The state Fish and Boat Commission and several partners will hold a public forum on conservation issues from 6:30 to 9 p.m. May 23 at Lycoming College.
Three topics will be discussed.
PFBC Executive Director John Arway will explain the agency's recent decision to enter into a non-surface use oil and gas cooperative agreement for the development of natural gas under its Rose Valley Lake property.
"It's important for the public to understand the decision-making that took place before we entered into the agreement," Arway said. "It's equally important for the public to know that the Fish and Boat Commission is dedicated to maintaining the ecological and recreational integrity of the lake and the surrounding lands under our stewardship."
All money from the Rose Valley contract and other natural gas agreements will be deposited into a special account where they will be used to fund efforts to repair or rebuild state-owned high-hazard, unsafe dams managed by the commission.
The forum also will include a presentation by PFBC Susquehanna River biologist Geoff Smith, who will discuss the latest data related to the water quality in the Susquehanna River and the staggering decline of much of the river's world-renowned smallmouth bass fishery. He will explain the work that has been done to date to try to diagnose the causes of the disease that has been killing young-of-year smallmouth bass for almost a decade and has most recently resulted in unsightly lesions and open sores on adult bass.
The event will take place in Room G-11 of the Heim Science Building at Lycoming College. Plenty of parking is available. Directions are at www.lycoming.edu/admissions/ourCampus/directionsToCampus.aspx.