|Harrisburg, PA – The Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission (PFBC) is granting fundraising fishing tournaments which meet certain requirements a one-time exception from regulations on the Susquehanna and Juniata rivers which require the contests to follow catch-and-immediate-release formats.
“The exception will allow tournaments which meet specific requirements to hold live release contests for 2011 only,” said PFBC Executive Director John Arway. “Anglers participating in these tournaments can keep bass alive and bring them in for a weigh-in at the conclusion of the contest. But the exception is for this year only and tournament organizers are encouraged to find acceptable alternatives for future events.”
All bass that are caught must be returned alive to the rivers at the conclusion of the weigh-ins. Tournaments are subject to a 15-inch minimum size and a total daily limit of four bass. The daily limit can be comprised of largemouth, smallmouth or a combination of the two.
To be eligible for the exception, the tournament sponsor must have conducted its fundraising contest every year during the past five consecutive years, and the benefitting organization must have been in existence for the past five years and be tax-exempt under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. Tournament organizers can contact the PFBC Bureau of Law Enforcement in Harrisburg to check if their tournament meets the exemption requirements. The Harrisburg office number is 717.705.7861.
At its quarterly business meeting last month, the PFBC placed permanent catch-and-immediate-release regulations on smallmouth and largemouth bass in portions of the Susquehanna and Juniata rivers, a move designed to protect the rivers’ existing bass population. The catch-and-immediate-release regulations had been in place since January 1 under a temporary order issued by Mr. Arway. They apply to approximately 32 miles of the Juniata River, from the State Route 75 Bridge at Port Royal in Juniata County downstream to the mouth of the river at Duncannon, Perry County. On the Susquehanna, the regulations cover 98 miles, from the inflatable dam near Sunbury in Northumberland County downstream to the Holtwood Dam in York 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.