Macri's non-profit organization, The Last River and Game Keeper,
has joined the Maryland Brook Trout Alliance which is determining the strengths and weaknesses in the state's trout streams, several of which originate in Pennsylvania.
"These streams were really productive 25 years ago," Macri said. "They have been devastated."
Brook trout prefer water that is neutral-to-base and water temperatures below 68 degrees, he said. They can withstand warmer water and acidic conditions.
Isolated pockets of reproducing brook trout survive in local streams, according to Macri. Their growth is limited by stream conditions. A six-inch brook trout swimming in a degraded stream may be five years old while a 14-inch trout in a favorable habitat may be just two years old.
"There are oodles of book trout streams that are of excellent value," Heck said. "I fished (in July) one half as wide as my Tacoma and caught 25 to 30, up to six inches long, in a 100-yard stretch. It was not stocked at all. The water was 56 degrees."
If a stream can support a trout population, the Fish Commission should not stock it, he said.
"It's their responsibility to change regulations or stop stocking or repair it if can be fixed," Heck said.
The Fish Commission has designated several streams for wild brook trout enhancement, Tredinnick said. Usually the commission sets aside a small section of a stream for restricted harvest, but special regulations set aside an entire watershed for catch and release of brook trout, year-round on any tackle. The nearest is Shaffer Run and its tributaries in Tuscarora State Forest, Perry County.
The Eastern Brook Trout Joint Venture is modeled after the North American Waterfowl Management Plan, which has forged partnerships to protect and restore wetlands for breeding waterfowl since the 1980s.
The scope of the Venture is huge.
It's initial report about the reduction of trout populations is based on a model that projects where trout would have been before the European settlement of the New World.
"Nobody has delusions of going back to that," Tredinnick said. "It could be said brook trout are doing better in 2006 than in 1956."
"You have to prioritize what you can do," Macri said. "With limited funding you're not going to be able to repair or restore all the streams."