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Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Fish & Boat Commission To Close Oswayo Fish Hatchery

PFBC to Close Oswayo and Bellefonte Trout Hatcheries To Reduce Operating Costs
 

HARRISBURG, Pa. (Jan. 23) – The Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission (PFBC) announced today that it plans to reduce operating costs by $9 million over the next four years in order to meet future health-care and retirement obligations for its employees and to fund infrastructure needs. A portion of this reduction will come from closing two trout hatcheries, a move that will reduce annual operating costs by approximately $2 million.

The two hatcheries include Oswayo in Potter County, which has nine employees, and Bellefonte in Centre County, which has nine employees. No furloughs are expected. The PFBC plans to offer affected employees jobs at other PFBC facilities.

“Fishing license sales have steadily declined since 1990, while at the same time operating costs have continued to increase, including the price of fish food,” said PFBC Executive Director John Arway.

“As a result, we must streamline our operations and reduce operating costs in order to maintain a sound financial condition while we attempt to secure long-term, dedicated alternative funding,” he added. “As part of this process, we evaluated our 14 production sites and determined that closing these two trout hatcheries would have the least impact on the number of trout stocked.”

Arway added that because of existing vacancies within the Commission, no employees are expected to be laid off.

“Over the last two years, a number of vacancies have been created from retirements and transfers,” he said. ”As a result, we plan to offer the employees at Oswayo and Bellefonte the opportunity to take these jobs at other facilities.”

Today’s decision is one part of a long-range strategy to reduce operating costs across all PFBC bureaus by a total of $9 million by the 2016-17 Fiscal Year, which begins July 1, 2016. Approximately $6.7 million is needed for employee health care and retirement benefits and $2.3 million is needed for infrastructure needs, such as maintenance and repairs, at remaining hatcheries, other facilities and boating access areas.

In addition to the $2 million the PFBC expects to save by closing the two hatcheries, it estimates saving another $1 million by not enrolling a new class of waterways conservation officers. Overall, the bureaus of Hatcheries and Law Enforcement account for approximately 27.6 percent and 22.6 percent, respectively, of the PFBC’s annual expenditures.

The PFBC Bureau of Hatcheries spends approximately $12.5 million annually to raise 3.2 million adult trout, 2 million fingerling trout and more than 30 million fry and fingerling warm/coolwater fish at its 14 hatcheries. Oswayo and Bellefonte annually produce approximately 245,000 and 540,000 adult trout, respectively, including brook, brown, rainbow and golden trout.

The Oswayo and Bellefonte hatcheries aren’t expected to be completely closed until the end of 2014. Fish are being raised at both facilities and won’t be ready to stock until the end of this year and spring of next year. Once the fish have been stocked, the facilities will be cleaned and then closed.

31 comments :

Anonymous said...

I guess that fixes the problem everyone was yelling about at oswayo

Anonymous said...

How about a bunch of layoffs! Starting at the top! This is just the start people wait til obama care fully kicks in!

Anonymous said...

The Oswayo Hatchery is great. The guys there do a really good job. Just because 2 people who work there that have caused all the trouble does not mean that the rest of them are not doing their jobs. 2 bad apples are now sppoiling the whole bushel. Minnow and Trout, keep up the good work and ignore the rest!

Anonymous said...

Obamacare is certainly not to blame for these layoffs, Obamacare will work just fine.

Anonymous said...

Our family will miss the Oswayo hatchery! Something needs done, before all pa's natural resources are taken.

Anonymous said...

Thank you President Obama for turning the United States into a 3rd World Country!

Anonymous said...

I've been going there with my family since I was a little kid, sure going to miss seeing the fish. This is disappointing news.

Anonymous said...

Good job. Get rid of fish so bigwigs can retire on lobster and steak.

Anonymous said...

This has NOTHING to do with the President of the US or health care reform. It has EVERYTHING to do with state level over spending and Union driven overhead costs. Get you collective head out of your butt. Typical Potter County stupidity.

