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> > Is my stream ( Limestone or Freestone ) ????

BrookymanApril 28th, 2014, 7:33 pm
Posts: 797
OK I have wanted to know this for along time now so here I go. As most know I live in the Canadian shield. The principle rocks being Limestone, granite, marble, and Iron.

What is the true definitions of a ( Freestone & limestone ) waters ???

I refer to my waters as ( freestone-limestone ) because it is made up of loose free-moving limestone rocks. Am I OK saying that ???

THX guy's

Banned for threatening another user and then trying to circumvent a kinder "soft" ban with fake accounts
WbranchApril 28th, 2014, 7:47 pm
York & Starlight PA

Posts: 2573
Well I'm pretty sure the distinction between limestone and freestone has more to do with the Ph levels than the rock substrate.

I have fished numerous spring creeks in Montana and no one ever referred to them as limestone streams although they may very well be.

Here is a link I found that gives a couple of answers;
Catskill fly fisher for fifty-five years.
JOHNWApril 28th, 2014, 8:22 pm
Chambersburg, PA

Posts: 452

I really think those phrases are apples and oranges. Limestoner is indicative of Ph and relative nutrients frequently influenced by water percolating through limestone rock. Freestoner refers to the character of the water (higher gradient, riffle pool riffle, significant seasonal flow fluctuations, and low permeability of substrate . Contrast this with tailwaters, meadow streams, chalk streams, and spring creeks each of which has it's own specific set of characteristics.

To answer your larger question I think you are fine in your description. There are several rivers/streams in my part of the world that I would describe in such a manner.
"old habits are hard to kill once you have gray in your beard" -Old Red Barn
WbranchApril 28th, 2014, 10:02 pm
York & Starlight PA

Posts: 2573
That's okay by me!
Catskill fly fisher for fifty-five years.
OldredbarnApril 28th, 2014, 11:28 pm
Novi, MI

Posts: 2599
water percolating through limestone rock. Freestoner refers to the character of the water

Limestone is limestone and freestone is river pebbles/rock etc...Limestone nutrients don't normally exist in a river like the Au Sable which could probably be called a freestoner.

Limestone is sedimentary...freestone, in the case of the Au Sable, was deposited by glaciers and is more gravel and river rock.

My two and a half cents.

"Even when my best efforts fail it's a satisfying challenge, and that, after all, is the essence of fly fishing." -Chauncy Lively

"Envy not the man who lives beside the river, but the man the river flows through." Joseph T Heywood
EntomanApril 29th, 2014, 12:49 am
Northern CA & ID

Posts: 2604
My understanding is Spring creeks flow to the surface from aquifers. Type of substrate has nothing to do with it. They tend to be low gradient and pastoral.

Freestoners drain surface waters and are more typically boulder and cobble strewn with steeper gradients.

The Au Sable is a mixture of both, though I believe mostly "spring creek" in nature. Another example of this type is the Williamson in Oregon. Many tailwaters like the Mo also have mixed characteristics.

A limestoner is a spring creek born of a limestone aquifer. Not all spring creeks are limestoners. Most out West are born of lava aquifers. If it doesn't flow through limestone it isn't a "limestoner." The same could be said for the chalksteams of England.
"It's not that I find fishing so important, it's just that I find all other endeavors of Man equally unimportant... And not nearly as much fun!" Robert Traver, Anatomy of a Fisherman
JOHNWApril 29th, 2014, 8:31 pm
Chambersburg, PA

Posts: 452
That sir is what I would call a Limestoner!
"old habits are hard to kill once you have gray in your beard" -Old Red Barn
Johnvan61June 21st, 2014, 11:09 am

Posts: 9
Call it what you want it is a beautiful thing! I grew up in New England and saw a lot of what you have shown, I lived across the street from a paper mill which is now pretty much defunct, but the damage done by damming and pollution is almost disastrous. Luckily the local TU has been working on some of these unused dams, demolishing and letting nature fix what man screwed up! Keep up the good work and I believe you are going about it right, give nature a hand then let it fix the overall problem itself.---John
"my mind is like oatmeal"
MotroutJune 22nd, 2014, 10:27 pm
Posts: 319
I always wonder what to call my Ozark streams. I think I could get away with calling them limestoners, spring creeks, or (in a few cases, anyway, like the North Fork of the White and Eleven Point) freestoners and not get too many funny looks no matter what. They are all spring-fed (and in a few cases, close to 100% spring-water) but none of them are your typical pasture setting, laminar flow, gentle things that screams "This Is a Spring Creek." Mostly, you are fishing riffles, pools, and runs, just like any old trout stream. So while they might be spring creeks, they're not spring creeks

To the extent that I care, I generally call the smaller streams spring creeks, and the larger streams spring-fed freestoners, or freestone spring creeks (take your pick.) But this is based more on what they look like than any scientific explanation.

More to the point: a rocky, pocket water stretch of the Eleven Point River is a freestone (where you fish big stonefly nymphs for broad-shouldered trout) and a glassy part of the Little Piney is a spring creek (where you fish little mayfly imitations over sometimes heavy hatches.) It works well enough from a fisherman's point of view, if not a geologist/hydrologist's.

"I don't know what fly fishing teaches us, but I think it's something we need to know."-John Gierach

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