There's going to be live music, food, arts & crafts, & wildlife, cultural, and conservation exhibits just to name a few things on the agenda.  The same Schuylkill River works of art mentioned above will also be on display.  Never been, so I think I might go to this one!  (Click HERE for more info on the festival)

September 4, 2010

Hour and a Half Getaway

I went to work on Friday just like any other day, but left a few hours early; in the neighborhood of 2:15ish. The office was already half empty with the long Labor Day weekend coming up, and everyone that was there...well, they were there in body, but their minds were clearly elsewhere.

When I got home, Lilly was taking a nap and K.C. asked/told me "Why don't you go fishing?"  Well, you don't have to tell me twice.  Unfortunately, my favorite trout stream is only five minutes from my office, but 20 or so minutes from my house.  While a 20 minute drive isn't far, I didn't want to go back toward work, so I decided to hit the Schuylkill River at the Limerick Area boat launch (a few minutes from my house).  Hadn't fished there since last July, and I've hardly fished warm-water species this entire year.

When I got there, the river was low.  Really low.  We haven't had good rain in quite a while, and it showed.
View from the bank
Looking downriver

Unfortunately, since this was going to be a quick trip I wasn't wearing the right stuff to go wet wading to get out towards some of the deeper water.  Since I probably wasn't going to get into any smallmouth bass shore fishing a foot or so deep water, I downsized my lures a bit and went after some sunfish they say, when in Rome...
A trip down memory lane:  My first "adult" rod & reel
Purchased when I rediscovered fishing in my mid-20s

Here's a sampling of my "haul" today:

I could have photographed a ton more of these tiny fighters, but what's the point?  I was having too much fun catching one after another, I left the camera in my pocket after about the first 20 minutes.  What a great way to spend a quick hour and a half before dinner.  I probably need to remind myself to go back to this spot more often to get a quick fix.

September 6, 2009

Random Picture

Cleaning out one of my digital cameras today and found this picture I took in July but never posted.

July 25, 2009

Sucky Saturday Night

Went out tonight after dinner to the Schuylkill...


(not literally, just in the no fish kind of way)
Plus I broke the tip off one of my rods. Not a good night.

July 3, 2009

Limerick Bank Fishing Again...

Did some more bank fishing today on the Schuylkill River near the Limerick boat launch. Got into some nice bass tossing 3" senkos. Fairly sure I caught the same fish twice (about 3 hours apart). You tell me...

Approximately 12 PM

Approximately 3PM

June 30, 2009

Weekend Dink-A-Thon

I had a little bit of free time on my hands last Saturday so I headed down to the Limerick boat ramp (Schuylkill River) about 5 minutes from my house. Since it was spur of the moment outing, just grabbed a spinning rod and a handful of 4" green pumpkin senkos and figured I'd fish the bank for a few hours. Really didn't catch much (except a ton of mosquito bites, ow!)

I caught mostly rock bass, and a couple small smallies. Wasn't planning on taking pictures of anything since everything seemed Smurf-like in stature, but as the session was coming to a close, figured I'd snap a few just to document the "experience." The best fish I caught actually was pretty nice sized, but he was a feisty bugger and kicked my hook as I was trying to grab his jaw to lift him from the gone in a splash. Ask K.C., when I got home I was a little mad at myself for that one.

I went back on Sunday afternoon and encountered much of the same, mosquitoes included. I also tried Green Lane Reservior briefly without much luck.

Over the two days, the mixed bag o' fish I caught totaled 14. How do I know that? I know that using "Skiball's" fish counter, an interesting item I acquired in a trade with a fellow member of the message the short time I've had it, have found it to be quite useful.