Working to improve
Pennsylvania Steelhead fishing for all !

A Message from the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission

ABOUT FISHING AND BOATING IN PA DURING THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC

Sent: Thursday, April 9, 2020 4:0
Subject: Social Distancing Materials to Share
 

As we continue to drive home the social distancing message, would you please share the following and attached materials via your networks?  Please free to also share and use any of the materials on our website:  www.fishandboat.com.

In particular, the video at the following link and the graphic below have really resonated:  https://youtu.be/NUtaY260DDA. 

Thank you in advance for sharing the social distancing message far and wide. 

Be well. 

Timothy D. Schaeffer
Executive Director
Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission
PO Box 67000
1601 Elmerton Avenue
Harrisburg, PA  17106-7000
E-Mail:  tischaeffe@pa.gov
Telephone:  (717) 705-7801
Fax:  (717) 705-7802

Attention Members

 

Because of the concern around the Coronavirus, the Pennsylvania Steelhead Association is postponing our April membership meeting until further notice. The PSA has no scheduled meetings in May, June or July. The next scheduled meeting is August 12th.

Nationally many organizations are cancelling meetings, and the World Health Organization has labeled the Covid-19 spread a pandemic.

There are now confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Erie County, we want to be proactive. 

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Below is a press release from the PFBC announcing they are moving opening day up to April 7th. However, the stocking schedules are unknown and many traditional fishing holes for opening day are not stocked as of April 7th!

Media > Fish and Boat Commission 

04/07/2020

PENNSYLVANIA TROUT FISHING SEASON NOW OPEN

HARRISBURG, PA (April 7) – Effective 8:00 a.m. on Tuesday, April 7, 2020, the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission (PFBC), in consultation with the Office of the Governor, Pennsylvania Department of Health, and Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR) opened the statewide 2020 trout season.

This measure allows properly licensed anglers and youth to begin fishing for and harvesting trout. All regulations, sizes, and creel limits apply.

Anglers and boaters must abide by social distancing guidelines provided by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and Governor Tom Wolf’s Stay-at-Home Order regarding COVID-19.  

“We realize that this announcement is another disruption to tradition, but it is in the best interest of public health and safety,” said Tim Schaeffer, PFBC Executive Director. “We have already seen that anglers and boaters across the Commonwealth are willing to adapt their behavior to include social distancing, and we ask everyone to follow their lead while enjoying outdoor activities during this challenging time. The trout we have been stocking have had time to spread out, and so should you.”

Anglers and boaters should limit travel by fishing close to home, cover their faces with a mask or other cloth covering, keep a distance of at least six feet from others (the length of arm with an outstretched fishing rod is a good guide), only go fishing with members of their families living in the same household, and never share fishing gear with others. If another angler is in an area you intended to fish, move on to another spot.

Non-resident Pennsylvania fishing license holders should comply with the CDC Travel Advisory urging residents in several states, including New York and New Jersey, to refrain from non-essential domestic travel.

The decision to open trout season immediately is intended to discourage concentrated gatherings of people that may have occurred on the traditional opening day, to minimize intrastate and interstate travel, and to reduce the threat of illegal poaching in waters that have already been stocked.

PFBC staff will continue to stock trout throughout the spring, but not all waters have been stocked at this time. To further discourage group gatherings, a stocking schedule and list of waters that have been stocked will not be provided to the public this season. Anglers should also be aware that public access to some waters may be restricted by the landowner or local municipal government.

Fishing and boating is permitted in Pennsylvania state parks and state forests, when social distancing guidelines are followed. DCNR is encouraging people to fish and conduct other outdoor recreation within 15 minutes of their homes. Anglers should note that state park facilities, including restrooms may be closed.

“Outdoor recreational activities, including fishing, lift our spirits and help relieve stress, but they need to be done with attention to social distancing guidelines to help protect ourselves and others, and slow the spread of COVID-19,” DCNR Secretary Cindy Adams Dunn said. “That means practicing physical distancing of six feet, avoiding crowds and staying close to home, and being prepared with a mask and hand sanitizer.”

Regardless of fishing location, anglers should bring a bag with them and carry out their trash.

As a result of this action, a Mentored Youth Trout Day will not take place this season. The PFBC will honor all Voluntary Youth Fishing Licenses purchased in 2020 for all mentored youth fishing opportunities during the 2021 season.

