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Outdoors notebook: Commission working on next year's seasons

| Monday, Sept. 2, 2013, 10:14 p.m.

The main part of Pennsylvania's 2013-14 hunting seasons haven't arrived yet, but game commission staff are already thinking ahead to next year.

Work to develop recommendations for 2014-15 seasons has begun, said Cal DuBrock, director of the commission's bureau of wildlife management. Suggestions and justifications from staff were due this week.

Recommendations will be given to the board of commissioners at their December work group meeting for a first review. The board will then give preliminary approval to seasons in January.

One change has already been implemented. In the past, the possession limit for waterfowl hunters was two times the daily limit. This year, a federal rules change says they'll be allowed to have three times the daily limit, said John Dunn, the commission's game management division chief.

Fish habitat

There's some new fish habitat in Pymatuning Lake thanks to a multistate effort.

The Ohio Division of Wildlife and Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission, with other agencies, this summer put 100 wooden cribs in the lake, just north of the Ohio cabin launch. The structures are “panfish magnets” in that they attract and concentrate species such as crappies, bluegills and yellow perch, said Matt Wolfe, a Jeannette native and fisheries biologist for Ohio's division of wildlife.

Details on their exact location can be found by calling 330-644-2293.

Fish stocked

The Fish and Boat Commission stocked Glendale Lake in Cambria County with 43,580 walleye fingerlings, and Cross Creek Lake in Washington got 14,700 and Lake Somerset in Somerset got 1,849. Mahoning Creek Lake in Armstrong County got 6,000 tiger musky fingerlings, Keystone Lake in Armstrong got 4,750, the Ohio River in Allegheny and Beaver counties got 5,350 and the Beaver River in Beaver and Lawrence counties got 1,000. Dutch Fork Lake in Washington County was stocked twice with largemouth bass fingerlings, getting 2,700 all told.

Ban on game land fires?

Staff in the Game Commission's northwest region office recently suggested to the agency's senior staff that all fires be banned on game lands. The idea was to curtail the kind of parties that entail big bonfires.

If it seems like those should be outside the law anyway, some local district justices haven't always agreed, making enforcement an issue, said Rich Palmer, director of the commission's bureau of wildlife protection.

Duck and goose blinds

Applications for duck and goose blinds at the Game Commission's Pymatuning wildlife management area are being taken through Sept. 14. Find them on page 28 of your hunting digest. A drawing to award blinds will be at 10 a.m. Sept. 21.

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

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