Pennsylvania Timeline – 1950 – 2000

Note: These pages are not intended as complete documentation of events but are brief sentences and notations regarding events that shaped Pennsylvania history. The reader is advised to search elsewhere for more complete documentation of the events listed here. The reader is free to contact the author of this site regarding additional information, new information or corrected information.



1950   Charlie Fox published Advanced Bait Casting.

1950   Vince Marinaro published A Modern Dry Fly Code.

1950   Fisherman’s Paradise set a new record attendance for one year of 34,796.

1950   The Federal Sport Fish Restoration Act, commonly referred to as the Dingell Johnson Act, was passed and became law.

1950   Duquesne Light’s Elrama Power Station on the Monongahela River opened.

1950   The state purchased Kelly’s Swamp in Tioga County and began development and construction of Hills Creek State Park. The park opened to visitors in 1953.  Hills Creek derives its name from Captain William Hill who settled in the area about 1820.

1950   The Pennsylvania Game Commission and U.S. Forest Service signed a cooperative agreement directing the PGC to manage wildlife on the Allegheny National Forest.

1950   The first state forest management plan was completed for the Michaux State Forest

1950   January 8   Dorcie Calhoun discovered natural gas at his farm near Leidy in Clinton County.

1950   September   Pennsylvania Game News magazine size reduced from 9 by 12 inches to 6 by 9 inches.

1950   November 20   The Carlisle to Valley Forge section of the Pennsylvania Turnpike opened.


1951   Admiral Milo Draemel became the Secretary of the Department of Forests and Waters

1951   Act No. 68 directed the Pennsylvania Fish Commission to make a study of the migratory habits of fish, particularly shad. Fish were planted in the Schuylkill River for the first time in a decade after a cleanup campaign by the Department of Forest and Waters. The Fish Commission acquired Benner Spring Research Station property.

1951   A serious rabies outbreak began in Pennsylvania. There were 241 confirmed cases in this year.

1951   George Forrest became editor of Pennsylvania Angler.

1951   The legal size of pickerel was increased from 12 inches to 15 inches.

1951   Semi-automatic (auto-loading) shotguns became legal for hunting and killing of small game, predators and unprotected birds.

1951   Special open season was authorized for hunting deer with bows and arrows exclusively, under a special $2 archery license.

1951   January 12   President Truman signed the Federal Civil Defense Act of 1950 into law.


1952   Maurice K. Goddard appointed head of Penn State Forestry School

1952   The Pennsylvania Fish Commission removed the size limit on crappies.

1952   February 15   A gas well estimated to be the largest producing well in the world, caught fire. The well, located in the Leidy area of Clinton County burned furiously and threatened to set the surrounding forest on fire. The Leidy Gas Field, discovered two years earlier was located in one of the largest forested areas of Pennsylvania.  Fortunately the fire was extinguished and the woods did not burn to any great extent.


1953   An act authorizing the underground storage of natural gas on state forest lands was passed.

1953   Pymatuning Lake was first stocked with muskellunge. Act 54 established a 10 horsepower limit on Lake Canadohta, Crawford County. The first recorded white perch were found in Lake Erie.

1953   PDF&W re-organized. Forest Regional Offices were disbanded and forest districts were reduced from 24 to 20.

1953   An act authorizing the underground storage of natural gas under state forest land was passed by the General Assembly.

1953   April 23   A series of nine fires were started by training being conducted at the Indiantown Gap military installation. The fires were caused by “training ammunition” exploding in the dry grass and brush and setting the south side of the mountain on fire

1953   July 11   Virgin Run Lake was formally dedicated. It was the first federal aid project of the Fish Commission under the Dingell Johnson Act and the first lake built from start to finish by the commission.

1953   Bucks were declared legal only with 2 or more points to one antler or spike 3 inches or longer.

1953   Governor John Fine banned hunting from October 30 to November 11 because dry forest conditions presented a substantial fire threat.


1954   The fishing license fee was increased from $2 to $2.50. Size and creel limits were removed on panfish and food fishes. MFG Boat Co. began operations in Union City manufacturing fiberglass boat hulls.

