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Saturday, April 2, 2016

PFBC Seeks Comments on Sayers Lake Proposal

PFBC Seeks Comments on Sayers Lake Proposal
HARRISBURG, Pa. (March 31) – At its quarterly business meeting held here today, the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission (PFBC) proposed a change to crappie limits at a popular lake in Bald Eagle State Park and voted to remove a no-wake zone on the Delaware River.
The meeting followed last night’s special public event at the State Museum in Harrisburg to commemorate the PFBC’s 150th anniversary.
Over the course of the next year, I invite fellow anglers and boaters to join in our commemoration of the last 150 years,” said PFBC Executive Director John Arway, who was named the Commission’s 10th executive director on March 2, 2010, and has worked for the agency for 36 years. “It will be a great time to learn about our agency’s contribution to the health of Penn’s woods and waters and celebrate the fact that our 86,000 miles of streams, nearly 4,000 lakes and reservoirs, over 404,000 acres of wetlands and 63 miles of Lake Erie shoreline are still home to more than 25,000 species of known plants and animals, and perhaps, many thousands more yet to be identified.”
“These facts demonstrate the enormity and complexity of the challenges that face the Commission as we strive to fulfill our legislative and Constitutional duties to protect, conserve and enhance our Commonwealth’s aquatic resources,” he added.
During today’s formal meeting, Commissioners approved for public comment a proposal to change angling regulations for crappie at Foster Joseph Sayers Lake at Bald Eagle State Park in Centre County.
“The lake is a popular crappie fishery with high angler use and harvest and it’s not reaching its full potential under the current regulations,” said Jason Detar, Chief of the PFBC Division of Fisheries Management. “Only about 8 percent of the crappies in our fishery surveys meet the current legal size of 9 inches or longer. The majority of adult crappies collected during our fishery surveys are in the 7-inch to 8-inch range, and anglers want to harvest some of these fish.”
Currently, the daily limit for crappies is 20 and the fish must be at least 9 inches long. Under the proposed changes, anglers would be allowed a daily creel limit of 10, of which no more than five can be over 9 inches.
“The changes would allow anglers to still harvest some of the larger fish which are 9 inches or longer, as well as some of the smaller fish which are not currently available to harvest,” added Detar. “The goal is to increase the overall numbers of 9-inch and longer crappies by reducing some of the harvest of these fish, and by thinning the numbers of 7-inch and 8-inch fish through angler harvest.”
The PFBC held a public meeting about the proposal last month at the state park’s Environmental Learning Center. A majority of the participants at the meeting supported a change in the regulations. Public comments will now be accepted for 30 days after the proposal is published in the PA Bulletin. If adopted on final rulemaking, the amendment will go into effect on Jan. 1, 2017.
Also today, the Board approved a proposed regulatory amendment which would remove a no-wake zone on the Delaware River in Bucks County in order to mirror New Jersey state law. The amendment would eliminate the no-wake zone from the mouth of Paunacussing Creek approximately 3,000 feet to a point in the vicinity of Green Hill Road. If adopted on final rulemaking, the amendment will go into effect on Jan. 1, 2017.
In other action today, Commissioners added 99 waters to the list of wild trout streams and revised the section limits of five waters. The list can be found on the PFBC website.
Another 23 stream sections were added to the list of Class A wild trout streams. The list can be found on the PFBC website.
Also today, the Board presented former Commissioner William R. Worobec with an outstanding leadership and dedication award. Mr. Worobec served as the Fifth District Commissioner from 2006 to 2014, representing Bradford, Columbia, Lycoming, Montour, Northumberland, Snyder, Sullivan, Tioga and Union counties.
The Board also presented a Heroes of Water Rescue award to Virgil Chambers, who was one of the founding fathers of and an employee in the PFBC’s boating-safety and water rescue programs. The award recognizes individuals who make a significant, lasting and continuous impact in the field of water rescue.
“Through his past efforts to increase awareness about the need for swiftwater and flood rescue training, Virgil inspired other individuals and organizations to embrace the Water Rescue Program,” said Executive Director Arway. “Additionally, the relationships he built with organizations over the years have had a long-lasting impact and helped to establish the level of professionalism and credibility with which the program is viewed today. The success of the Commission’s Water Rescue Program is a direct result of Virgil’s vision and hard work. Without his early effort, the program would not be where it is at today.”
A complete copy of today’s agenda is available on the PFBC website.
PHOTO (L-R) – PFBC Executive Director John Arway, Virgil Chambers, PFBC Board President Edward Mascharka III.

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