Staff member
Dec 13, 2021


HARRISBURG, Pa. (December 28) – The Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission (PFBC) will conduct a meeting of the Fisheries and Hatcheries Committee on Wednesday, January 4, 2023, beginning at 10 a.m. This meeting will be held online with committee members participating remotely.
Because this meeting is being held in a virtual format, the process for accepting public comment will be different than an in-person gathering. Public comments pertaining to the agenda can be submitted by calling (717) 705-7846 beginning on Thursday, December 29 at 8:00 a.m. until Friday, December 30 at 12:00 p.m. Recorded comments will be limited to 5 minutes and will be presented to committee members prior to the meeting.
This meeting may be viewed remotely by joining the webinar from your internet browser using this link: In A New Window
If prompted, please enter the following information:
Webinar number (access code): 2632 145 1277
Webinar password: public (782542 from phones)
Media Contact:

Mike Parker
Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission
(717) 585-3076
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How are they going to give a progress update??!?!?They haven’t put forth the resources to inventory our brook trout and have no capacity to provide accurate Uptodate estimates

All the resources are going into hatcheries, they even pulled biologists and state ichthyologists off duty to stock during the pandemic. Some of these stream surveys still say allopatric in streams with little to no brook trout and all brown trout. How can one report on how the trout management plan is progressing if your just talking about what you have done with no up to date/accurate inventory of native brook trout(the outcome)??
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There are 34 identified issues in the plan and 114 strategies of varying complexities to address those issues, so I imagine some will have been addressed before others.
There are 34 identified issues in the plan and 114 strategies of varying complexities to address those issues, so I imagine some will have been addressed before others.
Thats my point I get that inventorying state wild brook trout is much more complex than doing a certain number of culvert removals or habitat projects . Thats not lost on me. But out of the 34 issues alot are related to stocked trout fishing opportunities, fingerling stockings, running the hatcheries (effluents)themselves, specifically managing for class A trophy wild brown trout fisheries, managing streams in small sections(not any select watersheds), and managing for “wild trout” instead of recognizing the mountain of science demonstrating you cannot manage for native and invasive trout in the same area.

“ wild trout” managment = dog whistle for managing for displacement of native trout.

Addressing less complex listed issues like a certain number of habitat projects while ignoring invasive species may seem like a logical low hanging fruit in its face. And there is some good things like unassessed waters, attempted stocking auth, attempted phase out of hatchery brook trout. But the habitat work where invasive browns and rainbows are present too, connectivity work where your going to stock large amounts of invasive trout nearby is just activity not productivity. It may be in some cases alot worse for brook trout to do those things than if you did nothing at all. (Example pine creek study wisonsonin kiap wish TU)

And “managing” native brook trout in tiny stream sections that may represent only 5,10, or 20% (pick a low percentage) of the stream miles they use 4 seasons a year as part of their life history while managing for stocked or invasive trout everywhere else in the watershed is scientifically indefensible. No question.

Anglers are seeing displacement in many cases. Mark kirk has already seen extirpation of native brook trout in a number of prior.sympatric streams from his study just a few years ago that had both now just all browns. We are not effectively measuring the consequences of our ineffective management of wild native brook trout. We think we have all these “allopathic” populations and in some cases their gone completely.

Yet only one out of the 34 mentions developing a formal methodology/protocol for inventorying “wild trout”on a tepeating basis in issue 6 which would serve as PA fish and boats report card on the current management strategy. I have not seen any significant commitment of resources to STARTING such an effort at scale. As you point out its a big task that is harder ti address than the attempted stocking auth and other things but it needs a significant commitment of personal and resources. If we are focused on scrubbing newzealand mudsnails day and night out of hatcheries so one invasive species PFBC stocks doesnt swallow and spread another invasive species. We cannot choose forward and reverse at the same time and expect to go anywhere in conservation.

