Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission meeting roundup:
• Adopted a change in its boating regulations intended to provide additional safety to passengers when a motorboat is operating at greater than slow, no-wake speeds. In these instances, the regulation prohibits individuals from riding outside the passenger carrying area or from riding on bow decking, gunwales, transoms or motor covers. The amendment becomes effective Jan. 1.
• Approved a notice of proposed rulemaking which restricts the sale, introduction, and transportation of all live crayfish in Pennsylvania. As part of the proposal, licensed anglers would be permitted to harvest up to 50 crayfish per day for fishing and consumption as long as the heads are removed behind the eyes upon capture.
“The replacement of native crayfish by introduced crayfish – like the invasive rusty crayfish – represents a significant threat to aquatic communities,” said Dave Lieb, PFBC invertebrate zoologist and non-game biologist. “Exotic crayfish populations grow quickly and have negative effects on amphibians, mussels and fishes. Stringent regulations will help prevent additional introductions of invasive crayfish.”
• Approved a final rulemaking to reduce creel limits for American Shad from six to three on the 2.9-mile section of the Delaware River from the Commodore Barry Bridge to the Delaware state line. The changes make the Commonwealth regulations consistent with New Jersey regulations. The three-fish creel limit is already in effect on the Delaware River upstream of the Commodore Barry Bridge. The change goes into effect on Jan. 1.
• Proposed a change to the stocking policy for Class A wild trout, which would permit stocking to continue on certain Class A waters that meet specific conditions. Currently, stocking is prohibited on all Class A waters, which represent the best of the naturally reproducing trout fisheries. The PFBC has identified nine waters which meet Class A standards, but are currently stocked and receive heavy angler use.
The proposed policy amendment would allow stream sections which are designated as Class A after 2013 to remain eligible for fingerling stocking or preseason-only stocking of adult trout by the PFBC or cooperative nurseries, as long as certain conditions are met. The stream section must have been stocked during the year immediately prior to its Class A designation, and angler use in the stream section must equal or exceed the 75th percentile statewide of angler use for the opening weekend of trout season as documented by PFBC staff.
Bobcat, river otter plans open for review
Two wildlife-management plans drafted recently by the Pennsylvania Game Commission have been made available for public review.
Plans for managing river otter and bobcat populations in Pennsylvania can be found on the Game Commission’s website, www.pgc.state.pa.us. Those going to the website can access the plans by clicking on a button marked “Accepting Public Comment” near the top of the home page. Both plans can be accessed from the next page that will appear, and comments can be submitted from that page, as well.
Each management plan charts a 10-year course for managing the species, and the plans have not yet received final approval. The public can comment on either or both plans, and those comments will be taken into consideration by the Pennsylvania Game Commission.
The 60-day period for submitting comments ends on Nov. 29.
Those wishing to submit comments can do so in a variety of ways. Email accounts have been set up to receive comments for each plan. Those wishing to submit comments regarding the bobcat management plan can send them by email to BobcatComments@pa.gov. Those wishing to submit comments regarding the river otter management plan can send them by email to OtterComments@pa.gov.
Those who do not have access to email, or who otherwise wish to submit their comments by letter, can mail them to the Game Commission. Send comments on the bobcat plan to Bobcat Comments, Pennsylvania Game Commission, Bureau of Wildlife Management, 2001 Elmerton Avenue, Harrisburg, Pa., 17110-9797. Comments on the river otter plan can be sent to Otter Comments, Pennsylvania Game Commission, Bureau of Wildlife Management, 2001 Elmerton Avenue, Harrisburg, Pa., 17110-9797.
Individuals wishing to send comments by mail on each plan are encouraged to send them in separate envelopes, each marked for the appropriate species.
Both the bobcat and river otter could be considered among Pennsylvania’s wildlife success stories.
The plan sets out to maintain bobcat populations at desired levels, conserve bobcats for future generations and ensure sustainable bobcat harvest opportunities.
The river otter management plan likewise aims to ensure otter populations remain healthy and self-sustaining.
The plan sets out to sustain otter populations in areas of suitable habitat and, when appropriate, develops guidelines to assess the feasibility of a river otter harvest and implement a harvest-management program.
More information on river otters, bobcats and other Pennsylvania wildlife species can be found at the Game Commission’s website.
Also at “Accepting Public Comment” is information on the Commission’s proposal to upgrade the bald eagle from “threatened” to “protected” status in Pennsylvania. This page also can be used to submit comments on this proposal.
Comments on the proposal to upgrade the bald eagle’s status can be sent by email to BaldEagleComments@pa.gov or can be mailed to Eagle Comments, Pennsylvania Game Commission, Bureau of Wildlife Management, 2001 Elmerton Avenue, Harrisburg, Pa., 17110-9797.
PGC seeking executive director
The Pennsylvania Game Commission has advertised the soon-to-be-vacant executive director position, and those interested in the job have 30 days to apply.
The successful applicant will serve as the chief executive officer responsible for planning and directing Pennsylvania’s statewide wildlife management program.
The position is due to become vacant on Jan. 17, when executive director Carl G. Roe retires.
Candidates who meet designated qualifications will be considered for the position.
The job requires eight years of progressively responsible administrative management or staff experience, including five years of experience directing and managing a major function within a conservation agency. Those seeking to fill the position also must have a bachelor’s degree in wildlife management, biology, public administration, business administration or a closely related field, or an equivalent combination of experience and training.
The salary for the executive director position ranges from $95,022 to $129,370.
Those interested in applying must submit by mail a resume and Personal Data Summary, a two-page form on which candidates report professional and personal information. The Personal Data Summary is available online at www.portal.state.pa.us/portal/server.pt?open=514&objID=560737&mode=2 and also can be obtained by calling 717-787-7836.
The resume and Personal Data Summary then should be mailed to PGC Board of Commissioners, P.O. Box 60070, Harrisburg, Pa., 17106.
Do not send application packets directly to the Game Commission’s headquarters.
Application packets must be received by Oct. 31.
More details regarding the job description can be found at the Game Commission’s website on the “PGC Careers” page, which is under the tab titled “About Us.”