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‘Resource first' for real now at PF&BC

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Personally, I like the sound of this! Clipped from the PA Outdoor News.

‘Resource first' for real now at PF&BC

Wednesday, August 1, 2007 5:21 PM EDT

By Jeff Mulhollem
Editor

Harrisburg - Adoption of a policy manual by Pennsyl-vania Fish & Boat commissioners could have been lost among the wide range of business the board handled at its quarterly meeting in mid-July, but some commissioners want to be sure it isn't.

The 47-page document is highlighted by a new mission statement that says in no uncertain terms that the agency's overriding goal is “resource first.”

“Today was an historic day for the Pennsylvania Fish & Boat Commission,” said Commis-sioner Len Lichvar, of Somerset County. “We took a slogan and turned it into a mission.”

“We mean business,” agreed new Commissioner Bob Bachman, of Lancaster County, who was participating in his first public meeting for the agency. “We are not operating a playground or parks department. We want the public to know - and we want the agency's staff to know - that we are putting the resource first."

In the 1970s, the legendary then Fish Commission Executive Director Ralph Abele first coined the motto “Resource First.” But some current commissioners believe the ethic was largely an unfulfilled promise that has been abandoned over the years in the commission's blind scramble to raise and stock more and more trout.

“Don't misunderstand,“ stressed Commissioner Bill Worobec, of Lycoming County. “We believe that trout-stocking serves a worthwhile purpose for the anglers of Pennsylvania and the Fish & Boat Commis-sion. “But we spend a lot of money on raising millions of fish every year, and putting them places we shouldn't be.

“Stocking has become an end unto itself.”

This was the first Fish & Boat Commission meeting in years that the board's 10-member complement was filled. One of the two latest appointees, Bachman, has no doubt about the commission's appropriate role.

“We must get back to our historical resource-first ethic,” he said. ‘The Fish & Boat Commission is a resource-management agency, and we have a legal mandate to protect, preserve and enhance the aquatic resources of the state.

“We cannot and will not manage our aquatic resources by consensus.”

In recent years, according to the agency's previous mission statement, providing fishing and boating opportunities came before the good of the state's aquatic resources. The actions taken at the recent meeting signal a significant shift in the board's philosophy, commissioners said.

Worobec explained that new commissioners intend to bring science back to the forefront of Fish & Boat Commission decision-making and empower the agency's scientific staff to do their jobs.

“Certainly it is our hope that this will allow the competent staff we have to go out and do their jobs without having them look over their shoulder,” he said. “We are telling them what we want and what we expect.”

In perhaps the first action spurred by the agency's new resource-first ethic, the commissioners directed staff at the meeting to undertake a complete a review of the commission's trout-stocking program.


http://www.paoutdoornews.com/articles/2007/08/02/news/news1.txt

Posted on: 2007/8/3 12:04


Re: ‘Resource first' for real now at PF&BC

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SUPER

Posted on: 2007/8/3 12:59


Re: ‘Resource first' for real now at PF&BC

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WAHOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Posted on: 2007/8/3 13:05


Re: ‘Resource first' for real now at PF&BC

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Dear vc,

Ever heard the expression, "the check is in the mail?"

Regards,
Tim Murphy

Posted on: 2007/8/3 13:19


Re: ‘Resource first' for real now at PF&BC

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I'm cautiously excited.

Posted on: 2007/8/3 13:29


Re: ‘Resource first' for real now at PF&BC

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Ah, come on, Tim! Why ya gotta keep it so real? Gotta admit though, that I hear ya loud and clear. But I would like to think that this new crop of commissioners will hold the agency's feet to the fire...and will keep their word. Time will tell since it ain't gonna happen overnight, but this is certainly a positive development for those who would like to see the resource put first.

Posted on: 2007/8/3 13:42


Re: ‘Resource first' for real now at PF&BC

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Dear vc,

I sitting here waiting to get my septic system fixed so I'm in a foul mood. Besides, I'm genetically predisposed to be cynical.

Like you, I do hope they really mean what they say and I am willing to give them time to accomplish their goal of changing the mode of operation of the F&BC.

A few positive steps per year will be enough for me. I'd like to see them address the demise of the lower Susquehanna River in addition to the trout fishing in the State but that will be no mean feat.

Regards,
Tim Murphy

Posted on: 2007/8/3 13:52


Re: ‘Resource first' for real now at PF&BC

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Quote:

OhioOutdoorsman wrote:
I'm cautiously excited.


My sentiments exactly!

It's difficult to make predictions, especially about the future. But here goes anyway.

There is now a majority of the Commissioners who are interested in taking steps to improve wild trout populations. They "mean business", as the quote said.

And it sounds like they intend to start shift stocking of hatchery trout away from good wild trout waters, and more towards waters that can't support good wild trout populations. And I approve of that.

But here's what I think will be the response to that. A lot of people are going to be opposed to that. Particularly residents and camp owners in rural counties. They will contact their legislators and these legislators will have a big confrontation with the PFBC.

I predict that the fur will really fly, that it will be down and dirty. Some legislators have threatened to ELIMINATE the PFBC in the past. Just get rid of it. Fold it into the DCNR.

