2010-08-28 / Outdoors

‘Brookies’ return to lower Kettle Creek

After more than decade of work to repair damage from coal mine drainage in the lower Kettle Creek watershed, native brook trout have returned to a section of Middle Branch, a tributary to Twomile Run in northwestern Clinton County.

Trout Unlimited and the Kettle Creek Watershed Association have been working on the water quality improvement project. A recent survey found that brook trout are living in the once-biologically dead section of Middle Branch. The stream also has an increase in stonefly and caddisfly activity in this section, another sign of healthy water quality.

These discoveries are attributed to a treatment system installed to reduce the acidity of abandoned mine drainage. TU and KCWA are working on additional restoration of Twomile Run.

Brook trout populations, often used as an indicator of water quality, began to decline throughout the West Branch of the Susquehanna River basin as early agriculture, logging and mining impacted these areas.

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