Reminder for Boaters
Inside the Outdoors, September 5
, 2014

There seems to be an increase of kayakers in the Ligonier area along the Loyalhanna Creek ever since the launches were constructed at various points. Canoeing also is becoming more popular from that community down through the Loyalhanna Gorge. As September enters the picture, boaters are planning to glide over area waters in preparation of on the onslaught of fall. There is nothing like paddling on state waters in and around picturesque settings enveloped by the scenic wonders of changing leaves.

One is reminded, however, that before he avails of access areas owned by the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission (PFBC) one must have a launch permit or boat registration. This also applies at state parks and state park access areas operated by the Department of Conservation and natural Resources (DCNR).

The PFBC admits that there is a growing surge in this facet of the sport. This is not only in the Commonwealth, but nationwide as well.

According to Corey Britcher, Director of the PGBC Bureau of Law Enforcement, “This is great, and we are glad people are engaged in outdoor activities.”

In discussing state access areas, he stated, “We want to remind people that boat registrations and permit sales generate funds for the continued maintenance of these facilities and for boating safety programs and services.”

The price for launch permits is nominal, costing $10 for one year or $18 for two years. Users can also choose to register their unpowered boat for $18. Boat registrations are issued for 2-year periods and expire on March of the second year.

Boaters can also purchase a DCNR launch or mooring permit, which is valid at PFBC properties.

Sportsmen and women opting not to get the proper registration or permits will be subject to a fine of $75.

Launch permits are available online through the PFBC’s Outdoor Shop, at PFBC region offices, authorized issuing agents and many state park offices. More information is available by calling the PFBC’s toll-free registration hot-line at 866-262-8734 or by visiting the PFBC website at

For additional information, one may call the Somerset regional office of the PFBC at 814-445-8974.


A report was received recently by a Ligonier informant that she has been seeing a black bear wandering along Four-Mile Run. She told of others also reporting not only the 400-pound animal by its lonesome, but also accompanied by two cubs.

Bear sightings are getting to be more and more prevalent. One never knows where one will
show up.


Senior citizens, this one’s for you. Beginning Jan.1, 2015, everyone who buys a senior lifetime license on or after that date will be required to buy a trout/salmon stamp each year. Those who already purchased a senior lifetime license will be exempt or be included in the grandfather clause, as the saying goes, according to the PFBC.

The reason behind this new legislation is simple. The Commission hopes to raise much-needed revenue and this is one way to get it. Since this is just a drop-in-the-buck concerning revenues needed, other steps are being discussed to raise additional income.


Ever since I received a taste of turtle soup did I gain interest in more of that concoction. It goes without saying that there are others who feel the same way as I.

While browsing over the 2014 Pennsylvania Fishing Summary booklet did I take note in a small paragraph concerning the meat of these shelled creatures. It reads:

“Snapping turtle meat has been found to contain only small amounts of PCBs and is safe to eat without restrictions. Snapping turtles do retain PCBs in their fat and internal organs. If you choose to eat snapping turtles, you can reduce your exposure by carefully trimming away all fat and internal organs and discarding them before cooking the meat or making soup.”

As Paul Harvey would say, “And that, my friends, is the rest of the story!”


Lyme disease used to be a rare issue when it came to subjects of discussion. Now, the tables have turned a bit and it is commonplace to hear of one’s being attacked by the culprit – a tick, no less, that can cause a disabilitating illness that may last for quite some time if not attended to immediately.

According to, “Lyme disease is caused by bacteria carried by ticks most commonly referred to as deer ticks. Any stage can feed on humans. It is the most common tick-borne illness in North America,” said Andrew J. Norwalk of Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC.”

According to the PPG, “The infection, once located primarily in New England, is moving westward through Pennsylvania.

To prevent the disease, “Wear tightly woven clothes with long sleeves. Tuck pant legs into socks and wear high boots, preferably rubber.”.

- Paul J. Volkmann
Contact me by email

To buy my book, Off the Wall Favorites, call me at 724-539-8850.