Spring Creek Trout Unlimited Chapter Stream Project

This is a report on a recent stream improvement project from the Spring Creek Chapter of Trout Unlimited, based in Centre County, Pennsylvania. The Chapter recently completed this project on the lower end of Spring Creek, very near its confluence with Bald Eagle Creek at Milesburg.There will also be another project to plant trees, the information is included in this post. I took the information from an e-mail sent by Chapter Vice-president, Robert Vierck. The following is from Bob’s Chapter e-mail notice:

The construction phase of the Lower McCoy Bank Stabilization and Buffer Buddies program was completed on June 25th – on time and within budget.  This is due to all the efforts that our volunteers put into this project – really well done with great cooperation from all. Some information:

1.  We had a total of 18 volunteers on June 24, and 17 volunteers on June 25.

2.  We were able to complete 95% of the construction of the mud-sill on Monday with final rock placement this morning, (on July 3rd).

3.  We installed 5 multi-log vane deflectors using 25 ‘ logs today, (July 3rd), before we broke for lunch.

4.  A total of 160 tons of #6 Limestone rock was used to stabilize the stream between the two locations.

4.  We planted grass seed and covered it with straw.

5.  The final seeding was extremely wet as the storms came – but some valiant volunteers finished the seeding.

6.  The deflectors and mud-sill stood up very well in spite of being tested extensively by a major storm on June 27th.

Here are some of the photos from the Chapter e-mail:

Spring Creek, in I believe, the project area before work was started.

Spring Creek, at Milesburg, Pennsylvania – in the project area before work was started.

The project included a hands-on youth session.

The project included a hands-on youth session. Here a chapter member looks on as some participants “catch bugs.”

Informal session on aquatic entomology.

Informal stream side session on aquatic entomology.

Checking out that fly rod!

Checking out that fly rod grip.

Work progresses for the installation of a log vein.

Work progresses for the installation of a log vein. I believe there were also personnel from the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission.

This was a very successful project. We were able to construct the longest mud-sill to date on Spring Creek, and install five multi-log vane deflectors in two-and-a-half day’s work. On July 3rd we actually watched a fly fisherman catch a nice brown trout behind a rock next to the new mud-sill.

Included here are some of the Chapter photos of the project.

More are available on our Facebook Page https://www.facebook.com/springcreektu and on the home page of our website – http://springcreektu.org/

Still working on that log vein installation...

Still working on that log vein installation…the large hand-drills are used to drill through the logs for placement of steel re-bars to anchor the logs to the stream bed.


Looking downstream toward part of the project area.

Upstream view

Upstream view at a log vein site. There is a second log vein upstream, just to the left of the utility poles on the right-hand bank, and a third one, submerged between the two.

Area of limestone rock rip-rap.

Area of limestone rock rip-rap, looking upstream from the bridge at the park in Milesburg. The ground has been seeded and mulched with straw. This will help to secure the stream bank and greatly reduce erosion. The submerged rocks also provide cover for trout and habitat for aquatic insects.

Once again, thanks to all of our volunteers.  We are now planning the planting stages….keep tuned.

October 7th & 8th our chapter will need 15 volunteers to assist in the planting of trees and shrubs in Milesburg. The in-stream work is complete. Now we need to do the planting along the bank. We will be obtaining the plants and other materials from the Western Pennsylvania Conservancy. At present we are awaiting contract approval from the landowner – FirstEnergy.  The above dates are tentative, pending approval from FirstEnergy.


To volunteer contact Bob Vierck   (vpres@springcreetu.org) or call: 814-360-3702, or e-mail Jim Lanning (jlanning@ncikrg.org)

I’d like to add that this project is great news. it is sure to enhance the fishing in this section of stream. In fact the last several years have seen good developments for Spring Creek and increased and enhanced angling opportunities. In 2007 the old McCoy dam below Bellefonte was removed, and the Spring Creek Trout Unlimited Chapter and PA Fish and Boat Commission work installed log veins and stream improvement devices in that section. The dam removal opened up to fishing a new stretch of about one-quarter mile that was formerly inundated with water. The McCoy dam had been in place since the late 1700’s. The three-mile stretch of Spring Creek between Bellefonte and Milesburg is a great summer fishing location. Even in the hottest weather the water temperature seldom exceeds sixty degrees in this stretch because of the influx of cold water from the big spring in down town Bellefonte.

The PA Fish and Boat Commission also opened to wading the upper section of Fisherman’s Paradise, just two years ago. This is above the park area and upper parking lot where the grass in mowed. This section was always difficult to fish because of the trees, brush, and no wading law. Additionally the Pennsylvania State Correctional Institute at Rockview opened up the formerly closed to trespassing “canyon” stretch of Spring Creek between the Paradise and Benner Springs. Finally, a formerly closed-to-fishing section in downtown Bellefonte was also opened to fishing. The new water is between the High Street and Lamb Street bridges, if you don’t mind fishing “in town.” In all, these combined changes have added almost a mile of “new” fishing water to Spring Creek. And the entire section of open, accessible water on Spring Creek is all Catch-and-Release. It is one of the best wild brown trout fisheries in the state of Pennsylvania. Give it a try!

4 comments on “Spring Creek Trout Unlimited Chapter Stream Project

  1. Terry Chapman says:

    Kudos to the TU chapter for doing these projects; it’s easy to talk about conservation and far harder to act!

  2. Bill says:

    This Chapter does a really great job with Spring Creek, enhancing its already good reputation as a top notch trout fishery. Congratulations to all the hard working members and the local businesses who donated money and materials.

    • Don Bastian says:

      Thanks for your comment Bill. The Spring Creek Chapter of Trout Unlimited has a long history of good projects; I remember when they did the duck pond project back in the late ’70’s or early ’80’s. Their work is bound to have a positive impact. Thanks Bill! See you on Spring Creek!

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