1954   Holy Family University was founded by the Sisters of the Holy Family of Nazareth, in Philadelphia.

1954   The Shawville Power Generating Station in Clearfield County came on line.


1955   Hurricanes Connie and Diane struck Pennsylvania

1955   Act 205 established a 7-horsepower limit on Quaker Lake, Susquehanna County.

1955   Act 256 – Oil and Gas Lease Fund Act became law

1955   The Patton Sportsmen’s Association conceived the idea of a recreational lake on Killbuck Run in Cambria County. This initial idea would later become Glendale Lake at Prince Gallitzin State Park.

1955   Charles A. French retired as executive director of the Pennsylvania Fish Commission.

1955   Charles Wetzel published Trout Flies, Naturals and Imitations.

1955   The Federal Clean Air Act became law.

1955   The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania constructed the George B. Stevenson Dam on the First Fork Sinnemahoning Creek in Cameron County.  While flood control was one objective in combination with dams on the West Branch of the Susquehanna River at Curwensville, Kettle Creek and Bald Eagle Creek, the reservoir and adjacent lands were developed as Sinnemahoning State Park.

1955   January 17   Governor George Leader named Maurice K. Goddard, President of the Pennsylvania Forestry Association, as Secretary of the Pennsylvania Department of Forests and Waters. Ralph C. Wible named state forester.

1955   June 1   Gerard J. Adams was appointed to the Pennsylvania Fish Commission by Gov. Leader.

1955   August 17   Ground was broken for construction of Lake Somerset.

1955   November 23   The first section of the Northeast Extension of the Pennsylvania Turnpike opened from Norristown to Lehigh Valley.


1956   Taking carp with long bow and arrow was legalized in Pennsylvania.

1956   The Fish Commission established uniform fly fishing only regulations for all projects.

1956   Pellet feeding of trout was initiated at Fish Commission hatcheries.

1956   The planning for Interstate 80 began. It was originally to be a branch of the Pennsylvania Turnpike from Sharon to Stroudsburg.  With the passage of the National Interstate and Defense Highways Act, planning was shifted to the Pennsylvania Department of Highways.

1956   January   Mandish Plastics moved from Spangler to Saltsburg and began operations under the name of Kiski Plastics Company in a building on Salt Street. The company built plastic boats.

1956   Summer   A 2000 acre experimental forest twenty-three miles west of Stroudsburg was set up. The area, known locally as “The Barrens” was chosen because of its barren nature from logging and forest fires. Studies were to be conducted to show relationships between forest ground cover and water runoff and converting the area to forest. The experiments were to last between 25 and 50 years. The area was known as the Delaware Lehigh Experimental Forest and was located in the area of the Pohopoco Fire Tower


1957   At its annual banquet the Harrisburg Fly Fishers awarded the first “Order of the Hat” to Gov. George Leader. The author of this timeline was the recipient of the award in 2010.

1957   Hunting of deer of both sexes with bow and arrow during the archery season authorized — the requirement of an antlerless deer license during archery season eliminated.

1957   Act 121 gave Fish Commission wardens the right to charge people caught littering.

1957   Act 155 gave the Fish Commission permission to accept donations.

1957   Act 330 increased fishing licenses to $3.25 with $1 earmarked for acquisition and development of land and facilities.

1957   The Fish Commission’s Benner Spring Research Station began full operation.

1957   The Fish Commission discontinued stocking fingerling rainbow trout in tributaries to Lake Erie and switched to yearling rainbow trout.

1957   Trout season was extended to Oct. 31 in selected lakes.

1957 Roger Latham became outdoors editor of the Pittsburgh Press.

1957   The first commercial nuclear power plant went on line at Shippingport.

1957   Nuclear Materials and Equipment Company or NUMEC was founded in Apollo by Zalman Shapiro.

1957   The Missionary Sisters of the Sacred Heart of Jesus the order founded by Saint Frances Xavier Cabrini, secured the charter for Cabrini College in Radnor.

1957   May 8   A fire that grew to 2,000 acres on Effort Mountain in Monroe County, burned part of the recently created Delaware Lehigh Experimental Forest.

1957   May 22   At the request of the Pennsylvania Department of Highways the move of the Route 872 corridor to the south, its present alignment, was approved by the Federal Highway Administration.

1957   August   Game protector Gene Utech discovered, to his amazement, that there were mayflies and trout in the Youghiogheny River near his home in Confluence. The following day, he successfully angled for a few of them. The following day when he tried to again go fishing, he was surrounded by boats, canoes, mortar boxes, wash tubs and just about every device that would float an angler. Most were fishing worms and after a few days, the novelty wore off and Gene again had the river to himself. This is the first known instance of trout in the Youghiogheny River at Confluence.


