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Area college fishing teams doing well

| Sunday, May 26, 2013, 9:00 p.m.

Two college fishing teams with local ties moved one step closer to fishing in the 2014 FLW College Fishing national championship.

The Penn State team of Andrew Severns of Finleyville and Stephan Tull of Media, and the Slippery Rock University team of Tyler Branca of Hermitage and Benjamin Tawney of Fayetteville, N.C., finished in the top 15 of the first Northern Conference tournament of the year.

Penn State finished fourth and Slippery Rock sixth in the event on Smith Mountain Lake in Virginia.

The top 15 teams advanced to the conference invitational. The top 10 teams there move on to the championship.

The La Roche College team of Jonathan Coholich and Richard Smith, both of Pittsburgh, finished in 36th place. The Ohio University team of Cody Hrtyanski of Latrobe and Ryan Dentscheff of Warren, Ohio, finished 43rd.

The Northern Conference's next event, the second of four, is set for June 22 on the Potomac River in Maryland.

Watch for drones

An incident that occurred in Pennsylvania is behind legislation being considered in Illinois.

Last fall, an animal rights group flew a drone over hunters in Pennsylvania to harass them. More recently, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals announced plans to buy and use drones to “monitor those who are out in the woods with death on their minds.”

As a result, Illinois lawmaker Adam Brown has introduced legislation that would make it illegal to use drones to interfere with someone's hunting and fishing.

Public opinion

More Americans approve of hunting now than at any time in nearly 20 years, according to a new national survey.

Research done for the National Shooting Sports Foundation found that 79 percent off Americans approve of hunting. That's up from 74 percent last year and the highest level of support since 1995.

Mark Damian Duda, executive director of Responsive Management, which did the survey, attributed that to increased participation in hunting and shooting.

Officer of the year

Steelhead anglers may be familiar with the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission's newest officer of the year.

Brook Tolbert, who serves in western Erie County, was singled out for his work, especially his successful prosecution of two commercial license holders who were illegally using gill nets in a closed area.

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

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