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Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission  Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission
Anglers Choose Pink

Published by Dave Kile [dkile] on 02/01/2010 (1281 reads)
Stripped BassCalling the Susquehanna River “increasingly impaired,” the board of commissioners of the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission (PFBC) today called on state and federal environmental agencies to expand efforts to determine the sources of pollution which are contributing to the demise of the river’s smallmouth bass fishery.

The board’s resolution, passed at its quarterly meeting, urges the state Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to step up their investigations, saying recent data confirms a serious problem exists. Commissioners cited evidence from a two-year water quality study coordinated by the U.S. Geological Survey and partially funded by the PFBC which found stress factors such as elevated water temperature and low dissolved oxygen concentrations during the critical May through July development period for smallmouth bass. The Commission contributed $400,000 to the study in an effort to discover the causes behind the fishery’s decline.

Problems were first detected in the middle reaches of the river in 2005, when PFBC biologists found unusually high numbers of dead or distressed smallmouth bass. They later determined that the affected fish were suffering from infections related to a common soil and water bacteria Flavobacterium columnare, or Columnaris. The disease is considered a secondary infection brought on by environmental or nutritional factors that stress fish, weakening their ability to cope with the bacterial agent. The same bacterium was discovered again in 2007 and 2008.
In other action, Commissioners:

• Approved a long-term lease agreement with Erie County’s Lawrence Park Golf Club to install fish passage structures at two impediments in Fourmile Creek to facilitate the movement of steelhead upstream. The structures will be funded with grants from DEP’s Coastal Zone Management Program and the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources’ Community Conservation Partnership Program.

• Authorized staff to pursue the acquisition of a public fishing access and conservation easement on the Little Juniata River that includes approximately 1,020 linear feet on one side of the river. The site is located along Barree Road in Porter Township, Huntingdon County, and the Commission stocks this portion of the river at a location on an adjoining property.

A complete copy of the meeting schedule and the full agenda for the meeting can be found on the Commission’s web site at www.fishandboat.com/minutes.htm. The mission of the Fish and Boat Commission is to protect, conserve, and enhance the Commonwealth’s aquatic resources and provide fishing and boating opportunities.
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Published by Dave Kile [dkile] on 01/21/2010 (1759 reads)
Stripped BassThe National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the Pennsylvania Fish & Boat Commission (PFBC) are reminding anglers that a new federal law requires anglers who target or catch shad, striped bass, and river herring from the Delaware River below Trenton Falls or in the Delaware Estuary to register with the National Saltwater Angler Registry.

Anglers do not need to register if they meet one of the following exceptions:
• Are under the age of 16.
• Only fish on licensed charter, party, or guide boats.
• Hold a Highly Migratory Species Angling Permit.
• Fish commercially under a valid license.
• Possess a New York Marine Recreational License.
• Possess a Delaware Fisherman Information Network (F.I.N.) Number.

All anglers must still possess a valid state fishing license. Anglers may visit the Registry website at www.countmyfish.noaa.gov and click on the Angler Registry link or call the toll-free registration line at 1-888-MRIP-411 (1-888-674-7411). Anglers will be asked to provide their name, date of birth, address, and telephone number and will immediately receive a registration number. Anglers will receive a registration card by mail in approximately 30 days.

It is part of a national overhaul of the way NOAA collects and reports recreational fishing data. The goal of the initiative – known as the Marine Recreational Information Program, or MRIP – is to provide the most accurate information possible.

For more information, visit www.countmyfish.noaa.gov
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Published by Dave Kile [dkile] on 11/10/2009 (1154 reads)
The Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission (PFBC) is encouraging local governments, community groups and sportsman’s clubs providing fishing, boating and water safety and aquatic resource education programs to apply for funding through the agency’s Education Grant Program.

Grantees can receive up to $5,000 from the PFBC. This funding can be applied to the purchase of equipment, materials and costs associated with field trips. Applications must be postmarked by January 30, 2010.

Please visit the PFBC website for more details.
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Published by Dave Kile [davekile] on 10/16/2009 (1466 reads)
PFBC Strategic Plan for Trout Management
The Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission recently released the 2010-2014 Strategic Plan for Trout Management. The plan covers 64 pages Pennsylvania's vision, issues and strategic direction for the management of Pennsylvania's trout populations across the state.

Topics include:
• Defining trout waters
• Review of past management strategies
• Management of wild trout waters
• Goals for trout management

I wouldn’t call this a good read by any stretch of the imagination, but any angler would appreciate the detail and process the PFBC takes to manage the trout waters across Pennsylvania. I enjoyed many details about the scope and scale of the cold-water resources found in all parts of the state.

A pdf copy of the report can be downloaded here.

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Published by Dave Kile [davekile] on 09/25/2009 (1206 reads)
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The Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission has been pretty quiet over the last year with news releases. Not sure of the of the reason, but like many things I am sure the economy has something to do with it.

Here is a link to the Minutes and Agenda for the upcoming meeting October 5-6. Be sure to keep informed and provide your voice.

The one topic of strong interest to many anglers will be the removal of Delayed Harvest Artificial Lures Only Designation on Fishing Creek. Not sure there is much to say, but it would be nice to hear how to resolve this issues in the future and add back to what we have to give up.