1958   Bell and Holmes were hired by the Pennsylvania Fish Commission to make the Susquehanna Fishway Study.

1958   The federal government, through the Migratory Bird Conservation Commission, approved acquisition and establishment of Pennsylvania’s first federal waterfowl refuge. It is the Erie National Wildlife Refuge, initially comprising 6,161 acres in Crawford County.

1958   The Pennsylvania Fish Commission established the first fish for fun area on the Left Branch of Young Womans Creek in Clinton County.

1958   Kokanee salmon eggs procured from Montana were hatched at Pleasant Mount and stocked experimentally as fry and fingerling in five lakes. The lakes included Roosevelt Dam, Centre County, Cowan’s Gap Dam, Fulton County, Halfway Dam, Union County, Upper Woods Pond, Wayne County, and Lake Winola, Wyoming County. In the next three years, Kokanee Salmon would also be stocked in Koon Lake, Bedford County, Poe Valley Dam, Centre County, Fuller Lake, Cumberland County, Harvey’s Lake, Luzerne County, and Fairview Lake in Pike County.

1958   Pennsylvania Fish Commission warden for Lycoming County, Raymond Schroll lost his life attempting to rescue his partner after their boat capsized in the rain swollen Susquehanna River in Williamsport.

1958   The Pennsylvania Game Commission inaugurated a firearms and hunter safety education program. Entire field staff qualified as instructors for the National Rifle Association’s firearms safety and hunting arms courses.

1958   December 10   The United States Army Corps of Engineers granted to the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania a blanket consent to build bridges across streams that were navigable by law but were actually used only for floating logs, log rafts, rowboats, canoes or other small motorboats.


1959   Maurice K. Goddard received an honorary Doctor of Science from Waynesburg University leading to the nickname “Doc” otherwise he was known to his employees as M.K.

1959   Construction of Interstate 80 began.  The road was completed across Pennsylvania in 1970.

1959   January 20   David L. Lawrence was inaugurated governor of Pennsylvania.

1959   The white-tailed deer was named official state animal.

1959   January 22   The Knox Coal Mine disaster at Port Griffith near Pittston caused the North Branch of the Susquehanna River to break into the mine workings, killing 12 miners and effectively ending underground anthracite mining in the northern anthracite field.

1959   July   The Pennsylvania Fish Commission began work on the Wrightsville Access Area in York County. An agreement was signed between the commission and Safe Harbor Water Power Corporation in November of 1958 that permitted this access area to the Susquehanna River to be built.

1959   October 10   The patrol boat Perca of the Pennsylvania Fish Commission was launched on Lake Erie. This 42-foot cabin cruiser had a draft of 3 feet and a top speed of 13 knots.

1959   December 15   Act No. 673 signed by Gov. Lawrence eliminated the fishing license button and permitted aliens to purchase a nonresident fishing license in Pennsylvania. The act also made nonresident fishing license fees a flat $7.50 (formerly it was reciprocal). It also required that the Fish Commission spend $1of each fishing license fee on acquisition, leasing, development management and maintenance of public fishing waters and of areas for providing access to fishing waters and the carrying out of lake and stream reclamation and improvement, or the rebuilding of torn-out dams or the study of problems related to better fishing.


1960   Curtiss Wright Corp. ceased activities at its Quehanna facility where it had been researching the possibility of using nuclear engines to propel aircraft.

1960   January 8   The Pennsylvania Air Pollution Control Act became law.

1960   April 2   Pennsylvania’s first nuclear accident took place at the Waltz Mill Reactor in Sewickley Township, Westmoreland County, when a fuel rod in the core melted. During the meltdown, the reactor emitted krypton and xenon gases with radioactivity measured at 40 rems an hour. That was 130 times the 1960 exposure limits set by the federal government. Westinghouse built the Waltz Mill reactor at its test facility in the heyday of nuclear power and it went online in 1959.

1960   April 4   The first use of fixed wing aircraft and rotary wing aircraft for water drops on fires was initiated. The first drop was on a fire in Woodland Township, Clearfield County. The aircraft was a converted Stearman biplane with a payload of 180 gallons of water and fire retardant.