Anonymous said...

its called pricing yourself out of business. There is a reason you don't sell fishing lis. You raise your prices while reducing services. What will happen to the land that belongs to the Oswayo hatchery. Sold to continue the big salaries of a few?

Anonymous said...

1st-They put a Young 4 year College grad in charge who didn't know poop about running a Hatchery like it should be.
2nd- They hired a person who could not hold a job at other real good Companies. Crimminal records that never seem to stop.
3rd- They didn't know or would not stop the ever ending harrasment that seemed to go on every day.
(There are State Laws that says this is the Job of the manager to prevent and stop. Seems like he could've of done this over a period of 16 monthes.
This just goes to show how one bad APPLE can spoil it for the rest.

Anonymous said...

A Harrison Valley man was charged with Harassment by State Police after he allegedly put a liquid substance in a Genesee man's hip boots and a dead trout in the victim's work truck.

Cory James Stilson, 38, of 124 Main Street, Harrison Valley, PA, was charged with harassment after he allegedly did the acts above to Daniel Frank Schoonover Jr of Genesee, PA, at the Oswayo Fish Hatchery in Oswayo Borough.

Trooper Travis Trimbur said charges were filed in District Court 55-4-01. Trooper Trimbur did not elaborate on the reason for the actions.

Peaceful Traveler said...

All I can say is WOW!! This past year was the first time I ever had the chance to help stock trout in Potter. There were only myself and 2 other guys there to help that day. I met a fellow from the Oswayo Hatchery who had worked there for some time and came from another hatchery down state and also worked at another fish farm around Potter County (little femmo) or something to that effect. It didn't take long for me to realize why he had job hopped so much. My God!!! all that boy did was complain about his co-workers and how he got raped over by the commission because they hired the young man with a bachelors degree to run the place when he had worked with fish for something like 20 some years. He went on and on about this and how they back-doored him on getting the foreman's job and hired the guy nearing retirement. At one point he got so emotional that he kept pulling on his glasses and had tears rolling down his face.

Now here's the part that gets me. Afterwards I hung around for about an hour listening to him blow off steam. I asked him if there were anything he could do to possibly change the commission's mind about hiring him for an upper level position. His reply was: (and I'll never forget this) "I'm good friends with one of the fish and boat commissioners"... (I think he said his name was Sallose or something like that). He continued on about how "he had given him all sorts of information about everything that had ever happened there and how they both talked about trying to get the Oswayo Fish Hatchery closed down and that guy could work for that Sallose in his fish hatchery.

I thought he was being sarcastic but now I realize he was completely serious.

To all the other employees up there: I wish you guys the very best over the next couple years. I'll be writing all kinds of letters in support for your positions to remain open there.

Anonymous said...

Peaceful Traveler''
This never happened, nice try. But as some of these things work the way through the legal system it won't take much to ID who you are and hold you accountable.
(This is from one who knows more than maybe he should!!!)

Anonymous said...

The one who rightly should’ve been given the Managers position was “Trout”. With almost 20 years with the Commission and most of it, if not all, was at the Oswayo Hatchery. During that time he had held the position of Foreman and even Manager at times when the others were gone. (He knows the ins and outs of how a Hatchery should be run.) No others on site had enough time in to hold such an important of a position at the time this position came open. I feel very strongly that if the powers to be had followed this route, this Hatchery would not be in the position it is now. There is nothing like time in the Profession to make a good leader and the others could’ve waited their time and worked their way up the ladder.
By the way Peaceful Traveler; the WCO would not have let what you state happen. Nice try

Anonymous said...

Makes you wonder if the plan was in the works to begin with. They hire a young kid that doesn't know much and then sit back and watch all these problems happen. Makes it a lot easier to close down a place with all the problems they are having. Sad to used to be a great place to take your kids and see all the fish and learn when the old manager was there. He always made sure you got the red carpet treatment when you were there.

