Muddy Creek Trout Unlimited   Chapter # 575
York County, Pennsylvania

CLOSING

THE MUDDY CREEK CHAPTER OF TROUT UNLIMITED IS VERY PLEASED WITH THE OUTCOME OF THE 1999 STREAMSIDE INCUBATOR PROJECT.  THERE HAS BEEN A TREMENDOUS AMOUNT OF INTEREST AND ENTHUSIASM WITH THE PROJECT.  WE HAVE SEVERAL OTHER SITES CHOSEN FOR FUTURE SYSTEMS.

WITHIN A FEW YEARS WE SHOULD BE ABLE TO DETERMINE IF OUR EFFORTS HAVE PAID OFF.  POSSIBLY THE PF&BC CAN DO THE STREAM STUDIES TO EVALUATE THE TROUT POPULATIONS.

THIS PROJECT WOULDN'T HAVE BEEN POSSIBLE WITHOUT THE SUPPORT OF ALL THE ORGANIZATIONS AND AGENCIES INVOLVED.  WE ARE VERY GRATEFUL FOR ALL THE COOPERATION AND SUPPORT.

SPECIAL THANKS TO MR. DON DUFF (PARTNERSHIP COORDINATOR) FOR ALL THE TECHNICAL SUPPORT; THE PENNSYLVANIA FISH & BOAT COMMISSION FOR THEIR SUPPORT AND SUPPLYING TROUT EGGS; THE FEDERATION OF FLY FISHERS FOR WHITLOCK VIBERT BOXES; THE LAND OWNERS WHO ALLOWED THE PLACEMENT OF THE STREAMSIDE INCUBATORS ON THEIR PROPERTY; THE MEMBERS OF THE MUDDY CREEK CHAPTER OF TROUT UNLIMITED WHO GAVE OF THEIR TIME TO MAKE THIS PROJECT A REALITY AND TO DR. FRED EALES WHO DEVELOPED THE REFRIGERATOR INCUBATOR CONCEPT.

WE ARE PROUD TO BE PART OF THE PARTNERSHIP PROGRAM.  WE'LL CONTINUE TO USE THE INCUBATOR SYSTEMS AS A MANAGEMENT TOOL TO REPLENISH SALMONID POPULATION IN THE MUDDY CREEK WATERSHED, AS WELL AS CONTINUE OUR COMMITMENT TO STREAM IMPROVEMENT THROUGH THE P.F.&B.C. ADOPT-A-STREAM PROGRAM AND CONTINUE TO RAISE 6000 BROWN TROUT PER YEAR THROUGH THE P.F.&B.C. COOPERATIVE NURSERY PROGRAM.
THE MUDDY CREEK TROUT UNLIMITED CHAPTER IS COMMITTED TO RESTORE AND ENHANCE OUR COLD WATER FISHERIES SO THAT FUTURE GENERATIONS CAN ENJOY THE COMMONWEALTH'S COLD WATER FISHERIES.

THANKS!
RONALD HEUSTON
PROJECT COORDINATOR
Avington Strain rainbow fry in the WVB's shortly after installation.
Avington Strain rainbow fry in the WVB's 1 week after installation. Notice the fry out of the WVB's on the floor of the incubator.
**NOTE** the (white) dead eggs on the tops of the boxes.
BACKGROUND
This is a concept developed by Dr. Fred L. Earles of Rock Springs, Wyoming some 13 years ago. It was used to introduce salmonoid species into the Flaming Gorge/Lower Green River. Since then over 7 Million eggs have been hatched using this tehnique. It is important to realize that the Dr.Earls feels adamant that "At no time should this method ever be used to replace proper watershed management. We should all be in the business of repairing our  watershed, NOT just hatching trout and salmon eggs."

Dr. Earles original design has been improved to the style that we used. Ron Heuston, long time member of our chapter, is the Champion of this project. He has spent countless hours of his time researching this project. In cooperation with the PF&BC, several land owners, and Dr. Earles, his aspiration has come to fuition.
SCOPE
The technique The basic design involves a gutted refrigerator or better yet a freezer. The box is prepared by adding an inlet with aeration and a discharge. The inside of the box has a series of plexiglass plates placed vertically to channel the flow through up to 18 Witlock Vibert Boxes (WVB's). The WVB, yes Dave WHITLOCK had a part in the design, has two chambers. The smaller top chamber holds up to 500 eggs. Typically, about 90% hatch and drop into the larger lower chamber through slots large enough to accommodate the fry and yolk sack. There they stay until they absorb enough of the sack to fit through the smaller slots and into the main refrigerator chamber. While still in the refrigerator they are safe from predation until lage enough to swim to the surface. At this time they will be sucked out the out flow and flushed into the stream where they will have to survive on their own. (see photos below)

This project was designed to introduce trout fry into the Muddy Creek watershed. The The long term goal is to have the fry grow into adult trout and reproduce successfully.
SITE LOCATIONS

ALL SITES ARE LOCATED IN LOWER CHANCEFORD TOWNSHIP, YORK COUNTY, PENNSYLVANIA

SITE #1 (SPRING)  INSTALLED TWO INCUBATOR SYSTEMS IN AN UNNAMED TRIBUTARY TO BALD EAGLE CREEK.  BALD EAGLE CREEK, A TRIBUTARY TO MUDDY CREEK LOCATED ON MITCHELL ROAD.  WATER TEMP.  52 DEGREES
NEAREST TOWN IS WOODBINE.

