The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA

July 21, 2013

Don Steese's Outdoor Perspectives column: Slot limits coming to Penns Creek


Daily Item

---- — So called slot limits are management tools used very successfully by conservations across the country, but many anglers in this area may not be all that familiar with the concept. Starting next year, some trout anglers here in the Valley may get an opportunity to fish some waters where slot limits are in place.

At its business meeting last week the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission adopted a final rule that would establish a harvest slot limit on section 03 of Penns Creek, stretching from Elk Creek downstream seven miles to a point just south of Swift Run. Anglers would be able to keep two trout provided the fish were at least seven but less than 12 inches long.

"Penns Creek provides a unique opportunity to evaluate a new special regulation on a productive limestone stream," according to Dave Miko, chief of the PFBC Division of Fisheries Management. "The new regulation will direct limited harvest to intermediate sized fish, while protecting larger fish in the population."

It will take effect Jan. 1, for a seven-year period ending Dec. 31, 2020. It will apply from the opening day of trout season through Labor Day, with catch-and-release for the rest of the year. All tackle is permitted. During the period, the trout population will be monitored to determine the effectiveness of the regulation at meeting biological and social objectives for the fishery.

If you're one of those deer hunters who's applied for an antlerless license you may not realize that you can see if you got one by checking the Pennsylvania Game Commission web site. Simply go to www.pgc.state.pa.us and click onto the Outdoor Shop, where you can buy licenses on line. Enter some personal identification, like your PGC identification number or drivers license number, and there's a place to check on the status of antlerless or elk licenses. Also on the PGC web site you can check on the number of licenses remaining in any WMU.

The PGC is also reminding first-time hunters, or their parents, that Hunter/Trapper Education Classes are filling up fast. To register for an area course, go to the PGC web site and click on the "Hunter Education Classes" icon in the center of the page. You have a choice of enrolling in a six-hour classroom course, typically given over one or two days, or a home study course followed by a two-hour classroom review and test. I have to wonder how well some of us older hunters might do on that test? Most all of us would probably do OK, but I'll bet there wouldn't be too many who'd ace the thing. We tend to think that with the many years we've spent in the woods we know all there is to know. Perhaps we'd be surprised at just how much we have to learn? By the way, the agency is always looking for instructors for the program. Again, you can find more information by going to the PGC website and clicking on the "Become an HTE Instructor" icon.

n Email comments to jdsteese@yahoo.com.