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From Representative Martin Causer:

Good news! The Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission today reversed its earlier decision to close two of its trout hatcheries, including one in Oswayo, Potter County. The closings would have resulted in decreased stocking in area waterways, and that would have had a devastating impact on local fishing opportunities and the local economy. The commission announced its plan in late January, stating that the closures would save the agency approximately $2 million. I believe the closures would have done more harm than good, and I look forward to working with the commission to find other cost-saving alternatives while continuing to provide quality services to our boaters and anglers.
 

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Yeah they talked about it while stocking the genesee branches the other day. They said they thought it would be switched back because of the public uproar. They also said that the legislature wanted a license increase to help pay for it but the board said no. They did say we will prolly see a license increase but it will be done in a way so the the heat over it would be directed at the legislature and not at the fish commission
 

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Board Votes to Keep
Oswayo and Bellefonte Hatcheries Open

HARRISBURG, Pa. (March 22) – The Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission (PFBC) voted at a special public meeting today to keep its Oswayo and Bellefonte hatcheries open for at least two more years while the agency pursues a long-term funding source through the General Assembly.

“Since the board of commissioners voted in January to close the two hatcheries, staff and Commissioners have met with members of the General Assembly to try to identify opportunities to secure long-term funding sources,” said Board President Steve Ketterer. “As a result, we have voted to keep the hatcheries open while we pursue these opportunities.”

Commissioner Glade Squires introduced today’s motion, which reads: “I move that we restore funding for the continued operation of the Oswayo and Bellefonte trout hatcheries until the July 2015 Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission meeting and that we continue to work with senators and representatives to secure funding for the other areas of our budget previously identified to be reduced or eliminated.”

The motion passed by a unanimous vote.

The PFBC announced on Jan. 25 that it would close the Oswayo and Bellefonte hatcheries by the end of 2014 as part of a budget plan to save $9 million annually over the next four years. Approximately $6.7 million is needed in order to meet escalating health-care and retirement obligations for employees, and $2.3 million is needed for infrastructure needs, such as maintenance and repairs, at remaining hatcheries, other facilities and boating access areas. Closing the two hatcheries would save approximately $2 million annually.

“We’re thankful that the General Assembly has recognized the fiscal situation we’re in and have expressed their willingness to help us reach a solution,” said PFBC Executive Director John Arway. “However, it doesn’t eliminate the fact that we must still find $9 million in annual savings or revenue over the next four years.”

The Oswayo State Fish Hatchery is located in Coudersport, Potter County, and Bellefonte is in Centre County. Each has nine employees. The PFBC said at the time of the closure announcement that the hatchery employees would not be furloughed, and would be offered jobs at other facilities.
 

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This is a sign of the times. All about money. Things cost money and when the money is gone so are the jobs as well as the resource. Sad shame!
 

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This is good news..cause huntsdale n benner springs could not carry to added pressure since they are only operating at 50% since their hatchery got the bottom half raceways closed down back in 2003.
 
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