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PA Bulletin, Doc. No. 03-1119


[58 PA. CODE CH. 65]

Wild Brook Trout Enhancement

[33 Pa.B. 2760]

   The Fish and Boat Commission (Commission) proposes to amend § 65.13 (relating to wild brook trout enhancement). The Commission is publishing this proposed rulemaking under the authority of 30 Pa.C.S. (relating to the Fish and Boat Code) (code). The proposed rulemaking relates to enhancing wild brook trout populations.

A.  Effective Date

   The proposed rulemaking, if approved on final-form, will go into effect on January 1, 2004.

B.  Contact Person

   For further information on the proposed rulemaking, contact Laurie E. Shepler, Assistant Counsel, P. O. Box 67000, Harrisburg, PA 17106-7000, (717) 705-7815. This proposal is available electronically through the Commission's website (

C.  Statutory Authority

   The proposed rulemaking is published under the statutory authority of section 2102 of the code (relating to rules and regulations).

D.  Purpose and Background

   The proposed rulemaking is designed to update, modify and improve the Commission's regulations pertaining to fishing. The specific purpose of the proposed rulemaking is described in more detail under the summary of proposal.

E.  Summary of Proposal

   Historically, brook trout are the only stream dwelling trout native to this Commonwealth's streams. Currently, special regulations for wild trout are typically applied to waters that support wild brown trout or a combination of wild brook and brown populations. Because brook trout dominate in smaller headwater reaches and tributary streams and there typically is a transition to brown trout downstream areas, very few waters under special regulations are dominated by wild brook trout. Based on discussions with various wild trout angling groups and feedback from the recent Trout Summit, there is interest in developing regulations directed at enhancing the abundance of larger, older wild brook trout in this Commonwealth's streams. The general concept is to reduce the effect of harvest of brook trout on the number of older and larger brook trout. The approach being sought is to apply regulations on a watershed basin level (main stem and tributaries) or a portion of the basin to provide a larger area for this management strategy to provide increased protection for larger brook trout in selected streams.

   The Commission proposes two options for consideration. The preferred option, which is set forth in Annex A, provides for catch and release. Catch and release of wild brook trout in this program would allow fishing year-round (no closed season) with no tackle restrictions. This proposal would provide the maximum protection for all wild brook trout while appealing to a broad range of anglers. All other trout species would be under conventional seasons, sizes and creel limits.

   The Commission is also seeking public comments on a second option that imposes a 7-inch maximum size limit on wild brook trout. A 7-inch maximum size limit on brook trout would allow anglers the opportunity to harvest some brook trout while affording the larger, older brook trout maximum protection from angling. Fishing would be permitted year-round (no closed season) with no tackle restrictions. The creel limit would be five trout per day from opening day through Labor Day, and no harvest from midnight Labor Day to 8 a.m. the opening day of the regular trout season. All other trout would be subject to conventional seasons, sizes and creel limits.

   Some potential waters for inclusion in the wild brook trout enhancement program are shown in the following table.

Stream County Limits Miles Miles
Tubbs Run Forest Entire Watershed 4.9 1.2
Minister Creek Forest Entire Watershed 5.0 3.6
Birch Run Potter Entire Watershed 5.3
Cooks Run Cameron Entire Watershed 4.0 12.1
Lyman Run Potter Headwaters downstream to confluence with Lyman Lake 5.3 12.0
Kettle Creek Tioga/Potter Headwaters downstream to confluence with Long Run 10.7 17.6
N. Br. Buffalo Creek Union Headwaters downstream to Mifflinburg Rs 7.0 3.0
W. Br. Fishing Creek Sullivan Headwaters downstream to confluence with Hemlock Run 2.5 2.9
Mill Brook Pike Entire watershed 2.5 0.9
Wolf Swamp Run Monroe Entire watershed 2.1 3.2
Shaeffer Run Perry Headwaters downstream to downstream limit of Tuscarora State Forest 3.7 0.7
Camp Run Westmoreland Entire watershed 4.1

   In addition, the Commission is soliciting public comments regarding both options with the inclusion of tackle restrictions, such as artificial lures only.

F.  Paperwork

   The proposed rulemaking will not increase paperwork and will create no new paperwork requirements.

G.  Fiscal Impact

   The proposed rulemaking will have no adverse fiscal impact on the Commonwealth or its political subdivisions. The proposed rulemaking will impose no new costs on the private sector or the general public.

H.  Public Comments

   Interested persons are invited to submit written comments, objections or suggestions about the proposed rulemaking to the Executive Director, Fish and Boat Commission, P. O. Box 67000, Harrisburg, PA 17106-7000, within 30 days after publication of this notice in the Pennsylvania Bulletin. Comments submitted by facsimile will not be accepted.

   Comments also may be submitted electronically to A subject heading of the proposal and a return name and address must be included in each transmission. In addition, all electronic comments must be contained in the text of the transmission, not in an attachment. If an acknowledgment of electronic comments is not received by the sender within 2 working days, the comments should be retransmitted to ensure receipt.

Executive Director

   Fiscal Note: 48A-144. No fiscal impact; (8) recommends adoption.

Annex A



Subpart B.  FISHING


§ 65.13.  Wild brook trout enhancement.

   (a)  The Executive Director, with the approval of the Commission, may designate waters as ''Wild Brook Trout Enhancement Regulations'' waters. The designation shall be effective upon publication of a notice of designation in the Pennsylvania Bulletin.

   (b)  It is unlawful to fish in designated ''Wild Brook Trout Enhancement Regulations'' waters except in compliance with the following requirements:

   (1)  Brook trout may not be killed or had in possession.

   (2)  There is no closed season for brook trout.

   (3)  There are no tackle restrictions.

   (4)  Other trout species shall be subject to Statewide regulations (including seasons, sizes and creel limits).

[Pa.B. Doc. No. 03-1119. Filed for public inspection June 13, 2003, 9:00 a.m.]

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