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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I dont have to tell you how devistating this will be for Potter County. I just can't wrap my head around it.

HATCHERY STATS FOR OSWAYO
•Employees: 8 full-time, 1 part-time
•Average Fish Production: 181,261 lbs.
•Average Production Costs: $3.20 per pound
•Visitor Center: Yes
•Average Annual Visitors: 1,000

HARRISBURG, Pa. (Jan. 23) – The Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission (PFBC) announced today that it plans to reduce operating costs by $9 million over the next four years in order to meet future health-care and retirement obligations for its employees and to fund infrastructure needs. A portion of this reduction will come from closing two trout hatcheries, a move that will reduce annual operating costs by approximately $2 million.

The two hatcheries include Oswayo in Potter County, which has nine employees, and Bellefonte in Centre County, which has nine employees. No furloughs are expected. The PFBC plans to offer affected employees jobs at other PFBC facilities.

“Fishing license sales have steadily declined since 1990, while at the same time operating costs have continued to increase, including the price of fish food,” said PFBC Executive Director John Arway.

“As a result, we must streamline our operations and reduce operating costs in order to maintain a sound financial condition while we attempt to secure long-term, dedicated alternative funding,” he added. “As part of this process, we evaluated our 14 production sites and determined that closing these two trout hatcheries would have the least impact on the number of trout stocked.”

Arway added that because of existing vacancies within the Commission, no employees are expected to be laid off.

“Over the last two years, a number of vacancies have been created from retirements and transfers,” he said. ”As a result, we plan to offer the employees at Oswayo and Bellefonte the opportunity to take these jobs at other facilities.”

Today’s decision is one part of a long-range strategy to reduce operating costs across all PFBC bureaus by a total of $9 million by the 2016-17 Fiscal Year, which begins July 1, 2016. Approximately $6.7 million is needed for employee health care and retirement benefits and $2.3 million is needed for infrastructure needs, such as maintenance and repairs, at remaining hatcheries, other facilities and boating access areas.

In addition to the $2 million the PFBC expects to save by closing the two hatcheries, it estimates saving another $1 million by not enrolling a new class of waterways conservation officers. Overall, the bureaus of Hatcheries and Law Enforcement account for approximately 27.6 percent and 22.6 percent, respectively, of the PFBC’s annual expenditures.

The PFBC Bureau of Hatcheries spends approximately $12.5 million annually to raise 3.2 million adult trout, 2 million fingerling trout and more than 30 million fry and fingerling warm/coolwater fish at its 14 hatcheries. Oswayo and Bellefonte annually produce approximately 245,000 and 540,000 adult trout, respectively, including brook, brown, rainbow and golden trout.

The Oswayo and Bellefonte hatcheries aren’t expected to be completely closed until the end of 2014. Fish are being raised at both facilities and won’t be ready to stock until the end of this year and spring of next year. Once the fish have been stocked, the facilities will be cleaned and then closed.
 

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Shame! This is the wave of the future. Decent paying blue collar jobs are turning into a thing of the past. Tell your kids to study medicine, technology, or law.
 

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This was posted on here a couple weeks ago. It stinks. Oswayo produces the nicest fish of any hatchery that I assist in stocking from. It is a nice hatchery, they do a great job and it is fun to visit there.
I know all of the guys who work there. They are all great guys. Couple who are locals there who may not take a transfer.
Enjoy the next two seasons boys and girls, cause it will be straight downhill from there.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Do they expect co-ops to provide all the fish for this area? They aren't going to truck fish in from 100 miles away so it's either that or we just wont have trout anymore here.
 

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pottercountyman said:
Do they expect co-ops to provide all the fish for this area? They aren't going to truck fish in from 100 miles away so it's either that or we just wont have trout anymore here.
The other hatcheries will pick up some of the production, but they are just flat out going to produce and stock fewer fish. Fall and some winter stockings are going to be eliminated so there will be more fish to stock in the spring when the vast majority of fishing takes place. There will be some streams that will be taken off the stocking lists altogether and some that will receive fewer inseason stockings and fewer fish when they do get stocked.
You will also see multiple streams from the same areas getting stocked on the same day. Combining stockings from the same truck will save fuel, time and labor $$$.
Like it or not, this is our future.
 

