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Snakeheads legal for bow anglers

The Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission has granted approval to add invasive snakeheads to the list of permitted species that can be attacked with longbows, crossbows, spears and gigs. Snakeheads are found in some Commonwealth waters, primarily in the Southeast region, but range expansion into new waters across the state is threatening popular sport fishing and other species.

Many of the states around Pennsylvania already allow bow fishing as a method of capturing snakeheads to reduce their impact on the water resources in which they live.

Under this amendment, it remains unlawful to possess and transport live snakeheads and to introduce live snakeheads into Pennsylvania waters.

The PFBC recommends that all snakeheads caught should be properly disposed of, either by harvesting them for food or discarding them in a waste container. The fish must not be put back into the water. The change became effective upon publication in the Pennsylvania Bulletin.

Changes are coming for otter catchers

The reporting requirements of successful otter catchers could soon mirror those of trappers or hunters catching fishermen or bobcats. Otter harvests currently must be reported within 24 hours for the Pennsylvania Game Commission to inspect the animal and confirm it was caught in Wildlife Management Units 1A, 1B, 2F, 3C and 3D during the Feb. 12-19 season .

The PGC Board of Game Commissions have granted tentative approval to change this reporting period to 48 hours, which would meet the requirements for bobcat and fisherman harvests. The shorter reporting period was set for the 2015-16 license year, when otter capture returned to Pennsylvania after more than 60 years.

Initially, a three-day season was held in two WMUs. Today, the fishing season lasts eight days and takes place in five WMUs, and PGC concerns that trappers will harvest otters early and then report them during the fishing season have eased.

The measure is expected to be brought back for a final vote at the January meeting. If accepted, it will come into effect for the 2023-24 license year.

In addition, the board granted interim approval for an action that would remove the size restrictions on otter body grab traps. Currently, body grab traps with a span greater than 6½ x 6½ inches are prohibited except for beavers.

The change would allow it for otters as well, as the PGC determined there would not be any significant biological concerns with this change.

Annual Kielbasa Sale in the South End

South End Field and Stream, Frackville, is taking orders through December 10 for its annual Kielbasa holiday sale by calling 570-874-1108. Orders can be picked up at the club on December 22 and 23 from 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. Additional rings, if available, can be picked up on December 23rd.

Trapper Brophy guest on the radio show

Skook Trappers founder Matt Brophy is the guest of Republican Herald Outdoor Editor Doyle Dietz on Experience The Outdoors today, 7-7:30 p.m. on WLSH 1410-AM and 9-9:30 p.m. on Magic 105.5 -FM.; and downloaded from wmgh.com.

education

The Pennsylvania Game Commission Hunter Trapper Training Course for all hunters ages 12 and up is available online. Visit www.pgc.pa.gov for future schedules and registrations for face-to-face classes.

This week’s events

• Monday: Orwigsburg Gun Club meets at 7pm, 33 Gun Club Road, Orwigsburg; Email [email protected] for info. Friedensburg Fish and Game meets, 8 p.m., 169 Stone Mountain Road, Pine Grove; Call 570-617-0492 for information.

• Thursday: Trap, 5-6pm, youth; 6-9 p.m., Adult, Orwigsburg Gun Club, Gun Club Road, off Route 443 East, Orwigsburg; Email [email protected] for info.

• Friday: Trap Training, 6:30pm, Keystone Fish and Game, Irish Valley Road, Shamokin; Call 570-274-5834 or 570-648-0084 for more information.

• Sunday, December 11: 50 Round Pistol Course, 9:00 am to 12:30 pm, Roedersville Game and Fish, 1357 Mountain Road, Pine Grove. Clay Court Sports, 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., Valley View Gun Club, 50 Gun Club Road, Valley View. Winter Tree Identification Walk, 2-4 p.m., Sweet Arrow Lake County Park, Pine Grove.

— Compiled by Doyle Dietz

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