1960   October 13   The Pittsburgh Pirates beat the New York Yankees in game seven of the World Series on a walkoff homerun from the bat of Pittsburgh second baseman Bill Mazeroski in the bottom of the 9th inning.

1960   November   Pennsylvania Fish Commission biologists captured rainbow trout in Crooked Creek, a tributary of Lake Erie. These were the first fish found to return from earlier transplants of yearling rainbow trout that had been stocked into the tributaries of Lake Erie.


1961   Outgoing President Eisenhower issued a warning of a “military industrial complex” developing in America and Federal Communications Commission Chairman Newton N. Minnow condemned television programming as a “vast wasteland” in a speech to the National Association of Broadcasters.

1961   In his inauguration address, President John F. Kennedy challenged Americans with the phrase: “… Ask not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country …” Following his inauguration, he established the Peace Corps.

1961   Archery preserves were abandoned by the Pennsylvania Game Commission

1961   The largest shad migration of modern times was recorded in the Delaware River.

1961   Act No. 474 eliminated the metal motorboat license tags. There were 48 cooperative trout nurseries in Pennsylvania.

1961   A River Safety Patrol was organized in Clearfield.

1961   Hunting licenses were first made of waterproof tagboard.

1961   The first automatic river monitoring station was put into use on the West Branch of the Susquehanna River at Williamsport.

1961   The Delaware River Basin Compact was created by Act 268. It created the Delaware River Basin Commission.

1961   Act 233 was signed into law. The Oil and Gas Conservation Law, as it was known, was the first attempt at regulating the drilling of oil and gas wells in Pennsylvania.

1961   January 1   Henry Reid (H.R.) Stackhouse retired as executive director of the Pennsylvania Fish Commission after almost 50 years of continuous service.

1961   February 7   The State Forest Commission changed the names of most State Monuments to Natural Areas. High Knob and Mount Davis were retained as State Monuments and McConnell’s Narrows and Joyce Kilmer were abandoned as monuments.

1961   March   The Pennsylvania Angler carried the article Fly Fishing Only, by Dr. Albert S. Hazzard, assistant executive director of the Pennsylvania Fish Commission. The article cited the benefits of having “fly fishing only” water.

1961   April 11   Gov. Lawrence reappointed Wallace C. Dean to the Fish Commission.

1961   May 9   Pennsylvania Power and Light Co. announced the opening of a public boat launch ramp at Martins Creek, about 10 miles above Easton on the Delaware River.

1961   June 1   The 51,000-acre Curtiss Wright Area (Quehanna) was opened to public fishing.

1961   June 17   The Pennsylvania Fish Commission opened Belmont Lake in Wayne County to the public. Special regulations included pickerel –18 inches, bass – 12 inches, and walleye – 15 inches. The limit was three of each per day.

1961   June 28   Pennsylvania Power and Light Co. dedicated the Otter Creek Boat Launching Ramp on the Susquehanna River.

1961   July 17 The Anthracite and Bituminous Coal Mine Subsidence Fund became law when Act 484 was signed into law. This fund provided an insurance program to cover damages from underground mine subsidence.

1961   August   The Pennsylvania Angler reported that fish were being caught in the Lackawanna River, after more than a century of being absent due to pollution.

1961   September 12   A law went in effect requiring fishing licenses be displayed at all times while the licensee is fishing.

1961   September 27   Law exempting landowners from liability for any injuries sustained by persons hunting or fishing on the landowner’s property passed by General Assembly (Act 687).

1961   October 17   More than 116,280 fish were killed in the Susquehanna River during October as a result of a discharge from a coal mining operation. The Pennsylvania Fish Commission accepted a $45,000 voluntary contribution from the Glen Alden Mining Corp. The Fish Commission had originally passed a resolution to be presented to the Sanitary Water Board asking for $58,504.50 for the fish killed in the action by Glen Alden Mining Corp.

1961   The Game Commission ruled that no group hunting deer together shall consist of more than 25 persons.

1961   Auto-loading and magazine shotguns, unless limited to 3-shell capacity in magazine and chamber combined, must be plugged so that the plug cannot be removed without disassembling the gun, while hunting any wild birds or wild animals other than big game. Penalty — $10.