Anonymous said...

This all sounds a little fishy to me. So after all these comments let me see if can figure it out. First they hire a young guy with no experience who is still wet behind the ears over a man with 20+ years at the same place to be a manager. Then they hire a guy who is in trouble all the time can't hold a job any wheres else,causes problems with other employees and such. Now you have a guy that finally gets to go on a stocking run and remembers almost every detail he was supposedly told about how bad the hatchery was run and it was going to be closed down. Sounds to me the higher ups got what they wanted a disfunctional place that will be easy to close down. Yep smells fishy alright.

Anonymous said...

i sure hope they do not have liquid nitrogen at the oswayo facility

Anonymous said...

this closing has nothing to do with obama or the fight between employees at the hatchery.
it has everything to do with mismanagement from the top down at the pennsylvania fish commission.
the people at the oswayo hatchery do a commendable job and are not at fault.
the other determining factor once again is our location and the our lack of influence (votes).
our streams in potter county are the nicest and the cleanest and the most conducive to supporting trout
but that i'm sure was not a consideration.
the fact is the fish are going where the politicians have the most to gain by stocking them.
the oswayo valley rod and gun club raises and stocks approximately
10,000 fish. not sure how this will affect their operation as they work in conjunction with the fish commission. if they are are able to continue raising and stocking area streams they will need all the support you can give.

Anonymous said...

Very close friend to all at hatchery. It is too bad to see the hatchery close. Most people don't know how much the rules and regulations have changed over the last ten years.( Except for Dan Schoonovers dad.) It is just terrible that one person could cause so much trouble for Rick and Bill.Danny was always polite to me and very knowledgeable. If his Dad was not such a trouble maker and didn't know the commissioners so well I bet the hatchery wouldn't be closing. I am sure Dan will read this since many of these posts are his
. So when the streams in potter county are stocked with a lot fewer fish, just give Dan Schoonover SR a call and thank him. It is a sad day in the history of the oswayo valley

Anonymous said...

You dont know Mr. Schoonover as well as you think you do, If he happens to read this he would be pleased to see he is getting alot of credit.

Anonymous said...

There's always a few people, you know who they are, with all of their snide comments, public rebuke, and all out false accusations who try their damnedest to be FALSE PULSE OF PUBLIC OPINION.

Actually though, I get it! Really I do! None of us are perfect all the time. We all mess up, respond inappropriately, and at times give in to temptation to do or say the wrong things. Hell, most of the time it's simply in retaliation.

Please realize that one of the many unfortunate attributes of human nature is to believe gossip and when you are the one on the receiving end of someone's FPOPO, let me tell you, it pisses you off! So in return, I want to say that I talked to "that fellow" mentioned above almost every day we've worked together and he never once said anything on the lines of scheming to shut the place down to me. I honestly believe that is all a bunch of bullshit propaganda.

Now on to the Hatchery closing:

Unfortunately, the natural response to all of this is to lash out, especially if the lack of response may result in some type of negative consequence such as the loss of a job or opportunity for everyone. Other times it's best to just let it go for the time being and try to figure out a solution.

So it makes me feel good to know that each of my present (2) coworkers, our Secretary, Foreman and Manager are truly a crew of great character able to control their "natural response" and take all of this in as it comes and continuing to do the right thing will, in the long run, allow the strength of our character to shine. All of this will become obvious to people over time including the legislature.

Anonymous said...

Wow that is one messed up place. They have enough drama for a tv show. No wonder the state wants to close it. Maybe if everyone there did their jobs and a lot less of the finger pointing the place wouldn't be in this situation. I think Jerry Springer will be calling next week.

Anonymous said...





