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Friday, February 28, 2014

PA Fish & Boat Commission Currents For Feb./March


February/March 2014

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by John Arway

‘Classic’ Fishing License Buttons Return

What was old is new again! Anglers yearning for the nostalgic vintage fishing license buttons, first introduced by the PFBC in 1923, can now add to their collection. For the 2014 license year, the PFBC has reintroduced annual fishing license display buttons as an alternative to displaying the current paper licenses.
Anglers must first purchase an annual, multi-year or lifetime license before adding an optional display button, which will sell for $5 and are expected to become available on March 11 through the PFBC’s online Outdoor Shop at
Each custom button will measure 1 3/4 inches with a high-quality, pin-back design and will feature the angler’s customer identification number, the same number displayed on a paper license. As a result of a recent regulation change, as long as the angler is carrying a valid paper license, a valid button is the only display requirement.
Buttons will be mailed directly to the requestor from a contracted vendor. License buttons were originally sold from 1923 until 1960. They were briefly produced again in 1974 and 1975.
Mentored Youth Fishing Days
Fast Approaching in March, April

After a highly successful first run last year, the PFBC’s popular Mentored Youth Fishing Days program returns this spring to kick off the 2014 season. The first day will be held on 12 waters on March 22 from 8 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. This is the Saturday before the March 29 regional opening day of trout season.
To participate in the program, adult anglers (16 years or older) must have a valid fishing license and trout/salmon permit and be accompanied by a youth. Youth anglers must obtain a free PFBC-issued permit or a voluntary youth fishing license. Both are available at or at any of the more than 900 licensing agents across the state.
Follow these tips if you are obtaining a free youth permit or voluntary youth license online through The Outdoor Shop:
  • The youth permit or license cannot be obtained under the mentor’s customer account.
  • Individuals must create a new customer account for the participating child or young adult. This will assign a new customer identification number (CID) to the individual.
  • OR – If an individual has previously participated in the Game Commission’s Mentored Youth Hunting programs, a youth fishing permit or license can be obtained by signing in using the youth’s existing CID.
The second Mentored Youth Fishing Day will be held on 29 waters on April 5 from 8 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. This is the Saturday before the April 12 traditional opening day of trout season.
Click here for more information, including a list of the waters. (Photo - A family enjoys the 2013 mentored youth fishing day at Deep Creek Dam at Green Lane Park in Montgomery County.)
Governor Visits PFBC Booth,
Buys Fishing License & Trout Stamp

As part of his tour of the Great American Outdoor Show on Saturday, Feb. 1, at Harrisburg’s Farm Show Complex, Gov. Tom Corbett stopped by the PFBC booth to buy his fishing license and to chat with PFBC Executive Director John Arway, who presented the governor with the inaugural 2014 fishing license button. The color for the button was chosen from an online survey, which generated 6,571 responses. Approximately 1,900 respondents picked blue as their favorite color, followed by green, teal, orange, red, burgundy and brown. (Photo, from left - Gov. Corbett accepts the 2014 fishing license button from Executive Director John Arway.)
Executive Director Stresses Alternative
Funding to Legislative Committee

PFBC legislative efforts over the last few years have helped to secure several sources of alternative funding, including dedicated income from the landmark transportation bill, but the agency still must find other revenue streams to meet its growing employee health care and personnel obligations, Executive Director John Arway told members of the House Game and Fisheries Committee Feb. 19.
“The new realities include the need to meet mounting health care, retirement, and other personnel obligations beyond our control while also dealing with the increasing costs of doing business that face any agency or company,” Director Arway said while presenting the agency’s annual report to the committee. “Without a significant increase in revenues over the next few fiscal years, we will continue to do what I call ‘less for less.’ Our preference is to maintain the level of services that have come to be expected by your constituents, so our focus will remain firmly on securing the funding to make that happen. The pursuit of new funding streams will continue to be our top priority here at the capitol.”
Click here to read Director Arway’s full testimony. Click here to watch the video. (Photos - PFBC legislative efforts are led by Tim Schaeffer, Director of Policy and Planning, and Devin DeMario, Legislative Liaison.)
Great American Outdoor Show
Draws Large Crowds after Missed Year

By most accounts, this month’s Great American Outdoor Show at Harrisburg’s Farm Show Complex was a huge success, packing in tens of thousands of visitors eager to see the latest in fishing, hunting and outdoor gear and find the best prices for guided tours. Long known as the Eastern Sports and Outdoor Show, the event was cancelled in 2013 after exhibitors pulled out in protest of last-minute changes to the show’s format. It returned this year under the sponsorship of the National Rifle Association.
“We’ve had a booth at the show for years and look forward to sharing information about the Commonwealth’s fishing and boating opportunities not only with residents, but also with all of the out-of-state visitors who come to what is considered the largest outdoor show on the East coast,” said Carl Richardson, PFBC Education and Outreach Manager. “Even with the record-breaking winter weather, we saw a steady stream of visitors throughout the 9-day show, including Gov. Corbett and U.S. Congressman Glenn Thompson.”
More than 35 staff from five PFBC bureaus worked at the booth. At times, all staff were busy selling fishing licenses, answering questions and distributing PFBC materials.  (Photo – Rep. Thompson, left, talks with Harry Wade, PFBC Manager at the Reynoldsdale State Fish Hatchery.)
Stream Habitat Staff Complete
Work on 70 Projects in 2013

The PFBC Stream Habitat staff finished the 2013 year by completing work on 70 projects. Overall, a total of 1,346 structures were placed in Commonwealth streams, helping to improve 7.67 miles of stream. Approximately 68 % of this work was conducted on “high priority” waters, selected jointly by PFBC Fisheries Management and Habitat Management staff as areas of greatest need for habitat improvement. The PFBC’s total cost for stream projects was $48,842, which included materials purchased and staff time. Funding generated from outside sources totaled $947,298, bringing the total contribution to nearly $1 million. For every $1 the PFBC put towards habitat projects, $19.39 was contributed from other outside sources. (Photo – A completed habitat project on Spring Creek, Centre County.)

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