I predict you will hear this again, and soon. Or they may keep it behind close doors, have a "Sit Down" as they say in the gangster movies, and the legislators will say "Let me make you an offer you can't refuse. Do it our way and your agency will continue to exist. Do it your way and"......(makes slitting motion across throat with finger.)

How this all will play out, no one can tell, but we should get ready. Everyone who is not a member of TU now should join up. There is strength in numbers. And when the time comes, you may hear a call to contact your legislator, and then it will be important for everyone who cares about such things to DO IT, to be a citizen.

Posted on: 2007/8/3 15:34


Re: ‘Resource first' for real now at PF&BC

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Well, now it is also every PA anglers responsibility to identify instances that our PFBC is not keeping to this policy.

Such as stocking over class A waters. Based on this policy....it should not be done and if it is, "we" need to tell the commissioners about it. If they don't hear from "us" they can't make the necessary changes....they are under staffed don't forget and could definitely us the help.

Time to step it up a notch!!!

Posted on: 2007/8/3 15:38


Re: ‘Resource first' for real now at PF&BC

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Speaking of stocking over wild trout, I recently went to a stream section that has not been stocked for years and has a recovering wild brook trout population. Well some of those hatchery hogs that were "Found" last month ended up in this water. I went there to fish for brookies and all I could catch were hatchery hogs, it was very discouraging.

Posted on: 2007/8/3 17:11
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It's time to stop stocking all wild trout streams no matter what Classification they are, and time to eradicate brown trout in some of our limestone streams and re-establish brookies in them.


Re: ‘Resource first' for real now at PF&BC
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Quote:

troutbert wrote:

... How this all will play out, no one can tell, but we should get ready. Everyone who is not a member of TU now should join up. ...


I think this is terrific news about a shift in policy toward the resource over recreation, but I'm skeptical regarding how everyone joining TU is going to be of any assistance. There are a good number of TU members who will not be happy if this shift results in less stocking in certain waters, curtailment of cooperative nursery assistance, or limitations on where the cooperative fish are allowed to be stocked. If joining a local TU Chapter will advance the resource first policy emphasis, by all means do so, but do not ignore the big "if."

Posted on: 2007/8/3 17:40
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I don't like scrambled eggs, and I'm glad I don't, because if I liked them, I'd eat them, and I just hate them. --Hank


Re: ‘Resource first' for real now at PF&BC

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Dear Board,

At the risk of alienating myself from some of you I would like for you to please keep in mind that resource first means resource first and not trout first.

I agree with the sentiment that stocking over wild trout is bad though I have never seen a truly convincing argument that proves that point. I'll rightfully concede that the F&BC should leave God and Nature to their own devices on class A streams if just one or two of you will admit that there are other fish worth pursuing with the fly rod that warrant our concern.

There still is a broader constituency to serve here and despite the proclaimation of the new commisioner's that is ringing in your ears that doesn't mean that warm water fish and the plebians who stoop to fish for them should be shortchanged in the process.

I'll speak only for myself here and say that I will get truly indignant about wild trout streams when I get the feeling that what was once perhaps the best "wild" smallmouth stream in the country is receiving it's just due.

I don't give a ratazz that smallmouth aren't native to the Susquehanna, I'll bet that when we get down to brass tacks there aren't two people who have ever posted on this message board that are truly native Pennsylvanian's.

I don't want to see something get the short end of the stick in our collective zeal to fill every ditch with 8, 10, and even sometimes when the Planets align properly and God give's his good graces, 12 inch brook trout.

Regards,
Tim Murphy

Posted on: 2007/8/3 23:23


Re: ‘Resource first' for real now at PF&BC

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The term "New commissioners" will never go away. Like they said "Resource first" comes from back in the 70's. Then we had "Limit your kill, dont kill your limit". Then we had "Bigger and better". Plus probably some I forget. And now its "Resource first" again. What happens with the next round of commissioners?
How does "Back to the buckets" sound?
I have to admit, I'm cynical as well after this years popping of the ballon on 1st day, but then no party to follow. When its like this I believe Farmer Dave has a point about just letting people fish in the hatcheries.
Tim, I cant imagine anyone arguing your point about the Susky. Every single person I know thats fished it for 10 yrs or so say pretty much the same thing. Something is wrong and the bass are indicating just that.

Posted on: 2007/8/4 10:33
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Re: ‘Resource first' for real now at PF&BC

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Well, it seems this could mean a number of different things. It all depends on "where trout don't belong". Most on this board will hopefully assume that this means that the PFBC will not stock where there is a sustainable wild trout fishery. However, it could also mean that stocking will only be done on streams that are actually able to support holdover trout and not just for the first two months after spring stocking.....which could mean more stocking over wild populations.

So it may mean better wild trout fishing.....MAYBE. But the average trout fisherman will probably find that they have fewer big fish to catch and fewer places to fish.

Right now, I see stocking as the only incentive the PFBC has to give landowners to keep their waters open to fishing. So the access issue looms even larger, IMHO.

Again, I'm cautiously optomistic.

Posted on: 2007/8/4 13:41


Re: ‘Resource first' for real now at PF&BC

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"Leroy Young named as new Director of Fisheries"

Might this appointment have a bearing on implementing a Wild Trout Program?

If my memory serves me correctly, was not the previous Director chastised - rather severely - by members of this and other forums for being an advocate of stocking over wild populations of trout?

Posted on: 2007/8/4 17:27



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