Acid rain is a major problem in freestone mountain streams such as Mountain Creek. The terrain has little buffering capacity resulting in increased acidity of the water, especially during Spring snowmelt runoff. This often coincides with the hatching of brook trout eggs and emergence of fry from the spawning redds. As this is the most susceptible stage of brook trout to the effects of acidification, complete reproductive failure can result. This also led to the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission discontinuing preseason stocking of Mountain Creek above Laurel Lake.
Tony Dranzo proposed the application of limestone sand, which has been successful in several projects in WV, VA, and PA, to improve the water quality of acidified streams. After CVTU’s Board of Directors approved the project, Tony went to Adams County TU and secured their partnership. District Forester Mike Kusco of Michaux State Forest and his staff provided valuable assistance and resources. Both DEP and the PA Fish and Boat Commission gave the project their blessing.
On April 20 and 21, 2004, approximately 100 tons of #10 limestone sand were deposited into two branches of the upper reaches of Mountain Creek. The limestone sand was obtained from Vulcan Materials of Hanover, PA and was transported to the site by R L Deitch Farms of Carlisle, PA, both of whom provided significant discounts.
This project is currently set-up as a three year demonstration. Additional limestone sand will be applied as required. Water quality and aquatic insect macro invertebrate samples will be taken periodically to monitor the results.