by Joan Smedinghoff
April 13, 2018
Spring Creek flows through Centre County, Pa., near Pennsylvania State University. Designated one of the best fishing waters for wild trout, this stream is known for the fishing opportunities it offers.
The Spring Creek watershed is about 12 percent impervious, meaning that 12 percent of the land that drains into the waterway contains hard surfaces like buildings, roads and sidewalks. Fisheries experts consider impervious surface cover above 10 percent as likely to harm local fish populations.
However, Spring Creek itself is still listed as a Class A wild trout stream, meaning that it supports a population of naturally produced trout to support a long-term sport fishery. Experts believe this is because the creek is fed in large part by springs connected to a large groundwater reservoir. This helps the appropriately named Spring Creek have good flow even during dry periods and maintain a moderate temperature year round, which helps support fish populations.
Despite this source of fresh water, runoff is still an in issue, and local groups are working to decrease pollution from entering the creek. The Spring Creek chapter of Trout Unlimited and the ClearWater Conservancy of Central Pennsylvania both received Chesapeake Bay Small Watershed grants to plant forest buffers along the creek. Forest buffers prevent pollution from entering waterways, stabilize stream banks, provide food and habitat to wildlife and keep streams cool during hot weather.
Learn more about Spring Creek and its surrounding watershed.