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  • On this page we will be listing all the latest information so you can stay up to date with steelhead related news and events.
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  • 30 Sep 2010 4:51 PM | Anonymous
    Meadville, PA – The PFBC is stocking brown trout into the tributaries of Lake Erie and Presque Isle Bay again this year. The first stocking took place on September 28, 2010 at Trout Run. These seven inch long trout are fin clipped for identification purposes before being stocked. Additional stocking locations are Presque Isle Bay, Crooked Creek, Godfrey Run, and Orchard Beach Creek. All tributary stockings will be done as close to the mouths of each stream as possible as long as there is adequate water flow. If stream flow is low, the fish will be stocked directly into the lake near the stream mouth.

    Lake Erie Fisheries Biologist Chuck Murray reported that, “The goal of this program is to emulate the brown trout program on Lake Ontario, but on a smaller scale. The intention of this effort is to add some diversity to the tributary fishery, create a near shore springtime fishery, and enhance the offshore summer boat fishery. These brown trout stockings will supplant the surplus steelhead stocked since the elimination of the Coho program in 2003. The brown trout stocking program was started in 2008 through the gracious donation of 100,000 certified disease free eggs provided by the New York Department of Environmental Conservation. New York has provided the same number of eggs to the PFBC each year.

    Murray also added that, “This will be a cooperative venture between the PFBC and local cooperative sportsman’s nurseries. In addition to the thousands of brown trout to be stocked by the PFBC, approximately 35,000 additional brown trout were already stocked earlier this year by 3-CU and the Wesleyville Conservation Club with the assistance of the PFBC Cooperative Nursery Unit. The success of the program will be monitored through creel surveys and existing assessment programs over the next several years. Brown trout stocking will be about 50,000-100,000 annually, representing about 5-10% of the steelhead stocking levels.”

    CONTACT
    Keith Edwards
    814-336-2426
    kedwards@state.pa.us

  • 23 Sep 2010 11:20 AM | Anonymous
    LBFC Recommends Marcellus Shale Funding Support
    For Fish and Boat Commission
     
    Harrisburg, PA – In releasing its triennial performance audit of the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission (PFBC) today, the Legislative Budget and Finance Committee (LBFC) recommended that the General Assembly “consider providing additional resources to the PFBC so it can continue to make efforts to protect water resources from potential degradation by Marcellus Shale drilling efforts.” 
     
    The LBFC audit specifically cited results from PFBC and state Department of Environmental Protection inspections which showed environmental and water quality problems.  “These statistics suggest that, in all likelihood, Pennsylvania will continue to experience high rates of environmental, health, and safety violations at Marcellus Shale drilling sites,” the LBFC reported.  “Given this new threat, we recommend the General Assembly take action…to ensure the PFBC…has sufficient resources to carry out its mission.”
     
    PFBC Executive Director John Arway, testifying before the committee this morning, reminded lawmakers that the Commission relies almost entirely on fishing license sales, boat registration fees, and federal funding tied to fishing and boating to support everything it does.
     
    “This includes trying to keep pace and stay ahead of the current and projected impacts of energy development to fishing and boating recreation and on the resources the PFBC is mandated to protect,” said Mr. Arway.  “If the Commission received a portion of a severance tax, we would be in a much better position to work with industry and other agencies to ensure that aquatic resources are protected during the planning, development, and production of the Marcellus Shale natural gas field.”
     
    Bringing attention to the ongoing debate in Harrisburg, Mr. Arway asked the legislature to take advantage of the “historic opportunity to allocate a portion of the proceeds to conservation and to dedicate a part of its revenues to the Commission to protect the future health of our aquatic resources and the fishing and boating recreation they provide.”
     
    The Marcellus Shale drilling industry has come into Pennsylvania in full force and has substantially increased the responsibilities of conservation agencies like the PFBC.  Since 2001, the PFBC has tripled the number of oil and gas well permit reviews it conducts each year, and Mr. Arway said his staff are struggling to keep up with the ever-increasing volume.  Within the past year, PFBC staff also have conducted approximately 175 field views of gas well sites and have observed water quality degradation from a number of these facilities.
     
    “This limited field presence is completely inadequate if we are expected to live up to the charge given to us by the General Assembly in 1909 to enforce water pollution laws and – just as importantly – to work with other agencies and the industry to try to prevent problems before they occur," Mr. Arway said.
     
    Referring to the Commission’s formal response found in the appendix of the audit, PFBC Board of Commissioners President William Worobec explained that “we must diversify our funding streams if we are going to meet the growing expectations being placed on the Commission as we implement our mission on behalf of all Pennsylvanians, visiting anglers and boaters, and our fragile natural resources.”
     
    The LBFC’s audit is available on the PFBC’s Marcellus Shale page under Featured Topics. It also will become available later today on the LBFC website at http://lbfc.legis.state.pa.us.
     
    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.
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