HARRISBURG - During a quarterly business meeting July 17, the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission approved catch and release regulations for American shad on the Lehigh and Schuylkill rivers, approved a property transaction in Huntingdon County and added various stream sections to the list of wild trout streams.
Commissioners approved regulation changes that will impose catch and release regulations on American shad in the Lehigh and Schuylkill rivers beginning in 2013. Management of fisheries in state waters along the Atlantic Coast is coordinated through the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission. The ASMFC recently called for a catch and release regulation for American shad fisheries which cannot be demonstrated to be sustainable.
"Given that both the Lehigh and Schuylkill rivers remain under restoration and that there is currently inefficient fish passage, the Commission cannot determine that the fisheries are sustainable," said Leroy Young, director of the PFBC Bureau of Fisheries.
In Huntingdon County, Commissioners voted to purchase for $56,500 a public fishing access and conservation easement over approximately 4,465 linear feet on one side of the Little Juniata River in Porter Township. It will include the stream corridor and will extend 35 feet back from the top of the bank.
Funding to acquire the easement is coming from the PFBC and grants from the state Department of Conservation and Natural Resources and the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Voluntary Public Access-Habitat Incentive Program.