PROPOSAL FOR STORAGE AUTHORIZATION AND ENHANCED PROTECTIONS AGAINST THE SPREAD OF AQUATIC INVASIVE SPECIES TO BE DISCUSSED AT THE COMMITTEE MEETING, PUBLIC COMMENT PERIOD EXTENDED
HARRISBURG, Pa. (August 16) – The Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission (PFBC) announced today that it will hold a Fisheries and Hatcheries Committee meeting at 1 p.m. on Wednesday, September 28, 2022, at its Harrisburg headquarters. located at 1601 Elmerton Avenue, Harrisburg, Pennsylvania 17110. One of the purposes of the meeting is to discuss a proposal to create a stocking permit program and strengthen protections against the spread of aquatic invasive species. This is an in-person meeting, and the public is welcome to attend.
In preparation for this meeting, the public comment period associated with this proposal has been extended by 30 days and comments will now be accepted until September 17, 2022. proposal and submit public comments online, visit the PFBC website (Fishandboat.com).
Under this proposal, two chapters of the Pennsylvania Code (58 Pa. Code § 71 and § 73) would be combined into a single chapter (58 Pa. Code § 71a) to address current conservation challenges, improve fisheries management, and fish health, prevent the spread of aquatic invasive species and simplify the code.
Among the proposed changes is the creation of a simple, free and user-friendly stocking authorization process whereby anyone storing fish in Pennsylvania waters would be required to obtain authorization from the CBFP before stocking. This process, like those currently used by more than 30 other state fish and wildlife agencies, aims to prevent the spread of aquatic invasive species and the introduction of new aquatic pathogens that could affect Commonwealth aquatic resources. . Commercial fish producers would also be required to test certain fish imported into Pennsylvania for diseases before storing them in areas where such diseases do not occur.
To further prevent the spread of aquatic invasive species by boats, this proposal also includes new boat inspection requirements. Under this proposal, all boaters (with limited exceptions for fishing derbies) would be required to drain livewells and bilges before transporting their craft away from the water on which they are cruising. At least 19 other states already have watercraft inspection requirements in place.
Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission