Musky "A Frame restoration" project moving forward

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Musky "A Frame restoration" project moving forward

Postby Rusty Spinner on October 9th, 2017, 5:09 pm

Some of you know about the Trout Unlimited plan to restore about 1/3 mile of the lower Musconetcong River on WMA land between Warren Rod & Gun Club's leased (upstream) and owned (downstream) water above Bloomsbury and below Asbury. That project is moving forward as the Division wraps up its lands management review and we tweaked our design to avoid interfering with freshwater mussel habitat except in a positive way. The plan calls for the narrowing of the channel at the top of the reach and the lower third of the reach with the middle seeing some pocket water additions where we have a lot of ledgerock bottom. We won't know until the operator is working how much we can do in this limestone belt, but down lower in the reach is a consolidated bottom lacking the ledge the exists upstream.

TU chapters across NJ are helping to fund this as is an $8,000 Embrace A Stream (EAS) grant to our Central Jersey TU chapter who calls the Musky their home river and who helped me tremendously with the Point Mountain project I did while with TU or shortly after as I recall. My firm is doing this project and we got some donations of time and materials to help with the low budget. Fortunately we have plenty of other better paying clients :D

If all goes as planned, we could do this project before the March 15 - June 15 closure on that river for trout stocking. The idea is build it before they stock so more fish stick around that public, general regulations property. When leased, this water saw stone dams built regularly to try to build pool habitat, but we now know that doesn't work and is the opposite of proper river restoration techniques used today.
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Re: Musky "A Frame restoration" project moving forward

Postby Rusty Spinner on October 9th, 2017, 5:24 pm

Some photos....

One of the remaining stone dams that is now falling apart and redirecting the water towards the banks from where it should be, towards the center of the channel in this reach.
Musky A fram downstream stone dam resized.jpg
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Musky A frame 1 resized.jpg
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Below is TU's new recruit to my old position, Cole Baldino. The brown area you see in the foreground of the river is ledge and not silt or other fine bottom material. That is exposed limestone bedrock. But the dark green edge further into the river is deeper, and we would aim to deepen that another 2' as well.

Musky A frame 2 resized.jpg
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Where the Central Jersey TU project leader is standing to where I am taking his photo while looking upstream is mostly ledge, so plans call for more minimal work in areas like this. But if we can get 2 more feet of depth, the trout will be a lot better off in summer and the pool will always remain scoured with excellent edge habitat.
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Musky A frame 3 resized.jpg
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Re: Musky "A Frame restoration" project moving forward

Postby barkeater on October 10th, 2017, 7:43 pm

Looking forward to seeing the "after" pictures.
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Re: Musky "A Frame restoration" project moving forward

Postby NJpatbee on October 11th, 2017, 11:18 am

Sounds great! That is a part of the river that I have never fished but will add it to my list.
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Re: Musky "A Frame restoration" project moving forward

Postby The Royal Coachman on October 12th, 2017, 6:30 pm

I always liked that stretch of river. It's way off the road, gets stocked with a fair amount of fish, as a bonus club fish from above and below move through it and there are a few wild browns in that section. I'm sure the work will only improve on these good qualities.

Fishing pressure is not too bad and it's a bit off the radar for the fly guys. Not a lot of catch and release going on down there.
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Re: Musky "A Frame restoration" project moving forward

Postby Rusty Spinner on October 13th, 2017, 8:56 am

The Royal Coachman wrote:I always liked that stretch of river. It's way off the road, gets stocked with a fair amount of fish, as a bonus club fish from above and below move through it and there are a few wild browns in that section. I'm sure the work will only improve on these good qualities.

Fishing pressure is not too bad and it's a bit off the radar for the fly guys. Not a lot of catch and release going on down there.


Spot on. A lot of fly guys for unknown reasons only fish the upper Musky and have no clue about the lower river and what a better fishery it is down lower. And we have collectively restored about 2 full miles of open public water below Asbury over the years. Yet you will only ever see spin anglers fish those waters for the most part. This will add another 1/3 mile of open, public water restoration courtesy of Trout Unlimited for all to enjoy.
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