More great news for the J!

More great news for the J!

PAFBC electroshocking

The LJRA is excited to announce that as a result of the June electroshocking survey (scroll down to the next page), PFBC will recommend that two sections of the J be classified as a wild Class A fishery. Being declared a wild Class A fishery is an important step towards gaining high quality cold water (HQCW) designated use status by PA-DEP.  One location encompasses 4.5 miles of the upper J from Sandy Run to the Rt 220 bridge in Bellwood.  The other 3.2 mile section is located on the lower J from the Barre bridge to the mouth of the Juniata River. 2016 has been an excellent year for the J!

Major source of trash thwarted

Polluting junk yard cleaned up

Before clean up. The Upper J flows just behind the tree line of the left
Before clean up. The Upper J flows just behind the tree line on the left
After Pennelec clean up. A new fence will prevent junk from encroaching on the banks of the J
After Pennelec clean up. A new fence will prevent junk from encroaching on the banks of the J

This site on the banks of the upper “J” was covered with junk from an auto salvage operation. LJRA worked with the legitimate landowner, First Energy, to get it cleared. We give our thanks to First Energy/Penelec for finally getting this done! This should greatly reduce the washing of tires and other auto-associated trash into the J during high water events.

Freeing a vital source of cold spring water for the upper J!

Freeing a vital source of cold spring water for the upper J!

This spring was diverted as a source of water for the Tyrone paper mill since 1935. In August 2016, American Eagle Paper Co agreed to free it at its source, located 2 miles upstream from their pump house in Tyrone. Director Carl Reed and Bill Anderson visited the spring and walked its path to the river. It is now providing much needed 50 degree cold water for an additional 2 miles of the upper J! Kudos to American Eagle Paper Co.

Water temperatures


The end of June through August is a tough time for our trout.  Water levels are incredibly low and the temperature on the upper J exceeded  83 degrees yesterday! (July 14)  upstream of Tyrone. It’s going to at or near 90s for the next 6 days. This is upstream of the springs but this water mixes with the springs and warms the water throughout the river. Regular updates on water temperatures and conditions are important for the trout as well as your fellow anglers deciding whether or not to travel to the area. Share your observations and current conditions in the forum. Better yet, leave the trout alone!

Electroshocking survey on the upper J

Wild trout survey on the upper river yields encouraging results

PAFBC electroshocking
PAFBC electroshocking

We are pleased that Kris Kuhn, Fisheries Manager for the south central district, and his PFBC crew  electroshock surveyed two 300 meter stretches of the upper J between Bellwood and Tyrone (upstream from the DHALO) on June 10th. Large numbers of brown trout were found at both both locations. (During the survey they captured one of our telemetry study fish -see picture below).

Observers, including  LJRA officers, are hopeful that, once the results are totaled, more than a Class A population will have been found at both locations. Being declared a wild Class A fishery is a requirement for gaining high quality cold water (HQCW) Designated Use and the added protection that follows this designation by PADEP. Adding this very significant section of the upper J to HQCW designated use list is one big step forward towards meeting the LJRA  goal of obtaining HQCW designation for the entire river.

42.5 cm brown
A 42.5 centimeter telemetry study brown captured during the survey. He looked to be in fine shape. There was no sign of the sutured wound for the transmitter, however the antenna exit point was reddened for a small area around it (you can see it in the close up).

These observations,  together with the increasing presence of pollution intolerant mayflies and stoneflies throughout the river, are very exciting developments indeed!

LJRA Riverbank clean up

LJRA 2016 Riverbank cleanup

Thanks to all!


It didn’t go as planned and the final stages have yet to be completed, but the 11th Annual LJRA bank clean up was a success!   Volunteers collected 61 tires and filled 1.5 large roll-away dumpsters so far. The major work was done on April 16th, but different groups who could not attend the make up date organized or will organize on the following weekends.

April 23rd: Angie Spagnoli (PSU-Altoona) organized a group of students to clean Spring Run in Altoona, the uppermost headwater of the LJ. They filled more than 130 garbage bags full of trash and lots of other large objects. This was the first time the clean up extended that far up the watershed. Great job PSU-Altoona

April 30th: Boy scouts will clean the upper river

May 7th: Our boating members and their friends are planning to float the Gorge area and clean areas inaccessible by foot

Thanks to Spruce Creek United Methodist Church for the great lunch, Sheetz Co for bottled water, Tastykake Co. for treats and Veederoot Co. for a monetary donation and commitment of labor

If you are interested in helping with the remaining stages of the clean up email

February meeting highlights-montioring the upper J


Jim Eckenrode from the Blair County Conservation District presented the plans for monitoring important stream parameters such as temperature, turbidity, pH and conductivity along the upper J at the February meeting held Thursday the 11th. The data will be important for monitoring the health of the river and making a case for HQCW designation in the upper J. During the winter months the meetings of the LJRA will be held the second Thursday of the month at 7PM.

