Notebook: Fish thriving in Piney Dam in Clarion Co.
By The Tribune-Review
Published: Sunday, June 3, 2007
The Fish & Boat Commission
The Fish and Boat Commission has been aggressively stocking Piney Dam in Clarion County -- to the tune of 500,000 walleye fry, 6,500 walleye fingerlings, and 1,350 tiger muskellunge fingerlings -- every year since 1995. Channel catfish fingerlings were stocked in 2000, 2003, 2005 and 2006.
This spring, biologists sampled the 690-acre lake to see if those fish are surviving. The answer is yes.
According to commission biologist Tim Wilson, crews caught four tiger muskies ranging from 21 to 38 inches. Anglers have reported catching tigers longer than 50 inches, though, he said.
Numerous walleyes were also captured. All were of sub-legal size, but some of those should be at least 15 inches long by this fall, Wilson said, and the outlook for walleyes long-term is pretty good.
Largemouth and smallmouth bass are more scarce, but those fisheries are slowly improving. Already, fish as large as 20 inches showed up in surveys, Wilson noted.
The surveys showed that Piney Dam also supports good populations of yellow perch up to 12 inches, rock bass and pumpkinseeds up to nine inches, with some crappies and bluegills mixed in. Stocked channel catfish up to 21 inches also turned up.
Anglers should be aware, though, that the lake can be tough to fish, Wilson said. Its banks are very steep and there is little shallow water structure to concentrate fish, so a depth finder is a necessity. Piney Dam also gets a lot of pressure on weekends from pleasure boaters.
Doug Austen, executive director of the Fish and Boat Commission, will be making several stops in western Pennsylvania this week.
In observance of National Fishing and Boating Week -- which runs June 2 to 10 -- Austen has committed to visiting various parts of the state to see the waters and fisheries his agency manages.
Austen will get to this region beginning Aug. 7, when he'll attend the Western Pennsylvania Environmental Awards dinner in Pittsburgh. The following day he'll meet with representatives of the Three Rivers Chapter of Muskies Inc. in the morning to try a little fishing. Later in the afternoon he'll tour a section of the Youghiogheny River with representatives of Venture Outdoors.
Austen will wrap up his tour of the state June 9 when he speaks at a ceremony honoring the 50th anniversary of catch and release, fly fishing only trout fishing on a section of Yellow Creek in Bedford County.
The Game Commission
Pennsylvania's white-tailed deer herd remains free of chronic wasting disease, so far as anyone can tell.
The Game Commission sampled 4,260 hunter-killed deer for CWD after the close of the 2006 firearms deer season. All of those deer tested negative for the disease, said commission veterinarian Walt Cottrell.
The commission earlier announced that none of the elk taken by hunters in Pennsylvania last fall had the disease either.
The cost of all that testing -- in terms of materials and supplies and some personnel costs -- was covered primarily by a $75,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
This marked the sixth year for testing hunter-killed elk and the fifth year for testing hunter-killed deer. In that time, 224 elk and nearly 14,300 deer have been tested.
The Game Commission is setting 16,500 pheasants aside for this year's youth pheasant hunt, which is scheduled for Oct. 6 to 12.
The majority of those birds -- 15,000 -- will be stocked at sites like state game lands across the state. The remaining 1,500 birds will be given to sportsmen's clubs hosting mentored youth hunts.
Clubs that want to hold such a hunt have until Aug. 15 to apply for birds. In the meantime, they can get a 26-page manual on how to host a hunt at www.pgc.state.pa.us ; click on "Forms & Programs" and then "Youth Pheasant Hunt Planning Guide."
Ultimately, the commission will post a list of all those hunts, with information on how kids can get registered, on its Web site.
-- Bob Frye
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.