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The guys at the hatchery in Oswayo are very nice guys. They really keep the whole grounds nice looking and also manage the large open areas for other types of game. The hatchery has probably 200-300 acres of agriculture that is in productuon with a farmer who rents the land. It would be a shame to lose this asset to our area. Hopefully they will do a swap or something with the PGC to keep it the way it is.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Bringing fish 100 miles on the interstate is different than 100 miles on these roads. I used to haul fish and the longer they are in the tank the more that are dead.
 

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yes good reason to not fish Potter county . honestly with less stocked fish maybe the wild fish may do better . There are a few streams in Ny nearby that are wild trout waters that do real well . We will see less fish up here for sure .
 

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kudu58 said:
pottercountyman said:
Do they expect co-ops to provide all the fish for this area? They aren't going to truck fish in from 100 miles away so it's either that or we just wont have trout anymore here.
The other hatcheries will pick up some of the production, but they are just flat out going to produce and stock fewer fish. Fall and some winter stockings are going to be eliminated so there will be more fish to stock in the spring when the vast majority of fishing takes place. There will be some streams that will be taken off the stocking lists altogether and some that will receive fewer inseason stockings and fewer fish when they do get stocked.
You will also see multiple streams from the same areas getting stocked on the same day. Combining stockings from the same truck will save fuel, time and labor $$$.
Like it or not, this is our future.
Not to sure that other hatcheries can offord to pick up production. I think that these hateries are about maxed out for the amount of effluent that is allowed to flow back into the streams they are located on. Sad days. I wonder if the PAFBC will be looking at having grants to increas the hatchery sizes of co-op hatcheries in this area to cover this loss.

I know that Potter County anglers has a great hatchery and raises close to 30,000 trout a year. Wonder if this is a possibility to expand this hatchery or not.

It makes me sad to see them cut out this hatchery. A lot of Potter Countys income is generatedon the first day of trout. I wonder if people see less trout stocked or anyhting like that if they will stay closer to home. I am a die hard for this area and will go up either way. I imagine Potter county is being hit hard with the decrease in people hunting up there for deer so this may only add fuel to the fire of taking money away from this area.
 

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A few years ago, the mantra was... we will stock less, but they will be better quality. Now, it's less of both quantity and quality, but the PFBC certainly hasn't been transparent on going about it.

I just don't know why they aren't coming up with SOMETHING to try and remedy the hatchery issues they face. The Trout program is wayyyy too valuable to let slip like this. Trout fishing does more for youth, families, camps, etc... in this state than any Deer season opener ever could. No comparison. And those kids and grandpa's aren't going to traverse rugged mountainous terrain in search of a native brookie or wild brown.
 

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After the success we had with wild trout with the electro shocking in some of the streams up here i won't shed a tear about less stocked fish. I help stock my area every year and it frustrates me every year when i dump a bucket of rainbows into a stream that has a descent wild trout population both brooks and browns knowing that i am doing more damage than good. i strongly pushed while talking with the fish commision biologist about expanding some of our class a wild trout areas. I had an invitation to go fish in some of the biologists areas for wild browns as he bragged how good the populations were. That invitation was changed after the wild trout population blew his mind up here.
 

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Having healthy, stable populations of Native and/or Wild Trout in designated Class A streams are certainly a good thing, but... think of the masses of PA residents that respond to a Trout stocking program. It doesn't take a healthy young, or middle-aged yuppie to fish a stream with very good access over a bucket or two of stocked Rainbows. An otherwise unhealthy father or mother, can get their 8 year old streamside and chuck a few salmon eggs at the "pelletheads". A feeble grandpa can take his grandson fishing, and effectively catch a few less than leary stocked fish. That same kid will bug mom, dad, grandpa, or Uncle Joe every time he sees them to go fishing. THAT is what sells licenses. THAT is what unlocks the camp doors in the norhern tier. THAT is what keeps families interested in what the outdoors has to offer. As much fun as it might be for a "30 something" (that was an old TV Series ya know) year old guy to peel off on some rutted dirt road, and take his Orvis Lightweight on a 3 mile adventure, to find a native brookie on a little known headwater, THAT ain't the pulse of PA Fisherman. And THAT ain't gonna drive revenue stream into local, outta the way economies.

