|HARRISBURG, Pa. – At its quarterly business meeting today, the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission (PFBC) approved catch and release regulations for American shad on the Lehigh and Schuylkill rivers, approved a property transaction in Huntingdon County and added various stream sections to the list of wild trout streams.
Commissioners approved regulation changes that will impose catch and release regulations on American shad in the Lehigh and Schuylkill rivers beginning in 2013. Management of fisheries in state waters along the Atlantic Coast is coordinated through the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission (ASMFC). The ASMFC recently called for a catch and release regulation for American shad fisheries which cannot be demonstrated to be sustainable.
“Given that both the Lehigh and Schuylkill rivers remain under restoration and that there is currently inefficient fish passage, the Commission cannot determine that the fisheries are sustainable,” said Leroy Young, director of the PFBC Bureau of Fisheries.
In Huntingdon County, Commissioners voted to purchase for $56,500 a public fishing access and conservation easement over approximately 4,465 linear feet on one side of the Little Juniata River in Porter Township. It will include the stream corridor and will extend 35 feet back from the top of the bank.
Funding to acquire the easement is coming from the PFBC and grants from the state Department of Conservation and Natural Resources and the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Voluntary Public Access/Habitat Incentive Program.
Also, Commissioners added 34 stream sections to the state’s list of wild trout streams and removed one from the list, found at: http://fishandboat.com/rulemakings/notices/2012_05_03wildtrout.pdf. Three stream sections were also added to the list of Class A wild trout streams, found at: http://fishandboat.com/rulemakings/notices/2012_05_03classa.pdf.
In Clearfield County, Commissioners approved designating section 3 of the West Branch Susquehanna River as a stocked trout water open to year-round fishing, increasing angling opportunities. The 2.7 mile-section flows through Clearfield and extends from the SR 1001 bridge near Hyde downstream to the first railroad bridge downstream of Moose Creek. The change will go into effect Jan. 1, 2013.
A complete copy of the meeting schedule and the full agenda for the meeting can be found on the Commission’s web site at www.fishandboat.com/minutes.htm. For more information about fishing and boating in Pennsylvania, please visit our website at www.fishandboat.com.