Info on fishing changes available

The year 2016 is finally over, and just about everyone will agree that last year is one that will be remembered in many ways. The election results were stunning, and it still has a few people in a state of shock. The campaign was waged with extreme bitterness on the part of both major political parties.  he election of 2016 will be one that young adults (20-30 years of age) will be telling their grandchildren about for many years down the road.

The Fishing Regulations Summary for 2017 is now available at the Elkins Operations Center and anywhere else that sells fishing and hunting licenses. There are changes that are going to affect some anglers in this area. They are listed on page three of the new regulations.

All of Mill Creek in Randolph County, which includes its tributaries within Kumbrabow State Forest, will be catch and release for brook trout. Seneca Creek in Pendleton County, a 0.2-mile section from the mouth extending upstream to the State Route 28 Bridge, will be catch and release for all trout. Area anglers need to study these new restrictions on page 6 in the 2017 fishing regulations.

New flathead catfish fishing regulations have been implemented in the Great Kanawha and Ohio Rivers. The daily creel limit for Flathead catfish is four, of which only one may be 35 inches or longer. This applies for all of the Great Kanawha, from the mouth at Point Pleasant to the confluence of the Gauley and New Rivers near Gauley Bridge. This restriction applies for all of the Ohio River on all of the West Virginia and reciprocal agreement boundaries.  See page 4 of the regulations for details.

The West Virginia Legislature has passed two new laws that go into effect this year.  The first prohibits the taking of fish and any other aquatic organisms from the waters of this state and used for commercial purposes.  The second increases the replacement cost for native brook trout that exceeds the creel limit illegally to $100 per fish for the first five and $20 for each fish taken after that.

Area anglers who plan to do any trout fishing soon need to study the new regulations thoroughly.

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The weather is quite gloomy outside, and from reading the forecast, it appears that it is going to be much colder for the weekend. When I think about this, it makes me want to stay indoors and just eat, read, watch television and maybe hibernate.

As they have for many years, the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection and the Division of Natural Resources are teaming up to perform a public service. They want to collect real Christmas trees to be recycled to be used for improvement of fish habitat in several of the large lakes throughout the state.

The trees will be collected from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. today at the Capital Market. Any size will be accepted,  provided that it is a real tree. All decorations (lights, ornaments and tinsel) must be removed before the tree is donated, and there is no limit on the number of trees an individual can donate.

The DNR plan to use the donated trees for fish habitats in Beech Fork Lake in Wayne County, Cheat Lake in Monongalia County, East Lynn Lake in Wayne County, Summersville Lake in Nicholas County, Sutton Lake in Braxton County and Tygart Lake in Taylor County. Those who donate trees can sign up to win one of several prizes.

Among the prizes are three one-night stays at Twin Falls State Park and $25 gifts certificates. According to the DNR news release, everyone who donates a tree will receive a gift from the WVDEP Recycling Program. For more information about this, go to www.dep.wv.gov. Be sure to connect with the agency on all social platforms.

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