Frye: River walleyes fare differently
TribLIVE Sports Videos
One of the rivers once so polluted that almost nothing could live in it is doing pretty well these days.
The Allegheny, upstream of Pittsburgh, is healthy enough that it's sustaining a walleye fishery without the need for supplemental stocking, according to survey work done by the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission. Not every similar waterway statewide can say that.
“It is encouraging,” said Bob Lorantas, warmwater unit leader for the commission. “As one who grew up in that area, to see the improvements and the fisheries coming back, it's great. Mother Nature has come back to at least equal what we were accomplishing with our own walleye stockings.”
That's noteworthy because the commission is deciding which rivers it will stock with walleye fry and fingerlings and which it will not.
There was a time when it stocked them all. That changed in 2008.
That year, the commission put an end to river system stockings to see if the waterways could support walleyes in great enough numbers to satisfy anglers on their own.
“If we can identify self-sustaining walleye populations, we can remove those waters from the stocking program and distribute fry and fingerlings where they are needed in order to meet angler demand,” said Dave Miko, chief of the commission's division of fisheries.
Surveys done between 2008 and 2013 showed that some waters — like the Allegheny between Ford City and Oil City — could sustain themselves walleye-wise. But others, including the upper Allegheny, could not.
“It is recommended that walleye fry stocking be resumed in a portion of the Allegheny River from the Kinzua Dam to Tionesta,” said Tim Wilson, a fisheries biologist in the commission's area 1 office in Linesville.
Other major river sections that will be managed for self-sustaining walleye populations — meaning no stocking — include the Monongahela River; North Branch Susquehanna River; Youghiogheny River from the Connellsville Dam downstream to the mouth; Ohio River; and West Branch Susquehanna River, from Moose Creek downstream to Bald Eagle Creek.
Stocking will not resume in the Delaware or Lehigh rivers, either.
Waters that again will be stocked with walleyes are Crawford County's French Creek; the Juniata River from the confluence of the Raystown Branch downstream to the confluence of the Kishacoquillas Creek; and the Susquehanna River from the confluence of the Juniata River downstream to the York Haven Dam.
That's subject to change, long-term. Miko said the commission will continue to monitor all the rivers to see how walleye populations do. He said it wants to make sure spending the money to stock fish provides better fishing.
Open season for walleye started Saturday, with a daily limit of six fish (which must be at least 15 inches), and walleye anglers are undoubtedly hoping for the best. So is the commission, Lorantas said.
“Returning fish to the creel, that's what we're about in all of our programs,” he said.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Starkey: Kang story of the year for Pirates
- Many Americans have no retirement savings, Fed survey shows
- IRS cybersecurity breach touches lives of homebuyers, others
- Penguins GM Rutherford ‘wouldn’t make’ Despres trade today
- Healthy defensive back Mitchell eager for 2nd season with Steelers
- Shoppers pay premium for organic chicken
- Automakers do U-turn on infotainment systems
- Holiday weekend memories abound for 1965 enthusiast
- Task force to plot ways of alleviating gas glut in Pennsylvania via pipelines
- Apple finds bug that causes iPhones to crash
- Charleroi man charged in fatal crash to stand trial