Anglers Currents

Plaque presentation

Railcar Replica Idea-Suggester Honored

Commission Executive Director Peter A. Colangelo (center) and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Colonel David R. Ridenour (right) present Conrad E. Weiser with a plaque that acknowledges Weiser's outstanding contribution to the Fish and Boat Commission. While conducting personal research, Weiser found references to the "Susquehanna" railcar that the Commission used to stock fish at the turn of the century. He suggested the idea of the Commission's producing a replica of the railcar. Weiser serves in the Planning Division of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Pittsburgh District. The production run of 1,000 "Susquehanna" railcar replicas recently sold out. The "Susquehanna" is also the subject of the Commission's 1999 trout and salmon stamp.

photo-courtesy of U.S. Army Corps of Engineers

Superior Court Affirms Navigable Status of Lehigh River

On July 26, 1999, the Superior Court of Pennsylvania rendered its decision in the case of Lehigh Falls Fishing Club v. Andrejewski. The Court affirmed a decision of the Luzerne County Court of Common Pleas and held that the Lehigh River is a navigable water of the Commonwealth open to public fishing and boating.

The Lehigh Falls Fishing Club leases land through which the Lehigh River flows and maintains it as a private fishing club. In 1995, John Andrejewski waded into a portion of the river that flows through Club premises and began fishing. The Club told Andrejewski that he was not permitted to fish there, but he asserted that the Lehigh River is a public water of the Commonwealth and that he is allowed to fish there as long as he doesn't trespass on upland properties. After a hearing in the Court of Common Pleas, the county court determined that the Lehigh River is indeed a navigable water of the Commonwealth in which the public has fishing rights.

The Superior Court's affirmance of the lower court decision is based in large part on analysis of precedents whereby earlier courts have described the Lehigh as one of the principal rivers of Pennsylvania and a navigable waterway in which the right of fisheries "is vested in the state, and open to all."

It is unclear what, if any, effect this decision will have on determining the navigable status of other waters because the decision is specific to the Lehigh River. The Fish and Boat Commission, together with the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, the Department of Environmental Protection and the Pennsylvania Federation of Sportsmen's Clubs, filed amicus curiae (friend of the court) briefs supporting the conclusion that the Lehigh River is a navigable waterway.


Coldwater Conference on Instream Habitat

On February 19, 2000, Pennsylvania Trout and other environmental groups will host their fourth Keystone Coldwater Conference at the Penn State Conference Center in central PA. This conference is christened "A Primer on Better Instream Habitat." We've got several leaders in this critical and exciting field lined up as speakers. They will cover topics like natural stream cutting and deposition events, trout spawning areas, the role of large, woody debris, and assessing good and bad instream habitats.

The Fish and Boat Commission, DEP and DCNR will help support the conference, and we expect other environmental groups to sign on as co-sponsors.

The full program will also be announced via the internet and in PA Trout. So stay tuned­and put a big circle around the first February 19 of the next millennium.

--Ed Bellis.

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September/October 1999 Table of Contents

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