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Monday, December 26, 2011

There's an App for that....

Do you find yourself wondering about the USGS data for your favorite stream when you are away from your computer?  Check out the "Stream Flow" app for the iPod Touch/iPhone.  It gives you an on the go link to USGS data , right on your phone or iPod, and best of all it's free!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

2012 Program Guide

Check the Articles page for the 2012 Program Schedule.  All programs are free and open to the public.  Meetings are held the 4th Tuesday of the month.  Watch future posts for more details.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Fly Fishing is a Joke

Check out the Articles page for a great new video, "Fly Fishing is a Joke", that seeks to answer the question of why we fish.

Monday, December 12, 2011

NO Monocacy TU meeting in December

Enjoy the Holiday's, we'll resume the meeting schedule in January.

Hokendaqua TU Meeting 12/21/11

The Hokendaqua TU Chapter will have Phil Hublitz presenting  the years review of Project Healing Waters events conducted by our chapter.  The presentation will on 12/21/11 at the Catasauqua High Schoo, room C219.  The time is 6:30pm.

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Wednesday, December 7, 2011

New Euro Nymphing Article Link

With all the high water this year, its hard to find a time when the fish are "looking up".   "Euro" nymphing may be a technique to try when the fish are stuck to the bottom.  Check the articles page for a link to a publication outlining the gear, flies and techniques for four of the popular forms of this style.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Underwater observations

Check the Articles page for a link to a Field and Stream article about how trout react to different nymph presentations.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Archibald Johnson Stream Clean up

The following clean up was not TU sponsored event, but we appreciate the efforts of anyone willing to improve our watershed.
On November 19th, a group of about 12 people gathered to try and clean up an area of the Monocacy creek that runs through Archibald Johnson Conservation Area.  The focus was on an area downstream, (west) of Christian Springs Rd.  (Click read more link below map for the full article).

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Summer 2011 USGS gauge readings

The USGS graph below show 120 days of gauge readings at Illick's Mill park.  The yellow triangles at the bottom of the graph shows what the average flow should be, and as you can see we haven't been close to that all summer.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Novemeber 22nd meeting and program

In the spirit of Thanksgiving, this months program focused on the use of turkey feathers in fly patterns.  Several members brought some tying supplies and a pattern to share, and all three took turns demonstrating the tying steps to make those patterns.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Monocacy Chapter of TU Meeting, Tuesday November 22nd

Tying with Turkey!! Bring your vise, and your favorite turkey pattern and share it with the crowd. Don't want to transport your whole tying desk? We'll provide some basic tools and materials that you can use to show off that killer gobbler pattern. If your not into turkey feathers, bring your favorite local pattern to share. Open to anyone who would like to tie or just watch.  Meeting starts @ 7pm, at the Daughters of the American Revolution House, which is located on the 8th Ave side of Rose Garden Park, Bethlehem, PA.

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Monday, November 14, 2011

Monocacy Creek Watershed Association Seeks to re-organize

The MCWA will hold an informational/ interest meeting at 6pm Nov. 22nd, just before the Monocacy Chapter Monthly meeting. Click the Read more link to view the agenda, also a link to the MCWA website is on our resources page.

New Link added on Articles Page

Check out the Articles page for directions on how to view 1999 Watershed Conservation Plan done by the Wildlands Conservancy. LINK to page

Friday, November 11, 2011

New page added!

Check out the new "Projects" page for a list of past projects done on the Monocacy creek. Link

Thursday, November 10, 2011

New article on small dam removal in PA

Check out the Articles tab for a link to a PFBC presentation on small dam removal. Link

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Housenick Memorial Park Nature walk 11/5/11

Johnson Estate House
On a banner weather day, a dozen people from local organizations ranging from Monocacy TU to the Sierra Club, gathered for a guided nature walk of the Housenick Memorial Park.  It was a fantastic overview of an amazing property.  Click the Read More link for an overview of the day.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Housenick Memorial Park Nature Walks

These walks will be taking place at the Johnson Estate this Saturday and Sunday (11/5 and 11/6).  As you know from the posts below, this property is involved in a bit of controversy concerning the fate of the house and some of the surrounding property.  This is a great chance to check out what this new park is all about.  Please see below for more details.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Rep. Hahn (R) proposes repeal of riparian buffer

