PFBC protects an additional 508 miles of wild trout streams in 2019

PFBC protects an additional 508 miles of wild trout streams in 2019

On March 2, Timothy Schaeffer, Executive Director of the Fish and Boat Commission, gave the House Game and Fisheries Committee an overview of the Commission’s 2019 annual report highlighting the fact that the Commission’s Unassessed Waters Initiative added 271 waters and 508 miles of streams to the Wild Trout Streams list.

The Initiative is a partnership between the Commission, universities, conservation organizations and volunteers who survey streams and identify and classify naturally reproducing populations of trout streams added to the list to receive important protections from water quality degradation.

The Commission has also been active in working with local groups to restore watershed habitats, helping to restore 17 miles of streams in the Pennsylvania portion of the Chesapeake Bay Watershed.

The Commission also reported its popular PA Trout In The Classroom Program reached 415 classrooms in about half the school districts in the state through a partnership with the PA Council of Trout Unlimited.

Schaeffer said there was a 20 percent increase in the number of Youth Fishing and Mentored Youth Fishing licenses issued last year reaching 34,000 young people.

He also highlighted several unique species propagation projects, including the Chesapeake Logperch in Lancaster and York counties and freshwater mussels in Dunkard Creek and other watersheds.

Among other highlights were–
— Over 7,400 new voluntary fishing permits were sold generating $130,000 for new projects
— Three additional STREAM Girls Programs were implemented in 2019
— A new online Conservation Area Opportunity Tool was launched
— Gov. Wolf released $23.8 million to address 10 hazardous dams owned by the Commission
— There were just 8 boating fatalities in 2019, 7 of 8 victims were not wearing life jackets

The Commission’s annual report was organized differently this year highlighting work done in each Commission district as well as statewide. Click Here for a copy of the 2019 Annual Report.

Click Here for a video of the hearing.  Click Here for the written testimony.

Rep. Keith Gillespie (R-York) serves as Majority Chair of the House Game and Fisheries Committee and can be contacted by calling 717-705-7167 or send email to: kgillesp@pahousegop.com.  Rep. William Kortz (D-Allegheny) serves as Minority Chair and can be contacted by calling 717-780-4783 or send email to: bkortz@pahouse.net

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