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Outdoors notebook: Carp fishing spots highlighted

| Sunday, May 4, 2014, 9:54 p.m.

Pennsylvania's carp are getting their due, starting now.

Several months ago, Len Lichvar, a member of the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission board from Somerset County, suggested the agency list carp fishing hot spots on the “PA's Best Fishing Waters” section of its website. That section lists the top spots to catch trophy-sized fish based on surveys done by commission biologists. If you want suggestions on where to catch largemouth and smallmouth bass and walleyes all longer than 15 inches, bluegills longer than seven or just the biggest muskies, the list provide that. Hot spots are broken down by species and large and small reservoirs and flowing waters.

A number of fish are highlighted, including everything from channel catfish to yellow perch to bluegills and pumpkinseeds to striped bass to trout, both stocked and wild.

Carp were not among them when the section was originally created, however. Lichvar suggested staff change that.

They listened.

The newly updated list — which will be discussed at Monday's meeting of the commission in Hawley — details 20 common carp hot spots. More than half are in Western Pennsylvania, including Conneaut, Keystone, Arthur, Wilhelm, Pymatuning, Shenango and Bridgeport lakes and the Allegheny and Monongahela rivers.

New ideas on deer kill reports

Pennsylvania Game Commissioners want their agency to explore some new ideas.

Commissioner Jay Delaney of Luzerne County wants to look at how to get better from compliance from hunters when it comes to reporting a deer kill.

Current law says hunters must report taking a deer within 10 days of the kill. Only about 30 percent do. That's “embarrassing,” Delaney said.

He said he's interested in perhaps mandating reporting within 24 hours.

Commissioner Bob Schlemmer of Export supports the idea, but said he isn't sure stiffer penalties will achieve that. The commission may want to look at offering prizes as incentives instead, he said.

Commissioner Dave Putnam of Centre County wants to discuss whether the legalization of electronic calls for hunting, specifically for turkeys and big game, should be expanded.

And commissioner Ralph Martone of New Castle wants to explore how the agency might enhance its partnership with Hunters Sharing the Harvest, an organization that facilities hunters donating venison to food banks and soup kitchens.

Fish for free

The Fish and Boat Commission will again offer two “fish for free” days across the state.

On May 26 and July 4, adults can go fishing without having to first purchase a license. Seasons and creel limits will still apply, however.

Fish for free days are intended to give people the chance to try fishing for the first time, or to reconnect with fishing, in the hopes they will become regular anglers.

Local chapter honored

Ducks Unlimited has identified its top volunteer chapters across the nation, based on money raised. A local chapter has made the list again.

The North Huntingdon-based Forbes Trail chapter earned a spot on the “top 100” list out of the more than 2,600 Ducks Unlimited chapters nationwide. It will be recognized during Ducks Unlimited's 77th national convention in St. Louis later this month.

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