SITE #2 (SPRING)  INSTALLED TWO INCUBATOR SYSTEMS IN SPENCER RUN, A TRIBUTARY TO MUDDY CREEK LOCATED ON KENNEDY ROAD.  WATER TEMP.  52 DEGREES   -  NEAREST TOWN IS BRIDGTON.

SITE #3 (STREAM)  USED LOWER 12 FEET OF THE RACEWAY AT THE MUDDY CREEK TROUT UNLIMITED CO-OPERATIVE NURSERY.  TOMS RUN, A TRIBUTARY TO MUDDY CREEK LOCATED ON TED WALLACE ROAD.
WATER TEMP.  47 DEGREES   -  NEAREST TOWN IS COLLINSVILLE

TROUT EGGS WERE SUPPLIED BY THE PENNSYLVANIA FISH & BOAT COMMISSION FROM THE BIG SPRING FISH CULTURE STATION IN NEWVILLE, PENNSYLVANIA

APPROXIMATELY 68,000 RAINBOW TROUT EGGS (AVINGTON STRAIN)
APPROXIMATELY 89,000 BROWN TROUT EGGS (ROME STRAIN)
ROME BROWN TROUT

SITE #1  HATCHING BOX A  20 WVB'S
    HATCHING BOX B  18 WVB'S
SITE #2 HATCHING BOX A  30 WVB'S
     HATCHING BOX B  26 WVB'S
SITE #3  CO-OPERATIVE NURSERY  6 WVB'S

RECEIVED 84,559 EGGS (30% BAD EGGS = 25,368)
59,191 EGGS  80% HATCH = 47,353 FRY
AVINGTON RAINBOW TROUT

SITE #1  HATCHING BOX A  20 WVB'S
   HATCHING BOX B  18 WVB'S
SITE #2  HATCHING BOX A  30 WVB'S
   HATCHING BOX B  26 WVB'S
SITE #3  CO-OPERATIVE NURSERY  62 WVB'S

RECEIVED 68,000 EGGS  (BAD EGGS MINIMAL)
80% HATCH  = 54,400 FRY
EXPENSES
REFRIGERATORS = NO COST
200 WHITLOCK VIBERT BOXES  = $ 395.00
CAULKING, PIPING, PLEXAGLASS, FITTINGS, CLAMPS, ETC =  $ 122.44
TOTAL EXPENSES = $ 517.44
TOTAL EGG AMOUNTS

AVINGTON RAINBOW TROUT = 54,400
ROME BROWN TROUT       =       47,353
       TOTAL            =   101,753
OBSERVATIONS

AS OUR PROJECT GOT UNDERWAY, WE SOON REALIZED THIS WAS GOING TO BE A LEARNING EXPERIENCE.  WE HAVE QUICKLY LEARNED THAT WE COULD UTILIZE SOME TOOLS AND DO SOME THINGS DIFFERENTLY.

EGG COUNT  WE HAD COUNTED OUT EGGS FOR ONE WVB, THEN ESTIMATED THAT AMOUNT FOR THE REMAINING WVB'S. TIP FROM P.F. & B.C.  USE A GRADUATED CYLINDER TO HAVE A MORE UNIFORM COUNT.

PLACED GRAVEL IN LOWER CHAMBER OF WVB'S, ENOUGH TO WEIGHT THEM DOWN.
DID NOT PLACE GRAVEL ON HATCHING BOX FLOOR.  MADE OBSERVATION VERY EASY, BUT THE GRAVEL WILL BENEFIT THE FRY.

SITE #1  HAD VERY LITTLE FUNGUS (HARDLY NOTICEABLE)  NOTE HATCHING BOX CLEAN AND CLEAR.  NO SEDIMENTATION
-OVERALL NOTICED ONLY A FEW DEFORMED FRY
-THE AVINGTON RAINBOW FRY DOUBLED IN LENGTH IN 10 DAYS OR SO.  EGG SAC ALMOST ABSORBED.

SITE #2  HAD A SMALL AMOUNT OF SEDIMENTATION IN BOTH HATCHING BOXES (SEDIMENTATION ENTERED HATCHING BOX DURING INSTALLATION.)
-SEEMED AS IF THIS SEDIMENTATION PROMOTED FUNGUS GROWTH.  MAJOR FUNGUS IN EGG CHAMBERS OF WVB'S.
-45 DAYS AFTER HATCHING  ONLY A FEW DOZEN FRY REMAINED IN EACH HATCHING BOX.  FRY IN STREAM WERE ACTIVE AND HEALTHY.

SITE #3  (CO-OPERATIVE NURSERY)  OBSERVATIONS MINIMAL DUE TO WVB'S BEING PLACED IN GRAVEL; HOWEVER, COULD WATCH FRY SWIM IN AND OUT OF GRAVEL.  ALSO VISABLE IN RACEWAY DISCHARGE
STREAMSIDE INCUBATOR PROJECT
Details