1961   November 8   George Wirt died

1961 November    The Pennsylvania Angler reported on Fish Commission work on Big Spring, Cumberland County, on approximately three-fourths mile of stream that consisted of three single deflectors of rock construction, the placing of 43 digger logs, cleaning of 1,000 feet of channel, demolition of the old mill and planting of 500 trees.

1961   December    The December issue of Pennsylvania Angler listed Gerald J. Adams of Hawley as the president, Maynard Bogart of Hawley of the Pennsylvania Fish Commission as vice president. The other commissioners included Joseph M. Critchfield of Confluence, Wallace C. Dean of Meadville, John W. Grenoble of Carlisle, Albert R. Hinkle, Jr. of Clearfield, R. Stanley Smith of Waynesburg and Raymond E. Williams of East Bangor. The editor of the Pennsylvania Angler was George W. Forrest. Albert M. Day was executive director.


1962   The Bureau of State Parks was created out of Bureau of Forestry where it had been a division

1962   Extensive drought began in the east and it would not abate until 1965

1962   The fixed-wing aircraft and helicopters had flown on 326 fires, delivering 94,570 gallons of water in 656 air drops.  It soon became apparent that the real value of the aircraft was in “first attack” work. Dumping large amounts of retardant on early burns contained them for ground crew mop up. Once a fire became large or widely spread the use of tankers was much less effective.

1962   Rachel Carson published Silent Spring triggering a firestorm of protest from the chemical industry.

1962   The Pymatuning Compact, between Pennsylvania and Ohio, was amended, which raised the horsepower limit to 10 and removed the prohibition on motorboat operation by persons under 16.

1962   Groundbreaking took place for Beechwood Lake in Tioga County. The Tioga County Soil Conservation District, the Pennsylvania Fish Commission and the Soil Conservation Service sponsored the project.

1962   The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers opened the Alvin R. Bush Dam for flood protection for the lower Susquehanna watershed. The area above the dam was developed for recreation and administered by the Pennsylvania Bureau of State Parks.  This flood control dam is operated by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and creates 4.5 miles of natural, scenic shoreline. This is one of four dams in the flood control plan for the West Branch Basin of the Susquehanna River watershed.

1962   The first Kokanee salmon were reported caught in Uppers Woods Pond, Wayne County. A subscription to the Pennsylvania Angler cost $2.26 per year.

1962   The federal-state cooperative trout-stocking program began.

1962   Twenty six streams segments were designated as “fly fishing only” by the Pennsylvania Fish Commission. Four areas were listed “fish for fun,” and special regulations were also imposed on the Letterkenny Reservoir in Franklin County and the Quehanna Area in Clearfield County.

1962   Trout Unlimited announced that there were five national chapters, and Roger Latham, outdoors editor for the Pittsburgh Press, became a national officer of Trout Unlimited.

1962   Design was begun for Route 872 to be rebuilt from Sinnemahoning to the Cameron-Potter County line by the Department of Highways. This resulted in severe channelization of the stream.

1962   The snap top beer can manufactured by Alcoa was premiered by Iron City Brewing.

1962   January   Arthur Grahame, eastern field editor of Outdoor Life, wrote a feature article in the magazine on Charles K. Fox and his efforts on catch and release on the Letort. The article was titled Voluntary Management Plan Based on Novel Switch of Trespass Law Keeps Good Trout Water Open to Everyone on a Little Stream.

1962   January 16   Gov. David L. Lawrence presented a new program to the Pennsylvania General Assembly designed to protect and develop the outdoor recreational facilities of the commonwealth. This plan was known as Project 70. The plan was developed by Francis A. Pitkin, Executive Director of the State Planning Board, and Maurice K. Goddard, Secretary of the Department of Forests and Waters. The core of the Project 70 proposal was the passage of a $70-million bond issue.

1962   January 24   Gov. David L. Lawrence reappointed R. Stanley Smith of Waynesburg to the Pennsylvania Fish Commission.

1962   March   Lake Irena at Hazleton was completed.

1962   March 18-24   National Wildlife Week was proclaimed by Gov. David L. Lawrence.

1962   April   A tannery made a voluntary contribution to the Pennsylvania Fish Commission of $1,750 for a fish kill in Bowmans Creek near Tunkhannock the previous January.

