Outdoors notebook: Trout anglers to get a thank you
Trout fishermen will have some unusual company on the water this spring.
More than 120 staff members from the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission will deploy to streams and lakeside areas on March 29, the first day of trout season in 18 southeastern Pennsylvania counties, and on April 12, when the season gets underway across the rest of the state, to thank anglers for being fishermen.
The “Angler Thank You” campaign is meant to show the agency's appreciation for the people who support it financially by buying licenses, said Bernie Matscavage, director of its bureau of administration.
Anglers will get more than just a handshake, though.
The commission is soliciting donations from various outdoor retailers so as to be able to present anglers with bags containing small gifts, he said. It's also worked out a deal with convenience stores — 170 and counting, including a number of GetGo locations — to make it possible for anglers to stop by for a free coffee, tea or hot chocolate on opening day.
The commission is going to list on a special website under development, www.anglerboaterthankyou.com, the waters it plans to visit on opening day.
“Now, we can't say exactly when we'll be at each location, but we'll give anglers as much information as we can,” Matscavage said.
The effort is part of a larger, overall marketing plan the commission has been developing with the help of a consultant. Its ultimate goal is to increase license sales by 10 percent over the next four years.
Marketing efforts tied to the bass fishing, boating and steelhead seasons are also on tap for this year, Matscavage said.
There was a time when virtually all of the biologists in charge of managing the nation's wildlife were also hunters. That's no longer the case.
An effort to educate them on the outdoor sports is underway, however.
A number of organizations, such as the Max McGraw Wildlife Foundation, Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation and others, are behind a program known as the Conservation Leaders for Tomorrow. It's designed to “educate wildlife professionals who do not hunt with an understanding about the important roles of hunting and its impact on conservation.”
Information on the program is at www.clft.org.
Researchers at Boise State University have determined that excessive road noise will compel birds to change their travel patterns.
Researchers created an “artificial road” by putting speakers in trees along an otherwise roadless ridge and playing traffic sounds. They then compared the number of birds seen on days when the noise was played and when it wasn't.
Bird sightings declined by a quarter, with some species going missing entirely, when the traffic noise was played.