|Harrisburg, PA – The Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission voted at its quarterly meeting today to add eight stream sections to the list of self-sustaining Class A wild trout populations, to award a grant to the Erie-Western Pennsylvania Port Authority to construct a fishing pier on Lake Erie, and to approve several habitat grants. Also, commissioners approved several land acquisitions and changed a boating regulation to clarify the correct use of docking lights while a vessel is underway.
In addition to the regular business meeting, the Commission hosted a special evening seminar last night on ice fishing, featuring three pro anglers from the North East Ice Tour, which drew a crowd of approximately 65. The evening session also included the presentation of the Stanley Long Outstanding Volunteer Service Award, which honors the Commission’s most exemplary and inspiring volunteer, and an award from the American Fisheries Society recognizing a Commission research project on panfish.
View videos from evening session
Commissioner Glade Squires, Commission President William Worobec and Executive Director John Arway jointly presented the Stanley Long award to Michael Skurecki of Montgomery County.
“Volunteerism is absolutely vital to our success,” said Mr. Arway. “Volunteers help us with our stocking efforts, they help us with law enforcement and they help us with our education and outreach programs. Mike exemplifies the volunteer spirit and is well-deserving of this award. He has served for over 15 years as a volunteer Education and Information instructor, teaching Family Fishing and SMART Angler Programs. As a Commission volunteer, Mike conducts an average of 14 day-long programs per year while investing over 70 hours of volunteer time and driving between 400 and 500 miles.”
Also last night, before the ice fishing seminar began, commissioners took part in a ceremonial signing of the Anglers’ Legacy pledge. By signing the pledge, commissioners agree to share their passion for fishing and the outdoors with at least one person each year.
“So far, more than 10,000 Pennsylvania anglers have taken the pledge,” said Mr. Arway. “And we would like 10,000 more to sign up. If you haven’t signed up yet, please go to our website, take the pledge and introduce someone to the joys of fishing and boating.”
During today’s business meeting, commissioners:
- Added eight stream sections to the list of self-sustaining Class A wild trout populations. The stream sections are in Venango, Warren, Blair, Huntingdon, Lycoming and Potter counties. Surveying unassessed waters and documenting wild trout populations are consistent with the Commission’s Strategic Plan for Management of Trout Fisheries in Pennsylvania, which may be viewed in its entirety at http://fishandboat.com/troutplan.htm.
- Extended the wild trout stream designation on the Little Juniata River by an additional 19.7 miles downstream, from the Bellwood Sewage Treatment Plant to the Barree Road Bridge (SR 4004).
- Adopted a boating regulation change which clarifies the use of docking lights. Many boaters assume that docking lights may be used as headlights while a vessel is underway. However, the forward-facing direction of docking lights creates glare and confusion for other boaters. The change makes it unlawful for a boat operator to use docking lights while underway except when docking and the boat is travelling at slow, no wake speed and is within 100 feet of approaching a dock, a mooring buoy or the shoreline. The regulation is not intended to negatively impact nighttime fishing activities, such as bow fishing, which use downward-facing artificial light.
- Adopted a boating regulation change which establishes a no-wake zone for just over two miles at the very uppermost limit to power boating and skiing activities created by the Piney Dam on the Clarion River.
- Approved a grant of up to $150,000 to the Erie-Western Pennsylvania Port Authority to construct a fishing pier at Liberty Park on Lake Erie. The authorityhas obtained matching grants in the amount of $100,000 from the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources and $75,000 from the Department of Environmental Protection.
- Approved a property exchange in Berks County (Marion, Heidelberg and North Heidelberg townships) in which the Commission will convey approximately 22 acres of its Charming Forge property along Tulpehocken Creek in exchange for $12,000 and an easement on a significant portion of the other party’s property. Also, the Commission will retain easements on a defined portion of the Charming Forge property. The new easements will benefit the public by providing better parking and improved stream access.
- Authorized the acquisition of a 27.1 acre parcel, currently known as Bailey’s Grove, located along Clarks Valley Road in Middle Paxton Township, Dauphin County. The parcel provides over 5,000 linear feet of frontage on Clarks Creek.
- Authorized the acquisition of an easement on over 2,600 linear feet on both sides of Elk Creek in Girard Township, Erie County, on the Tome property.
- Authorized a grant not to exceed $240,000 to Girard Borough, Erie County, to purchase 73 acres along Creek Road adjacent to the Girard borough park. The property also includes approximately 1,895 linear feet of access on Elk Creek. As part of the grant conditions, Girard Borough will grant to the Commission an easement that will allow for public fishing access along Elk Creek. In addition, the borough will grant the Commission a parking easement and an easement for fishing, boating, and riparian and fishery management on the adjacent Girard Borough Park property. This will provide an additional 5,310 linear feet of access.
- Approved the publication of a notice of proposed rulemaking to impose a closed season on river herring on the Delaware River, West Branch Delaware River and River Estuary, the Lehigh River, the Schuylkill River and their tributaries, and the Conowingo Reservoir.
- Approved the publication of a notice of proposed rulemaking to close Lehigh County’s Leaser Lake to all fishing until June 18, 2016, in order to establish a high quality fishery. The lake was completely drained in fall 2008 in order to make repairs to the dam.
- Adopted new royalty rates for sand and gravel that is extracted from Commonwealth waters by the dredging industry. The new rates cover the 10-year period of Jan. 1, 2011, through December 31, 2020.
- Approved habitat grants for a fishway on Bald Eagle Creek near Lock Haven, Clinton County; a restoration project on Darby Creek, a Delaware River tributary; and an enhancement project on Cacoosing Creek in Berks County.
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 www.fishandboat.com.