1962   April 14   Fisherman’s Paradise, near Bellefonte, opened April 14 on a “fish-for-fun” basis. The previous year, 16,028 adults and 4,077 children fished at Fishermen’s Paradise at a cost to the Fish Commission of $55,172.

1962   May   The Pennsylvania Fish Commission began a five-year effort to establish steelhead in the Lehigh River.

1962   May   Fire broke out in a garbage dump in an abandoned mine pit near Centralia igniting the coal that was exposed in the pit. This was the beginning of the Centralia mine fire that would eventually lead to the relocation of the entire town.

1962   June   Howard Levy published Man Against Musky.

1962   June 16   Pinchot Lake in York County was opened to the public.

1962   July 25   The Pennsylvania Fish Commission dedicated a new access area at Raystown Dam. The dam pre-dated the existing U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ Raystown flood control project.

1962   August   Governor Scranton signed into law his plan of broadened civil service coverage for state employees. It extended job protection to eighteen thousand additional patronage workers as well as to the twelve thousand that had been covered previously by executive order. The bill did not apply to supervisory and unskilled state employees, but it placed sixty-one percent of Pennsylvania’s eighty-two thousand workers under civil service. At the same time, the Governor signed a legislative pension bill that permitted members of the House and Senate to retire on full pay after twenty years, and gave them retirement benefits of two-and-a-half times the rate for regular state employees.

1962   August 29   The Fish Commission received a report on Susquehanna River fishways prepared by Milo Bell, a consulting engineer form Mukilteo, Wash., and Harlan B. Holmes, a biological consultant of Portland, Ore. The proposal included building a fishway at Conowingo Dam.

1962   November 5   Project 70 was ratified by state voters. It provided $120 million to state and local governments to develop community recreation and conservation programs. The Game and Fish Commissions were allocated a total of $10 million to buy hunting and fishing areas threatened by imminent development.


1963   Penn State Mont Alto became a Commonwealth Campus of Penn State University

1963   Iron City Brewing introduced the twist off re-sealable bottle top.

1963   H. Beecher Charmbury was appointed secretary of the Department of Mines and Mineral Industries.

1963   Foresters working for the Department of Forests and Waters came under civil service coverage.

1963 The Pennsylvania Fish Commission listed 28 fly-fishing areas and one fish-for-fun area, that being Fisherman’s Paradise.

1963   This was the last year that nonresident trout stamps were required.

1963   January 2   The Pittsburgh Chapter of Trout Unlimited was formed. Louis R. Schmertz was elected president, R.E. Smith was elected vice president and John Bindley was elected secretary-treasurer. The directors were Chauncey Lively, Ralph Dougherty, James B. Kell, Dr. George F. Tibbins, William C. O’Neil and Roger Latham. Latham was the outdoor editor for the Pittsburgh Press and chronicled the event in an article published Jan. 2, 1963. He stated, “At present, there are three chapters in Philadelphia, Harrisburg and Pittsburgh under the parent Pennsylvania unit. National officers and the Pennsylvania officers headed by Charles K. Fox of Carlisle are attempting to form other chapters in cities or counties throughout the state.” Latham went on: “Trout Unlimited policy covers seven major points:

  1. To promote and support research into the basic biology and ecology of trout populations.
  2. To advocate increased emphasis on stream improvement, watershed rehabilitation and lake reclamation.
  3. To encourage the adoption of new regulations and limitations on trout fishing that have shown an acceptable degree of success and practicality.
  4. To advocate planting programs in lakes and streams where research and experience indicate that such practice is beneficial.
  5. To advocate the planting of those species of trout that research and experience have shown are best for survival and growth.
  6. To encourage, whenever possible, a general decrease in ‘put-and-take’ stocking programs in favor of programs that promote the natural propagation and survival of wild trout.
  7. To lend impetus to the growing demand for quality rather than quantity fishing by vigorously promoting the extension of ‘flies-only’ regulations on suitable waters having native trout and adequate natural food, shelter, and spawning facilities; and to encourage further experimentation with fishing for fun projects.”

Arthur C. Neumann, executive secretary for Trout Unlimited, was in attendance at the meeting and Latham quoted him: “Trout Unlimited is not a social or fraternal organization. Its members are not concerned primarily with their own welfare, but with the welfare of trout. Their dedication is not motivated by self-aggrandizement or personal gain but by a deep and abiding love for trout fishing and burning desire, not only to preserve it but to make it better. They cherish their sport and hope to enjoy it tomorrow. Thus, they join in the crusade to preserve trout fishing for themselves, their children and other children to come, forever.”

