Pennsylvania^s regular season daily creel limit for trout will be set at five beginning in the year 2000. The Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission adopted the new limit at its summer quarterly meeting July 18.
The five fish creel limit replaces the current daily limit of eight, which has been in place on Pennsylvania waters since 1952. The regulation change applies to inland waters and only during the regular season - the first Saturday after April 11 through midnight Labor Day. The daily limit will remain at three during the extended season, which runs from midnight Labor Day, through the end of February on most stocked trout waters. The limit change also does not apply to waters managed under special regulations, the Conowingo Reservoir, the Delaware River or Lake Erie and its tributaries.
The Commission sought extensive public comment on the reduction, including via public hearings, letters, e-mail and a scientifically valid marketing survey. There was strong public support for the new creel limit, with some 60 percent advocating a reduction. That public support was the crucial factor for Commissioners in considering the proposal as the measure is based on social and policy perceptions rather than a distinct fisheries management need. The new limit will not result in dramatic impacts on either stocked or wild trout populations. Nor will a reduction guarantee the catch rate being spread among more anglers; on-the-stream creel surveys in Pennsylvania have shown that 90% of anglers already creel five or fewer trout.
However, adoption of the new regulation does reflect the modern emphasis on fishing primarily for recreational purposes, rather than solely for consumption. The action also brings trout limits more in line with those established for other popular game fish such as bass (six fish daily limit) and walleye (six fish daily limit.)
In other action, the Commission:
approved updates of the list of endangered, threatened and candidate fish species
authorized a conditional transfer of ownership of its Ingham Springs property to Solebury Twp., Bucks County
authorized the Executive Director to pursue corporate sponsorships for the entrance/lobby area of the Commission headquarters currently under construction
approved a grant or other support for the Kettle Creek Watershed Association in the amount of $5,000 for fiscal year 99-00 for a habitat improvement or related project that has direct and substantial benefits for the portion of Kettle Creek that flows through Commission property.
authorized the acquisition of a permanent property right for a utility crossing at its Linesville Fish Culture Station, Crawford County
authorized a 25-year lease of 13 acres of property at Harris Pond to Ross Twp., Luzerne County
authorized an acquisition at Pine Breeze Island in Pine Creek, Lycoming County, in the event such is not pursued and acquired by DCNR or the Pennsylvania Game Commission
approved the publication of a notice of proposed rulemaking to delete the provisions regarding harvest of smelt in Kinzua (Allegheny) Reservoir and its tributaries, Warren and McKean counties, effective January 1, 2000 to facilitate construction work
approved the closure of Tamarack Lake, Crawford County, to fishing until June 16, 2001
authorized closing Coyler Lake, Centre County, to fishing from September 15, 1999 until June 17, 2000 to allow for a liming project to improve lake fertility
extended by 0.1 miles the existing 1.0-mile section of Little Pine Creek, Lycoming County, currently managed under the Delayed Harvest Artificial Lures Only program, effective January 1, 2000
designated Upper Woods Pond, Wayne County, and Lake Took-a-While, Luzerne County, as Select Trout Stocked Lake Program waters, effective January 1, 2000
removed Opossum Creek Lake from the Conservation Lakes Program and added it to the Big Bass Special Regulations Program, effective January 1, 2000
added Lower Twin Lake, Westmoreland County, to the Big Bass Special Regulations Program, effective January 1, 2000
added Lower Woods Pond, Wayne County, to the Big Bass Special Regulations Program, effective January 1, 2000
applied the Panfish Enhancement Special Regulations for crappie at both Upper Twin Lake and Lower Twin Lake, Westmoreland County, effective January 1, 2000. The minimum size limit will be 9 inches, and a daily limit of 20 will apply.
applied the Panfish Enhancement Special Regulations to sunfish and yellow perch at both Upper Promised Land Lake and Lower Promised Land Lake, Pike County, effective January 1, 2000. A 7-inch minimum size limit will apply to sunfish (bluegill, pumpkinseed, and redear sunfish), and a 9-inch minimum size limit will apply to yellow perch. A combined creel limit of 20 will apply to the target species.
designated a 2,000-foot section of Powers Run passing through St. Marys Sportsmen^s Club property as an exclusive use area for children
designated a 450-foot section of Deep Creek, beginning at the upstream side of Schuylkill County Bridge #111, along Hubley Township Road 450, and extending downstream for 450 feet, as an exclusive use area for both children and special populations
placed a temporary moratorium on the designation of additional exclusive use areas pending a staff review of the program
approved publication of a notice of proposed rulemaking clarifying the permitting procedure for fishing derbies not held on privately held lakes or ponds not open to public fishing