Rep. Marcia Hahn (R) from Nazareth has issued a letter of intent to introduce legislation repealing the 150' riparian buffer zone from PA streams.  Please see the attached letter.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Trout Unlimited Calls on Gov. Corbett to Tighten Marcellus Shale Environmental Standards

Trout Unlimited Calls on Gov. Corbett to Tighten Marcellus Shale Environmental Standards and Dedicate Portion of Fee Revenue to Conservation

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Contact: Erin Mooney, National Press Secretary: (571) 331-7970
Trout Unlimited Calls on Gov. corbett to Tighten Marcellus Shale Environmental Standards and Dedicate Portion of Fee Revenue to Conservation
"Gov. Corbett's Marcellus Shale plan announced yesterday is a step in the right direction towards improving existing environmental standards related to Marcellus Shale development, but these measures, including the allocation of funding from an impact fee, must be greatly strengthened to adequately protect Pennsylvania's natural resources," said Katy Dunlap, Trout Unlimited's (TU) Eastern Water Project Director.
Echoing the state's Marcellus Shale Advisory Commission recommendation, Gov. Corbett called for extending the distance between a gas well and surface water from 100 feet to 300 feet. While an improvement, the 300-foot distance must be measured from the edge of the well pad - as opposed to the well bore - to provide a reasonable buffer between drilling activities and water resources. The Governor's plan did not make this distinction. Additionally, for high quality, exceptional value streams and other important trout waters, TU calls for even greater setbacks from well pads - to be determined on a site-specific basis - to assure that coldwater resources are protected from possible pollution incidents.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Enviornmental Council Focuses On Monocacy Floods

Environmental Council Focuses on Monocacy Floods

Trees and shrubs along the creek can help lower the risk of banks overflowing.
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Bethlehem’s Environmental Advisory Council sees the recent flooding along the Monocacy Creek as an opportunity.
“It’s time for intercommunity cooperation,” said Jack Abel, EAC member and former chair of the Bethlehem Planning Commission.
In the past month, the Monocacy has flooded the Colonial Industrial Quarter of the Historic Bethlehem Partnership five times, the EAC noted. And on Sept. 28, way upstream, the Monocacy overflowed and filled downtown Bath with water 2 feet deep for the first time anyone could remember.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Monocacy Creek needs YOUR help!!!

Please read the following information provided by Vicky Bastidas regarding a new threat to the stream and the Archibald Johnson Estate and house.  Please consider attending any Township meetings or contacting your local representatives to voice your opinion.

For all of you who are not familiar with this Estate, it is 88 acres that surrounds Monocacy Creek nestled between Nazareth Pike (rte 191), Christian Springs Road and Santee Mill Road in Bethlehem Township, PA. 

This estate, with its 10,000sf mansion was the summer home of the first Mayor of Bethlehem, former President of Bethlehem Steel Co.,and Lehigh Engineer graduate, Archibald Johnston. It was left to the Township  by his daughter Janet Johnston Housenick with the stipulation that it be used for passive recreation. Janet also left a $2,000,000.00 endowment with the property for preservation, conservation, education and research of the estate.  

The site with its upland deciduous forest, meadows, orchard, farmland, wetlands, riparian buffer zone, seeps, springs, ponds and the Monocacy Creek is a beautiful part of the Greenway, and offers an amazing amount of educational and service learning opportunities including, but not limited to: environmental studies, green energy retrofitting of the building, environmental and civil engineering studies on storm water management and plenty of invasive species clean-up to keep your hands dirty! 

This property needs your help! Please see attached news article. 

Please Come to the Bethlehem Township Board of Commissioners Meeting October 3, 2011 at 7:00pm  4225 Easton Avenue, Bethlehem Township PA to show your support! The use will be discused

The second threat to this property is the planned construction of 420 rental apartments and retail space on the adjacent property owned by the Central Moravian Church. This project will in essence make the park an island, decreasing habitat and greenway space and worsen the already substantial flooding and pollution of the Monocacy Creek. The Bethlehem Township Planning Commission meets on Monday, October 3, 2011 at 7 pm at the Township Municipal Building on Easton Ave. The Zoning Board meets on the last Wednesday of the month, that means tomorrow! Please attend. This development backs up to not only the park, but the Monocacy Creek. It is currently zoned rural residential with one house per acre, but may not be for long if no one speaks up to protect it!

