Harrisburg — The health of two streams in northcentral Pennsylvania – once ecologically dead from acid-mine drainage – has improved to the point that the Pennsylvania Fish & Boat Commission will stock adult trout in them.
Beginning with the 2014 season, the commission will stock adult trout in the West Branch Susquehanna River from the confluence with Anderson Creek in Curwensville downstream to the state Route 2024 crossing at Porters Bridge in Clearfield County.
The 2.8-mile section will receive trout during a preseason stocking in late March or early April. The stocking will be in addition to the reach between Hyde and Clearfield that is already stocked.
The commission will also stock adult trout in the Bennett Branch of Sinnemahoning Creek from the Jay/Benezette Township line downstream to approximately 985 feet downstream of the T-434 (Station Road) Bridge in Benezette, Elk County.
This will be a preseason stocking and will be in addition to the reach between the confluence with South Branch Bennett Branch and the confluence with Wilson Run in Penfield that is already stocked.
A $12 million federally owned and operated mine drainage treatment plant began operation on the Bennett Branch near Penfield last year.
“This is great news for anglers in this area,” said Fish & Boat Commissioner Bill Sabatose, who represents Cameron, Centre, Clearfield, Clinton, Elk, Jefferson, McKean and Potter counties.
“Both of these waters had been affected historically by acid-mine drainage, but through remediation efforts and habitat improvements, the water quality has improved to the point that they can be stocked with trout.”
“We couldn’t have reached this point without the help of all of our partners, including the Bennett Branch Watershed Association and the Department of Environmental Protection’s Bureau of Abandoned Mine Reclamation, he noted.
“This will definitely add more excitement and opportunities to the opening day of trout season in this region,” Sabatose said.
Fish & Boat Commission cooperative nurseries and local groups will also stock the West Branch and Bennett Branch after trout season opens.