To participate in trout fishing, anglers must have a Pennsylvania fishing license and Trout/Salmon Permit, both of which may be purchased online using the FishBoatPA mobile app for smartphones, or at www.fishandboat.com. Those who do not have the ability to purchase online and are unable to visit a retail location may call (814) 359-5222 for purchasing assistance. Anglers may produce a digital copy of their license on their mobile device as proof of purchase. A signed, printed copy is not currently required to prove you own a valid license. If approached by a Waterways Conservation Officer in the field, an angler or boater may provide a digital image or receipt of their fishing license, and a digital receipt from their launch permit or boat registration. Anglers may still display their fishing license.

 

Practice Social Distancing While Fishing

In accordance with direction provided by the Governor, Pennsylvania Department of Health, and the CDC, the PFBC recommends that anglers practice social distancing while fishing to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

·        Stay home if you do not feel well.

·        Cover your face with a mask or cloth covering.

·        Practice social distancing by keeping at least 6 feet (the length of an outstretched standard fishing rod) between you and the nearest angler.

·        Avoid crowds. If you arrive at a fishing spot that is already occupied, find another location.

·        Keep children from wandering into the personal space of others.

·        Do not share fishing gear.

·        Do not carpool.

·       Buy your fishing license online.

·        Continue to follow CDC guidelines, which include washing your hands or using hand sanitizer frequently, and not touching your face.

·        If you are fishing at a state or local park, the restrooms may be closed. Use the bathroom before you visit or dispose of waste properly. Carry out your trash.

 

A video message containing social distancing recommendations while fishing can be viewed here:https://youtu.be/NUtaY260DDAw

##

Media Contact:

Mike Parker
Communications Director
(717)705-7806
(717)585-3076 mobile
michparker@pa.gov

 Important notice: The PSA monthly Membership meeting on the 2nd Wednesday of the month, will now be held at 7:00pm! Meetings are postponed until further notice! The next "scheduled" membership meeting is August 12th.

***************************************************************************************

The next Fall Run PSA Banquet was on

Sat. October 26th! 

   

At the Colony Restaurant & Banquet

facility on W. 12th St.!

The 2019 Fall Run Banquet held at Colony Restaurant and Banquet Facilty to honor Ed Mascharka, JT Davis and the PSA's founding fathers was a big success. Attendance was around 80 people who all had a chance at a lot of great Silent Auction Items. Door prizes were also awarded. Ed Mascharka was honored for his efforts during his many years as District One Commissioner. Board Member and Co-Banquet Chairman JT Davis was recognized as Mr. Dependable for all the years of dedication to the PSA. 

John Bodner, Joe Egnot and Matt Hrycyk were honored as the founding fathers of the Steelhead Association. They have been credited for saving the Steelhead fishery as we know it today, taking action when land postings threatened access to the fish! A text of the discussion of their foresight from the banquet program is printed in the November TightLines newsletter!

Many thanks to those who helped pull off the banquet, especially organizers Frank Scicchitano and JT Davis. Also providing help setting up, at the door and handling money and merchandise were Chris Fatica, Ron Miller, as well as emcee & President Marty Grzasko, Al Warner and presenter Skip Simmons. Behind the scenes work was done by Karl Weixlmann and Sam Zacour as well as many others.

We also would like to show our appreciation for our Ace Fly Tying demonstrators John Baker, and Charlie Brown, and to Mark Signorino for supplying and setting up the sound system.

Also many thanks to our many sponsors and donors especially FishUSA, Field & Stream and Erie Beer!

     

****************************************************************************************

Lake Erie International Coastal Cleanup

The 17th Annual Pennsylvania was held on Saturday September 21, 2019   

Once again the PSA was the site manager for the Walnut Creek Access and Marina during the ICC for at least the 6th year in a row. 19 People volunteered to pickup and clean up trash in and around the Marina area! We filled 9 bags of garbage with over 78 lbs of trash, including a bicycle. Thanks to all who came out to help. 

2019 International Cleanup at Walnut Creek Access

So thankful for the 19 volunteers that showed up Saturday September 21st to help with International Coastal Cleanup effort at Walnut Creek Marina today. The group pictured here includes the first 17 of the 19 people to show up. Many of these guys have been regulars for years!       

