Lucky Run

Lucky Run, a tributary of Keyser Creek in the Lackawanna River watershed, is a 2.4 mile stream designated as a coldwater fishery with naturally reproducing trout from its headwaters to its mouth. The headwaters of Lucky Run are located on Bald Mountain in Ransom Township. From there, the stream flows through McDade Park in Scranton and into Taylor where it meets with Keyser Creek.

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Lucky Run as it flows through McDade Park. The Lackawanna Coal Mine Tour can be seen in the background.

While assessing this stream, we discovered that although Lucky Run has had recent improvements to the section flowing through McDade Park, the upper portion of the watershed would benefit from restoration work.

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Elizabeth Rosser measuring road crossing height on the I-476 culvert on Lucky Run.

Portions of the stream above I-476 are heavily channelized due to flow losses from historic coal mining. Research shows that flow loss was discovered in the 1940’s with channelization occurring in the 1970’s. At the time, this channelization was helpful in reducing flow loss and allowed Lucky Run to remain on the surface and maintain perennial flow. However, over time channelization has failed, with large sections of material collapsing, causing water to flow underneath and around pieces, impeding fish passage and most likely causing flow loss. Additionally, there is evidence that large pieces of material are breaking off and causing blockages, sedimentation, and erosion downstream.

Although our first assessment only included a small portion of the creek, it is clear that Lucky Run is a prime candidate for future in-depth assessment and restoration work. We will continue to assess this watershed and update our findings! The photos below show degraded portions of the creek.

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Channelization on Lucky Run above I-476. The left channel is the main stem of Lucky Run. We believe the right section is for runoff and has no perennial flow.

 

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Downstream erosion and debris blockages on Lucky Run.

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Large pieces of material breaking off impedes fish passage as well as causing blockages and erosion.

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In addition to the main stem being channelized, these 2 channels capture excess runoff and direct it into Lucky Run.

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A closer look at failed channelization.

 

Resources:

https://archive.org/stream/reclaimingstripm00andr/reclaimingstripm00andr_djvu.txt

http://www.docs.dcnr.pa.gov/cs/groups/public/documents/document/DCNR_001596.pdf

https://efc.umd.edu/assets/2013_scranton_nfwf_report_final.pdf

http://pfbc.maps.arcgis.com/apps/webappviewer/index.html?id=65a89f6592234019bdc5f095eaf5c6ac

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lucky_Run