Free Fishing Derby Sunday
Inside the Outdoors, June 13
, 2014

A free fishing derby and concert will be held this Sunday at Twin Lakes Park to coincide with Father’s Day beginning at 8 a.m. and lasting until 1 p.m. Sponsored by Westmoreland County Parks and Recreation, the Westmoreland County Sportsmen’s League, Gander Mountain and 1480 WCNS Radio, registration is free and may be done so at the boat house on the lower lake beginning at 7:30 a.m.

In addition to the challenges that await all anglers, door prizes will be drawn for all registered participants. According to the WCPR, “All contestants must be registered by 12 noon to be eligible for the prizes.”

Take note. First and second place trophies and merchandise will be awarded for the longest trout, longest carp and other fish of legal size in both adult and youth divisions.

Trophies will also be awarded for the best ‘Catch of the Day’ in both categories.

Adults age 16 and over must display a valid 2014 Pennsylvania fishing license.

At 4 p.m., there will be a free summer concert by RML Jazz on the island stage. The group will feature updated, favorite standards utilizing the members’ ability to mix smooth and classic jazz with modern accented rhythms.

Twin Lakes Park is located just east of Greensburg, and is accessible via Donohoe Road from Route 30. For more information, call Westmoreland County Parks and Recreation at (724) 830-3950 or visit www.co.westmoreland.pa.us/parks.

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An article in the May 23 issue of Pennsylvania Outdoor News recently revealed that fishing licenses may be on the rise in the near future. John Arway, executive director of the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission, stated, “The agency desperately needs some additional funding, especially if it’s going to continue offering the goods and services anglers expect,” a staff reporter noted.

Arway realized the organization was in trouble last year. That’s when it became apparent that two hatcheries would be closing and trout stocking would be cut back by 25 per cent starting in 2015. However, lawmakers pressured the PFBC’s board of directors and the idea was tabled temporarily.

In the meantime, it was hoped that the Commission could resolve the situation of the money shortage and come up with the needed funds. But it wasn’t to be. As a result, there has been informal talk about possibly increasing the license fees to generate monies needed.

It must be stated that, according to this front page story, “Arway hasn’t, and said he doesn’t want to raise license fees.” “But his board – which has largely supported his stance – appears willing to change.” And think about it. It has been some time since costs for a permit to fish in the state have gone up.

However, if Arway has his way, license fees will stay the same. Having been in the fishing lure and tackle business, I can definitely agree with him when he stated, “Every time lawmakers raise the cost of fishing licenses and/or trout stamps, the commission loses fishermen, and many of them never come back,” he said.

It was back in 1982 that licenses went up $3.00. Since then, they increased little by little. At the same time, fishers decided they’d spend their free time other ways. As a result, numbers decreased. However, with that said, there would be others who would pay whatever the price, for they liked the challenges of the sport.

Commissioner Glade Squires added his two cents concerning this matter. He stated, “Perhaps if fees go up more often, but in smaller increments, based on the cost of living, anglers would be more able and willing to swallow that,” he said. That makes sense, for we all need some help in keeping up with increased costs of everything, why not the PFBC with their growing financial needs of raising and stocking trout for recreational purposes thereof?

According to this report, every step will be taken not to increase license fees. However, Arway concluded, “A license fee hike has always been an option. But it’s always been the last one.”

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Finally, the Pennsylvania Game Commission has recently alerted residents not to bother the young wildlife. Latrobe has no lack of it, that’s for sure.

Stan Tekiela, outdoor writer for Pennsylvania Outdoor News had a great article when he talked about ‘Young Animals’ in the May 23 edition. In talking about the Eastern cottontail rabbit, he stated, “They are born blind, naked, and helpless, but develop quickly and by three weeks of age, their eyes are open and they are fully furred. This is the time they start to leave the nest.”

The PGC states “Leave all wildlife alone.” Tekiela agrees. “These rabbits can and will survive on their own,” he said..


- Paul J. Volkmann
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