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Pennsylvania

September 1997

IMPORTANT DATES FOR SPORTSMEN

Monday, Sept. 1: Opening of dove season, noon; and early resident Canada goose season, one-half hour before sunrise.

Saturday, Sept. 27: National Hunting & Fishing Day.

Saturday, Oct. 4: Opening of archery deer season.

October 11 & 13: Special youth hunting days for squirrels; no license required, but youths must be 12 or older; have successfully completed a Hunter-Trapper Education Course and be accompanied by an adult as required by law.

Pipeline Break Results in Fish Loss

A pipeline brfeak at the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission’s Bellefongte Fish Culture Station caused the loss of 145,000 brook trout being reared there for stocking purposes.

The break occurred sometime during the night of July 15, cutting off water to six raceway sections used for holding fish for the 1998 stocking rpogram. The cause of the popeline failure is not clear. The joint that failed was installed several years ago.

While Fish and Boat Commission officials are concerned by the loss, they say it will not have a large impact on its stocking programs nor negatively impact trout fishing sopportunities. Each year, the Commission stocks fore than 5 million adult trout raised in 10 different hatcheries. The loss represents less than 3 percent of the Commission’s annual trout production. A small overrun, or "mortality buffer" is built into that massive trout production operation to help compensate in the event of potential problems. Fish from other Commission stations will be used to compensate for the unfortunate losses at Bellefonte. Immediately following the incident, an alert was issued to all other stations and sufficient inventtories were identified to cover the loss. This careful planning by hatchery managers has helped overcome setbacks on previous occasions - most recently the loss of some trout from the Tylersville Fish Culture Station during severe flooding in the winter of 1996.

Sportsmen Provide Funding

Representatives of five sportsmen’s groups have provided the Game Commission with $4,500 to be used for Pennsylvania’s share of a federally-required Atlantic Canada Goose Study. The presentation took place during the Commission’s June business meeting in Harrisburg

The Atlantic Flyway project is a cooperative initiative between flyway states, the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service and Canada to conduct breeding surveys, banding and other research to obtain critical data to manage resident and migratory geese.

Future expansion of existing goose hunting opportunities and the return of a traditional goose season are dependant on the outcome of the study project.

The funding presentation included $2,000 from the Susquehanna River Waterfowlers and its Wetlands Trust affiliate; $500 from the Lancaster Chapter of Waterfowl USA; $1,000 from the Blue Mountain Chapter of Safari Club International; and $1,000 annually over three years from the Lehigh Valley Chapter of SCI.

EARLY CANADA GOOSE SEASON SLATED SEPTEMBER 1-25

Pennsylvania waterfowl hunters will once again have the opporutnity to take Canada geese throughout most of the state during a special early season scheduled September 1-25.

The early season hunt is a management tool designed to control populations of resident Canada geese. These are birds that reside year-roung in Pennsylvania and are not part of the traditional migrating Canada Goose Population of the Atlantic Flyway.

The number of breeding geese considered to be residents in Pennsylvania has escalated in the past few years. In 1989, there were about 11,000 breeding pairs of resident beese in the state. By 1995, that figure had grown to over 57,000 pairs.

The early season targets resident geese in an effort to reduce crop depredation and nuisance situations.

As in the past, there will be no early season hunting in a portion of Crawford County. That closed portion is the area south of Route 6 from the Ohio line to its intersection with Route 322 in the town of Conneaut Lake and north of Route 322 west to the Ohio line. However, geese may be taken on the pymatuning State Park Reservior and an area to extend 100 years inland from the shoreline of the reserviou, excluding the area east of State Route 3011, the Linesville-Hartstown Road.

In much of the state, the early season bag limits will be set at three birds per day and six in possession after opening day. However, in an area of southeastern Pennsylvania, the bag limit has been increased to five birds per day and 10 in possession.

The expanded harvest area is that portion of the state east of Interstate 83 from the Maryland line to the intersection of U.S. Route 30, east on 30 to the intersection of State Route 441, east of 441 to the intersection of Interstate 283, east to I-83, east of I-83 to the intersection of I-81, east of I-81 to the intersection of I-80 and south of I-80 to the New Jersey border.

The Game Commission is still awaiting final federal guidelines for 1997-98 waterfowl seasons. It is believed, that as in recent years, the harvest of traditional, migratin gCanada geese on the Atlantic Flyway will be closed, or at best, very limited.

