Pa. Trout Unlimited President Focuses on Conservation

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A Somerset County man who joined Trout Unlimited more than 50 years ago is now president of the Pennsylvania Council.

Len Lichvar, 69, of Boswell became the new president of the Pennsylvania Council of Trout Unlimited on Saturday at a meeting in Bellefonte. This is a voluntary position with the organization which he first joined in 1969. He is a member of the Mountain Laurel Chapter of Trout Unlimited, based in Johnstown, and was a board member of administration and president of stream improvement over the years.

He has also served as Executive Vice President West and State Co-Chair of the Trout Steering Committee.

The nonprofit has 17,000 members and 49 chapters in the state.

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Trout Unlimited’s mission is focused on conserving and enhancing Pennsylvania’s cold water resources, “especially for wild and native trout populations,” he said.

Lichvar credits his predecessor, Greg Malaska of Carbon County, with his leadership over the past four years. “He has done a superb job of putting the organization in a good position, both being financially stable as well as organizing committees and connecting with local chapters.

“My first goal is not to spoil this,” Lichvar said with a laugh. He would like to intensify his efforts by communicating action points to members, agencies and the general public.

For example, the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission is working on a stocking permit process for the general public. Currently, the PFBC does not require authorization when a private hatchery or member of the public places fish in a watercourse.

“They really don’t know what the fisheries are in the state of Pennsylvania,” he said of the countless fish stocked by clubs, organizations and individuals in private hatcheries.

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He said that to properly manage the fisheries, the CBFP needs to know what is placed in the waterways.

Furthermore, he said that the CBFP should have the ability to control which species are stored. “They can make appropriate recommendations and not eliminate lows, but fix them. Put them where they are appropriate and in the right species so they don’t compete with native species.

He believes the creation of the Stocking Authorization will allow the agency to gather the information it needs to manage streams and lakes. “It’s not really about hatcheries or stocking, it’s about conserving resources,” he said of collaborating to ensure what gets seeded in the future is healthy for everyone. the waterways.

He said the TU also supports the CBFP’s efforts to raise the cost of fishing licenses this year. This is the first increase since 2005.

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Trout Unlimited members volunteer to improve habitat along waterways and create new recreational opportunities for all anglers. “To enhance and be able to expand wild and native trout resources by enhancing cold water resources,” Lichvar said of their mission.

Lichvar is the manager of the Somerset Conservation District and is a former commissioner of the CBFP, a voluntary position. He has been active in natural resource conservation efforts as a professional and volunteer for 40 years.

Brian Whipkey is the outdoor columnist for USA TODAY Network sites in Pennsylvania. Contact him at [email protected] and sign up for our weekly Go Outdoors PA newsletter via email on your website homepage under your login name. Follow him on social media @whipkeyoutdoors.

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