Native/Wild fish serve a niche right now. Very few fisherman, ratio-wise, target only Native/Wild fish. How long do you think those secretive waters that hold such fish will survive if the stocking program continues to collapse ? Stocking is what saves you guys that like to fish over the wild fish. Wild/Natives would never withstand the pressure if stocking collapses without heavy, heavy, regulation. And even with the regulation, it would be tough cause these streams ain't the Madison, Snake, and Colorado Rivers.

ALL PA fisherman... the yups, the rednecks, ma/pa, granny and granpa, better hope somebody at some point in the PFBC can recognize the value of the program, and come up with a plan to right the ship instead of letting it slowly sink. Somebody needs to get some... well... I think that word is still censored.
 

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You have high cost state workers raising these fish. We had the pheasant argument on here several years back where it cost <span style="font-weight: bold">2-3X! </span> per bird for the state to raise them vs private sector.
It is not sustainable without a big license cost hike to raise these fish.
I will admit I don't fish or even own a fishing rod. And I will admit you are correct about the stocking program being good for the kids. They need to reduce costs per fish. That is the issue that needs addressed.
 

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Fleroo said:
Having healthy, stable populations of Native and/or Wild Trout in designated Class A streams are certainly a good thing, but... think of the masses of PA residents that respond to a Trout stocking program. It doesn't take a healthy young, or middle-aged yuppie to fish a stream with very good access over a bucket or two of stocked Rainbows. An otherwise unhealthy father or mother, can get their 8 year old streamside and chuck a few salmon eggs at the "pelletheads". A feeble grandpa can take his grandson fishing, and effectively catch a few less than leary stocked fish. That same kid will bug mom, dad, grandpa, or Uncle Joe every time he sees them to go fishing. THAT is what sells licenses. THAT is what unlocks the camp doors in the norhern tier. THAT is what keeps families interested in what the outdoors has to offer. As much fun as it might be for a "30 something" (that was an old TV Series ya know) year old guy to peel off on some rutted dirt road, and take his Orvis Lightweight on a 3 mile adventure, to find a native brookie on a little known headwater, THAT ain't the pulse of PA Fisherman. And THAT ain't gonna drive revenue stream into local, outta the way economies.

Native/Wild fish serve a niche right now. Very few fisherman, ratio-wise, target only Native/Wild fish. How long do you think those secretive waters that hold such fish will survive if the stocking program continues to collapse ? Stocking is what saves you guys that like to fish over the wild fish. Wild/Natives would never withstand the pressure if stocking collapses without heavy, heavy, regulation. And even with the regulation, it would be tough cause these streams ain't the Madison, Snake, and Colorado Rivers.

ALL PA fisherman... the yups, the rednecks, ma/pa, granny and granpa, better hope somebody at some point in the PFBC can recognize the value of the program, and come up with a plan to right the ship instead of letting it slowly sink. Somebody needs to get some... well... I think that word is still censored.
Fleroo,

Although i agree with a lot of what you said, i can see a lot of points that can be made with what has been said about wild populations of trout. I am a member of club that holds alot of the same values as you. Look at it this way:

If they take the trout that were going to be stocked over these wild trout streams, and distribute them to the "lesser" streams, which often are popular, you will have more trout to catch in these streams, and protect a valuable resource as well.

I think a lot of thought about wild trout is not only about fishing, but protecting a valuable resource. Stocking these hatchery fish over sustainable wild trout IMO is a big no no. These hatchery fish are used to being competative and are very agressive, they take over a pool and take the best/ prime feeding spots. I think that focusing trout into an area without a wild trout population is a great idea.


This being said, i don't want to sound like a "yuppie" to you. I am not a big fan of special regulation areas, and I feel that it is important to get kids and as many people involved as we can. However I do find it trouble that when i dump a bucket of fish in the stream is should not hear a comment like this:

"Hey why didn't you put that over here by me"

My response: "Just throw me your stringer, and I'll just put them on for you"

I don't feel that sitting on a hole waiting for these fish, then catching 3, and putting them on your stringer before i get back to the truck is an extreme waste of a valuable resource IMO.
 
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