Seven Warren County waterways have been added to the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission's (PFBC) list of wild trout streams.
The new additions join 131 other streams in the county which are designated as supporting natural reproduction of trout.
The seven streams are:
Bully Hollow, from headwaters to mouth
Dennis Run, from headwaters to mouth
Lenhart Run, from headwaters to mouth
Little Run, from headwaters to mouth
Pennsylvania Hollow, from headwaters to mouth
Snow Run, from headwaters to mouth
An unnamed tributary to the Allegheny River at river mile 178.64, headwaters to mouth.
All newly added wild trout streams in Warren County are tributaries of the Allegheny river except Dennis Run, which is a tributary of Gordon Run.
According to the Pennsylvania Code, "It is the policy of the Commission to maintain the wilderness trout streams program where stream remoteness and populations of naturally reproducing trout combine to offer sport fishing opportunity for the recreation of anglers in a wilderness setting away from roads or vehicular access. It is the Commission's intent to advocate proper watershed management to maintain the wilderness setting and to advance and seek the highest water quality standards through the Department of Environmental Protection."
As part of this policy, the commissioner maintains a list of streams supporting naturally reproducing trout populations.
"These streams must meet at least the minimum criteria to be considered maintaining wild populations of trout," Area Fisheries Manager for the commission Allen Woomer said. "Often these streams have much better than the minimum criteria but must have at least that much to qualify."
Under the Pennsylvania Code, wild trout streams must meet three minimum criteria or be a tributary of a recognized wild trout stream.
A stream must meet location and habitat requirements when examined by a commission investigator. According to the code, "The investigator should find that the habitat is such as would support natural reproduction of trout."
A stream must maintain a wild trout population as opposed to stocked fish. According to the code, "the investigator should find trout resulting from natural reproduction in the stream section or upstream and downstream areas and their tributaries. In making this finding, the investigator will specifically exclude trout stocked as fingerlings or adults and trout that escape from a hatchery."
A stream must meet on or both of two biological criteria based on investigator observations. According to the code, an investigator must find that, "Young of the year trout less than 50 millimeters occur at some time in the stream section," or that, "Two or more ages of wild trout occur at some time within the stream section."
"Currently the PFBC is conducting surveys on unassessed waters to see if they have naturally reproducing or wild trout in them and the streams being proposed are ones recently found to maintain wild trout populations," Woomer said. "Most of these unassessed streams are small headwaters streams and the ones in Warren County mostly hold wild brook trout. Most of the coldwater type streams in Warren County are wild trout streams. These new ones are being added now because we just did not have the survey information previously to classify them correctly."
A wild trout stream designation, according to Woomer, doesn't incur any additional requirements for usage by outdoorsman, but does receive some additional environmental protection.
"When these newly identified streams are added to the wild trout streams list it is a biological classification and there are no automatic changes in regulations or management that effect anglers," Woomer noted. "Most continue to be managed as unstocked streams under Commonwealth Inland Waters Regulations for trout. Once a stream is added to the wild trout streams list, it receives additional protection in permitting of activities that could impact the stream environment in recognition of it being found to hold a wild trout population."