 

  

 

 

*****************************************************************************************

3-CU Rozee Nursery Cleanup Project

On September 21st, immediately after the ICC Cleanup at the Walnut Creek Marina, a dozen members of the PSA went right back to work to help Bob Hetz and Mike Felege in a huge cleanup project of the 3-CU Rozee raceway. We were able to get a 20 foot, 2 ton dumpster donated to clean up the non-recyclable steel and plastic garbage separated from the thousands of aluminum cans Bob uses to fund the feed purchases for the trout and steelhead he raises. After some dirty work separated the items and throwing the trash in the dumpster we were able to make some great headway in cleaning up the area around the raceway. As you can see in the picture below, we nearly filled the dumpster and also tried to organize the materials to be taken to the recycling centers. It was a long day, but filled with a great sense of accomplishment when we all went out for a late lunch together! Thanks to all the dedicated volunteers that gave 4 hours of their time to do a lot of manual labor!

 

  

 

           

*************************************************************************************************

   


At the March 13th, 2019 General Membership meeting the Election of officers resulted in the following:

                          Office                         Name

                             President               Marty Grzasko

                        Vice President         Karl Weixlmann   

                        Treasurer               Chris Fatica

                        Secretary                Ryan Novatnack 


Board Members

Dan Beck Roger Latimer                 

Ron Miller       Frank Sicicchitano

Harold (Skip) Simmons    Al Warner

Sam Zacour

The Pennsylvania Steelhead Association is a nonprofit 501(C)3 organization established to enhance and preserve the Steelhead fishery in Pennsylvania including improving public access for Steelhead fishing, encouraging private landowners to maintain public access for Steelhead fishing, implementing stream enhancement and habitat improvement projects for Steelhead, and assisting nonprofit organizations which operate nurseries for spawning or raising Steelhead, or which acquire land or access easements for Steelhead fishing, or which engage in activities which complement the purposes and activities of the Pennsylvania Steelhead Association.

The pages in the Members-only section of the Website are viewable ONLY by PSA Members. 

In this Members-only Section you can:

  • See Past editions of TIGHT LINES (the PSA Newsletter)
  • Look up contact information for fellow PSA Members
  • See Member Fishing Reports
You must first log in to access these pages! (See How to Log In in column on left).                               **************************************************************************                  

* Check out the photo gallery link in the left column for some nice member fish pics!


Our TightLines newsletters are now sent out in digital form with an email blast. You may print all or part of any newsletter if you prefer to read a hard copy. All recent TightLines are available to read in digital format in the Members Only Content area of the web site. Some examples of our newsletter are listed below. Click on the link of the TightLines newsletter issue below to read the digital version:

November 2017 TightLines Newsletter Publication.pdf

January 2018 TightLines Newsletter Publication.pdf

February 2018 TightLines Newsletter Publication.pdf

October 2019 TightLines Newsletter Publication .pdf

The newest TightLines Digital newsletter, the April 2020 issue is now available in the Member-Only Content area along with 58 other older newsletters! Sign in with your email address and Password to access them.




Meetings are typically held at 7:00 pm on the 2nd Wednesday of each month, August through April @ American Legion Post #773,  4109 West 12th Street, Erie, PA.

There are no meetings scheduled in May, June, or July. The April 8th membership meeting has been postponed due to health concerns of large meeting groups and the coronavirus. The next scheduled meeting is August 12th!

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Our March 11th PSA meeting presenters were Andy Reed and Mike Rinkevitch.  They discussed Ticks in Erie county.

Andy Reed has a background in Wildlife Biology and works as an Environmental Protection Specialist with the Erie County Department of Health and is a member of the Northwest Pennsylvania Tick Task Force. 

Mike Rinkevitch is a lifelong outdoorsman.  He is an Environmental Protection Specialist and has worked for the Erie County Department of Health for over thirty years

They provided a brief overview of the ticks found in Northwestern PA, prevention of tick bites and tick-borne disease, and the symptoms and signs of Lyme Disease. A summary of the discussion will be in the April TightLines newsletter.


Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission fisheries

biologist Chuck Murray was our speaker for February

Chuck’s presentation addressed “The State of Lake Erie Fisheries”

 Chuck discussed the populations of the game fish in Lake Erie including walleye, bass, perch lake trout and of course steelhead and brown trout. He discussed limits and catch rates.

There was a discussion of the assessment of the forage fish abundance and how it can affect all of the various game fishes.

The fish commission under Chuck’s supervision has been monitoring the migration tendencies of our walleye population by tracking im-pulses from transmitters implanted on numbers of walleye. 


