Donald Brumbaugh was a fisherman's best friend. Just ask Bob Kreiser, the current president of the Raystown Stripers Club.
"He did a lot for fishing, for fishermen ... he was a heckuva nice man. Everybody had respect for him," said Kreiser, who was mourning the loss of Brumbaugh, who died on Thursday at the age 81.
Brumbaugh, a long-time teacher in the Tussey Mountain School District, was a member of the Friends of Raystown Lake, where he served on the board of directors. He was also the co-organizer and past present of the Raystown Stripers Club for 25 years.
"He fought the fish commission; he fought for larger fish," Kreiser said.
Through Brumbaugh's efforts, the commission raised the size on stripers up to 20 inches.
"We are even starting to discuss making them longer, 24-26 inches for them to be legal to keep," Kreiser said. "These fish can get to be 42-44 inches long, 25-30 pounds. If you want to enjoy a nice fish, you have to let them grow up. It takes five years."
Kreiser pointed out that over the last 10 years, some 650,000 fingerlinks were put in Lake Raystown.
"That's because of Donnie," Kreiser said. "They spent $250,000 on fish ... that was through Donnie."
With Brumbaugh's health declining over the past year, Kreiser, a Marklesburg resident, took over as president of the club from Brumbaugh, who also used to give seminars at the Outdoor Times Show on fishing.
"In January [of this year], Donnie and I swapped positions," said Kreiser, who was the vice-president. "We decided it would be better for him to stay in the club."
Kreiser said of all the things he will remember about his friend, whom he met four years ago, Brumbaugh's work with keeping Raystown stocked is what stands out for him.
"Donnie was real particular about that," Kreiser recalled. "When it came to stocking, with the fish commission, he would tell them when the water was acclimated at the right temperature before they were allowed to put them in. He made them sit there until the water was the right temperature."
There will be no changes made with the club, according to Kreiser.
"I will do everything he did," he said. "He used to do those seminars. He was a teacher. He loved to speak. He was good at that. The rest of us ... we were kind of like 'Do we have to do that?' But, we are going to carry on everything that he had a passion for with that lake."
Brumbaugh is survived by his wife, Patricia, and his two sons, Terry and Timothy.