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HardyG

Delaware River: What the Hey?

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Gang,

 

I hit the Delaware today for a couple of hours in a stretch that has been consistently good over the years. Not a touch, unless you count a tiny sunny pecking at my senko. I found three dead smallies, one of which was a truly large fish that would have been a seasonal best. The water was very warm and there was algae growing in spots that I've never seen before. My gut feeling is all the high heat and meager rainfall has depleted the oxygen levels. I did not see a single fish break, nor were any spooked from the various downed logs that typically hold them. I hit shallow riffles, deep stretches, current breaks behind rocks etc, nothing. Lures used included spinnerbaits, jigs, rapalas and senkos.

 

I am worried about the river. Summer was usually an easy time to bag smallies.

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I get weekly reports from a friend who's been guiding the river for a decade, and he says this is some of the worst action he's ever seen.

 

 

That being said, I fished <Edit - please not so specific. Mid-river between New Hope and Frenchtown is plenty ~ Sudsy> two weeks ago on a Saturday after a bunch of thunderstorms. The rising water had the fish biting and it was lights out action.

 

 

A day later the river level was back to as if there was no rain at all.

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I fished a place that is south of the Water Gap and north of Belvidere. My next stop will be on a stretch that has more boulders than the moon. There are huge rapids that dump into a very deep stretch, and I'm gonna bring the kayak with sonar to check down deep.

 

Again, I'm worried. Something just felt wrong....the lack of fish jumping when you would ususally see a few go airborne, the algae, the dead fish etc.. Years ago that stretch was so stupid good that 50+ fish days were the norm and 100+ fish days were not uncommon. Mind you, these fish were small, but they were smallies. And they're not there any more.

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View PostGang,

 

 

I hit the Delaware today for a couple of hours in a stretch that has been consistently good over the years. Not a touch, unless you count a tiny sunny pecking at my senko. I found three dead smallies, one of which was a truly large fish that would have been a seasonal best. The water was very warm and there was algae growing in spots that I've never seen before. My gut feeling is all the high heat and meager rainfall has depleted the oxygen levels. I did not see a single fish break, nor were any spooked from the various downed logs that typically hold them. I hit shallow riffles, deep stretches, current breaks behind rocks etc, nothing. Lures used included spinnerbaits, jigs, rapalas and senkos.

 

 

I am worried about the river. Summer was usually an easy time to bag smallies.

 

To make it more unsettling it's blue-green algae, which thrives in low oxygen environments. We did a day trip mid river about two weeks ago and there were huge clumps of the slimy stuff floating by everywhere. In 20 years of going there often I've never seen anything like it.

 

 

On a positive note, the stuff makes an extremely satisfying splat when you peg your teenage son in the back of the neck with a handful cwm27.gif

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July through August in years past I would kill the smallies probably in the same area richg is talking about but I haven't been down there in over a year. We would just wade the river in mesh shorts and old shoes and then cross some islands and catch fish out of every pool. Most fish were on the smaller side but sometimes you would get a couple over 2lbs mixed in here and there. I don't even give numbers to the amounts of smallies caught because most wouldn't believe. If there was more quality fish there I would fish it every week. Maybe since this summer is soo hot September may be a great time to check it out.

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View PostTo make it more unsettling it's blue-green algae, which thrives in low oxygen environments. We did a day trip mid river about two weeks ago and there were huge clumps of the slimy stuff floating by everywhere. In 20 years of going there often I've never seen anything like it.

 

 

On a positive note, the stuff makes an extremely satisfying splat when you peg your teenage son in the back of the neck with a handful cwm27.gif

 

Sudsy are you sure it wasn't didymo algea. I have a place on the very upper stretches of the river and it has become a real concern as it sucks the oxygen out of the water and has spread like wildfire.

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Sudsy glad to hear it hasn't spread that far down river yet. It is pretty scary how fast it became an issue on the upper end of the river system. Copied the article from Penn fish and game so if others see it they know what it is

 

 

Do you know about Didymo?

 

 

Help stop Didymo before it stops your fishing, boating, swimming...

 

Photo - Tim Daley, PA DEPWhat's didymo?

 

 

It's a microscopic alga known as a diatom that's invading our rivers and streams. Didymosphenia geminata, also known as 'rock snot' or 'didymo', can smother entire stream beds with mats as thick as eight inches and can ruin just about any river or creek.

 

What does it look like?

 

Didymo can be found on rocks in moving water and is often mistaken for fiberglass or toilet tissue. Unlike most other algae, didymo feels like wet cotton and isn't slimy. It is generally brown, tan or yellow in color.

 

Where is it?

 

Didymo has been confirmed in the East and West Branches of the Delaware River (New York and Pennsylvania) as well as in the Delaware River mainstem as far south as Callicoon, New York [view map] --

 

BUT IT CAN EASILY BE SPREAD TO ALMOST ANY STREAM

 

How does it spread?

 

Unfortunately, it appears that primary carriers of didymo include fishing equipment and waders, boats, and just about anything else that has come in contact with didymo-infected water.

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I heard while in PA on vacation that the state is considering what several states have already done and effectively banning felt-sole waders to stop the spread of invasives like didymo. Anyone know if that is true, or if it works?

 

I also heard that wader-manufacturers and retailers got a compromise to allow selling out existing stock on hand.

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