FINS

Volunteers from the Adams County and Northern Virginia chapters of Trout Unlimited team-up for stream improvement work on the Conewago Creek.

One of the most impressive displays of sportsmanship and teamwork for wet-and-wonderful wildlife was at it again on the fly fishing-only stretch of the Conewago Creek July 31.

It was yet another workday of fellowship for fish when the Adams County and Northern Virginia chapters of Trout Unlimited got together to put some muscle into making the stream better.

More than 30 dedicated members participated, continuing a long tradition of teaming for trout.

Stream improvements included updating a mud sill, installing stream devices to control erosion, clearing invasive knotweed, and trimming the walking path and stream access points.

The effort especially appreciates Bobcat of Adams County for use of their equipment and Rockwell Lanes for allowing them to stage in their parking lot.

LEARN TO HUNT

WITH FREE WEBINARS

New and experienced hunters may benefit from the Pennsylvania Game Commission’s new series of free webinars.

The series kicks off at 7 p.m. on Aug. 19 with “Squirrel Hunting 101.”

Additional live webinars will be at 7 p.m. on Sept. 9 and Sept. 21.

The series continues in October with “Pheasant Hunting 101” and on Oct. 7 and Oct. 26.

Courses will cover finding places to hunt, tips and tactics, selecting a firearm, overview of regulations, biology of the game species, and preparing wild game for the table.

Webinars will be about an hour long and each will include a live Q&A session at the end.

Advanced registration to view the webinars live is required at the Learn to Hunt page on the commission’s website at http://bit.ly/pgclearntohunt. Participants are not required to have completed a Hunter-Trapper Education course or purchased a hunting license.

The webinars will be recorded and available for viewing at the Learn to Hunt page.

In addition to the virtual classes, the Game Commission will be hosting in-person classes at its Harrisburg headquarters. The first class, scheduled for 7 p.m. on Aug. 25, will provide instruction on squirrel hunting. The second class will take place on Oct. 19 and cover pheasant hunting.

The Learn to Hunt curriculum is in addition to online resources recently made available, including a free online bowhunter education and safety course, and a Hunter-Trapper Education course. More information on these courses is available at the Commission’s Hunter-Trapper Education page: https://bit.ly/pgchuntered.

ELK ON LIVE CAM

The Game Commission’s livestream camera in elk country is up and running.

The camera is in a field on State Game Lands 311 in Elk County, typically a hub of elk activity.

Sound and video are being livestreamed at www.pgc.pa.gov, and viewers can expect not only to see elk, but turkeys, deer, and other wildlife, as well.

The stream can be accessed at the home page of the Game Commission’s website by clicking on the Elk Country Live Stream button. There you can find more info on Pennsylvania’s elk, where to view them and provides a link to the Pennsylvania Great Outdoors website.

The Elk Country Live Stream is slated to run until the end of the bugling season, likely sometime in mid-October. The top time to see elk on camera is late in the afternoon.

PEREGRINES & GOSHAWKS

MAY BE RECLASSIFIED

The status of two important birds in the Commonwealth are expected to go in opposite directions.

The Game Commission is proposing to remove the peregrine falcon from the Commonwealth’s list of threatened birds, reclassifying its status as protected. The Commission is also taking comments on a proposal to change the status of the northern goshawk from protected to endangered.

Both decisions will be finalized by a vote by commissioners in September.

Comments will be accepted by Sept. 5 by email to peregrine@pa.gov or goshawk@pa.gov, or by regular mail to: Peregrine Falcon Comments (or Northern Goshawk Comments), Pennsylvania Game Commission, Bureau of Wildlife Management, 2001 Elmerton Ave., Harrisburg, PA 17110-9707.

In Pennsylvania, the population of nesting peregrine falcons has continued to increase since the Game Commission upgraded the species’ status from endangered to threatened in 2019, and with that recovery, the objectives established in the agency’s 2013-2022 Peregrine Falcon Management Plan have been achieved.

Recent Commission-supported efforts to better understand the northern goshawk have documented a dramatic decline in the state’s population.

To this end, the agency’s advisory Ornithological Technical Committee (OTC) has recommended the change to endangered status.

The northern goshawk has experienced both range contraction and breeding population decline over the past 20 years. While the cause of the population decline is not definitively known and continues to be studied, the Game Commission is proposing to take what it considers to be best available action at this time by designating the species as endangered to further protect the remaining populations.

The proposed change would tailor protections for the species, including limiting or delaying certain activities within known breeding northern goshawk habitat during courtship and nesting seasons; limiting falconry take of the species; developing and managing a recovery plan; and committing additional resources toward recovery.

Send your wild thoughts and photos to bjsmall@comcast.net.

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