Fishing & boating montage
County Guide - click for index
Regional Reports - click for index
Biologist Reports/Fisheries Management - click for index
Press Release header
Commission Looking for Diverse Applicants to Perform
Duties of Waterways Conservation Officer
April 27, 2012
HARRISBURG, Pa. – The Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission (PFBC) is looking for individuals interested in a career as a waterways conservation officer (WCO).

Applications for WCO Trainee positions must be sent to the state Civil Service Commission and must be received or postmarked by June 23, 2012. All written testing must be completed with the Civil Service Commission by July 28, 2012.

“WCOs perform specialized work in fish conservation and watercraft safety under the jurisdiction of the PFBC, blending law enforcement and public relations duties,” said Jeff Bridi, assistant director in the PFBC Bureau of Law Enforcement. “Our officers represent the face of the agency, since they are always in the field and are always interacting with anglers, boaters and the general public.”

Typical duties include patrolling by foot, car and boat to detect violations of fishing and boating laws; apprehending violators; issuing warnings and or citations; serving warrants; presenting evidence at hearings and court proceedings; investigating water pollution incidents; investigating boating accidents; and stocking fish. Appearing in public to conduct classes or provide information to groups are also highlights of the WCOs duties. WCOs work demanding schedules, including holidays and weekends, to perform their vital public safety and conservation duties.

All WCOs begin their career as a WCO Trainee. Before candidates are assigned the highly independent duties of waterways conservation officer, they must complete an extensive 52-week specialized training program beginning with approximately 21 weeks of instruction in law enforcement principles and practices that meet the standards of the Municipal Police Training Act.

An additional 31-week period follows with 19 weeks of classroom training by the Commission at the H. R. Stackhouse School of Fisheries Conservation and Watercraft Safety in Centre County, Pa., and 12 weeks of supervised field training. The program is conducted under close supervision, according to stringent rules. Those who successfully complete the training program will be promoted to a waterways conservation officer position.

Applicants must be Pennsylvania residents, at least 21 years of age at date of hire, and have a valid Pennsylvania driver’s license. Successful candidates must pass written, oral, and physical evaluations. Waterways conservation officers are required to wear a uniform and carry a firearm while on duty.

Additional information about a career as a WCO is available on the PFBC’s Careers web page at: or by calling the Human Resources Office at 717-705-7820.

Application forms and further information on the process can be obtained from the State Civil Service Commission website at Information may also be obtained from State Civil Service Commission offices in Harrisburg at 717-783-3058 (Text Telephone for deaf and hard-of-hearing callers: 717-772-2685); Philadelphia at 215-560-2253 (Text Telephone: 215-560-4367); or Pittsburgh at 412-565-7666 (Text Telephone: 412-565-2484.) Information may also be obtained by contacting the PFBC’s Human Resource Office at 717-705-7820 or by visiting the website at

The Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission is the sole state agency, charged by law, to manage the fisheries and to regulate fishing and pleasure boating in the Commonwealth. The Commission also has a vital, mandated interest in the enhancement and preservation of the state's aquatic environment. These responsibilities have been in place for nearly 140 years, growing steadily in scope, complexity and the number of people served.

Media Contact
Eric Levis

Anglers and boaters can sign up to receive email updates on the activities of the Fish and Boat Commission at The PFBC is also using today’s popular social media. Individuals can stay in touch by following the Commission on Twitter at and through RSS feeds at
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
Press release index
Bottom navigation bar
Copyright Commonwealth of Pennsylvania
click for Commonwealth of PA website click for list of PA state agencies click for PA online services Get your fishing license Register/title a boat Web Policies Site Map Contact Us PFBC Home Page