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Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission  Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission
Rainbow Trout Spawning at the Huntsdale Hatchery

Published by Dave Kile [dkile] on 10/17/2011 (3836 reads)
On September 30, 2011 Spring the Creek Canyon Cooperative Management Coalition unveiled a jointly managed environmental area of 1,800 acres in Benner Springs, Pennsylvania. The canyon is now jointly managed by Pennsylvania Game Commission, Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission, the state Department of Corrections, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and The Pennsylvania State University and Benner Township. Originally closed to the pubic as a part of the Department of Corrections' Rockview State Correctional Institution is now open to hikers, hunters and anglers.

For anglers this provides access to a stretch of water from the Benner Springs Hatchery downstream to the Fly Fishermen's Paradise. The new parking lot and extended trails provide easy access to these new waters for some. Actually many would sneak in although technically off limits in the past.

The new waters on Spring Creek are a great addition to some of the finest trout waters in Pennsylvania. I really enjoyed the new stretch as I felt I was a little more removed from the population of Happy Valley. Red squirrels, hawks and the canyon take you off the road and connect you a little closer to nature.

More pictures, videos and a canyon map can be found on the PFBC dedication page here. More photographs from Dave Kile have been posted on the Paflyfish Facebook fan page here.

New parking lot

Ron Kohlman of Indiana, Pennsylvania in the Spring Creek Canyon.

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Published by Dave Kile [dkile] on 02/10/2011 (2384 reads)
Public Meetings Scheduled to Receive
Comments on Draft River Management Plans

susky"The Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission (PFBC) has scheduled seven public meetings to receive comments about the agency’s draft river management plans for the Susquehanna River, the Three Rivers in Pittsburgh and the Delaware River.

At each meeting, PFBC biologists will describe the history of fish management on the particular river, identify the factors affecting the biological health of the river, prioritize the future needs relative to fisheries management, and discuss the proposed future plans. The public will then have the opportunity to provide brief comments.

The meetings are free and the public is encouraged to attend and share their comments with PFBC staff.

An executive summary of each draft river management plan will be available on the PFBC website several days in advance of the meetings. The public can view the executive summary and also submit comments online by following the links below next to each plan.

Dates, Times and Locations:

Susquehanna River -
• Feb. 12 from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m., PFBC headquarters, Harrisburg.
• Feb. 16 from 6:30 – 9 p.m., Langone Center, Forum Room, Bucknell University, Lewisburg.
Three Rivers -
• Feb. 19 from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m., Doubletree Hotel, Monroeville.
• Feb. 22 from 6 – 8 p.m., Franklin Public Library, Franklin.
• Feb. 24 from 6 – 8 p.m., Conference Rooms 301 and 302, Stover Campus Center, Waynesburg University, Waynesburg.
Delaware River -
• March 2 from 6 – 8 p.m., Northampton Community College, Room 220, Center Building, 3835 Green Pond Road, Bethlehem.
• March 3 from 6 – 8 p.m., Hampton Inn at Matamoras, Main Conference Room, 122 Westfall Town Drive, Matamoras.
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. For more information about fishing and boating in Pennsylvania, please visit our website at

photo by jakesleakywaders
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Published by David Weaver [Fishidiot] on 10/07/2010 (6177 reads)
By Dave Weaver (“Fishidiot”)
October 6, 2010

For many of us in the Pennsylvania smallmouth bass fly fishing community, the decline of the bass fishery in the lower Susquehanna River, and to a lesser degree, the lower Juniata River, has been a source of sadness, concern, and hoped for recovery. While the cause of this decline has been intensely studied by the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission (PFBC) and other agencies - and these studies smallmouthcontinue, no clear cause can yet be identified. The current studies suggest low dissolved oxygen and low, warm water may be at least partially the culprit in the failure of young bass to survive. Many frustrated anglers continue to debate different theories and possible causes among themselves (quite evident on the forums here on PaFlyFish). Another topic for debate revolves around what measures to implement to limit the decline and perhaps expedite the recovery of bass in these sections of river. Among the most common suggestions has long been implementation of catch and release regulations.

This week the PFBC led by their new Executive Director, John Arway, has announced this new catch and release policy will be put into effect at the beginning of 2011. At that point, all smallmouth bass in the Juniata River downstream of Port Royal, and in the Susquehanna downriver from Sunbury, will have to be released. Undoubtedly, this will be welcome news to many in the angling community. These sections of river have been managed under Big Bass regulations for a decade or so. Although these regulations have been embraced by many, in my opinion they may do greater damage by requiring anglers to release smaller bass and kill bigger fish. In particular, the 18” minimum size limit on smallmouths in effect during the colder months of the year is particularly worrisome to me. It’s not uncommon, especially during the pre-spawn, to see a boat at a ramp with a pair of 18” bass on a stringer.

More after the break
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Published by Dave Kile [dkile] on 08/19/2010 (1848 reads)
Executive Director Arway to speak on Marcellus Shale drilling
Are you concerned about about the environmental impacts Marcellus Shale drilling is having on Pennsylvania's aquatic resources?

Join Fish and Boat Commission Executive Director John Arway on Monday, August 23 where he will appear on the live radio call-in program Radio Smart Talk from 9 - 10 a.m.

The program will air on Harrisburg’s WITF 89.5 FM and may also be viewed and heard statewide at Listeners may submit questions via e-mail at or telephone at 800-729-7532.
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Published by Dave Kile [dkile] on 04/03/2010 (1710 reads)
flyfishingApril 3 marks the opening of trout season for fifteen counties in Southeastern Pennsylvania.

All waters in Adams, Berks, Bucks, Chester, Cumberland, Dauphin, Delaware, Franklin, Juniata, Lancaster, Lebanon, Lehigh, Montgomery, Northampton, Perry, Philadelphia, Schuylkill and York counties are open for regular trout fishing season.

All streams in this region are now open for fishing 24 hours a day, creel limits of 5 combined species and a minimum of seven inches. Different rules and regulations apply for other Special Regulation Areas. Please consult with the Summary of PA Fishing Laws and Regulations, distributed by the PFBC for details about regulations on Pennsylvania.

The regular season for the remaining counties is April 17.
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Published by Dave Kile [dkile] on 03/19/2010 (2335 reads)
Pennsylvania’s Hatchery Trout Receive Good Report Card
As the 2010 trout season opens next month, Pennsylvanians are reminded that fishing is a fantastic way to enjoy the state’s great outdoors and get some exercise with friends and family. It is also important to remember that fresh trout and other fish can be an important part of a healthy, balanced diet.

“Fish are high in protein and are a valuable source of vitamins, minerals and beneficial oils that are low in saturated fat,” notes John Arway, Executive Director of the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission (PFBC). “Trout are especially high in vitamin B-12 and omega-3 fatty acids, which improve cardiovascular health and brain development in children.”
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Published by Dave Kile [dkile] on 02/01/2010 (1408 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 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 (1903 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 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
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Published by Dave Kile [dkile] on 11/10/2009 (1270 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 (1599 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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