|Harrisburg, PA – The Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission (PFBC) voted at its quarterly meeting today to terminate its Three Rivers Ecological Research Center (3RERC) in Pittsburgh after anticipated funding streams failed to materialize over the center’s four-year tenure.
“When the center was first established in 2006, the goal was to make it self-sustaining,” said PFBC Executive Director John Arway. “We expected that the 3RERC would leverage funding from other sources to enhance its work and advance its development as a hub for research, ecology and education. Unfortunately, securing additional grants has been extremely difficult.”
Since its inception, financial support for the operation of the 3RERC has been provided through a $420,000 State Wildlife Grant (SWG) from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. This grant money has been exhausted, and the Commission has decided to allocate future SWG funding to other projects, including those that will benefit the Three Rivers.
Executive Director Arway stressed that while the Commission has decided to end the operation of the center, the Commission will continue its work on the Three Rivers out of its southwest fisheries management area.
The Commission today also approved adding nine stream sections to the list of Class A wild trout streams, adding 61 new waters to the list of wild trout streams, and adjusting the limits of 20 wild trout waters. The changes are primarily the result of recent surveys conducted on these waters. Commissioners also voted to authorize the executive director to provide grants of $100,000 or less per year to qualified universities, organizations, agencies and other entities to conduct surveys on unassessed streams that are likely to contain wild trout. Surveying unassessed waters and documenting wild trout populations are consistent with the Commission’s recently adopted Strategic Plan for Management of Trout Fisheries in Pennsylvania, which may be viewed in its entirety at http://fishandboat.com/troutplan.htm.
In other action today, the Commission:
For more information about fishing and boating in Pennsylvania, please visit our website at www.fishandboat.com.
- Approved the publication of a notice of proposed rulemaking that would prohibit the harvest of live mussels and clams in the Commonwealth.
- Adopted amendments to its regulations which add the northern redbelly dace, northern cricket frog and blue-spotted salamander to the Pennsylvania endangered species list.
- Adopted amendments to its regulations which remove silver chub from the Pennsylvania endangered species list; remove mooneye, goldeye and skipjack herring from the Pennsylvania threatened species list; and remove brook silverside from the Pennsylvania candidate species list.
- Voted to authorize the executive director to approve grants of $100,000 or less per year in support of PFBC-approved studies relating to the Susquehanna River.