For this reason applications for blinds at the Middle Creek Wildlife Management Area in Lebanon-Lancaster counties, will be accepted for the early resident season. Mailed applications for Middle Creek will be accepted up to 9 a.m. on Saturday, Aug. 9. A pulbic drawing will be held that same day at 10 a.m.

A traditional goose season is expected to be held at the Pymatuning Wiuldlife Management Area in northwestern Pennsylvanis. Blind applications there will be accepted via mail through September 10, with selections for blinds made at a 10 a.m. drawing on September 13. The current Digest of Pennsylvania Hunting & Trapping Regulations contains a goose blind application on page 32.

To participate in the early goose season, hunters must possess a valid Pennsylvania hunting license and for thos 16 and older, a federal duck stamp signed in ink across its face. In addition, all hunters must have a valid migratory game bird license. This license, available from all issuing agents, is free, but includes a 75-cent issuing fee.

Deer Damage Area Enrollment Now Open

Pennsylvania landowners who plan to enroll properties in a special program to reduce agricultural crope damage area sked to contact the Pennsylvania Game Commission regional office in their area by September 12th. Expanded hunting opportunities for anterless deer will be available on designated deer damage farms December 1-13. On these specially designated areas in 66 counties, properly licensed hunters will have the opportunity to havest deer of either sex during the regular firearms buck season.

This will mark the eighth year for the Commission’s special anterless season on deer damage areas. Since its start, the program has continually evolved in an effort to effectively reduce agricultural crop depredation caused by White-tailed deer.

Landowners who wish to participate in the deer damage farm program must contact a PGC region office by September 12th. They will be visited by a wildlife conservation officer who will explain the program and the requirement that the property be enrolled in one of the agency’s public access programs. Officers will provide participating landowners with green signs which, when posted, will alert sportsmen these properties contain too many deer and are open for public hunting.

Starting in mid-November, hunters will be able to obtain listings of properties enrolled in the deer damage area program. Lists will be available by sending a stamped, self-addressed, business-sized envelope to the region office for the county in which an individual holds an anterless deer license. Landowners who wich to learn more about the deer damage area program should contact the region office serving their county. A list of these offices, with toll-free telephone nubers and counties served, follows:

Northwest - 1-800-533-6764: Butler, Clarion, Crawford, Erie, Forest, Jefferson, Lawrence, Mercer, Venango and Warren.
Sothwest - 1-800-243-8519: Allegheny, Armstrong, Beaver, Cambria, Fayette, Greene, Indiana, Somerset, Washington and Westmoreland.
Northcentral - 1-800-422-7551:
Cameron, Centre, Cleaerfield, Clinton, Elk, Lycoming, McKean, Potter, Tioga and Union.
Southcentral - 1-800-422-7554: Adams, Bedford, Blair, Cumberland, Franklin, Fulton, Huntingdon, Juniata, Mifflin, Perry and Snyder.
Northeast - 1-800-228-0789: Bradford, Carbon, Columbia, Lackawanna, Luzerne, Monroe, Montour, Northumberland, Pike, Sullivan, Susquehanna, Wayne and Wyoming.
Southeast - 1-800-228-0791: Berks, Bucks, Chester, Dauphin, Delaware, Lancaster, Lebanon, Lehigh, Montgomery, Northampton, Philadelphia, Schuylkill and York.

Second Outdoors - Woman Program Scheduled

Pennsylvania’s second "Becoming An Outdoors-Woman" workshop will take place at Camp Soles in Somerset County, September 12-14. Sponsored by the Game Commission in cooperation with the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission, the Outdoors-Woman Program is designed to provide an atmosphere where women, 18 years or older, can enjoy learning basic skills that will enhance their enjoyment of the outdoors.

The three-day workshop will include basic and introductive instruction in general angling, bly fishing, canoeing, shotgun shooting, archery deer hunting, camp cooking, nature photography and mountain biking. All these skills will be taught by expert sportswomen and sportsmen. All learning activities will be hands-on set against a backdrop of beautiful outdoors scenery in Southwestern Pennsylvania. The cost of the three-day weekend is $175.00 and includes all meals, lodging and workshop sessions.

To obtain additional information or a registration packet, call or write: Pennsylvania Game Commission, ATTN: BOW, 2001 Elmerton Ave., Harrisburg, PA 17110-9797 or phone (717) 787-6286. The deadline for enrollment is August 29th.

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Copyrightę 1996 Fish & Game Finder Magazine