Monday, June 10, 2024

Pennsylvania Fish And Boat Commission

Pennsylvania Fish And Boat Commission

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Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission

Agency overview
  • Eric C. Hussar, President of Commissioners
  • Timothy D. Schaeffer, Executive Director

The Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission is an independent state agency responsible for the regulation of all fishing and boating in the state of Pennsylvania within the United States of America. Unlike many U.S. states, Pennsylvania has a separate Game Commission.

Its mission is: to protect, conserve, and enhance the Commonwealth’s aquatic resources and provide fishing and boating opportunities.

The Commission’s first fishing license was issued in 1922, and they have been continually issued annually since in 2007, they were converted to the Point of Sale computerized system. These licenses are valid on December 1 of the preceding year until December 31 of the license year. They also issue boat registrations, which are for a two-year period, expiring on March 31 of the year of expiration. Because the agency is a Commission, funds from purchasing licenses directly benefits the protection and conservation of aquatic resources it is not supported by general fund state-tax money. However, the Commission does receive a portion of federal excise taxes through sporting goods and marine fuel taxation.

Proposal Not Ready To Consider

Adam and Liz Pritts, co-owners of Laurel Hill Trout Farm which is a third-generation trout farm on the border of Somerset and Westmoreland counties, believe the proposal should not be approved as presented.

With Pennsylvanias proposal, they feel its too early to have a proposal for the voting board to consider.

Its not that we are against it,” said Liz Pritts. “Where the private hatcheries are against, from what weve talked to people about it, its just the way its written its impossible to comply.

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Her husband, who also serves on the Pennsylvania Aquaculture Advisory Council, is concerned about how the new stocking authorization requirements will affect Pennsylvania fish hatcheries.

The idea behind some of this stuff I dont mind,” said Adam Pritts. “I think there are better ways they could go about some it like the stocking authorizations. I dont think they realize the amount of economic impact it will have. People just wont do it. They will either stop stocking because of it or they will ignore the regulation. Thats what Ive seen in other states, he said.

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Beginning Of Harrisburg’s Suburbs: 1880s

was Harrisburg’s first “suburb”. It was located east of the city on a prominent bluff, accessed by bridges across a wide swath of train tracks. It was developed in the late 19th century and offered affluent Harrisburgers the opportunity to live in the suburbs only a few hundred yards from their jobs in the city, and as the city expanded it included Allison Hill in its boundaries. In 1886 a single horse trolley line was established from the city to Allison Hill. Easy access was later achieved via the leading east from the Capitol complex and the Market Street Bridge leading from the city’s prominent business district. The most desirable section of Allison Hill at the time was Mount Pleasant, which was characterized by large Colonial Revival style houses with yards for the very wealthy and smaller but still well-built row houses lining the main street for the moderately wealthy. State Street, leading from the Capitol directly toward Allison Hill, was planned to provide a grand view of the Capitol dome for those approaching the city from Allison Hill. This trend towards outlying residential areas began slowly in the late 19th century and was largely confined to the trolley line, but the growth of automobile ownership quickened the trend and spread out the population.

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St Century: Fiscal Difficulties Receivership And Revival

During the nearly 30-year tenure of former Mayor from 1981 to 2009, city officials ignored legal restraints on the use of bond proceeds, as Reed spent the money pursuing interests including collecting Civil War and Wild West memorabilia some of which was found in Reed’s home after his arrest on corruption charges. Infrastructure was left unrepaired, and the heart of the city’s financial woes was a trash-to-electricity plant, the , which was supposed to generate income but instead, because of increased borrowing, incurred a debt of $320 million.

Missing audits and convoluted transactions, including swap agreements, make it difficult to state how much debt the city owes. Some estimates put total debt over $1.5 billion, which would mean that every resident would owe $30,285. These numbers do not reflect the school system deficit, the school district’s $437 million long-term debt, nor unfunded pension and healthcare obligations.

Harrisburg was the first municipality ever in the history of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission to be charged with securities fraud, for misleading statements about its financial health. The city agreed to a plea bargain to settle the case.

Harrisburg’s City Council and the state Commonwealth Court approved the plan, and became implemented. The city balanced its budget in the late 2010s, was expected to have a surplus of $1 million in 2019, and maintained a surplus in 2020 despite the .

Pennsylvania Fish And Boat Commission Considers Fishing License Increases

PA Fish and Boat Commission Seeks Applicants for Boating Facility Grant ...

It might cost a little more to go fishing in Pennsylvania in 2023 if a proposed license increase is adopted.

The Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission is looking at raising the cost of a fishing license and a trout stamp each by $2.50. If adopted, it would be the first time in 17 years the agency has raised the cost for licenses.