There are few times when we have the ability to act and make a difference. This is one of those times! Please come out to the Estate and walk the grounds if only to enjoy this hidden treasure. I will be available to give you a short history and any additional information that you may want. 

The Estate is currently open to the public from dawn to dusk. 
From center of Bethlehem
Take Rte 191 Nazareth Pike  North
Left on Christian Springs Road
Left at 1st  driveway
Follow to end park in designated area.

Thank you all!
Vicky Bastidas

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Sportsmen Alliance for Marcellus Conservation

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Please join the Sportsmen Alliance for Marcellus Conservation (Sportsmen Alliance) for a day of meetings in Harrisburg to tell your legislators about the importance of preserving the commonwealth's sporting heritage—and fish, wildlife and water—as Marcellus Shale gas is developed.  The Sportsmen Alliance is an affiliation of sportsmen and women and conservation organizations working together across northern Appalachia to identify and mitigate the impacts of Marcellus Shale gas drilling on hunting, fishing, trapping and other outdoor sporting activities.


Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Monocacy Chapter of TU Meeting and Program for May

Fishing the evening hatch at Monocacy Creek. We'll meet in the main parking lot of Monocacy Park, along Illick's Mill Road, Bethlehem at 5:30pm May 24th and fish until dark:30. Bring your gear, and your friends, and join your fellow members for an evening of recreation and enjoyment, to again remind ourselves what a gem we have in this superb little limestone stream, right here in the heart of the urban Lehigh Valley.

As always, meetings are open to the public, and you're welcome, and encouraged, to come down and see one of the sides of Trout Unlimited, and to perhaps understand a little better what we seek to encourage. This is not a fly fishing event, and we'll be happy to host any and all anglers, and even if you've never fished and just want to get a better understanding of angling, or a particular method or style.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Monocacy Chapter of TU annual stream clean up.

Saturday April 23rd, 8:30am, we will meet in the Monocacy Park parking lot off Illick's Mill Road in Bethlehem for a clean up along Monocacy Creek.

The clean up begins at 9am, and we encourage you to bring gloves and boots, or better yet hip boots and waders. The Monocacy Chapter of TU will provide coffee and doughnuts.

As with all of our events, this is an open attendance to the public. We, of course, welcome any and all volunteers to come down and assist with us cleaning up the trash through the park and along the stream.

Friday, March 18, 2011

9th Annual Spring Event!

This coming Saturday is the 9th annual Spring Event sponsered by the combined Lehigh Valley chapters of Trout Unlimited.

This year, the guest speaker will be Michael McAuliffe�, presenting his Twelve Months Fishing Our Freestone Streams. Michael, of Rise Form Studio, and his professional fly tying partner John Collins, have completed extensive research on the upper South Branch of the Raritan River, New Jersey. Michael has presented this lecture previously to audiences at the 2010 Fly Fishing Show in Somerset, NJ, but it has been since updated with new information.

The Spring Event will be hosted by the Stockertown Rod and Gun Club. The doors for this even open at 9am, and Michael's presentation will begin at 10am. Please join us with free admission, a continental breakfast, and a fantastic raffle to benefit the TU chapters of the Lehigh Valley.

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Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Monocacy Chapter of TU Meeting and Program for March

March 22 - Program - Early Season on the Monocacy Creek - presented by Jeff Shafer - Monocacy TU Chapter board member...Jeff will present a brief slide show on fishing the Monocacy in late March. This will be followed by a fly tying session with several chapter members tying their favorite early season pattern.

Saturday, March 26 - The 9th Annual Spring Event sponsored by the Lehigh Valley Chapters of Trout Unlimited...presents Michael McAuliffe  - 12 months Fishing our Freestone Streams...Michael of Rise Form Studio and his professional fly tying partner, John Collins, have completed extensive research and sampling on the upper South Branch of the Raritan River, NJ. This lecture was presented at the 2010 Fly Fishing Show in Somerset, NJ and has been updated since. Doors open at 9:00 a.m....program starts at 10:00 a.m...Stockertown Rod and Gun admission, continental breakfast...Super Raffle!

