Jensen and I are always looking for an outdoor adventure. This past weekend we headed north for something new and exciting. It was a gorgeous morning outside of Bodines, PA. My 11-year-old agreed to unplug his FORTNITE for a small fee. We met up with a few friends along Slack’s Run Road. Mike and Gavin Reed were already there as they have done this before. Jensen was immediately drawn to the impressive fish farm. The Spencer boys were here to lend a hand. We wanted to learn more about the process and get an opportunity to stock some trout.
“We have been doing this for a very long time,” Sam Caldwell of Loyalsock explained. “The Lycoming Creek Anglers Club is a small group of volunteers from the area that do a lot of good. We raise close to 11,000 trout each year. The Anglers then stock mostly Lycoming Creek and her wonderful tributaries every Saturday in May.”
I couldn’t believe the quality and size of the fish they were growing. Each tank was filled with some amazing specimens. Most of the trout were only a year old. Several were already getting close to a healthy 14 inches. Another tank had some of the trophies. Jensen spent most of his time looking into that pool. He would spot many 20-inch beautiful Browns. My son was very impressed with the 25-inch giant Golden Rainbow. It was an absolute monster kids. A new feed has increased the production immensely. It has changed the game completely.
“We have been using this BIO-OREGAN feed for two years,” Dale Shoulder of Muncy added. “This year’s crop is the nicest fish that we have ever raised. This stuff is amazing. It helps the fish grow and adds some additional color. You can really tell a major difference with these Rainbows and Browns.”
This new feed is rather expensive. The Lycoming Creek Anglers spend close to $8,500 on it each year. This is a hefty fee for this nonprofit organization. The Anglers solely rely on their memberships and donations. They do not receive any State or Local funding. Nothing from the County. Not even a little love from the Chamber. And our three Commissioners have no problems with shelling out $1.5 million to build some new ballparks. Seriously?
“We need help,” Caldwell continued. “Our memberships are down, and our expenses continue to go up. Several us who have been doing it for a long time aren’t getting any younger. We are constantly looking for new members. It is only $10 a year. $8 for kids. Right now I’d say we have 600 or so members. Our lowest total in twenty five years.”
One of their biggest events and fundraisers was unfortunately cancelled. The annual Children’s Fishing Derby was scratched because of COVID-19. Hundreds of youngsters from all over participate. Jensen and I look forward to this every year. It is an all day fishing competition with tons of wonderful prizes for each youngster. The Anglers and the derby will be back next June.
The entire nursery experienced some major flooding last Halloween. Four inches of rain in one hour caused some strife. The freakish storm played havoc with little Slacks Run. Sam and the boys had a serious problem. The farm was washed away and the Anglers lost to 2,000 fish. The organization has been in communication with DEP to make some necessary improvements and changes. Sam estimates it is going to cost the Club another $10,000 just to get the nursery back in shape.
Jensen and I both helped load up the trucks early that morning. Each large oxidized container holds approximately 500 trout. We started with the yearlings first. Then all of the fun began. Jensen and a few other kids were able to transport some bruins by net. He struggled in moving the massive trout. Both trucks headed south. Several cars followed behind. The first stop was Trout Run Park. We got out of the car and grabbed a bucket full of fish. Headed to the water and released 7 healthy fish. The caravan made another ten stops along Lycoming Creek. Jensen got a little bored after three, but it was an absolute ball. We even ventured all the way to Rock Run. I know I am heading back Saturday.
Special thanks to Sam, Dale and the rest of the Lycoming Creek Anglers. I am extremely proud to be associated with this great organization. Volunteers are tough to find these days. Please consider on becoming a member or making a donation today. Your funds can definitely make an impact on our local trout fishing. Tight lines. Cheers.1 comment