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