Mentored Days Rescheduled
Inside the Outdoors, March 28
, 2014

The Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission recently announced that its Mentored Youth Fishing Days have been rescheduled. The reason for this change is that youngsters would not be able to fish on the many lakes because of their inability to fish on ice-covered water basins.

According to PFBC Executive Director John Arway, “This program is designed to encourage adults to take kids fish, to show them that fishing is fun, and to promote active, outdoor recreation.”

The new date set is May 10. Originally, two days were scheduled, March 22 and April 5.

He further commented, “We will be better prepared to deliver this experience at this later date when the weather is warmer and the waters are free from ice.”

Since the idea was proposed and the two dates set, there has been wonderful feedback about the program, so stated PFBC’s press secretary, Eric Levis. “Adults and kids are excited and we want to keep it that way. To ensure our customers have an outstanding chance to catch fish on this day, the Bureau of hatcheries will stock a fresh load of trout at each basin prior to the event.”

His news release mentioned that the ice thickness was up to 19 inches at the majority of the water basins. Tom Qualters of the Southwest Region office in Somerset told me the ice was all of that and more at Somerset Lake near his office.

“When I help in the trout stocking in the northeast,” he said, “the ice would get as thick as 42 inches.” My question followed, “Can the PFBC still stock in those conditions? “No problem,” he said. We drill through it and then deposit the trout into the hole.” I then asked, “Are the fish acclimated to such cold water?” He said the fish are raised in lake water that has similar temperatures and thus will not get shocked when stocked in a new body of water.

On the day of the Mentored Youth Fishing program, only youth who under the supervision of adult license holders can fish any part of a lake. It is closed to non-program participants. Fishing begins at 8 a.m. and closes at 7:30 p.m. After that time, anyone can fish that body of water who has a valid license displayed.

Keep in mind, if one is an angler and wants to fish that body of water, he cannot do so the day before, May 9, as the lake will be closed to all fishers.

To participate, adult anglers (16 years or older) must have a valid fishing license and trout/salmon permit and be accompanied by a youth. Youth anglers must obtain a free PFBC-issued permit or a voluntary youth fish license. Both are available at: or at any of the more than 900 licensing agents across the state.
The two bodies of water locally where the Mentored Youth Fishing Day will take place are Mammoth Lake and Lower Twin Lakes.

For additional information log onto that website.


I just heard last week that we have a new waterways conservation serving not only our area, but a number of other townships, as well.

Matthew Kauffman, transferred from Southern Pike in Eastern Monroe County to the PFBC Southwest Regional office in Somerset back in November.

A graduate of the agency’s training school in August 2011, he was raised in Conemaugh Township in Somerset County.

His assignments cover northern Westmoreland districts including three townships both in Indiana and Armstrong Counties.

According to the Pittsburgh Tribune Review, Dec. 23, 2013, from a story written by Bob Frey,
“Kauffman joined the National Guard after high school. Within six months, was in Iraq as part of an engineer group attached to legendary outfits like the 101st Airborne and involved in ‘snatch and grab’ operations, searches for weapons caches, demolitions and more. He returned stateside to earn a criminology degree from Indiana (Pa).”

When asked why he chose this area to continue his profession, he stated, “I wanted to come back and serve in an area not only where my family lives, but to patrol an area I know well. Since this is where I grew up, this is where I want to work,” he said.

Kauffman loves to do anything outdoors. This includes fishing, hunting, kayaking, and hiking. “I am not a cubical-type of guy. I love doing anything outdoors.”

Married, he has two children.


One final note. I had a great talk with Loyalhanna Fishing Post’s Rich Kacsuta last week. At one point in time, he thought his business was sold, but the offer fell through, so he is back in the fishing business much to the delight of his patrons. His business is located on Route 30 in Ligonier and will be selling a full range of products including live bait and minnows. Stop in and welcome him back. Let me tell you, since the Delayed Harvest Artificial Lures Only Project has been stocked with an overabundance of trout, he’s got the full scoop on the particulars as to fishing there.

- Paul J. Volkmann
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