January 8th Presenter                                  

PA Steelhead Association officer Ryan Novatnack presented on the PSA involvement with the Women’s Intro to Steelhead Program.

On November 2nd and 3rd the Tom Ridge Environmental Center at entrance to Presque Isle Bay held host to PFBC’s 2nd annual “Women’s Intro to Steelhead” Program.  The PA Steelhead Association, along with Pennswood’s West Trout Unlimited and the Fly Fishers International (FFI), helped to make this event another great success.  The program saw 31 participants from across the state gather in Erie, PA over the weekend. 

Ryan did his presentation on the basics of introductory Steelhead fishing.

Past Programs:

The December 11 speaker was Sara Stahlman

Sara Stahlman, Extension Leader, joined Pennsylvania Sea Grant in 2006 and became extension leader in July, 2017. Sara is responsible for providing statewide leadership and management for the Pennsylvania Sea Grant extension program in several key areas including water quality, climate change, fisheries, invasive species, waterway and land-use planning. Throughout her career Sara has engaged with local, national, and international audiences by providing presentations and organizing stakeholder workshops, and through the development of successful products and programs. Sara developed two aquatic invasive species field guides which have been distributed to field biologists and agencies in more than 25 states and two Canadian provinces. She earned her bachelor’s in biology with a minor in psychology from Penn State Behrend, and her master’s degree in biology from Shippensburg University of Pennsylvania. 

   

      

Sara’s topics were 1.) how climate change could affect the Great Lakes, the fish and fishing.

2.) How the Asian Carp would affect the Great Lakes if they get in our waters.

 

November 13th speaker was PFBC Biologist Tim Wilson!

Tim is stationed in Linesville and our Lake Erie Tribs fall under his watch.

He laid out the plans to rectify the challenges they have with the 4 Mile project.

Very importantly, he presented the priority list of what creeks they will work on. He believes that new fixes will be learned as they go from creek to creek.  A lot of discussion was held on the priority of the Walnut Creek Project...The waterfall.  It is the last to be done. Why?? They hope to learn from the other projects and incorporate any new ideas that come up. As he said.. It is the biggest project and it will be expensive so we want to get it right to the best of our ability and experience, even though it will be a few years off. He makes a lot of sense and I support him on the plan.”

Report by Frank Scicchitano

 


Oct 9, 2019 speaker was MIKE BLEECH

Mike is the Outdoor columnist for the Erie Times News. Mike discussed the need for outdoor groups and organizations to get young people involved in outdoor activities.


__________________________________________________________

September 11th Meeting speaker

Zack Klan, Kayak specialist at Fish USA. He was our presenter at the September 11 meeting. 

Kayak Fishing Presentation 

  

Zack brought a Bonafide SS127 Sit-On-Top fishing kayak rigged to fish with him for demonstation purposes. It was 12' 7" long, 34" wide and weighs 95 lbs with its raised seat. 

During the Kayak Fishing presentation, he touched on how he got started with kayaking, his set-up, kayak safety, fishing from a kayak, the benefits that a kayak can provide, along with answering any and all questions. There are many fishing techniques that can be utilized on a kayak such as using conventional gear, fly fishing gear, and even trolling gear. As long as there is just a few inches of water to float on, you can go kayaking and catch a fish for yourself!

Zack talked about apps that can help like Angler bullseye, and also how to transport your kayak. He discussed how to add equipment, anchors and a bar to help you stand while fishing. It was a very informative discussion.


August 14th Meeting Presenter: Bobby Fragale owner of BF Fly Fishing.


Bobby Fragale was our program presenter to kick off the fall Steelhead season. B F Fly Fishing is owned and operated by Bobby.  He was born and raised on Steelhead Alley, just a few minutes from Elk Creek.  He has been guiding for many years and has spent the last 20 years dialing in the water he guides on today. 

At B F Fly Fishing, they try to do more than just put you on fish; they pride themselves on teaching and having you become a better and more confident angler.  Whether you’re a beginner or a seasoned angler, there is always something new to learn or improve on.  B F Fly Fishing has expanded its guide service to include our warm water fishery.  Some of the best Smallmouth, Pike, Musky and Trout waters are right in Erie County’s back yard. 

In Bobby’s down time, he travels to different fisheries and he’s been lucky enough to grow relationships all over the world. Within his travels, he has had the opportunity to explore many destinations with pristine fisheries, such as Belize, British Columbia and the Olympic Peninsula. 