A lot of people have been bashing the management of the Oswayo fish hatchery lately and most of them are wrong, uninformed or just plain malicious. There are several comments about how a man with a college degree got the manager's position over an employee with 20 years of fish raising experence. The most obvious reason is he was better qualified canidate. Ask yourself about your own job, don't you think after 5 years on the job you know what you are doing. Don't you think maybe it takes something more than just time on the job to become a manager. If thats all it took than everybody out there would be a boss and all the workers would be new guys learning the ropes trying to move into management. The man with 20 years on the job was a foreman at a different hatchery and was removed from his position because he couldn't do the job. This is a fact and is easy to confirm with a little research.Why do people think he could do better as a manager that has more responseabilities and harder decsions to make on a daily basis. Thank you for your time and maybe instead of bashing people some of you could get together and come with viable alternative to closing hatcheries. Yes hatcheries. Everybody seems to overlook that Bellefonte hatchery is being closed as well and they raise more than double the fish that Oswayo does. And this isn't the end of cuts that the fish commission is going to make.

Anonymous said...

So poster 10:55 let me get this straight. They picked a young college kid over a foreman whose nickname is "trout" who has worked for the hatchery for many years and sometimes ran the manager position when others weren't around. To me that is a slap in the face to the man who has worked there for years and knows the operation well. So please explain to me what qualifications did this young lad have or was this one of those who you know kind of positions. Not that there is anything wrong with it but most successful businesses hire people already in the business and not a green horn right off the street. Makes better business sense then starting all over again. No wonder there are problems.

Anonymous said...

Trout didn't want the job...rick knows the manager stuff better...you guys know the manager does the scheduling of fish stockings and most of thr paper work behind the scenes...the foreman does the operational day to day stuff right? I hope people don't listen to most of this uninformed bull on here...the remaiming people at oswayo are hard working people...I know all of them...everything negative about said on here is so UN truthful it's ridiculous...so for those who don't know...dont listen to that crap use your head...two people on probation...and now all the sudden everyone there is wothless...don't buy it

Anonymous said...

The people on here posting tails they were not involved with only succede in waisting peoples time. they need to spend more time printing the truth instead of what they have heard second hand.
spend your time writing letters to Pa Fish nd boat Commission and ask them to keep hatcherys open. The majority of the people at these hatcheries are hard dedicated workers. They deserve your support instead of being trashed for what they had nothing to do with.
The problem was between two employes not the whole system. That problem has been taken care of.
Sportsmen should get together and sign a pattion. get all the supporting signitures you can for keeping these hatcheries open and send it to the commission. You as sportsmen have a large investment in these hatcheries and should work possitivly towards keeping them open.
If the commmission hears nothing they will continue with current plans.

Anonymous said...

I posted a letter at 10:55 last nite and maybe i didn't make myself clear. The person you call "trout" is the foreman at Oswayo now and he never held a foremans job elsewhere. He knew when he was offered the foremans job he would not be eligible for the managers job for a year. This is a fish commission rule and he was aware of it when he took the job. In order to become a manager you have to take a managers test and to take the test you have to have had previous managerial experience. He did not have that and wasn't allowed to take the test. I know because i work for the commission and was not allowed to take it myself. Rick (the manager now) had previous manmagerial experience and took the test and scored well. He was interviewed and choosen over the other cantidates on the basis of his test score and the interview. Having many years of on site experience is a plus, not a prerequisite.
Again, thank you for your time and try to come up with some kind of alternitive funding options. You know like a tax on the natural gas that is so abundant in the Oswayo area. Write a letter to the Governor and urge him to approve this and maybe closing these hatcheries won't be necessary.

Anonymous said...

6:51 Working at Radio Shack is good experience for this type of job any more.

Anonymous said...

As the usual anymore people blame Obama come on people we have a REPUBLICAN GOVERNOR that will take it all away from us as the lottery going to be run by a BRITISH FIRM I WONDER WHERE HIS INVESTMENTS ARE ??? Not in PA for sure !!!!!

Anonymous said...

Good Morning World.
The Count Down has begun.
It won’t be that long before the Place is Shut Down for GOOD.
No More pollution of a nice Stream.
Just go look in the Mirror if you want someone to Blame.