At the recent quarterly business meeting of the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission held at the Tom Ridge Environmental Center, Erie, the agency unveiled plans to expand its popular Mentored Youth Fishing Day program across the state in 2014. Launched this past spring as a pilot program the Saturday prior to the regional opening day of trout season, Mentored Youth Fishing Day was an immediate hit with adult anglers and the kids in their lives as more than 3,700 adult anglers registered 5,110 kids for the fishing opportunity.
"This new program turned out to be very popular with anglers and their friends and family," PFBC executive director John Arway said. "We had a great turnout at every location and we received a lot of thanks from participants who said they were happy to have a special day to fish with their children in advance of the opening day.
"We expect the same level of enthusiasm and turnout when we expand it statewide for the 2014 fishing season, when the first Mentored Youth Fishing Day will be held on approximately a dozen waters Saturday, March 22, the Saturday before the regional opening day of trout season in 18 southcentral and southeast counties. A second day will be held on approximately two dozen waters Saturday, April 5, the weekend before the traditional statewide opening day of trout season."
Arway said the PFBC is still finalizing the exact number of waters and will publicly announce the list in December before the holiday season, sort of as a gift to anglers. He added that a follow-up survey of participants found that 89 percent of the registered youth fished on MYFD; a majority of mentors were family members; and more than 80 percent of mentors said they were satisfied with the experience.
All total, youth and their mentors fished 7,727 hours and reported releasing 4,405 trout and taking 1,183. Nearly 80 percent of the mentors said they usually fish the opening day of trout season, however, more than one-third of respondents said that they do not typically take youth out on opening day.
In other action, the PFBC adopted a change in boating regulations that is intended to provide additional safety to passengers when a motorboat is operating at greater than slow, no-wake speeds.
In these instances, the regulation prohibits individuals from riding outside the passenger carrying area or from riding on bow decking, gunwales, transoms or motor covers. This amendment becomes effective Wednesday, Jan. 1, 2014.
Jacobsburg Historical Society is holding a rendezvous and an 18th/19th century market and trade faire as part of its Bicentennial of the historic Boulton site along the banks of the Bushkill Creek on the grounds of the Henry Homestead, today and Sunday. Located off the Belfast Exit, Route 33, at the intersection of Henry and Schoeneck, the hills above the banks of the Bushkill Creek will come alive with costumed living history participants who will be celebrating the 200 years of history brought to the area by the Henry Gun Works.
Visitors will have the opportunity to visit three museums, interact with rendezvous games, help their children complete scavenger hunts or watch as the kids are challenged by the outdoor games. For information access the website at http://www.jacobsburg.org/.
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 Pennsylvania Game Commission wild turkey biologist Mary Jo Casalena.
Hunters have until Monday, Nov. 4, to apply for two limited antlerless archery/flintlock muzzleloader hunts being held at the controlled access areas of the Pennsylvania Game Commission's Middle Creek Wildlife Management Area, Wednesday, Dec. 18, and Wednesday, Jan. 15. Only one application per person must be submitted on a standard postcard and contain the hunter's name, complete mailing address, hunting license number and antlerless deer license number for Wildlife Management Unit 5B if applicable and mailed to: Pennsylvania Game Commission MCWMA, Box 110, Kleinfeltersville, Pa. 17039.
A public drawing will be held at the Middle Creek Wildlife Management Area Visitors Center at 10 a.m., Wednesday, Nov. 6, to fill both hunting days.