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PFBC Adds Six Waters to the Keystone Select ...

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Published by Dave Kile [dkile] on 01/30/2017 (797 reads)
PFBC Adds Six Waters to the Keystone Select Stocked Trout Program
HARRISBURG, Pa. (Jan. 24) – Anglers will have additional opportunities to catch 14”-20” trophy trout this season after the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission (PFBC) announced today at its quarterly business meeting that it is adding six new waters to the popular Keystone Select Stocked Trout Program.

“The Keystone Select Program has proven to be a big hit with our customers,” said PFBC Executive Director John Arway. “It added an element of excitement to trout fishing and has helped establish the waters as destination fisheries, drawing anglers from all over and providing economic boosts to the local communities. Adding these new waters will make 2017 an even better fishing season.”

The six new waters include:
Berks County, Tulpehocken Creek, Section 7 (1.84 miles)
Cambria County, Chest Creek, Section 3 (1.80 miles)
Fulton County, Big Cove Creek, Section 3 (0.93 miles)
Luzerne County, Harveys Creek, Section 4 (1.70 miles)
McKean County, Kinzua Creek, Section 4 (2.29 miles)
Venango County, Oil Creek, Section 7 (1.55 miles)

The original eight waters include:
Chester County, Middle Branch White Clay Creek, Section 3 (1.67 miles)
Dauphin County, Wiconisco Creek, Section 3 (0.74 miles)
Lackawanna/Wyoming Counties, South Branch Tunkhannock Creek, Section 4 (0.99 miles)
Lawrence County, Neshannock Creek, Section 3 (2.67 miles)
Lycoming County, Loyalsock Creek, Section 5 (1.49 miles)
Potter County, First Fork Sinnemahoning Creek, Section 4 (1.67 miles)
Somerset County, Laurel Hill Creek, Section 3 (2.33 miles)
Westmoreland County, Loyalhanna Creek, Section 3 (1.67 miles)
Under the program, approximately 4,500 large trout will be distributed among the 14 waters. The trout will be stocked at a rate of 175 to 225 per mile, which is comparable to the numbers of similarly sized fish in Pennsylvania’s best wild trout waters.

The waters are regulated under Delayed Harvest Artificial Lures Only (DHALO) regulations, which provides the opportunity to catch these fish multiple times. Under DHALO regulations, waters are open to fishing year-round, but anglers can harvest trout only between June 15 and Labor Day and the trout have to be a minimum of nine inches. For the rest of the year, these waters are managed on a catch-and-release-only basis and the creel limit is zero. Tackle is limited to artificial lures and flies.

The large trout will be stocked during the preseason and in-season spring stocking periods to coincide with the period of peak angler use. Both of these stockings will include a number of these larger fish. The PFBC website or FishBoatPA app should be consulted for the actual stocking dates.

In other related PFBC agenda news:
• Approved the purchase of an easement of approximately 250 linear feet along Elk Creek in Fairview Township, Erie County, for $3,750. The easement area is located off of Luther Road across the stream from Folly’s End Campground.
• Added 99 waters to the list of wild trout streams, revised the section limits of seven waters, and removed one water. The list can be found on the PFBC website.
• Added 26 stream sections to the list of Class A wild trout streams. The list can be found on the PFBC website.
• Approved a proposal to continue stocking Section 4 of Bald Eagle Creek in Centre County, which is classified as a Class A wild trout stream. The 5.72-mile section begins in the Borough of Milesburg and extends to the inlet of Foster Joseph Sayers Lake and is extremely popular during the traditional spring stocked trout season. It also receives a significant volume of cold water from Spring Creek and therefore supports a robust wild Brown Trout population and year-round fishing opportunities for wild Brown Trout and stocked fingerlings and adult stocked Rainbow Trout.
• Approved a grant of up to $115,000 to the Doc Fritchey Chapter of Trout Unlimited for a habitat restoration project on Snitz Creek, Lebanon County. The stream suffers from bank erosion and heavy sedimentation with limited instream habitat for fish. The project will include stabilizing streambanks to reduce erosion, installing instream habitat structures to provide cover and resting areas for trout, removing invasive plant species, and installing fencing and a cattle crossing to control livestock movement in the stream.