1963   March   The Pennsylvania Angler carried a reprint of “Preventing Land Cancer,” an article by M. Graham Netting that originally appeared in Carnegie Magazine. The article was about surface mine reclamation and was the first on that topic to appear in Pennsylvania Angler.

1963   May 11   Prince Gallitzin State Park was opened to the public.

1963   July   Robert J. Bielo was listed as assistant executive director of the Pennsylvania Fish Commission following the retirement of Dr. Albert Hazzard.

1963   Dr. Lewis D. Williams of the Pennsylvania Department of Health announced that a sampling project had been completed on Slippery Rock Creek. Four hundred of the 1,300 mines in the 400-square-mile watershed had unregulated discharges and as a result of acid-mine drainage pollution the quality of the stream had deteriorated.

1963   July 18   The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the U.S. Bureau of Public Roads issued a memorandum of cooperation. The purpose of the memorandum was to prevent destruction of fish and game habitat by road building.

1963   July 29   Wallace C. Dean of Meadville was elected president of the Pennsylvania Fish Commission. Joseph M. Critchfield of Confluence became the vice president. Robert M. Rankin of Galeton was appointed to the Fish Commission by Gov. William Scranton.

1963   September   The Pennsylvania Angler carried an article titled “Progress and Problems of the Clean Streams Program”, by Walter A. Lyon, director of the Division of Sanitary Engineering of the Pennsylvania Department of Public Health. Mr. Lyon described the work his department was doing to combat water pollution in Pennsylvania.

1963   September 3   A tornado struck near St. Marys causing $1 Million in damages. Nobody was killed by the violent storm and only four people required hospitalization.

1963   September 4   The Fish Commission fin clipped and stocked 7,500 fish in the Little Lehigh as part of its experiment to try and establish steelhead in the Little Lehigh River.

1963   September 29   Oscar A. Becker was presented with the Izaak Walton League’s Conservationist of the Year Award. It was the first time this award was given.

1963   October 14   Edward R. Tharp was appointed assistant executive director in charge of the Watercraft Safety Division of the Pennsylvania Fish Commission.

1963   November 5   During the general election, the citizens of Pennsylvania voted on and approved Project 70, a $70-million bond issue. The Pennsylvania General Assembly previously approved the bond issue. This money was to be used to acquire land and water for recreation, conservation and historical preservation.

1963   December   Contracts were awarded by the General State Authority on behalf of the Pennsylvania Fish Commission to begin work on Negro Glade Lake in Somerset County. Construction began the following January.


1964   Act 400 approved the numbering system for boats.

1964   Clyde Peeling founded Reptileland near Allenwood

1964   February 1   The resident fishing license fee was increased to $5.

1964   March   Fish wardens and regional supervisors were placed under civil service. Plans were begun for the first training class for Pennsylvania Fish Commission wardens.

1964   April 14   Rachel Carson died at the age of 56 of breast cancer.

1964   May 27   The charter for Allentown College of St. Francis de Sales, was granted by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.

1964   June 22   Project 70 Land Acquisition and Borrowing Act became law

1964   June 30   The Colyer Lake site was acquired by the Pennsylvania Fish Commission as well as access areas at Hoovers Island and Accomac on the Susquehanna, Upper Twin Lake in Wayne County, Northeast on Lake Erie and Tamarack Lake in Crawford County. Beechwood Lake in Tioga County and Meadow Grounds Lake in Fulton County were completed.

1964   September 3   President Lyndon Johnson signed into law the Wilderness Act and the Land and Water Conservation Fund Act.

1964   October   Construction was started on Colyer Lake in Centre County.

1964   Property surveys were reported completed on Big Spring and at Huntsdale Hatchery, Cumberland County. Norman Lightner of Carlisle caught a 19-inch, 2.5 lb. brook trout from Big Spring.

1964   A “Special Regulations Area” was created by the Game Commission in parts of counties bordering Philadelphia to reduce the deer herd there. Rifles were prohibited in new hunting area, but hunters were provided more days to hunt antlerless deer. Buckshot became a requirement for deer hunting in the area designated.

