Outdoors notebook: New steelhead access guaranteed

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Using money raised through the sale of Lake Erie permits, the state Fish and Boat Commission recently purchased stream frontage on both sides of Twelvemile Creek in Erie County, a popular steelhead fishing destination.

At last week's commission meeting it was announced the agency spent $30,000 to acquire 1.7 acres of stream-side property immediately south of Route 5 along Mooreheadville Road, near North East.

"This is a great addition because it guarantees that the fishable portion of Twelvemile remains open to public fishing," said Fish and Boat executive director John Arway, in a written statement. "Harborcreek Township owns all of the property along the stream from Route 5 to the mouth, and it is currently open to the public."

Also, commissioner Norm Gavlick of Luzerne County was elected as the new board president. Gavlick said he intends to devote the next year to "exploring additional innovative ways to increase license sales and generate interest in fishing and boating among families and kids." commissioner Ed Mascharka of Erie County was elected vice-president.

Senior fishing licenses

In a move intended to help pay for the state's trout-stocking program, senior residents with lifetime fishing licenses will now have to buy a trout-salmon permit each year. Arway said about 70 percent of senior resident license holders purchase the additional trout-salmon permit. The change is expected to generate about $300,000 annually in additional revenue.

"The commission's trout program accounts for 36 percent of the Fish Fund annual expenditures, and the cost of trout production continues to rise," Arway said. "We simply can no longer afford to allow anglers to fish for trout without paying for the annual permit."

A senior resident lifetime license, available to anglers age 65 and older, costs $51.70. A one-year trout-salmon permit is $9.70. Seniors who purchase a trout-salmon permit in conjunction with a resident lifetime license before Jan. 1, 2015, will be exempt.

Officer assaulted

A Bradford County man was charged with assault on a Game Commission Wildlife Conservation Officer. Steven Harold Neilson, 43, of Monroeton, was charged with two felony counts each of endangering the welfare of children and aggravated assault, as well as charges including recklessly endangering another person and attempting to elude a police officer. The charges stem from a June 7 all-terrain vehicle incident on State Game Land 12 in Bradford County.

Eagle cam award

PixController, the Murrysville security camera company that donated and operates the high-tech wildlife camera monitoring bald eagles nesting in the Pittsburgh community of Hays, will be given the Audubon Society of Western Pennsylvania's James H. Hardie Award, presented annually to a business or company that displays "outstanding environmental stewardship." PixController president Bill Powers will accept the award July 30 at the Beechwood Farms Nature Reserve in Fox Chapel.

Youth field day

Westmoreland County Parks and Recreation and the state Game Commission will sponsor a Youth Field Day at Mammoth Park, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. July 26. The free event for kids ages 8 through 16 includes archery, muzzle loading, fishing and boating on Mammoth Lake, animal identification, a Civil War re-enactment, wildfire firefighter program and free lunch. Details and registration at www.co.westmoreland.pa.us/parks and 724-830-3950.

Biking for bass

Venture Outdoors will host a bike trip for smallmouths July 26-27 on the Casselman River. The Two-Day Warm Water Fishing Weekend targets fishing holes along the Great Allegheny Passage trail between Myersdale and Fort Hill. BYO food, bicycle, Pennsylvania fishing license and fly fishing experience. Trip includes fishing guides Dale and Cyndi Kotowski, loaner gear, hand-tied flies and nighttime accommodations in Rockwood, Somerset County. Minimum age 18. $210, $160 Venture Outdoors member. Registration, 412-255-0564.

Archery shoot

Trafford Sportsmen's Club will hold 3-D archery shoots July 27, Aug. 24 and Sept. 28. Registration is 7 a.m. to 1 p.m., 30 targets $8, under 12 free. Details, 412-372-3820.

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