Bobby discussed all the fishing opportunities available to us in our area! He held discussions on where and how to fish and answered questions as well.




***************************************************************************

April 10th Presenter:

Senator Dan Laughlin -

Senate Game & Fisheries committee chair. 

Senator Dan Laughlin was our guest speaker at the April monthly membership meeting. The Senator is Chair of the Senate Game & Fisheries Committee. He discussed the legislative process, the roles of committees and led a discussion of bills before the House Game & Fisheries Committee. He concluded by graciously answering members questions on some of the bills and issues facing outdoorsman.

First off Senator Laughlin revealed he is an avid outdoorsman and hunter. He explained how he gave up opportunities to be on more powerful committees because he is committed to outdoor recreation and activities. There are a number of bills in committee concerning fishing and hunting. The Senator explained how it takes a long time to get bills passed and that there is a lot of back and forth in the process.

Some of the bills he discussed were:

House Bill 584 which includes a waiver on fishing licenses for therapeutic activities.

House Bill 617 which would discount licenses for those that teach hunter safety courses.

House Bill 752 that would remove the current $400.00 cap per acre for buying land that restricts the Pennsylvania Game Commission.

House Bill 514 that would merge the Fish and Boat Commission with the Hunting Commission

House Bill 929 that would increase resident fishing licenses incrementally over 3 years from $21 to $30, as well as raising the Trout & Salmon permits and non-resident licenses.

Senate Bill 315 which would honor veterans and active military with discounted licenses.

Senate Bill 377 which would increase Penalty for Killing Bald or Golden Eagles.

Senate Bill 147 which would make Sunday hunting legal.

Senate Bill 485 authorizing the Sale of Anterless Deer Licenses through the Pennsylvania Automated Licensing System. 

Senator Laughlin gave his views on many of these bills and asked the membership for input on some of those that would impact fishermen. He also discussed the concerns the legislature has about the number of licenses sold dropping and how a price increase could further impact the totals.

The PSA Board of Directors thanks Senator Laughlin for taking the time to attend our meeting and inform us of ongoing issues and how they are being addressed.

March 13th Program Presenter

Craig Lucas - Tionesta/Fairview State Fish Hatchery Manager for the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission gave a presentation of how our Steelhead are raised!


The following is from the May/June 2015 Pennsyvania Angler and Boater Magazine:

Annually, Tionesta the Tionesta State Fish Hatchery (SFH raises approximately 75 percent of the 1.1 million steelhead yearlings stocked into the tributaries of Lake Erie every spring. Once released they migrate into the main body of the lake and return at 3-years-old ready to spawn. Unfortunately, they are not successful spawning in the shale bottomed Erie tributaries and need the hatcheries to keep this program going. Starting in November, staff from five regional hatcheries, Including Tionesta SFH, converges to Trout Run in Erie to collect
adults for spawning. These adult; steelhead are transported to the Fairview SFH where the eggs are stripped and fertilized. Once spawned, the eggs are transported to Tionesta SFH to be hatched and raised to yearlings for the following season. The PFBC Lake Erie Steelhead Program is a success story, attracting anglers from all over Pennsylvania and generating more than 10 million dollars annually for the Erie area economy.”

 ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

At our January 9th meeting Aaron Benjamin from FishUSA was our speaker and gave a presentation on ice fishing.

Aaron is a customer service rep and Product Specialist for FishUSA. Aaron did a nice presentation on tools, techniques, and new gear for 2019 with a special concentration on targeting the fish of Lake Erie including steelhead. 


+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

At our December 2018 membership meeting, Eric Peterson showed us how to spin, stack & pack deer hair for bass poppers! It was an entertaining and informative presentation! Thanks to Eric for a lesson on how to tie like a pro.

     

The PA Steelhead Association holds meetings each month except May, June, and July usually at 7:30 pm on the second Wednesday of the month .  Meetings are held  at the American Legion Post 773.  The Legion is located at 4109 West 12th Street (State Route 5), just east of the Erie Airport. 

We meet in the banquet room to the left when you walk in.

Next membership meeting was scheduled for April 8th, but has been postponed due to public health concerns. We do not schedule meetings in May, June or July. The next scheduled meeting is August 12th!

PA Steelhead Associaton Facebook page link below:

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Pa-Steelhead-Association/136804763021961  

© PA Steelhead Association
Powered by Wild Apricot Membership Software