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Here is the a rebroadcast of the PFBC Meeting.


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Published by Dave Kile [dkile] on 08/04/2016 (3719 reads)
DCNR, Fish & Boat Move to Protect Wild Trout Fishery in Sections of Penns Creek in Bald Eagle State Forest
HARRISBURG, Pa. (Aug. 4) - Moving to protect wild trout beset by high water temperatures and low stream levels, Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR) and Fish and Boat Commission (PFBC) officials temporarily have posted two sections of Penns Creek to prevent fishing and disturbance of massed fish by passersby.

“The prolonged combination of little rainfall and steadily climbing water temperatures has left wild trout massing at two locations in Bald Eagle State Forest where mountain streams are supplying needed oxygen and cooler water,” said State Forester Dan Devlin. “The goal is to prevent additional stress by limiting angling pressure and the chances of others needlessly spooking them.”

Both located in Mifflin County, not far from the Union-Centre County line, the posted areas affording trout thermal protection are along Penns Creek at the mouths of the Panther Run and Swift Run tributaries. As temperatures soared and stream levels dropped, trout have increasingly sought out these tributaries’ cooler waters.

“In an effort to gain support and protect this valuable resource we sought cooperation from the Fish and Boat Commission, and its bureaus of law enforcement and fisheries responded rapidly,” Devlin said, “clearing the way for a joint effort that will limit disturbance to fish in these areas. This limited and temporary closure is based solely on the need to provide areas of thermal refuge.”

This is not the first time the premier trout stream, harboring a unique, wild trout fishery that draws anglers from around the world, has been taxed by severe weather conditions. In 1999, trout were forced to congregate by the hundreds in coldwater tributary mouths along Penns Creek, and reports of harassment surfaced.

The Mifflin County postings, to be enforced by DCNR Rangers and PFBC Waterways Conservation Officers, will remain in effect until Penns Creek water conditions improve -- and that may take some time. The state Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) early this week issued a drought-watch declaration for 34 Pennsylvania counties, including Mifflin, Union and Centre counties. All are reporting low stream flows, declining groundwater levels and below-normal precipitation. Rainfall deficits of as much as 6.0 inches have been noted over the past 90 days.

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Published by Dave Kile [dkile] on 01/28/2016 (3670 reads)
Keystone
Trout anglers who want an experience targeting bigger fish will have the opportunity to catch 14”-20” trout in eight Keystone Select Stocked Trout Waters, a new program launching this year by the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission.

Under the new program, approximately 3,200 large trout will be distributed among the eight waters, one in each commissioner district. The trout will be stocked at a rate of up to 250 trout per mile, which is comparable to the numbers of fish of this size in Pennsylvania’s best wild trout waters.

The eight waters include:
Chester County, Middle Branch White Clay Creek, Section 3 (1.67 miles)
Dauphin County, Wiconisco Creek, Section 3 (0.74 miles)
Lackawanna/Wyoming Counties, South Branch Tunkhannock Creek, Section 4 (0.99 miles)
Lawrence County, Neshannock Creek, Section 3 (2.67 miles)
Lycoming County, Loyalsock Creek, Section 5 (1.49 miles)
Potter County, First Fork Sinnemahoning Creek, Section 4 (1.67 miles)
Somerset County, Laurel Hill Creek, Section 3 (2.33 miles)
Westmoreland County, Loyalhanna Creek, Section 3 (1.67 miles)

“We wanted to add an element of excitement to trout fishing and at the same time remind anglers that the trout season can extend into the summer,” said PFBC Executive Director John Arway. “These are the biggest stocked trout we raise, so anglers will definitely enjoy catching them.”

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Published by Dave Kile [dkile] on 10/05/2015 (2542 reads)
Every year the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission (PFBC) raise and stock over 3,000,000 trout across the state. With over a dozen state run hatcheries across Pennsylvania, hatchery managers oversee the process fertilizing, hatching and rearing of trout before they are stocked into hundreds of lakes and streams.

