HARRISBURG, Pa. (September 13) – The Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission (PFBC) today offered an update on the Fisheries and Hatcheries Committee meeting scheduled for 1 p.m. on September 28, 2022, at the PFBC headquarters located at 1601 Elmerton Avenue in Harrisburg. The primary topic expected to be discussed at this meeting is a proposed rule to create a new chapter of the Commission's regulations aimed at aquatic invasive species prevention, fish health, and stocking fish in waters of the Commonwealth.
Richard Lewis, Chair of the Fisheries and Hatcheries Committee, clarified that the upcoming meeting is intended to be informational in nature and that no votes are scheduled to occur.
"The committee meeting will start with an open public comment period, followed by presentations from staff and discussion among commissioners," said Lewis. "We especially welcome continued input on the proposal to combine two chapters of the Pennsylvania Code (58 Pa. Code § 71 and § 73) into a single chapter (58 Pa. Code § 71a)."
PFBC President Robert B.J. Small acknowledged that the agency has received significant written comments on the proposal, which is intended to address current conservation challenges, improve fisheries management and fish health, prevent the spread of aquatic invasive species, and simplify the code.
"We are grateful for the feedback received to date, and we remain committed to working with affected stakeholders to achieve our common goals of healthy waterways and fisheries, free of invasive species and disease," said Small. "We are dedicated to getting this right and doing so will take more time than we expected. Given the magnitude of public interest and the need to further refine the proposal, no action is planned on this topic at the next quarterly Board of Commissioners meeting scheduled for October 24-25 in Harrisburg."
The 90-day, formal public comment period for the proposal (58 Pa. Code § 71a) concludes on September 17; however, the PFBC will accept comments from interested parties beyond that date. To view the proposal and submit public comment online, visit the PFBC website (Fishandboat.com).
Other topics that will be presented to the Fisheries and Hatcheries Committee meeting on September 28 include the first package of waters that will be considered for designation into the PFBC's newly created trout slot limit program (58 Pa. Code § 64.4c and § 65.4d). The list of waters scheduled to be designated will be presented by staff to Commissioners at the meeting.
While this is an in-person meeting and open to the public, the meeting may be viewed remotely by joining the webinar from your internet browser using this link: https://bit.ly/Sept28-FH-Mtg
If prompted, enter the webinar access number code: 2630 553 7148
Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission