Fishing Creek: Focusing on Waterways in Peril

If you haven’t driven to Drumore Township and visited Fishing Creek Nature Preserve, please come down and check it out. There is a beautiful 3.5-mile drive on a gravel road where we own much of the land on both sides. This road meanders through a deep gorge, following pristine Fishing Creek, and fords the creek at multiple places.

Despite its beauty, this waterway and preserve are in peril. It’s threatened by farming practices up-stream, where seeps and small streams are being used for grazing and agriculture. Mostly though, it is being threatened by members of off-roading clubs from Maryland and other areas, whose members drive in the Creek and “go mudding” in the large potholes along the gravel road.

Situations like these are challenging. PA State Police and Fish & Boat Commission officials are alarmed and trying to help, but they have very limited resources to assist with enforcement at this remote location. Donegal Trout Unlimited has been doing stream restoration at numerous sites along Fishing Creek and they keep sounding the alarm. Members of Friends of Fishing Creek, an advocacy and citizen science group, are joining our efforts, as are members of other organizations. Twice this spring, after being tipped off that off-road enthusiasts were planning group events at Fishing Creek, we activated our volunteers to monitor the area and installed cameras, all in an effort to protect this amazing, pristine stream. But intruders in large off-road vehicles still visit and the damage is disheartening. Lydia Martin, partnering with Brandon Tennis, is leading a team to work with Drumore Township to bring together organizations to better protect this stream and the beautiful woods that surround it.

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