LJRA November 13th, 2012 meeting minutes

Little Juniata River Association

Meeting Minutes November 13 , 2012
The meeting was called to order at 7:05 PM by president Bill Anderson. There were 13 LJRA members, including seven officers and Directors, present. The Ljra Directors present were: Ron Kuntz, Director; Joe Boston, Habitat Chair; Cliff Wurster, Director; Lee Pryor, Treasurer; John Bennis, Director; Bill Anderson, President /Chairman; Jim Litrun, Secretary.
LJRA Directors not in attendance: Stan Kotala, Charlie Hoyer, Gary Miller, Conservation Chair; Jeremy Frye, Dave Herrmann and John Pascavage (Director Emeritus and Founder).

I. Redd Count

The redd count scheduled for November 17 has been moved to Saturday November 24. . Volunteers interested in participating should contact Bill Anderson at (814) 935-8392 or bjuniata@verizon.net. Two-person teams will be formed walk stretches of the river and count the number of beds. Brown trout typically begin spawning in early November with the females hollowing out depressions in gravel bottoms to lay their eggs. The eggs are fertilized by the males and then covered with gravel and then hatch in the spring. Fishermen are reminded to avoid harassing the fish during this process and avoid disturbing the redds. A redd can be identified as a light-colored hollow depression in the gravel bottom. They are typically found in 6 to 18″ of water where there are gravel bottoms and a good flow rate.
II. Future Projects

The LJRA has access to $38,560 of unspent grants from The National Fish and Wildlife Federation (NFWF) and the Blair County Conservation District (BCCD). This is money that remains after bank erosion, tree planting and knotweed control projects were completed in 2012. Discussion about establishing projects and setting priorities to use these funds ensued. Five potential projects were discussed:

Japanese knotweed control along the upper “j”, completion of control and planting at 2012 erosion sites, and a 3-year control project on the lower “j”.
Sandy Run work to establish a wild-trout nursery by eliminating sediment and returning the stream bottom to original cobble. The removal of the small dam that warms the water is our first priority.
Antis Township has a severe bank erosion problem along River Road resulting in a possible road safety issue. They have asked LJRA to cooperate in finding a solution which will include benefits for the river. Bill has asked PFBC to visit this site along with LJRA and Antis Township managers on December 19th.
Bank erosion at four other sites identified during the original investigation. All these sites are on the Charles Powell property and we believe permission for a project is likely.
The “Bus Pool” near Barree has a severe bank erosion problem. This stream bank is owned by the Porter Township and (according to LJRA Director Ron Kuntz) we believe they will cooperate with a stream bank project. Fish Habitat managers PFBC accompanied Bill A. to view this site last summer. They agreed that it is a candidate for repair.

It was decided the decisions will be made at a directors and officers meeting in December. There were three action items identified for completion prior to that meeting:

Bill Anderson will establish what is necessary to begin work on Sandy Run.
Bill Anderson will set up a meeting with Antis Township and the PFBC to do a preliminary investigation as to how to our three organizations could establish a cooperative program.
Joe Boston will contact the PFBC to set up a date to walk the upper “j” and review other potential erosion sites. Joe Boston, Cliff Wurster and Jim Litrun volunteered to conduct the walk with the PFBC.

A motion was made, seconded and carried unanimously to discuss these projects and set priorities at the directors and officers meeting in December
III. Japanese Knotweed Control

Joe Boston reported on the work done in 2012 to control knotweed along the upper “j”. He submitted a detailed report of the work and associated costs, as well as suggestions and estimated costs for future consideration. This information will be forwarded to all directors and officers prior to the December meeting. Joe noted that there is diverse opinion within our organization as to the feasibility of effectively controlling knotweed based on attempts by other river organizations. It was noted, however, that the LJRA is committed to control knotweed at any site where work, like bank erosion control, has disturbed the soil. Joe will make an additional report at the December meeting.
IV. Temperature Probes

Three of the four temperature sensors placed last October at “Site 8” and the Little Bald Eagle (above and below the paper mill) were collected. One of the probes was apparently stolen and will need to be replaced. A motion was made, seconded and carried unanimously to replace the probe at a cost of approximately $150. Only one of the probes (near the Little Bald Eagle at I-99) has been analyzed. It showed temperatures well into the 80’s from June into September. Data from the other two probes will be analyzed and released at a later date.
V. Treasurer’s Report

Lee Pryor submitted a brief report that indicated the LJRA started October with $12,318. 16 and ended the month with $12,219.16. Bill Anderson indicated that an additional $400 for new memberships has been received and will be transferred into the account. A detailed report will be submitted at the December directors and officers meeting.
VI. Directors and Officers Meeting

A meeting of all directors and officers of the LJRA will be held at the Snyder Library in Tyrone on Tuesday December 11 at 7:00 PM. This meeting is open to all members of the Association but closed to the general public. The by-laws of the organization will be reviewed at this meeting, as well as criteria to hold office or membership on the board. Bill Anderson will contact all current directors to assess their desire to remain on the board. A detailed agenda will be sent out prior to the meeting. Any proposals for the meeting should be sent out well ahead of December 11.
VII. Trout Unlimited Policy

George Kutzel , a LJRA Life Member and treasurer of Pa Trout Unlimited was in attendance and reported on the controversy surrounding TU’s Policy of not participating in stocking hatchery fish over native(i.e. Eastern Brook) trout.
VIII. Spruce Creek Macro Study

Bill Anderson presented a recent study of macros on Spruce Creek conducted by the Susquehanna River Basin Commission which indicated impairment due to sedimentation from agricultural activities on an upper stretch of the stream which could potentially impact “j”. This situation will be monitored and reported on as warranted at future meetings.

