Valley Forge, Pennsylvania, March 14, 2009
Jin escaped to Valley Creek (again) for a few hours to terrorize the wild brown trout that populate that live in water that meanders through scenic Valley Forge National Park.

The creek is a very small body of water, not much wider than 20 feet. Short rods rule and no stick heavier than a 4-weight is needed. It originates in East Whiteland Township and flows into the Schuylkill River with the lower half of the creek having the most public access. This section flows through Valley Forge National Park where two miles of water is available for public fishing. Pull-off areas are abundant and well marked but this section is well known to most anglers and crowding can become a problem during the warmer months of the year.

Valley Creek is a small freestone stream that is catch-and-release only, with a naturally reproducing wild brown trout population. However the catch-and-release designation was earned due to serious PCB contamination from a federal rail repair yard upstream.

Valley Creek was contaminated in the 1980's by polychlorinated biphenyls (PCB), a known carcinogen. In 1987 the Paoli Rail Yards in Chester County, Pa., was an electric train repair facility owned by Amtrac and operated by the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (SEPTA). Maintenance of the trains involved use of electric equipment containing PCB's. After extensive testing it was determined that a severe PCB problem existed at the rail yard
"with soil contamination as high as three percent up to a depth of three feet." * The water runoff from the yard emptied into Valley Creek and sediments in the stream showed "PCB contamination as high as nine percent up to a depth of three feet."*

The area was designated a federal Superfund site by the Environmental Protection Agency. This forced the removal of the creek from the state's stocking list and stopped all put-and-take fishing.

Bottom line--don't even THINK of trying to eat these trout.

EQUIPMENT: Short three or four-weight rods with floating weight-forward lines.

*U.S. Environmental Protection Agency--"Mid-Atlantic Superfund: Paoli Rail Yard"