Hunters need to be aware of changes.
Pennsylvania’s 2017-18 migratory game bird seasons have been selected.
Annual migratory game bird seasons are selected by states from frameworks established by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS). Game Commission selections were made after reviewing last year’s season results, population survey data, and input gathered from hunters and the public.
“The new regulatory schedule introduced by the USFWS in 2016 continues this year,” said Ian Gregg, chief of the Game Commission’s Game Management Division. “States now make season selections in early spring rather than late summer, allowing them to be published alongside other hunting season dates and providing additional time for hunters to plan their vacations.”
While seasons for webless migratory birds are similar to those selected in 2016-17, waterfowl hunters will notice some changes this year including more restrictive September Canada goose seasons in northwestern Pennsylvania, modifications to daily bag limits for some duck species, and later dates for some youth waterfowl hunting days.
HARRISBURG, Pa. (April 25) – At its quarterly business meeting held here today, the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission (PFBC) adopted a proposed rulemaking order which would allow wake surfing in or on the wake of a motorboat provided the boat’s propulsion system is specifically designed for the activity.
Currently, boating regulations prohibit wake surfing behind boats using outboard motors, inboard/outboard motors or water jets. In late 2015, however, Volvo Penta asked the PFBC to allow boaters to use its new Forward Facing Drive for wake surfing.
Traditional motors have propellers which face away from the boat, creating a potentially dangerous situation if an individual is wake surfing and falls into the wake and the path of the blades.
The Volvo motor’s propellers are mounted on the inside of the engine’s mid-section and face the boat, effectively creating a safety barrier between the blades and the person who is wake surfing.
HARRISBURG, Pa. (April 24) – The Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission (PFBC) has scheduled several opportunities in May and June for families to learn fishing skills and enjoy fishing.
The PFBC is holding three Family Fishing Festivals in May and three in June. These events lead up to the two statewide Fish-for-Free Days – the Sunday before Memorial Day, May 28, and Independence Day, July 4.
“Family Fishing Festivals are a convenient way to introduce friends and family to the sport of fishing at no cost,” said Carl Richardson, PFBC Education Section Manager. “These are educational events designed for families with little or no fishing experience. Participants will learn basic fishing skills and have an opportunity to practice those skills while fishing during the program.”
Pennsylvania’s spring gobbler seasons kick off with the Saturday, April 22 youth hunt.
Excitement is starting to build for the start of spring-gobbler seasons.
Properly licensed junior hunters and mentored youth can head afield Saturday, April 22 to participate in Pennsylvania’s annual youth spring turkey hunt. A week later, on April 29, all hunters can head into Penn’s Woods in pursuit of spring gobblers.
There’s good reason for the increasing interest among hunters, said Mary Jo Casalena, the Pennsylvania Game Commission’s wild turkey biologist.
A light turkey harvest last fall and a mild winter have set the stage for what could be a fast-starting spring gobbler season.
“Fall mast last year was spotty and turkeys responded by moving to those food sources, which in some cases meant they moved away from areas frequented by hunters,” Casalena said. “The fall turkey harvest dropped as a consequence. And while that might have been bad news for fall turkey hunters, it’s likely good news for spring turkey hunters because unfilled fall turkey tags typically lead to increased availability in the spring.
HARRISBURG, Pa. (April 13) – The Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission (PFBC) today announced that the 2017 creel limit for Lake Erie yellow perch will remain at 30 per day and the creel limit for walleye will stay at six per day.
“The 2016 assessment showed that both yellow perch and walleye populations remain at maintenance levels,” said Chuck Murray, the PFBC’s Lake Erie biologist. “Based on this, the 2017 creel limits are being held at the 2016 limits.”
At its March 24 meeting, the Lake Erie Committee allotted to Pennsylvania a yellow perch total allowable catch (TAC) of 610,728 pounds, a 1% decrease from 2016, but 12% above the long-term average of 543,665 pounds. The 2017 level includes a yellow perch TAC for the commercial trap net fishery of 100,000 pounds.
Since 1996, the average harvest of yellow perch by Pennsylvania’s combined recreational (136,000 lbs.) and commercial fisheries (13,000 lbs.) has been 149,000 pounds.
Amendment package includes expanded Sunday hours at Game Commission ranges.
The Pennsylvania Board of Game Commissioners today gave final approval to a package of regulatory changes regarding the use of Game Commission-owned public shooting ranges.
One change allows shooting ranges on state game lands to open longer – from 8 a.m. to sunset – on Sundays within the firearms deer and bear seasons.
Shooting ranges on game lands regularly are open from 8 a.m. to sunset Monday through Saturday, but regular Sunday hours are noon to sunset. On the Sundays immediately preceding the firearms deer and firearms bear seasons, however, ranges are open from 8 a.m. to sunset.
Commissioners said the proposed expansion of Sunday hours within the deer and bear seasons, while minor, would create a convenience for hunters who might find themselves pressed for time to adjust sights or scopes on firearms at the height of the hunting season.