Commission Proposes Slot Limit on Penns Creek

January 25, 2013
Penns View, Bald Eagle State Forest, Centre County. Penns Creek, visible in the foreground, meanders through the mountains; in the distance is Penns Valley and another series of mountains. The landscape here is typical of the state's ridge-and-valley region. (Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons. Author: Nicholas A. Tonelli from Pennsylvania, USA)

Anglers visiting the popular Section 03 of Penns Creek in Centre County can expect to have continued high quality angling and could see larger trout in coming years if a proposed regulation change approved today by the Fish and Boat Commission (PFBC) Board of Commissioners becomes final next year.

The Board took the action at its quarterly business meeting held here yesterday and today.

Commissioners approved a notice of proposed rulemaking to establish a harvest slot limit on Section 03 of Penns Creek, which stretches from the confluence with Elk Creek downstream seven miles to 650 yards downstream of Swift Run. The harvest slot limit would replace the current All-Tackle Trophy Trout regulations.

The change is designed to improve the size structure of the wild trout population in this section. Under the proposed special regulation, anglers could harvest two trout per day provided the trout are at least seven inches but less than 12 inches in length. The regulation would apply from opening day of trout season through Labor Day, with catch and release for the remainder of the year. All tackle would be permitted.

“Penns Creek provides a unique opportunity to evaluate a new special regulation on a productive limestone stream,” said Dave Miko, chief of the PFBC Division of Fisheries Management. “The new regulation would direct limited harvest to intermediate-sized fish while protecting larger fish in the population. The other components of the new regulation are the same as the current regulation.”

“The productive nature of Penns Creek provides ideal conditions to allow for a favorable response of the wild brown trout population to trend toward larger sizes than may be occurring under the current regulations,” he added. “The proposed regulation strives to meet the biological objectives for the fishery as well as the preferences of anglers and landowners.”

The proposed special regulation will be open for public comment for 30 days after it is officially published in the Pennsylvania Bulletin. If approved at a subsequent board meeting, the special regulation would take effect Jan. 1, 2014, for a seven-year period ending Dec. 31, 2020. During this time, the trout population would be monitored to determine the effectiveness of the regulation at meeting biological and social objectives for the Penns Creek fishery.

In other action, Commissioners:
Added 17 waters in Armstrong, Cambria, Clarion, Elk, Fayette, Schuylkill, Somerset and Wyoming counties to the list of wild trout streams. The list can be found on the PFBC website.
Added four stream sections in Cambria, Fayette, Somerset and Wyoming counties to the list of Class A wild trout streams. The list can be found on the PFBC website.
Authorized staff to purchase property rights along Caldwell Creek in Southwest Township, Warren County. The PFBC has been offered a public fishing access and conservation easement over approximately 1,940 linear feet along one side of Caldwell Creek as it flows through the property for $12,500. The easement area is located near Dotyville Road in Southwest Township. The easement will be for public fishing, boating, and riparian and fishery management and will include the stream corridor and extend 35 feet back from the top of the bank. The Middle Allegheny Tionesta Watershed ranks 10th in the Pennsylvania Fishing & Boating Access Strategy. The strategy identifies portions of Caldwell Creek needing additional public access. Caldwell Creek receives trout stockings in this area, and the acquisition of the subject rights will ensure public access to these fishing opportunities.
A complete copy of the meeting schedule and the full agenda for the meeting can be found on the Commission’s web site at www.fishandboat.com/minutes.htm. For more information about fishing and boating in Pennsylvania, please visit our website at www.fishandboat.com.

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