PGC seeking opinions on proposed changes

HARRISBURG — The Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission is seeking public comment on proposed changes to fishing tackle regulations along a section of Spruce Creek located in Huntingdon County.

At its next meeting on July 15 and 16, the Board of Commissioners will consider a proposal to add Spruce Creek, Section 03 to its Catch-and-Release All Tackle Program. This designation would allow anglers to use any form of tackle, including both artificial lures and live bait, to catch fish and release them immediately. Spruce Creek, Section 03 is currently managed with Commonwealth Inland Waters angling regulations. The section of creek contains a significant wild brown trout population and was added to the PFBC’s list of Class A Wild Trout Streams in January of 2019.

A previous proposal to add this section of creek to the PFBC’s Catch-and-Release Artificial Lures Only Program was tabled during the Commission’s April 2019 meeting so that the “all tackle” proposal could be considered and allow adequate time for public comment.

The latest proposal has been posted in the PA Bulletin, which can be located here.

Public comment on this proposal will be accepted up to and through June 24, 2019. Persons with comments, objections or suggestions concerning the designation proposal are invited to submit comments electronically by completing the form at www.fishandboat.com/regcomments, or submit comments in writing to the Executive Director, Fish and Boat Commission, P.O. Box 67000, Harrisburg, PA 17106-7000. Comments submitted by facsimile will not be accepted.

Recently, the 13-acre Indian Caverns property near the Village of Franklinville, Huntingdon County was acquired by the Western Pennsylvania Conservancy for conservation purposes to include conveyance of the riparian land to the PFBC for public fishing access to the portion of Spruce Creek flowing through the property.

This portion of the stream was formerly closed to public angling when privately owned and operated as a commercial limestone cave attraction; however, it now provides approximately 0.15 river-miles of new public fishing access to Spruce Creek. As such, Spruce Creek, Section 03, was established and extends approximately 800 linear stream feet upstream from the vehicle access bridge to Indian Caverns located along State Route 45.