PFBC Licenses On Sale Dec. 1
Inside the Outdoors, November 1
, 2013

The Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission recently announced that the 2014 fishing licenses will go on sale Dec. 1, 2013. If one buys a license from then on, it will be good until Dec. 31, 2014. One will actually get one free month of fishing.

But even though that may not be anything new, what have entered in the limelight are some changes that will affect the new year which will be of asset to the angler.

The first of these is the three-year resident license. Those ages 16 – 64 will be eligible for these permits. The cost is $64.70. The three-year non-resident is considerably more - $154.70. A three-year senior resident license is $31.70, which proves that there are some advantages to getting old.

Also new is a three-year trout-salmon permit for those 16 and up. The cost of it is $25.70. Then we have the Lake Erie permit. If purchased annually, one would pay $28.10. With the new plan, one only pats $25.70, a savings of $2.40.

One can also save by buying a three-year Combo Trout Salmon/Lake Erie Permit at the cost of $43.70, a $3.40 savings.

The state will also be offering a five-year resident and non-residence license, trout/salmon and Lake Erie permit, and a Combo Trout/Salmon/Lake Erie permit.

Consider the fact that fishing licenses make nice gifts any time of the year. You don’t have to wait until Christmas.

For additional information, one may log onto its website at www.fishandboat.com.

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Every once in a while I come upon an article that arouses my curiosity. I guess that’s what makes us reporters good journalists. Anyway, this one was called “Preserving Bloodlines and was a research update written by Dr. Hal Schramm in the recent issue of North American Fisherman.

It begins, “Trout are stocked in many waters to satisfy widespread angler demand, and many of them are catchable rainbows from 10 to 12 inches long. The problem is that the hatchery-produced fish often mate with wild trout, which essentially means a loss of native population through hybridization.” He goes on to state, “Sterile trout, individuals that cannot reproduce, offer a solution that won’t jeopardize the valuable bloodline of native trout.” This is where it got interesting.

“Hatchery trout are produced by manually fertilizing eggs with sperm,” he said. “Hatched fish have two sets of chromosomes, a condition called diploid, and can successfully reproduce. Sterile trout are produced by exposing eggs to heat or pressure shock after fertilization, resulting in embryos with a third chromosome set, the triploid condition. Hatched fish look and behave like normal rainbows, but cannot reproduce.”

So, it only made sense that if this was the case, was it true in Pennsylvania as well? After laying out the facts as written by this gent, I decided to turn to Richard Lorson, biologist and area fisheries manager for the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission to see if that was the case here. I posed two questions. First, I heard via the grapevine that the state is stocking rainbows, but they cannot reproduce. Is this true? And second, if this is so, why are anglers prompted to catch and release when these fish cannot mate after the fact. If they can’t reproduce, why should I throw them back? Maybe I should just keep and eat them.”

These were his comments. “The ‘grapevine’ is incorrect on us stocking sterile trout of any species. The brook, brown, and rainbow trout we stock are capable of reproducing. Some of these fish are kept at our hatcheries for brood stock. The fact is of those stocked most do not successfully reproduce because suitable water quality conditions and physical habitat are not available in most of the waters where we stock them. An example of this would be the stretch we stock on Loyalhanna Creek. There are a few exceptions where there is a chance for successful reproduction of the stocked fish. An example of this would be on Mill Creek.”

He went on to conclude, “It is true that about 60% of our stocked trout anglers release their catch. It is also true that the vast majority of those will not contribute to successful reproduction. However, they are still worth releasing as they can then be caught multiple times. We do not discourage harvest either as our waters managed with statewide regulations are still intended for a ‘put and take fishery,’” he said.

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- Paul J. Volkmann
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