Start of trout season in Pa. turns sour

By Erika Mahoney

April 12, 2013 Updated Apr 29, 2013 at 12:41 PM EST

Franklin Forks, PA (WBNG Binghamton) Opening day for trout fishing in Pennsylvania is typically a day filled with nostalgia and excitement.

But for some residents of Franklin Forks, Saturday is surfacing suspicion and concern thanks to a green cloud that filled a portion of a local creek earlier this week.

"All week long we've had people lining up on the bridge, looking at the green water," said local resident Tammy Manning. "People have said they hope it's not polluted and they're concerned about it. Usually this is a heavily hit {fish} area. I don't know how many people will actually be fishing here tomorrow because of this."

Manning lives with her family near one of the most popular fishing spots in her area. A spot where Snake and Silver creeks converge.

"I've been fishing this particular creek for 30 years, ever since I was 15 years old," said her husband Matthew Manning.

Once viewed as purely pristine creeks, the Mannings say "polluted" is a better description now.

"The water has been green since Monday," Tammy said. "You could see a green stream running through Silver Creek and Snake Creek."

After two days of rain, though, the creeks are back to brown.

The Pennsylvania Department of Conservation believes the green color was caused by the beginning of an algae bloom.

A representative confirms the DEP tested the water Friday afternoon and sent the samples to a regional office in Harrisburg.

But the Mannings remain suspicious.

"They claim it's an algae bloom, but I've been fishing all over New York State, all over Pennsylvania," Matthew said. "I've never seen an algae bloom when the water is 40 degrees. And the day before the water did turn green, the water was crystal clear and you could almost see to the bottom of this hole. You could see the fish swimming in here and everything else. Overnight the water turns green... Something is up."

The season opens Saturday at 8 a.m. But the Mannings may be missing.

"I'm not going to fish here. I don't think my husband is planning on fishing in this swimming hole."

The Mannings say opening day for them will take a "catch-and-release" approach.