Insect inventory shows Toms Creek still at "High Quality"Friends of Toms Creek President Gary Gipe, and his 13-year-old son Gary, search a pan of Toms Creek water Thursday evening, looking for various insects living there. The Gipes live near the creek, where Greg often fishes for trout, and would like to see the stream upgraded from High Quality Cold Water Fishery to Exceptional Value CWF. (John Messeder/Gettysburg Times)
One of Adams County's two state-designated High Quality Cold Water Fisheries appears to remain virtually unchanged following a census of bugs - actually, future bugs - conducted by volunteers Thursday evening.
"We had one good (scoring area) and two fair," volunteer and Friends of Toms Creek member Wayne Belt said Friday, adding "meaning that the water quality next to Pine Hill was a rating better than 40."
He said Pine Hill, on the south side of Toms Creek above Mount Hope Road, is in the vicinity of a mine expansion planned by Specialty Granules Inc. The company mines and crushes basalt rock used for asphalt shingles and tennis court surfaces.
In 2011, a group of area residents formed Friends of Toms Creek in an effort to monitor the condition of the waterway, and possibly upgrade the creek from a High Quality to the more stringent Exceptional Value cold water fishery.
Toms Creek currently is rated High Quality upstream from the covered bridge on Jacks Mountain Road. Lower quality designators include Cold Water Fishery, and Warm Water Fishery - the latter generally applied as a stream enters lower, warmer, regions of its run. Water unsuitable as a fishery would likely be designated "impaired."
Toms Creek Needs a Friend
MARCH 31, 2015
From a recent article in the Gettysburg Times, March 2015
Recently, members of the Watershed Alliance of Adams County (WAAC) joined with members of the Friends of Tom’s Creek to launch a new stream monitoring program in the Tom’s Creek watershed. Even the aquatic ecologists and biologists who participated got excited about the specimens they were finding at the macroinvertebrate count. “There are some rare species here that I have never even seen before!” said Adam Griggs, 20 years an Aquatic Ecologist with the Interstate Commission on the Potomac River Basin (ICPRB). By collecting, looking at stream life in stereoscopes, counting the critters, and learning how to preserve samples, volunteers were provided with a fabulous peek into the life of the waters. Experts typed the “critters” that indicate the health of the stream and its capacity to support fish, especially trout. It is great news that Tom’s Creek has some of the very best indicators for quality water, our water!
It’s time for PA to reboot its commitments to Bay agreement
OCTOBER 13 2015 article in BAY JOURNAL
by Harry Campbell
As Pennsylvania’s executive and legislative branches of government are embroiled in a budget stalemate that lingers well beyond the June 30 deadline, the commonwealth remains significantly behind in its commitment to meeting its obligations for reducing water pollution in the central Pennsylvania counties that are part of the Chesapeake Bay watershed.
A promised “reboot” of pollution reduction efforts by the commonwealth has the Chesapeake Bay Foundation guardedly optimistic that water quality will rebound in the Keystone State.,,.Read more
Friends of Tom’s Creek
P.O. Box 611
Fairfield, PA 17320-0611
"The mission of Friends of Tom's Creek is to protect, preserve, enhance and restore the natural, scenic, historic and aesthetic resources within the Tom's Creek watershed."
How to Get Involved
You can help by volunteering with us, making a contribution, or by simply enjoying the pristine natural resource known as Tom's Creek.
Thank you for your support!
Potomac Riverkeeper Network
Adams County Trout Unlimited
Alliance for Aquatic Resource Monitoring
Strawberry Hill Nature Preserve
Sierra Club - Governor Pinchot Group
Historic Gettysburg - Adams County
American Battlefield Trust
Watershed Alliance of Adams County
South Mountain Partnership
Appalachian Trail Conservancy
PA Department of Conservation and Natural Resources