At the July 16 meeting of the state Fish and Boat Commission, 18 creeks including seven in Westmoreland and Fayette counties were designated "Class A wild trout streams," and 47 were added to the list of "wild trout streams." Those designations are important because of varying levels of protection given to those waters.
Class A waters are considered the best of the state's naturally reproducing, self-sustaining trout fisheries. They're managed as a renewable natural resource solely for the perpetuation of the wild trout fishery. No stocking is permitted, and licensed fishing is allowed with all-tackle regulations. Most importantly, restrictions are placed on all land and water impacts within the Class A stream's upstream watershed.
Listing a stream section as a "wild trout stream" is considered a biological designation that does not determine how the water's wildlife is managed. The distinction can be valuable, however, in developing a baseline of the water's chemistry.
Among the new additions to the list of Class A wild trout streams is Pike Run, a tributary to Roaring Run in Westmoreland County. In Fayette County the list includes Beaver Creek (flows into Meadow Run), Lick Run and Ramcat Run (Youghiogheny River), two beats of Middle Fork Laurel Run (Laurel Run) and two beats of Neals Run (Back Creek). Additional Class A waters have been established in Cambria, Centre, Clearfield, Clinton, Tioga and Warren counties.
New wild trout streams were designated in Adams, Cambria, Cameron, Centre, Clarion, Clearfield, Clinton, Elk, Forest, Franklin, Huntingdon, Jefferson, Lycoming and Sullivan counties.
At the meeting, commissioners proposed a policy change on managing Class A waters that would add new categories for mixed wild brook and rainbow trout fisheries and for mixed wild brown and rainbow trout fisheries. In addition, no water could be removed from Class A streams unless PFBC determined that the water could not be remediated to reestablish a faltering Class A trout population. To go into effect, the proposal must be adopted at a board meeting.
New commission leader
At the state Fish and Boat Commission's July 16 business meeting, G. Warren Elliott of Chambersburg, Franklin County, one of the board's two boating-at-large representatives, was elected board president. At the top of his to-do list: funding.
"We have strong allies including the majority and minority chairs of the Senate and House Game and Fisheries committees," he said, in a written statement. "I will be spending time at the Capitol to make personal visits to these and other key leaders as we work to get the largest new piece of funding secured through the enactment of the transportation bill."
Norm Gavlick of Kingston, Luzerne County, was elected vice-president.
Using money from the sale of Lake Erie fishing permits, Fish and Boat commissioners spent $50,200 on an easement of 6,295 feet along the East Branch of Conneaut Creek in Albion Borough, Erie County. The easement includes parking space and a footpath for anglers.
Sign up 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. today, Aug. 18 and Sept. 15 for Trafford Sportsmens Club's 3-D Shoots. $8, 12 years old and younger free. 412-372-3820, www.traffordsportsmen.org.