James Wetherill is the manager at the Huntsdale Hatchery and takes us through the process of raising rainbow trout from spawning to fingerlings.



The Huntsdale Hatchery has a visitors center with visitor hours daily, 8 a.m. - 3:30 p.m.
195 Lebo Road
Carlisle, PA 17015
Phone: (717) 486-3419
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Published by Dave Kile [dkile] on 08/04/2015 (3156 reads)
Big Trout Program
The PFBC will be implementing a new stocked trout program in 2016. We believe that this program will provide exciting new angling opportunities to anglers across Pennsylvania.
In this program, approximately 10 percent of the larger 2- to 3-year-old-trout in the PFBC hatchery system that are stocked each year will be allocated to eight waters currently managed under Delayed Harvest Artificial Lures Only regulations. These fish, which will measure from 14” to more than 20” in length, will be stocked at a rate of up to 250 trout per mile, which is comparable to the numbers of fish of this size in Pennsylvania’s best wild trout waters. By contrast, the current stocking rate for 2- to 3-year-old-trout statewide in the catchable trout program is about 5-10 per mile.

The eight streams will be distributed broadly across the state so that at least one water is located within a reasonable distance of all of Pennsylvania’s anglers.

Currently this program is unnamed, and we are seeking the public’s help in naming the program. There are a number of names that have been considered by staff, but you may have other better ideas. We ask that you either vote for one of the names below, or write in a name that you would like to propose.

PFBC staff will review all of the proposals and a name will be selected prior to the next Commission meeting on September 28 and 29, 2015. Both the program name and the names of the selected waters will be released at the September meeting. We look forward to hearing from you.

Please select one of the program names below or write in another name that you would recommend. The voting/nomination process will close on September 4, 2015.

Names include:
Premium Stocked Trout Program
Trophy Stocked Trout Program
Lunker Stocked Trout Program
Blue Ribbon Stocked Trout Program

You can vote here.
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Published by Maurice Chioda [Maurice] on 04/07/2015 (1918 reads)
Centerpins Permitted on C&R FFO Areas?

Resized ImageThis past January the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission (PFBC) Commissioners were asked to expand opportunities for anglers across the state. A New Rule Making Proposal #264 just hit the PF&BC page.

It is named the Simplification and Consolidation of Regulations.

Many of the 9 major item categories involve mundane Summary Book Changes to language, semantics on baitfish, size, lake regulations, elimination of the WBTEP program, etc. But one change in particular may be of interest to followers of this page.

#8
In § 65.14, {C&R FFO Areas} the Commission proposes that the reference to single hooks be removed to clarify that multiple hooks are permitted. The Commission also proposes that the reference to “flyline with a maximum of 18 feet in leader material or monofilament line attached” be removed to eliminate a gray area regarding center-pinning techniques, which is becoming a popular technique to fish nymphs and utilizes a much longer leader.
To eliminate confusion and having to name or describe all prohibited lures and substances, the Commission further proposes deleting the list of prohibited items in favor of naming the permitted lures and substances only.

View the whole proposal Here.

What are your thoughts on letting Centerpinning into FFO areas? This regulation change would suggests that Centerpin fishing is fly fishing. Fly fishing it the act of delivering the terminal fly using the weight of the line and leader to carry it. Centerpinning uses the weight of terminal tackle to fling the bait upstream.

The PF&BC have literally rewritten the definition of fly fishing with this one. We feel this is an unnecessary change to the Fly Fishing Only regulation and diminishes the integrity of fly fishing as a form of fishing. We clearly need to let our voices be heard. We have been encouraged to comment on this proposal so send a comment today. Please let the PFBC know you are opposed to the changes with a written letter or comment online.

...While increasing the length of the leader material to allow for Euro-nymphing is a reasonable change, eliminating Flyline from fly fishing areas is clearly a mistake and must be kept in the regulation to maintain the integrity of fly fishing.

Comment period is April 4 - May 4. Comment Here.

