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Friday, March 22, 2013

Oswayo & Bellefonte Hatcheries Will Not Close!!

Rep. Martin Causer
Causer Applauds Reversal of Planned Hatchery Closings At Oswayo & Bellefonte

HARRISBURG – Rep. Martin Causer (R-Turtlepoint) today applauded the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission’s reversal of the decision to close two of its trout hatcheries, including one in Oswayo, Potter County.

“I am glad the commission saw the error of its ways and decided to keep these hatcheries open,” said Causer, who chairs the House Game and Fisheries Committee. “Closing two hatcheries in virtually the same area of the state would have resulted in decreased stocking in area waterways, and that would have had a devastating impact on local fishing opportunities and the local economy.”

The other hatchery that was scheduled to close is in Bellefonte, Centre County. Combined, the two hatcheries produce more than 750,000 adult trout, including brook, brown, rainbow and golden trout.

The commission announced its plan in late January, stating that the closures would save the agency approximately $2 million.

“I understand the agency is facing financial challenges, but the hatchery closures would have done more harm than good,” Causer said. “I look forward to working with the commission to find other cost-saving alternatives while continuing to provide quality services to our boaters and anglers.”
Board Votes to Keep
Oswayo and Bellefonte Hatcheries Open
HARRISBURG, Pa. (March 22) – The Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission (PFBC) voted at a special public meeting today to keep its Oswayo and Bellefonte hatcheries open for at least two more years while the agency pursues a long-term funding source through the General Assembly.
“Since the board of commissioners voted in January to close the two hatcheries, staff and Commissioners have met with members of the General Assembly to try to identify opportunities to secure long-term funding sources,” said Board President Steve Ketterer. “As a result, we have voted to keep the hatcheries open while we pursue these opportunities.”
Commissioner Glade Squires introduced today’s motion, which reads: “I move that we restore funding for the continued operation of the Oswayo and Bellefonte trout hatcheries until the July 2015 Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission meeting and that we continue to work with senators and representatives to secure funding for the other areas of our budget previously identified to be reduced or eliminated.”
The motion passed by a unanimous vote.
The PFBC announced on Jan. 25 that it would close the Oswayo and Bellefonte hatcheries by the end of 2014 as part of a budget plan to save $9 million annually over the next four years. Approximately $6.7 million is needed in order to meet escalating health-care and retirement obligations for employees, and $2.3 million is needed for infrastructure needs, such as maintenance and repairs, at remaining hatcheries, other facilities and boating access areas. Closing the two hatcheries would save approximately $2 million annually.
“We’re thankful that the General Assembly has recognized the fiscal situation we’re in and have expressed their willingness to help us reach a solution,” said PFBC Executive Director John Arway. “However, it doesn’t eliminate the fact that we must still find $9 million in annual savings or revenue over the next four years.”
The Oswayo State Fish Hatchery is located in Oswayo, Potter County, and Bellefonte is in Centre County. Each has nine employees. The PFBC said at the time of the closure announcement that the hatchery employees would not be furloughed, and would be offered jobs at other facilities.


Anonymous said...

This is wonderful!

Anonymous said...

So glad to hear this!!Oswayo as long as I can remember has always had a fish hatchery.

Anonymous said...

Great news!

Anonymous said...

Rep. Causer comes through again!
Mike Fowler
Austin, PA

Anonymous said...

think when you vote in future elections that martin causer really cares and supports our area fully.
thanks rep. causer for all you do.

Anonymous said...

Now maybe the employees will be glad to have a job and no need to fight

Anonymous said...

let's see; the hatchery closes under Causer's watch, then it reopens, and now he's a hero. methinks Mr. Fowler from Austin is looking for a job, or just enjoys polishing those political apples.

Anonymous said...

Great decision. great news for the short term anyway. keep up the good work oswayo.