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Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Currents - May/June 2017

May/June 2017


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PFBC Biologist Earns Governor’s Award for Excellence

Jersey Shore native and PFBC biologist Jordan Allison has received a Governor’s Award for Excellence for his work in protecting thousands of freshwater mussels as part of the Hunter Station bridge replacement project in Forest County.
Allison was part of a team which included six employees from the Department of Transportation, as well as other individuals from state, federal and non-governmental organizations, who worked on the bridge replacement project.
Over the last several years, the Hunter Station team relocated more than 130,000 mussels from the Allegheny River beneath the Hunter Station Bridge, of which the majority were federally threatened and endangered species. This project was unprecedented as it is the largest known relocation of protected mussel species not only in Pennsylvania but in North America. Approximately 35,000 of the mussels were moved to rivers and streams within the Commonwealth to give the species opportunities to reestablish populations in areas where they have not existed in over a century.
“The goal of the project is to promote recovery so these species can be removed from the endangered species list,” said Allison.
Photo - Jordan Allison (front row, left) was among 37 state employees to receive Awards for Excellence from Gov. Tom Wolf during a ceremony on May 22 in Harrisburg. 
Survey Shows Big Largemouth Bass in Lackawanna Lake

A recent survey of Lackawanna Lake, Lackawanna County, should have Largemouth Bass anglers excited. PFBC biologists sampled the lake this month and caught 125 Largemouth Bass ranging from 5.0 to 22.9 inches long in a single night of electrofishing. Catch per hour values far exceeded Big Bass Program guidelines.
“The 2017 catch values were very similar to those in 2010 and indicate that the lake continues to support an exceptional population of big Largemouth Bass,” said Rob Wnuk, Area 4 Fisheries Manager.
2017 "Save Our Susquehanna" Buttons Available June 1

The new 2017 “S.O.S. – Save Our Susquehanna” button will be available for purchase beginning June 1. A fishing license is required to purchase the $10 button and all profits from the button sales will go to fund the campaign.
The PFBC launched its campaign in 2015 and announced that a portion of license sales and proceeds from the button would be dedicated to funding water and soil conservation projects along the Susquehanna River, whose young Smallmouth Bass population has been plagued by illness and elevated mortality rates.
To date, more than $81,000 has been donated and the PFBC has contributed $50,000 in matching funds. Last year the first S.O.S. project was started, which involves making improvements to five farm properties along Limestone Run in Montour and Northumberland counties.
The PFBC will commit another $50,000 in matching funds when donations reach $100,000.
Fishing licenses and buttons can be purchased online through the PFBC’s Outdoor Shop or at any of 900 licensing agents across the Commonwealth. Donations can also be sent by check to S.O.S. – Save Our Susquehanna, PFBC, P.O. Box 67000, Harrisburg, PA 17106.
Cambria County Reservoir Contains High Quality Panfish Populations

Surveys in April and May of Cambria County’s Colver Reservoir found impressive levels of Yellow Perch and Bluegill, with almost 14 times as many Yellow Perch captured in 2017 compared to 2008 and almost twice as many Bluegill.
“Even more impressive were the sizes of the fish captured,” said Area 8 Fisheries Biologist Mike Depew. “Yellow Perch averaged 10 – 11 inches and Bluegill averaged 8 – 9 inches. Although lower numbers of Black Crappies were captured, the sizes were also impressive. The majority of Black Crappies captured were between 11 and 12 inches in length.”
Three Family Fishing Festivals Scheduled for June

Three Family Fishing Festivals in June provide great opportunities for adults and children to learn basic fishing skills at no cost.
The festivals include: 
“Family Fishing Festivals are a convenient way to introduce friends and family to the sport of fishing at no cost,” said Carl Richardson, PFBC Education Section Manager. “These are educational events designed for families with little or no fishing experience. Participants will learn basic fishing skills and have an opportunity to practice those skills while fishing during the program.”
The PFBC waives the fishing license requirement during the program. The program is open to all ages, including children ages 5 and older. The PFBC provides equipment, bait, and tackle. PFBC staff will be present to teach skills and assist those who fish. Preregistration is required.
July 4 Marks Next Fish-for-Free Day

Families and friends visiting Pennsylvania’s popular outdoor spots on Independence Day can enjoy a day of free fishing as part of the PFBC's Fish for Free Days promotion.
Fish-for-Free Days allow anyone to legally fish in Pennsylvania without a fishing license from 12:01 a.m. to 11:59 p.m.. All other fishing regulations apply.The first free fishing day was offered on May 28.
"Fish-for-Free days offer an easy, convenient way to introduce friends and family to the sport of fishing, or to reconnect with the sport if you haven’t fished in a while,” said Steve Kralik, director of the Bureau of Outreach, Education and Marketing. “Many families already spend the day at lakes and parks throughout the state. Now they can try fishing at no cost."
To make the fishing experience more convenient, people can borrow equipment from dozens of fishing tackle loaner sites across the state, including state and county parks and some public libraries.

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