"The Commission implemented Delayed Harvest Artificial Lures Only regulations on Fishing Creek, Section 04, beginning with the 2002 season. The project currently extends approximately 0.7 miles from the upstream Kriebel property line downstream to a point located 180 yards upstream from the Benton Borough line. Most of the riparian area along the project is a farm field that belongs to a single landowner. A new owner purchased this field in the spring of 2009 and posted it against public access. All efforts by staff, a local official and local sportsmen’s groups to change the new owner’s mind have failed." - PFBC
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Published by Dave Kile [dkile] on 09/16/2009 (1887 reads)
The PFBC will be stocking brown trout into the tributaries of Lake Erie beginning as soon as September 29, 2009. These seven inch long trout will be fin clipped for identification purposes before being stocked the next day. Planned stocking locations are Trout Run, Presque Isle Bay, Crooked Creek, Godfrey Run, and Orchard Beach Creek. All tributary stockings will be done as close to the mouths of each stream as possible as long as there is adequate water flow. If stream flow is low, the fish will be stocked directly into the lake near the stream mouth.

Lake Erie Fisheries Biologist Chuck Murray reported that, “The goal of this program is to emulate the brown trout program on Lake Ontario, but on a smaller scale. The intention of this effort is to add some diversity to the tributary fishery, create a near shore springtime fishery and enhance the offshore summer boat fishery. These brown trout stockings will supplant the surplus steelhead stocked since the elimination of the Coho program in 2003. The program was started through the gracious donation of 100,000 certified disease free eggs provided by the New York Department of Environmental Conservation. As the program evolves, the PFBC will develop self sustaining Lake Erie brown trout brood program at their hatcheries”.

Murray also added that, “This will be a cooperative venture between the PFBC and local cooperative sportsman’s nurseries. In addition to the thousands of brown trout to be stocked by the PFBC, approximately 35,000 additional brown trout were already stocked earlier this year by 3-CU and the Wesleyville Conservation Club with the assistance of the PFBC Cooperative Nursery Unit. The success of the program will be monitored through creel surveys and existing assessment programs over the next several years. Brown trout stocking will be about 50,000-100,000 annually, representing about 5-10% of the steelhead stocking levels.”
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Published by Dave Kile [davekile] on 09/08/2009 (2326 reads)
Fall Trout Stocking 2009...coming soon!
The Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission (PFBC) will begin the Fall 2009 Trout Stocking the first part of October. This summer has proven to be fairly cool and wet so the fall stocking should hopefully add to a nice hold over trout population. With this new supply of trout in the streams in Pennsylvania it may be a good chance to try some fly fishing during some of the prettiest times of the year.

The PFBC will stock about 100 streams this fall. No official numbers have been announced, but in 2007 about 47,000 trout were stocked. As reported by the PFBC, the mortality rate of the trout stocked in the fall is very high. Only about 5% of the trout stocked in the fall make it through the winter so enjoy them while you can.

Fish stocking can be fun to watch and even to help in the effort. Often there is some labor involved in moving the buckets of trout from the stocking trucks to the streams. The stocking reports provide details where and when you can meet up with the PFBC and then follow them out to designated streams to stock the trout. Local chapters of Trout Unlimited usually plan to assist in this process too.

Here is the latest Fall 2009 Stocking Schedule. Please check with the PFBC for the latest updates and changes.

Photograph by Albatross.
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Published by Dave Kile [davekile] on 08/31/2009 (1030 reads)
Pending Stream Changes in Pennsylvania
The Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission recently announced a few possible changes to stream classifications.

The Commission will consider adding Walker Run, Luzerne County, from the headwaters downstream to the mouth, to the list of Wild Trout Streams. Two surveys found wild brown trout and a Division of Environmental Services’ survey found both fingerlings and multiple year classes.

In addition, the Commission will consider removing classification for the special regulation section of Fishing Creek in Columbia County. That section of Fishing Creek is currently designated as a Delayed Harvest Artificial Lures Only section of water. It is speculated this change is due to a new landowner in the area no longer permitting access to the special regulation area along the stream.

At this time, the Commission is soliciting public input concerning the above re- designation. Persons with comments, objections or suggestions concerning the re-designation are invited to submit comments in writing to Executive Director, Fish and Boat Commission, P.O. Box 67000, Harrisburg, PA 17106-7000.

The next Commission meeting is scheduled for October 5 and 6, 2009.

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Published by Dave Kile [davekile] on 08/17/2009 (983 reads)
When the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission (PFBC) holds its quarterly business meeting in early October, the newest board member will bring to his first meeting a diverse background in government service, higher education, private sector experience and local conservation. It’s a mix G. Warren Elliott believes will benefit the agency as it develops its next five-year strategic plan.

“I have been interested in fishing and boating, conservation and protecting our natural resources for most of my adult life,” said Elliott, a resident of Chambersburg, Franklin County, who took his oath of office last month as one of the Commission’s two at-large boating representatives. “I also have a keen interest in public administration, experience I want to use to assist my fellow commissioners, the agency leaders and their employees as we craft the strategic plan.
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Published by Dave Kile [davekile] on 08/07/2009 (942 reads)
A walk in the park is free this weekend! Everyone is invited to national parks across the country for the third of three free admission summer weekends.

All 391 national parks will offer free admission this Saturday and Sunday, August 15-16. Many park partners, including tour operators, hotels, restaurants, and gift shops, will provide discounts and special promotions to sweeten the deal. Visit http://www.nps.gov/findapark/feefreeparks.htm for more information. Fees for activities such as camping, reservations, tours, or concessions are not affected by the entrance fee waiver.

“During these tough economic times, our national parks provide opportunities for affordable vacations for families,” said Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar. “I encourage everyone to take advantage of these free admittance weekends.”
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