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Outdoors notebook: Fish commissioner pushing promotion of carp fishing

| Sunday, Feb. 23, 2014, 5:21 p.m.

Some people look at carp as trash fish. The species does have its fans, however.

Some are real diehards.

“A dedicated carp fisherman, who does it using European methods, would hurt his mother before he'd hurt one of these carp. They are very serious,” said Len Lichvar, a Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commissioner from Somerset County.

Carp are widespread across the commonwealth, grow large and do so on their own without the commission having to raise them in hatcheries at great cost, Lichvar noted. For those reasons, he's pushing the commission to better highlight carp fishing opportunities.

“They're already there. We just need to promote them,” Lichvar said.

The agency has a page on its website that offers tips and videos on his to fish for carp, at

But Lichvar told agency staff he'd like them to look for ways to better get the word out.

Executive director John Arway said one possibility might be to identify the best carp fishing spots in the state and list them at the agency's “Pennsylvania's Best Fishing Waters” page, at

Art contest

Students from kindergarten through 12th grade can participate in the 16th annual Wildlife Forever state fish art contest.

State-level first-place winners in four age categories will be invited to attend the expo held as part of FLW's national bass fishing championship, the Forrest L. Wood Cup, in South Carolina from Aug. 15-17. All will get prizes, and some will be crowned national winners.

Students must create an original illustration of their state fish and write a one-page essay, story or poem on its behavior, habitat, and conservation needs. The deadline to enter is March 31. Details are at

Deputies sought

The Pennsylvania Game Commission just completed training for 32 new deputy wildlife conservation officers. The bad news is that the deputy force is down to 351 statewide, according to executive director Matt Hough. That's reflective of a long-term trend, he said.

An open house for potential recruits is on tap, however. It's set for 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. March 8 at the agency's northwest region office in Franklin. Visitors can meet and talk with full-time and deputy officers, check out displays and watch a video.

Wildlife Nation

The National Wildlife Federation launched an online community called “Wildlife Nation” at It's meant to let people who enjoy fishing, hiking, camping, wildlife watching and more connect, post photos, tell stories and ask questions, all with the goal of helping to get kids involved.

Milestone reached

For the first time in its 30-year history, the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation topped 200,000 members. It had 203,703 as of Dec. 31. That's 25 percent more than in 2008.

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

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