The Oswayo Fish Hatchery in Coudersport, Potter County, will remain open, according to Senator Joe Scarnati (R-Jefferson).

At a special meeting of The Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission (PFBC) on March 22, 2013, the Board voted unanimously to keep the Oswayo Hatchery in Potter County and the Bellefonte Hatchery in Centre County open for at least an additional two years. This decision reverses the PFBC’s previous vote in January 2013 to close both hatcheries by the end of 2014.

Prior to January and the PFBC’s initial announcement of plans to close the hatcheries, the General Assembly was unaware that shutting down these hatcheries was being considered by the PFBC, Scarnati said.

“Fish hatcheries play an important role in helping provide the fish necessary to support recreational fishing for anglers,” Scarnati said. “Investing in our local hatcheries is a significant way to encourage ongoing economic growth throughout the region. I am pleased that the PFBC realized the negative implications their decision would have for rural Pennsylvania and I look forward to continuing discussions with the PFBC as to how we can best fund these important local hatcheries.”

Originally established in 1968, the Oswayo Fish Hatchery is located on fourteen developed acres of land owned by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and managed by the Fish and Boat Commission. The hatchery employs nine individuals and produces an average of 181,261 pounds of fish per year, including brook trout, brown trout, rainbow trout and golden rainbow trout.

A total of fifteen fish hatcheries are strategically located across the Commonwealth to take advantage of high-quality water supplies and maximize fish stocking logistics.

The U.S Fish & Wildlife Service and the American Sportsfishing Association estimate fishing and fishing related activities generate more than $1.6 billion for Pennsylvania’s economy each year. The Center for Rural Pennsylvania projects the positive economic impact at $4.7 billion.

The Oswayo Hatchery is open to visitors daily from 8:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

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CONTACT: Kate Eckhart keckhart@pasen.gov (717) 787-7084