Letters: PFBC Executive Director John Arway, Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission, P.O. Box 67000, Harrisburg, PA 17106-7000.
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Published by Maurice Chioda [Maurice] on 03/27/2015 (1564 reads)
wildbrown


The Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission (PFBC) is currently seeking Comments for the consideration of a proposal to add 45 streams to the list of streams with Natural Reproduction of Trout. These streams were surveyed and found to have at least two year classes of wild trout. Should the proposal be adopted the additions would be added to the PA Bulletin and subsequently receive protection from encroachment by the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) through permit restrictions during the fall spawning period.
The comment period ends Monday March 30, 2015. So don't delay.
Please take a few minutes to share a comment by clicking the link.
To view the entire PDF proposal click the link here.
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Published by Dave Kile [dkile] on 03/16/2015 (1043 reads)
PFBC Rule Making Changes to Delayed Harvest Streams - Action Today
This past January the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission (PFBC) proposed significant rulemaking changes to the current Delayed Harvest Artificial Lures Only (DHALO) waters. The changes provide conditions for anglers to use bait and moved harvest period up to three weeks. More details

The full rule making proposal PDF.

In a recent poll on Paflyfish, 89% of anglers do not approve of these changes.

The PA Council of Trout Unlimited’s Position Statement offers similar sentiment on the issue:
"We believe that the old saying, “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it,” is applicable to what the Commission is proposing here. DHALO areas are most assuredly utilized by more than 2.2% of the licensed trout anglers in Pennsylvania, and therefore that same small percentage of our stocked trout waters needs to be preserved in their present form for those anglers who savor the opportunity to use lures or flies in an environment that sets them apart from bait fisherman.

While we strongly believe in encouraging more youth to become engaged in the sport of fishing, we don’t see this proposal as a means to engage our youth in learning about sound conservation measures in general, and more specifically about trout and the environment in which they live."

The proposed rulemaking changes remove angling opportunities for some the most passionate and dedicated citizens who enjoy the sport in the Commonwealth. Over 50 streams are in the DHALO program and include: West Valley Creek, Oil Creek, Neshannock Creek, Black Moshannon Creek, First Fork Sinnemahoning Creek, Pine Creek, Quittapahilla Creek, Laurel Hill Creek and Tulpehocken Creek.

If these changes are passed, fundamentally the PFBC will be removing the DHALO projects as we know them today. Your voice is very important! Please let the PFBC know you are opposed to the changes with a written letter or comment online here.

Be clear in commenting that you are opposed to the rulemaking changes with the Delayed Harvest Artificial Lures Only waters.

The official comment period is from March 14, 2015 - May 13, 2014. Contact them today.

After you contact the PFBC share your comments in the forum here.
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Published by Dave Kile [dkile] on 03/16/2015 (4908 reads)
The Pennsylvania Board of Fish and Boat (PFBC) Commissioners proposed major changes to the existing delayed-harvest-artificial-lures-only (DHALO) stream sections when they met on January 21-22. Anglers who enjoy the special regulation waters will find trout harvested earlier and be sharing these streams with some who will be able to fish live bait year round if these changes go through January 1, 2016.

First Fork Sinnemahoning CreekThe current regulations for DHALO waters provide year-round trout fishing opportunities using only flies and artificial lures such as spinners. No bait is allowed. Anglers may harvest fish between June 15 and Labor Day with a limit of three fish a day greater than 9". Less than 96 miles of water and 55 streams make up the DHALO regulations that include stream sections on West Valley Creek, Oil Creek, Neshannock Creek, Black Moshannon Creek, First Fork Sinnemahoning Creek, Pine Creek, Quittapahilla Creek, Laurel Hill Creek and Tulpehocken Creek.

The newly proposed rule changes by board members take the special regulation program in a very different direction. Changes for the DHALO move up the start of the delayed harvest period three weeks to the Saturday before Memorial Day. The daily limit would be set to three fish greater than 7". Bait fishing would be permitted during the new harvest period for all anglers. Finally, anglers 16 and younger would be able to fish with bait year-round.