With no measure of the effectiveness of their management for wild native brook we are left with strategies in the plan like ramp up habitat improvement in sympatric populations(debunked as helpful and downright harmful in many cases), managing tiny stream sections for native brook trout and stocking invasive trout downstream (debunked as a coherent management strategy), addressing connectivity while ignoring invasive trout species(debunked as effective throughout continental us, east and west), managing for all “wild trout” (debunked as effective for wild native brook trout by mountain of research.

Activity activity activity the goal is 8% by 2025 the goal is productivity not activity.

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there is a reason that if you applied for a grant from eastern brook trout joint venture for habitat work like a lot of what pa fish and boat supports or allows that they won’t fund you. Fisheries science says don’t pay for habitat improvement where invasive trout species are present or culvert removal if no invasive trout upstream above the culvert or invasive trout stocking is rampant in that stream. They won’t fund it because its ineffective yet its a huge chunk of PAFB “wild trout” plan. Its all just so rediculous.

Activity activity, not productivity. It all stems from the fact that despite being ranked as 3rd largest threat to brook trout Pa fish and bot won’t acknowledge nonnative browns and rainbows as invasive or factor them into hardly any aspect of management.

If PA fish and boat really wanted to do something for native brook trout they would consolidate stocking away from streams with brook trout, designate a handful of entire watersheds listed as potential strongholds for brook trout as no stock no harvest of brook trout with no release of caught invasive trout species or at least no limit. And they would stop stocking brown trout all together. Aggressive buffer plantings are very important but the comission should not be promoting or funding the engineered structures/wood/lunker bunker stream projects similar to the pine creek case study that help browns get rid if brook trout, they can keep that money. Those huge deep holes with overhead cover in lower hammersly created by the fish comission are just brown trout hotels to help complete the invasion process according to multiple studies. By all means improve connectivity where it makes sense but don’t remove a barrier then turn around and stock an invasive species that will act as a biotic barrier instead of a mechanical one.

We could do so much better for native brook trout in many places in PA and still keep the trophy wild brown trout fisheries anglers cherish, they aren’t going anywhere. Many of the the above mentioned management options that we are not utilizing are free and providing amazing results in neighboring/nearby states.

tomorrows meeting will be a mostly fruitless sad dog and pony show/ ground hogs day for wild native brook trout. Hope at least the stocking auth doesn’t get watered down or become a bit ubber stamp due to pressure from pennsylvannia’s private for profit hatcheries.
Wow only one comment was made. I guess I need to track these meetings more closely.
Wow only one comment was made. I guess I need to track these meetings more closely.
Yea comments like that are fairly common at comission meetings i’ve listened to. Never seems to hit home for them. So many people have said why not put the fish in some degraded pond/ river in a populated area where kids can ride their bike not at a trailhead. They never listen
PA fish and boat folded on the stocking auth due to pressure from private hatchery. Now there is a “stocking notice” without ability to approve or deny unless its a class A that does not receive stocking already. Sounds like they also folded on the testing for pathogens requirement.

They mentioned lots of talks with a “diverse group of stakeholders” before announcing folding/reneging on a stocking authorization . They mentioned private hatcheries and how aspects of the authorization would just not be feasible. we are the last state in the northeast i believe with no stocking authorization. Much like other regulations/management……only possible once you cross state lines out of PA somehow.

Who was this diverse group of stakeholders ??? How many conservation non profits like EBTJV, trout unlimited, native fish coalition were involved extensively in this discussion and felt this symbolic ineffective stocking notice and waiving of a lot of the pathogen screening was ok????
stocking authorization “pushed back at least a COUPLE OF YEARS” ?!?!?!?!?

What the actual ****

Kicking the can despite every other state in the northeast having an authorization. This was the most basic fundamental common sense thing you could have done for brook trout besides reducing state stocking. AND THEY COULDN’T even adopt it. They pandered to private hatcheries and sportsmens groups associated with attracting people to business. Rediculous.
Does anyone know if the webinar is archived? I have the day off tomorrow, would be a good time to watch.