Friday, March 28, 2014

Stocking Up on Trout in the Preserve

Spring is finally here! At least that's what the calendar is saying, but my experience working outdoors tells me another story all together. Either way, we have seasonal spring activities to look forward to: Easter egg hunts, spring wildflowers, the annual Pennypack Creek Clean-up and (my personal favorite) the opening day of trout season. Saturday, March 29, 2014, is the opening day of trout season for 18 southeastern Pennsylvania counties, while the rest of the state will open April 12.
Stocking trout...rather unceremoniously

Across the state all Approved Trout Water streams and lakes have been stocked with farm raised trout. Around Philadelphia we will be fishing for two introduced species: rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss), native to the Pacific basin (, and brown trout (Salmo trutta), native to Eurasia ( The waterways around Philadelphia are not appropriate for Pennsylvania’s state fish, the brook trout (Salvelinus fontinalis) (, due to high water temperatures, unsuitable pH, and competition from non-native fish.
A newly released trout in Pennypack Creek
The section of the Pennypack Creek that runs through the Pennypack Preserve is not public land, so the state Fish and Boat Commission ( does not stock the creek within the preserve.  Instead, the Trust must rely on volunteers to maintain a fishable trout population. 
Members of Trout Unlimited's Southeastern Montgomery County Chapter
Twice a year Trout Unlimited (TU) Chapter #468 releases 400-500 trout into Pennypack Creek; their most recent release was during the week of March 16. These fish were purchased with private donations and TU membership dues, so please release all trout you catch within the preserve.

Submitted by Gary Snyder
Stewardship Assistant

Monday, March 24, 2014

Field Trip!

Demonstrating the white-tailed deer trap behind the office
Members of the Society for Ecological Restoration's Mid-Atlantic Chapter visited the Pennypack Preserve on Saturday afternoon, March 22, to review forest restoration and white-tailed deer research projects underway here.  This field trip was one of three trips scheduled to coincide with the Chapter's annual conference that took place the day before at Temple University's Ambler Campus.
Dr. Eugene Potapov explaining how he remotely springs the deer trap from his laptop
Dr. Eugene Potapov, a researcher and professor from Bryn Athyn College, began by reviewing the white-tailed deer movement research he and his colleagues have been conducting since 2006 using collared deer and digital telemetry. 
A chapter member from New York City Parks pointing out chestnut blight canker
The group then took a walking tour of The Peak old-growth forest recently cleared of invasive plants, several reforestation projects (including one project that incorporated American chestnut trees, now exhibiting signs of chestnut blight disease), riparian reforestation projects along the Pennypack Creek floodplain, and the 160-acre Raytharn Farm grasslands.  We also took advantage of the fact that one of the tour participants was Dr. James Thorne, a former University of Pennsylvania researcher, who had established a forest succession research project in the preserve in 1990 - a project he had not been back to review in over two decades.

  Dr. James Thorne explaining his research project in the background

Fortunately, the day was partly sunny and warm - the warmest day so far this year, with temperatures in the mid-60s.  I had expected the preserve's trails to be muddy after the endless winter snows, but they were pleasantly firm and dry.  Participants seemed to have enjoyed themselves - even if it was just to have a chance to be outside on a nice spring day.  We even heard spring peepers trilling in Crossroads Marsh!
Timing for the tour was fortuitous - there's more snow forecast for tomorrow!

Submitted by:
David Robertson, Executive Director