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Outdoors notebook: Western Pa. native picked to lead waterfowl group

| Sunday, March 3, 2013, 6:30 p.m.

A Western Pennsylvania native has been tabbed as the next leader of Delta Waterfowl.

Nick Pinizzotto, who until last fall was vice president of the Western Pennsylvania Conservancy, was named chief executive officer of Delta Waterfowl. The group works to “conserve waterfowl and secure the future of waterfowl hunting.”

Pinizzotto joined Delta last year as chief operating officer. In his expanded role, he'll be responsible for growing the organization and its influence.

“This is really the start of a new day for Delta,” Pinizzotto said in a statement. “It's the key to the re-assumption of growth and increased mission success for this venerable organization.”

Frank Rohwer was named president of Delta, too. He has been the organization's scientific director while serving on the faculty at Louisiana State University.

Modern record

In 2006, a group of scientists, anglers and others calling themselves the International Committee of the Modern Day Muskellunge World Record Program decided that state and world records for muskies caught decades earlier might be less than reliable. They set a goal of recognizing new records. At the time, they said they would consider no fish weighing less than 60 pounds a new world record.

They never saw one that big. So recently, the committee certified a 58-pound musky caught from Lake Bellaire, Mich., last fall as its world record. The fish was 58 inches long and 29 around.

Bat disease spreading

White-nose syndrome, the mysterious ailment that's been devastating bat populations in Pennsylvania and across the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic, is still moving west.

Dan Brauning, head of the Pennsylvania Game Commission's wildlife diversity section, said work being done this winter is meant to confirm its spread and prevalence. But it appears the disease has made it as far as Greene and Washington counties, he said.

Its effect elsewhere has been intense. Populations of some bat species have declined by 99 percent, Brauning said.

New sponsor

Dave Lefebre, the Erie County bass fishing pro who competes on the FLW Outdoors circuit, has picked up a sponsor. Lefebre was sponsored by Rapala and Storm lures last year. They'll stay on board this year, joined by Rapala's Sufix fishing line and Terminator brands.

Lefebre picked up his fifth career tournament victory this past summer by boating 20 bass weighing more than 77 pounds on Kentucky Lake.

Bob Frye is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. Reach him at bfrye@tribweb.com or via Twitter @bobfryeoutdoors.

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