New TU short film casts light on Pennsylvania’s wild trout streams

Pat Bradt has composed what she calls "a requiem for a trout stream."

Pennsylvania has more rivers, streams and creeks than any other state in the nation, besides Alaska.

It’s pretty impressive to realize we have 86,000 miles of streams flowing through the commonwealth, giving lifeblood to residents and recreational visitors each and every day. In fact, most people probably take this for granted and don’t really acknowledge the incredible resource we have; but they should. Cold, clean water is hard to come by these days.

That’s why Trout Unlimited decided to give Pennsylvania’s remarkable waterways the credit they deserve by creating a 6½-minute short film highlighting TU’s efforts to protect them.

The film, made possible through a generous grant from the William Penn Foundation, is available in high-definition and free to view below and online at

Award-winning photojournalist Sam Dean accompanied TU’s Unassessed Waters Initiative Team to produce “86,000 Miles of Streams,” a film TU hopes will raise awareness and encourage action in support of coldwater conservation amid ongoing natural resource developments.

“The film focuses on the stream protection work we do, such as going out and locating undocumented wild trout streams, and then getting them protected,” TU Mid-Atlantic Policy Director David Kinney said.  “It turned out better than I could’ve hoped.”

The Pennsylvania Fish & Boat Commission spearheaded the Unassessed Waters Initiative in 2011. With the help of TU electro-shocking teams, it has since discovered wild trout in more than 40-percent of streams surveyed. Over the past year alone, Pennsylvania has protected more than 1,000 miles of newly identified wild trout streams.

“Pennsylvania now has 15,000 miles of wild trout streams, including 2,000 miles of Class A waters, which have the largest populations,” TU Mid-Atlantic Organizer Rob Shane said. “Counting linked upstream stretches, its wild trout protections cover more than 35,000 stream miles.”

But there’s still more work to be done.

“Locating these populations is critical given the ongoing natural gas boom in the Marcellus shale region, where more than 10,000 natural gas wells have been fracked in the Keystone State over the past decade,” Shane said.

“As many as 25,000 miles of new pipelines could be built in the state by 2030. The projected development of the shale fields would require hundreds of stream crossings and disturb tens of thousands of acres of forests — many of which contain the headwater streams wild trout call home.”

“86,000 Miles of Streams” features the grassroots movement of local TU chapters, as well as the Unassessed Waters Initiative team’s role in assessing the waterways believed to harbor wild trout populations. Through these joint efforts, it is hopeful that all 86,000 miles can remain clean, healthy and suitable for fish well into future generations.

86,000 Miles of Streams from Sam Dean on Vimeo.

Categories: Fishing, Nature, News, Pennsylvania – Tyler Frantz, Pennsylvania Videos

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