IX. Adjournment

The meeting adjourned at 8:35 PM. The next meeting will be a directors and officers meeting and is scheduled for 7:00 PM on Tuesday, December 11 the Snyder Library in Tyrone.

Respectfully submitted,

LJRA Secretary,

Jim Litrun

LJRA meeting minutes, August 14th, 2012

Little Juniata River Association

Meeting Minutes August 12, 2012
The meeting was called to order at 7:10 PM by president Bill Anderson. There were 10 members present.
I. Erosion Bank Repair Projects

The PFBC, Fran Camaroto Excavating, and volunteers from the LJRA and TU Spring Creek Chapter, successfully completed the bank erosion projects on the upper “j” ahead of schedule and under budget. Close to 500 feet of stream band received modified mudsill with cribbing, root wads, log vanes and over 400 tons of limestone. Work was done began on Monday July 30 and was completed on Wednesday August 1. Total cost for the project was approximately $45,000 which was funded by a grant from the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation grant. This project will prevent a major portion of tens of thousands of tons of sediment from going into the River. Sediment settles in the river and harms the macros which are a major source of food for the fish.

There are reports that the American Eagle Paper mill in Tyrone is beginning work to dredge the dam area. Bill Anderson indicated his intention to approach management of the mill to see if the dredging would allow for them to begin bottom water releases instead of taking it from the top. This would have a significant lowering of water temperature which would help keep the stream at better temperatures for the wildlife.

Concern was also expressed by several members of the potential for water to be sold by several organizations in the area for gas fracking companies. There is a high demand for water and organizations with permits that are higher than current needs could potentially sell the water which would take it from the stream flow. This could have a detrimental effect during low-water conditions like those being experienced during hot dry summers like we are currently seeing.

II. Low-water Cleanup- Sept. 8, 2012

The annual low-water cleanup will be conducted on Saturday September 8 from 9 AM until 1 PM. Volunteers should gather at the Tyrone Park and Ride off I-99 at 9 AM for assignments. Flat bottom boats and canoes are needed to enable workers to get to the islands and areas that cannot be reached during the spring cleanup. Bill Anderson will be sending a letter to all members asking for help. We will also try to clean parking areas and other places that see high use.

III. Life Member Banquet

A banquet for life-time members is planned for 5:00 PM September 8 at the “River’s Edge” guesthouse in Spruce Creek. The intended purpose is to allow all life-time members to get better acquainted with one another and provide an opportunity for exchange of ideas. Current plans are for a catered dinner with beverages, wine and beer provided. Life-time members will be free of charge and each member can bring up to 3 guests. There will be a charge of $25 for each guest. However, each guest will, in turn, receive a one-year membership in the LJRA, a $25 value. Kathy Stout , owner of Wildscape Inc. will display her jewelry produced by case building caddis flies.
IV. Bridge Projects

There are several bridge projects that are ongoing on the River. There is good news that the Ironville Bridge has been completed and PennDot has created (at LJRA’s request) a three car gravel parking area for fishermen and boaters alongside the new bridge. Fisherman parking has been requested by LJRA for each new bridge site. There were several events during the tear-down and construction of the new bridge that resulted in contact with the Water Conservation Officer, the Blair Co. Conservation District and Penn Dot officials. Members are asked to observe the other projects as they proceed to ensure proper procedures are being followed. If large amounts of mud or sediment are observed in the water, Bill Anderson should be contacted immediately for follow-up. Bill can be reached at 814 935-8392 (cell) or 814 684-5922 (home.)

V. Electroshocking Below Barree

Kris Kuhn would like to complete a shocking project intended to extend the Class “A” designation from Barree to the lower mouth. Water above a survey can be included, but water below the last shocking cannot be included. The electro-shocking was scheduled for July 23 but the water was too warm. The current cooler weather may allow for the process as early as next week. Bill Anderson will put out an announcement as soon as he hears from Kris Kuhn.
VI. Declining Bat Population

Reports have indicated that our area has lost as much as 99% of the bat population to white nose fungus. Bats eat large amounts of insect pests like mosquitoes and gypsy moths. There is a good article about the work being done on this subject in the “Bucknell Magazine” for those interested in learning more.