Brown trout Telemetry study

Brown Trout Telemetry Study


The Little Juniata River Association and Juniata College have launched a program to determine where the wild trout on our river spend their time. The plan is for LJRA members  to capture mature wild brown trout with hook and line. Then we surgically insert a small transmitter that gives off a signal that is detectable for up to 1/2 mile. Thus far 11 transmitters have been activated. A total of 24 transmitters will be followed for approximately 14 months. We will follow the trout as they flee the warm water of mid summer to see where they find refuge. We will also follow these mature trout as they spawn next fall. The knowledge gained will allow the LJRA to direct future fish habitat projects to those areas of the river used most by our brownies.


LJRA Meeting Oct. 2014

Meeting of the Little Juniata River Association – October 14, 2014

Our October meeting was held, for the first time, at the Edgewater Inn and Riverside Grill, Alexandria PA. This magnificent facility was purchased recently by Keith Beamer and his wife Sarah. Many of you know Keith as a member of the Habitat management team for the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission. He participated in several of our bank stabilization/trout habitat projects in the upper river from 2010 to 2013. Sarah is the former science teacher for Grier School and headed up the Trout In the Classroom program at Grier School last year. LJRA partnered with Sarah on this very successful program. Both Keith and Sarah are LJRA Life Members and they recently signed their new business up as our first corporate member. Sarah and Keith have invited the LJRA to hold all our meetings in their beautiful facility. In addition to fine dining, they offer a full “Bar and Grill” menu! Finally, we have a great place for our “after the meeting drink”

 There were approximately 23 officers/directors, members and guests in attendance. President Bill Anderson welcomed us and opened the meeting. Keith formally welcomed us as well.


Summary of LJRA Trout Mortality Presentation

Our guest speakers for October were Mark Nale, Bob Carline, and Mark Jackson. They   gave a presentation on the methodology and preliminary results of a study on bait-hooked trout mortality. The study was conducted during the April 2014 Trout Tournament held on Bald Eagle Creek, Centre County.

Participants could use any tackle but had to keep the fish alive and turn them in to tournament officials who interviewed the anglers regarding the circumstances of their catch.  All fish caught were held in a hatchery run for nine days monitoring their health each day.

There were 490 trout, all species, caught during the two day event, with 87% of the fish caught using bait. Of these, 26 died. This represented 5.5% of the bait caught trout – a much lower mortality than that reported from most prior studies. Most trout which died did so on the day caught. Less than one percent of the fish which died did so during the nine day holding period.

A discussion followed with questions such as whether or not there have been such studies on mortality of bait caught wild trout, what about mortality with circle hooks, and whether or not (given the study results), it was yet a good idea to limit certain areas of the rivers and streams to fly fishing or lure fishing only. A thought to consider being that opening all waters would create more friends for the waterways-an important consideration given present day challenges.

President Anderson pointed out that historic objections to the use of live bait on the Little Juniata had more to do with the fear of invasive species introduction (from bait buckets) than with trout mortality.

The study will be repeated in 2015.







On November 19th there will be electroshocking done on a 2 mile stretch of Bells Gap Run. An effort will be made to eliminate the burgeoning numbers of brown trout, which threaten the viability of the native brook trout population. The Bells Gap Run Reservoir will be drained and brown trout removed next year.



LJRA will fund a telemetry study to be conducted by PSU/Juniata College in 2015 to try to determine (among other things) where the Little Juniata River trout go during hot weather/low water periods.



We will once again conduct our LJRA spring clean-up. The date chosen is Saturday, March 28th, 2015. This will be the 10th anniversary of this annual event.



A very successful cleanup by water craft and some bank walkers was held on October 4, 2014.   Total weight of trash/junk gathered was .5 tons.  The April 5, 2014 water craft cleanup yielded .5 tons and the October 2013 effort yielded 1.5 tons! Nice. Lunch for all participants was provided at Green Hills Camp.  John Corr was project leader for this worthy LJRA effort