The PFBC hopes to provide more opportunities for anglers and enhance the fishing experience with these changes. “By expanding the harvest period and allowing the use of bait, we can increase angler success while improving the use of the trout before they are lost to natural mortality in the warmer summer months,” said PFBC Executive Director John Arway.

Pennsylvania contains over 85,000 miles of streams and rivers. The PFBC and cooperative nurseries stock over 4,100,000 trout in approximately 735 streams and numerous lakes across the state. The DHALO projects are made up of 55 streams that on average cover about 1.6 miles of water. All DHALO streams are subsections of approved trout waters open to public fishing and stocked for all anglers in the Commonwealth.

Back in 2004 then Commissioner President Samuel M. Concilla of Erie County shared his views at a board meeting about the DHALO regulations as they are established today, "I think Delayed Harvest is one of the best programs developed by the commission. It offers a lot of angling opportunities."

Over ten years later many anglers still agree and are not in favor of the proposed changes. "The new proposal is not the right approach and I don't see how harvesting more fish sooner will make fishing a better experience on these streams" shared Ron Kolman of Indiana County, Pennsylvania.

Many of the DHALO streams contain hold-over trout during the summer and are available for another fishing opportunity by anglers in the fall. This is important to anglers with most fall stockings having been eliminated. Anglers fishing in DHALO streams with flies and artificial lures are able to catch and release a trout multiple times. Early harvesting and bait fishing clean out a project much more quickly.

"Bait fishing mortality is greater than the use of artificial lures. Even in the Delayed Harvest period, anglers with bait will likely be killing trout through their intent to catch and release further reducing the angling opportunities for those willing to abide by the original regulation," offers Maurice Chioda of York County.

In addition, Trout Unlimited worked hard with the PFBC to establish and encourage landowners to provide access for anglers to these special project waters based on the current regulations. Will these landowners still provide the same access if the regulations are changed?

Memorial Day weekend is considered by many anglers as the top weekend for fly fishing and continues for several weeks afterwards. Pennsylvania offers some of the most premier fly fishing destinations on the east coast, which includes many of these special regulation streams. Tourists travel to the state to enjoy these unique (fly fishing) waters through the late spring and summer. With limited budgets, will tourist still want to come to streams already harvested or go to other more appealing destinations in the west or north?

Thoughts and comments can be shared in the Paflyfish forum. Directing comments to state officials is even more important.

The proposed changes will be published as a notice of proposed rulemaking in the PA Bulletin for a 60-day public comment period. If adopted on a final rulemaking, the amendments would take effect on January 1, 2016.

Interested persons are encouraged to submit written comments, objections or suggestions about the proposed rulemaking to the PFBC Executive Director John Arway, Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission, P.O. Box 67000, Harrisburg, PA 17106-7000.

Anglers are encouraged to contact their Pennsylvania State Representatives. Written letters are best and Representatives can be found at the Pennsylvania House of Representatives website.


Update 3/16/2015
The comment period is now officially open for the proposed Amendments to Chapter 65.6, Title 58, Part II. The official comment period is from March 14 through May 13, 2015. I am very much opposed to this proposal, so is the Pennsylvania TU and 89% of the members on this site. Please let the PFBC know you are opposed to the changes with a letter or online here.


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Published by Dave Kile [dkile] on 11/18/2014 (1549 reads)
Who would of guessed pink would be the favorite color for the new Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission’s (PFBC) 2015 fishing license button?

2015-pink-buttonx140There were almost 5,000 votes cast online this fall, and by a significant number decided that pink was the new favorite color. I guess if the NFL can sport some pink shoes an angler show off a pink button. It turns out teal and green were in the hunt.

“Once again this year, our anglers have voted and told us what color they would like to have for the 2015 button,” said PFBC Executive Director John Arway. “With nearly 35 percent of the votes, pink was the favorite among the seven available colors.”

Buttons go on sale December 1 and are available for $5 each. They can be purchased through the PFBC's online store (The Outdoor Shop), PFBC regional offices, and through the network of license issuing agents.

More details can be found at the PFBC website.
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