The Executive and Administrative Committee of the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission met Thursday afternoon and voted to have the rule-making process begin to raise the rates.

In weighing different rate scenarios, the committee recommended the $2.50 plan. Its not an excessive increase, Commissioner Richard Lewis said during the discussion, noting the rising cost of fuel and tires for vehicles as well as fish food.

Resident annual licenses would increase to $23.50 from $21, and the trout stamp would now cost $10.50 from $8.

Non-residents would pay $4 more for an annual license of $51.

Senior residents wanting a lifetime license would see a 50% increase from $50 to $75.

The full board will now consider the new rate structure at a special meeting at a date to be determined.

The agency estimates the increases will generate $2.65 million. The proposal also notes the rate changes might lead to a 3.97% loss in customers. In 2021, the agency sold 684,330 resident licenses, 500,305 trout permits and 85, 214 Lake Erie/Trout combination permits.

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Focusing On Four Areas

The focus areas include creating more access for fishing, boating and nongame species like aquatics, reptiles and amphibians.

There is an ongoing concern in the agency regarding invasive species like snakehead in the southeast and silver carp in the Great Lakes.

The agency is looking at making private fish hatcheries seek authorization before stocking fish in Pennsylvania waterways. Pennsylvania is one of the few if only states in the mid-Atlantic that doesnt monitor stockings, who is putting what in the waterways, he said.

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The agency is working with the aquaculture groups on a way to monitor what is being stocked and to make sure the fish being released are healthy and safe.

Its not to be an economic burden on those who produce fish. Just so we can make sure the fish are being tested and being cleared and not causing a problem to the local waterways.

The agency also has about 20 dam and reservoir improvement projects in the works across the state.

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He said the agencys restoration work, which is being done with the help of various volunteer groups, is improving the quality of the waterways, reducing the amount of pollution that fouls the waterways as well as creating a better habitat for aquatic life.

Its nice to see those victories, he said.

Response From The Pfbc

Don Anderson, PFBC commissioner for the fourth district in south-central Pennsylvania, has been involved in rearing trout since 1973 with volunteer cooperative nurseries as well as some time with a commercial hatchery. Hes also been a deputy waterways conservation officer for 44 years.

Our agency has concerns over undesirable species of fish being brought into the commonwealth and being stocked. So we have to have regulations against the things we dont want here.

He said the commercial hatcheries dont want something that impacts the health of their fish.

We need to have regulations, that everyone can live with, thatll work for the commercial aquaculture industry because they are an important part of the economy in Pennsylvania.

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He said the people he has talked to want to have some of the requirements more defined. I can understand and appreciate that and those are some of things we can work out.

The stocking authorization needs to be user friendly, he said about the customer wanting 200 or 300 trout for a creek near their home. It needs to be a simple process, he said about alleviating peoples fear about needing to get a permit.

He believes the agency is committed to working with the public to get the process developed the right way.

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Some Good Ideas In The Proposal

Theres a lot in this that I actually dont mind. I support. We have farms throughout the state. I dont want diseases moved throughout Pa., he said about the fish health guidelines which he believes are ahead of many other states.

He said the language requirements about the outside of boats being cleaned to remove algae and mussels is good, but will be difficult to enforce.

Liz Pritts thinks the PFBC will be surprised at how many fish are provided to waterways through private fish farms. We put a lot out there, she said about stockings that occur around the state. He said when the fish goes into public streams, it helps with license sales. He said people are paying them to stock streams that are fished out quickly or are no longer stocked by the PFBC.

If the process becomes too complicated, Adam Pritts said hatcheries like his familys farms can focus on other states and move their operation from stockings to processing their fish for food.

The Pennsylvania Fish And Boat Commission: Fishing For Landowners To Execute Conservation Easement Agreements

Now Recruiting: Waterways Conservation Officers for Summer 2022

The Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission recently announced that it is looking for Pennsylvania landowners with stream frontages to enter into conservation easement agreements in exchange for a one-time payment. The Commission is seeking these easements in furtherance of the Voluntary Public Access-Habitat Incentive Program , a competitive grant program of the U.S. Department of Agricultural Natural Resources Conservation Service designed to provide funding to state governments for the benefit of public hunting, fishing, and other wildlife-dependent recreation. Portions of Pennsylvanias VPA-HIP allocated funds are administered by the Commission for the purpose of providing Pennsylvanias anglers with enhanced public fishing opportunities. Qualifying landowners who enter into a VPA-HIP conservation easement with the Commission will be awarded a one-time payment in consideration for permitting members of the public to access and fish on their properties. The amount of compensation for providing these easements depends on several factors, including the length of the stream frontage that is made available for public access, the location of the property, and the fishing quality of the stream.

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