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Fracking Report

Originally posted in the IEEE Spectrum

POSTED BY: Bill Sweet  /  Tue, March 01, 2011
A major investigative report published by The New York Times this last Sunday, February 27, identified important environmental hazards in natural gas fracking that previously have received little or no attention. Easily the most eye-catching is the disclosure that waste water from natural gas drilling wells sometimes contains levels of radioactivity that far exceed Federal drinking water standards. But that is not the only significant concern to be aired.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Monocacy Chapter of TU Meeting and Program for February

Program - Clearwater Lodge - Alaska 2010 - presented by Tony Ballato - Candlewood CT  TU Chapter...Tony and friends have fished Alaska several times, including the Kvichak River in the Lake Illiamna region of Bristol Bay. Tony will discuss the pursuit of large rainbows during a 2006 trip and a 2010 trip that focused on Sockeye, Chum and early season Silver Salmon�.

Our meetings are held at the Daughters of the American Revolution House, along 8th Avenue, Bethlehem PA. Our meetings start at 7pm, and meetings are free and open to the public.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

January 25 meeting and presentation.

This month's meeting featured a program from the members of the Hokendauqua Chapter of TU. A discussion and presentation of images and stories from a trip west to Montana, detailing some of the trials, planning, and successes.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Terminal tackle, continued...Leaders.

Part two of our foray into terminal tackle brings us to the construction of a tapered, knotted, leader. In our first part, we discussed some of the plusses and minuses of materials available for use, and the general reasoning behind why one might make some of these choices.

In this part, we'll go into the discussion of what composes a tapered leader (versus a furled leader, which we'll address in the future), and the means in which we assemble one.

Read more.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Little Lehigh C&RFFO...Now with wading.

The PFBC has removed the no wading restriction at the former Heritage Trout Angling along Fish Hatchery Road.

As of January 1, 2011 the wading restrictions at Section 8 of the Little Lehigh Creek in Lehigh County have been lifted, permitting anglers to wade this section of stream.


Monocacy Chapter of TU Meeting and Program for January

 Program - Montana Trout - presented by Dale Ott - Hokendauqua TU Chapter...Join Dale, along with fellow chapter member, Dale Steventon and another angler as they spend nearly two weeks last summer trout fishing in Montana. Valuable info for any one planning a western trout fishing experience. �

Our meetings are held at the Daughters of the American Revolution House, along 8th Avenue, Bethlehem PA. Our meetings start at 7pm, and meetings are free and open to the public.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

On terminal tackle in fly fishing.

One of our members has a series of informational articles composed, and we will begin presenting them on a regular basis.  The lead-in set is on the layout and construction of a leader and tippet, the link between the fly line and the final piece, the fly itself.

Your arm provides energy for the casting stroke, which in turn is harnessed and stored by the rod. As a rod's energy is then transferred through the heavier fly line, it rolls forth and due to the taper of the line dissipates as it propels its payload, the fly towards the target. The leader is the final piece, where the fly line has tapered to its end, and the monofilament leader will begin to bleed off the final energy, turn over and present the fly. A well constructed leader, with tippet, will turn over just right, providing a skillful caster with a fly placed to target, with the appropriate amount of slack to assist in the drift.

Ergo, construction of the leader and understanding its components is of vital understanding in both the art and science of fly casting, and fishing.

Part one, Materials, after the jump...

Friday, January 7, 2011

Trout Unlimited action item: Protect PA Forest Lands from Further Gas Development

Pennsylvania's forest lands are home to sensitive trout spawning headwater streams, more than 2,500 miles of trails, and a variety of wildlife species from ruffed grouse to black bears. State forest lands provide significant opportunities to hunt and fish, from easily accessible hunting and fishing spots to more remote wilderness locations.

Pennsylvania's state forests play an important role in the economy, generating jobs and billions of dollars in revenue from the sustainable forest products industry and outdoor tourism. And Pennsylvania is home to the largest tract of certified forest in North America, meeting or exceeding the international gold standard for environmentally responsible stewardship.

Currently, 700,000 acres -- or one-third -- of Pennsylvania's 2.1 million acre state forest are available for natural gas extraction. In May 2010, PA's Department of Conservation and Natural Resource conducted an analysis that concluded that no additional leasing of state forest lands can occur without significantly altering the ecological integrity and wild character of the state's forest system. Toward the end of his term, Governor Rendell took a stand to protect the state's valuable forest assets by issuing an executive order banning further gas development on state lands.

Protecting Pennsylvania's remaining state forest land from further gas development is critical to ensuring the same recreational and economic opportunities for future generations. That's why it is imperative that you act today to tell Governor-elect Corbett to protect Pennsylvania's state forest legacy from further gas development.

(more after the jump)