VII. Didymosphenia Germinata

While we have not seen the infamous “didymo” in our local streams, it’s appearing around us. The Upper Delaware is invested and it is now reported in the Youghiogheny River. Also known as “rock snot,” the algae can cover stream beds with up to an 8″ mat and choke the life from the stream. It is generally brown, tan or yellow and may appear as fiberglass or tissue paper. It has a wet cotton feel and is not slimy. If you fish in waters suspected of having it, be very careful to treat waders and boots. Once a stream is infected, it is almost impossible to stop the spread. Readers are encouraged to visit: http://www.fish.state.pa.us/water/habitat/ans/didymo/faq_didymo.htm .

VIII. Knotweed

During our bank erosion project, Joe Boston conducted some investigation into methods to eradicate Japanese Knotweed. The River has extensive groves of this invasive species which choke all other plants from the stream side. Joe’s research indicates that this plant can be eradicated with planning and persistence. In view of this evidence, members were interested in hearing more to consider it as a project for the organization. Bill Anderson will provide locations of the infestation which Joe will have mapped and investigated by Art Gover of PSU. The goal will be for Joe to have Art help develop a strategy and estimated time and cost. Joe can present this to the LJRA at the next meeting for consideration. Anyone aware of Knotweed stands along the “j” should contact Bill.
IX. Fishing Reports

Bill Anderson indicated there are reports of slate drakes observed late at night. The drakes appeared on the River from September 8 through the 18th last year. Tricos have been sporadic.
X. Treasurer’s Report

Lee Pryor indicated that the general fund started July at $15,796.24 and ended at $16,144.55. The National Fish and Wildlife Foundation funds were $51,995 on June 22 and $49,402 on July 20. All bills for the recent stream bank erosion project completed August 1st, at Pine Croft, have now been paid (approximately $27,000 after the July 20 statement date). LJRA has no outstanding bills.
XI. Adjournment

The meeting adjourned at 8:45 PM. The next meeting is scheduled for 7:00 PM on Tuesday, September 11 at the Snyder Library in Tyrone.

Respectfully submitted,

LJRA Secretary,

Jim Litrun

December LJRA meeting minutes

LJRA Meeting Minutes for December 14, 2010

7 pm at Tyrone Public Library

The meeting was called to order at 7:00 PM by Bill Anderson. This was a regular meeting with 19 members and guests present.

Guest Speakers-
Dr. Bob Carline, Professor of Fisheries at PSU (retired) made a presentation entitled “Fishing at Spring Creek: Watershed Under Siege.” He traced the history of fishing on Spring Creek from the 1800’s until present day. It included the evolution of brook and brown trout populations, fishing pressure, water quality, fish kills, biotic integrity (IBI) and effects of urbanization. Dr. Carline compared Spring Creek with the recent surveys done on the “j”. A surprising fact is that the “j” holds more trout per mile than does Spring Creek and on average the “j” trout are larger with 10% of “j” trout over 14” versus 5% of Spring Creek trout.
Joe Boston reported on the work of the stream re-designation committee whose work is becoming increasingly important with the potential of the selling of water for gas fracking. The designation of Class A wild brown trout for the lower “j” is expected soon with the upgrade to HQCW to follow. Three more sites on the upper “j” will be targeted with the intent to get that portion upgraded as well. This will help restrict pollution, runoff and water temperature problems for the entire river.
Old Business
Penelec Erosion Project- The work completed at the Pinecroft erosion site held up well to the recent heavy rain and flooding. This was actually the fourth largest flood event ever. A survey of other needed projects on the upper “j” was conducted by member of the LJRA and eight new work sites have been identified. Work to gain funding from various sources will be underway.
b. Selling of water by Altoona Water Authority- New activity in the area due to gas drilling in the Marcellus Shale deposit is creating a demand for fracking water by drilling companies. There are substantial outstanding allocations of water (millions of gallons per day) that are currently not being used by the Authority and other businesses that could be sold for this purpose. This could lead to a dramatic decrease water volumes in the “j” that are needed during the dry warm summer months. The three largest problems facing the River in coming years are: (1) Urban runoff (2) Loss of water to sales (3) Temperature increases.
c. Sandy Run- Progress to complete the purchase of this property by the PFBC continues to proceed. They now have 6 months to exercise the purchase option. Their review of the property along with DEP has been completed and the final survey is being arranged.
d. Lower Quarry Trail- Work here has stopped and a review hearing will be held in January to assess the potential negative impact of resuming quarrying operations.
e. Public Access- The three projects are proceeding well with: (1) the Dopp’s transaction has been completed (2) Green Hills has signed an agreement for public access on all their property except the RV area and (3) The Allison’s (Cornfield hole) will be paid soon.
III. New Business- Lee Pryor submitted the treasurer’s report. The LJRA began November with $16,995 (included $10,000 grant from FEF) and after expenditures and new revenue is expected to end December with $6,129. Payment of all expenses for the Pinecroft stream bank project is complete.
Adjournment and Next Meeting The meeting adjourned at 8:50 PM. The next regularly scheduled meeting will be held at 7 PM Tuesday, January 11, 2011 at the Tyrone Public Library.

Respectfully submitted:

Jim Litrun