By less than 150 votes, the Monongahela River has been named Pennsylvania's 2013 River of the Year over the Schuylkill River following public, online voting across the state. For the third year in a row, public voting determined the selection from among six candidates for River of the Year honors.

Of the 25,450 votes cast, the Monongahela River received 8,156 and the runner-up Schuylkill River received 8,010. Other finalists and total votes received are the Lackawanna River, 5,286; Kiskiminetas River, 2,310; Swatara Creek, 1,213; and Juniata River, 475.

"Like so many of our great state rivers once sullied by mine drainage and other pollution, the Monongahela is surging back as a vital link to unlimited recreational potential and rich natural and historical resources," Department of Conservation and Natural Resources secretary Richard Allan said. "From the West Virginia border to the heart of Pittsburgh, visitors are rediscovering our newest River of the Year and the scores of historic town and villages it showcases."

"This online format continues to generate local enthusiasm for conservation and recognition of the importance of our waterways. Once again the River of the Year designation raises awareness of our rivers and their conservation needs.

"All of these contenders were nominated because they are special and important in their own way. To the local groups who nominated these waterways and rallied support for them not only for this vote, but through all of their continued activities and advocacy we offer our heartiest congratulations."

******

This year's Greater Philadelphia Outdoor Sportshow continues today and Sunday at the Greater Philadelphia Expo Center at Oaks, Oaks. Show hours are: today, 10 a.m.-7 p.m.; and Sunday: 10 a.m.-5 p.m. For information and tickets, access the website at http://www.sportshows.com/.

*******

Beckville Gun Club, Beckville Road, Cressona, is sponsoring an inaugural squirrel hunt, Saturday, Feb. 23, with weigh-ins from noon to 6:30 p.m. the day of the event at the club. Individuals and two-person teams are eligible, but all participants must be registered by 9 a.m. the day of the hunt. For information call Dave Blankenhorn at 570-573-1040.

******

Sunday's edition of "Experience The Outdoors," hosted by award-winning Pennsylvania Outdoor Writers Association member Doyle Dietz, at 7 a.m. on 1410-AM WLSH, at 9:30 a.m. on Magic 105.5-FM and on the Web at http://www.wmgh.com/ by clicking the link to the program, features NRA field representative Kory Enck discussing the Youth Education Summit..

*******

Tamaqua resident Christian Berg, the editor of "Petersen's Bowhunting" magazine, is organizing a Deer Hunter's Banquet, Saturday, March 2, beginning at 6 p.m., at Community Fire Company, Landingville, to benefit Kimmel's Church of Orwigsburg.

Guest speaker is whitetail biologist Grant Woods, the host of Growing Deer TV (http://www.growingdeer.tv/) and columnist for the magazine. In addition to his Web show, Woods is president of Woods and Associates, which develops deer-management plans for clients across the nation. For information and reservations call Berg at (717) 877-7448.

*******

This year's Lehigh Valley Sportsmen Show will be Saturday and Sunday, March 2 and 3, with show hours Saturday from 10 a.m.-6 p.m., and Sunday from 10 a.m.-4 p.m., at Agricultural Hall, Allentown Fairgrounds, Allentown. For information, call 610-395-5280 or access the website at http://www.pbmproductions. com/.