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Blackleggs Creek 
Watershed Association


Our History


 

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A Day to Remember!

That Wonderful Day

A picture says a thousand words! This photograph was taken in the fall of 1986 as the first shipment of trout fingerlings from the PA Fish and Boat Commission were delivered to the newly constructed Blackleggs Trout Nursery.

How it All Started

     There are many stories out there about how our group actually came into existence. Instead of trying to tell them all, we feel that this excerpt from a 1986 article that appeared in the Indiana Gazette summed it up the best. The article was written by Jim Bothell in the Outdoor Outlook section of the paper.

     The Blackleggs Trout organization, which is located two miles outside of Clarksburg, just below the Luzerne 9, mine is the first cooperative nursery in Indiana County and hopefully a step towards better trout fishing in the county.
     "The organization first began to take shape two years ago when a group of us who work at Lucerne 9 decided to put some money together and stock trout in Blacklegg Creek," Ray Grafton, recording secretary for the Blackleggs Trout Nursery organization, said.
     "There were six or seven of us who put some money together and bought trout and stocked them in Blacklegg Creek from Clarksburg downstream for about a mile and a half. We found that many of the trout lived through the winter and we decided that we may really had something."
     From that point, the organization inquired about buying fish and having them stocked in the stream.
     After contacting the Fish Commission and area Waterways Conservation Officer Jan Caveney, the group of concerned outdoorsmen found that it would be more to their benefit to raise trout from the fingerling stage, which would be provided by the Fish Commission, to maturity and stock them on their own rather than purchase mature fish.
     With some help from Caveney and a growing interest from other outdoorsmen in the possibility of raising and stocking trout, the ground work for the Blackleggs Trout Nursery was laid early this year (1986).
     In February (1986), the Blackleggs organization was incorporated by the state as a non-profit organization. Being all of 200 members strong (junior members included) the organization at that point began to push ahead toward construction of the nursery.

The Water Comes From Where?

     One of the most surprising aspects about this project is where the organization gets over half of its water supply.
     "Just about 70 percent of the water for the nursery will be what is being pumped out of the nearby mine and into our ponds. The R&P Coal Company has been a big supporter of this entire project," said Grafton. 
     "In fact, R&P made a very generous donation to help us with the construction of the nursery."

Unbelievable Generosity

     The Blackleggs organization and the entire project has received some generous donations which included the ground on which it is being built. The ground was donated by the Blaisin family, which resides in the Clarksburg area.
     So far $5,500 has been spent in construction, a figure which would be much greater if not for such local businesses as Lucerne Mine 9, Mickey's Excavating, contractor Jack Lentz, Central Cambria Drilling, Lawton Cement and David Trucking.
     Art Grguric and Grafton are quick to thank all of the people, members and nonmenbers, who have given time, material and money. The project would never have been a reality without the support it received.
     "We are especially indebted to Mike Gatski, who is the mine superintendent of Luzerne 9," said Grguric. "We owe him a lot."
     Add to the volunteers the many area children who excitedly turned out for stocking. "Our biggest support came from our wives," joked Grguric. "We just about lived here day and night for the last two weeks."

Want to Know More?
Check out the following links!

Photo Galleries

Nursery Construction     Trout     Kids Days     Newspaper Photos     Publications

Stories

Blackleggs or Blacklegs?     From Trout Club to Watershed Association 

 

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Copyright 2001 Blackleggs Creek Watershed Association
Last modified: January 15, 2001