1964   November 13   The historic Ohiopyle Hotel was destroyed by fire.


1965   Successful hunters were required to tag turkeys, and an early small game season for squirrel and grouse was initiated. There was no requirement for unsuccessful hunters to tag turkeys.

1965   The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers completed the Kinzua Dam on the Allegheny River. The federal government spent $15 million to relocate the Seneca displaced by the project.

1965   The Gas Operations Well-Drilling Petroleum and Coal Mining Act (Act 225) became law as did the Open Space Act (Act 515), the Sewage Facilities Act (Act 537) and the Anthracite Coal Mine Act (Act 346).

1965   The Pennsylvania Department of Health began an intensive program of biological and chemical sampling to develop stream and lake baseline data relative to pollution.

1965   The Duquesne Brewing Co., in cooperation with the Pennsylvania Outdoor Writers Association, presented awards to Gordon Trembley as Professional Conservationist of the Year, Ralph Abele as Layman Conservationist of the Year, Jimmy Jordan, outdoor columnist for the Pittsburgh Post Gazette for Outdoor Writer of the Year and the Western Pennsylvania Conservancy as Conservation Organization of the Year.

1965   The following projects were completed by the Pennsylvania Fish Commission: the access area at Mountain Springs Lake, Luzerne County; Douglas Pond propagation area, Wayne County; new raceways at Pleasant Mount Hatchery, Wayne County; High Point Lake, Somerset County; Walnut Creek Access Area, Erie County; Muskrat Springs Access Area, Juniata County; and improvements at Dutch Fork Lake, Washington County.

1965   The Pennsylvania Fish Commission released 25,000 coho salmon in Harvey’s Lake.

1965   The fish for fun project on the North Fork of Redbank Creek at Brookville was extended upstream about three quarters of a mile to make the section 1-1/2 miles long and includes the 8-acre Brookville water supply reservoir. A small section of the area was specified as a nursery and trout study area and was closed to angling.

1965   Maurice K. Goddard made a critical decision affecting the management of Pennsylvania forests. He made the decision to permit even-aged management – often called clear cutting – in Pennsylvania forests.

1965   January   Contracts were awarded and construction was begun on Hammer Creek Dam in Lancaster County.

1965   February 1   The H.R. Stackhouse Fishery Conservation and Watercraft Safety School graduated its first class at Fisherman’s Paradise in Bellefonte.

1965   The millionth acre of State Game Lands was purchased in Cornplanter Township, Venango County on April 12. It became State Game Lands 253. This was the first achievement of its kind in the United States. Formal dedication ceremonies took place on June19, 1965.

1965   April 17   Trout season opened at 5 a.m.

1965   May   Prince Gallitzin State Park, Cambria County, was dedicated by Gov. Scranton.

1965   August    Governor William W. Scranton signed the Clean Streams Law.

1965   September   Our Lady of Angels College opened its doors in Aston.  The name was changed to Neumann College in 1980.

1965   November 8   The H.R. Stackhouse Fishery Conservation and Watercraft Safety School opened for its second class at Fisherman’s Paradise in Bellefonte.

1965   November 10   The Pennsylvania Anthracite Coal Mine Act became law. Act 346 was the first to establish environmental standards for anthracite coal mining.

1965   December 7   The Pennsylvania Federation of Sportsmen’s Clubs in conjunction with the National Wildlife Federation and Sears Roebuck Foundation held the first Governor’s Conservation Awards Banquet in Harrisburg. Gov. William W. Scranton received the Conservationist of the Year Award. Other award winners were: Robert E. Fasnacht, Wildlife Conservationist of the Year; Charles W. Stoddard, Conservation Educator of the Year; Ivan McKeever, Soil Conservationist of the Year; William E. Guckert, Water Conservationist of the Year; and Dr. Maurice K. Goddard, Forest Conservationist of the Year. Pennsylvania Youth Forestry Camp Number 1 received the Youth Conservationist of the Year. John F. Laudadio received the Legislative Conservationist of the Year. The Pittsburgh Press and Fred Jones received the Conservation Communication of the Year Award. The Pennsylvania Federation of Women’s Clubs received the Conservation Organization of the Year.


1966   Congress enacted the Endangered Species Preservation Act requiring the Interior Secretary to develop and publish a list of rare and endangered native animals, and conduct research on and buy habitat for them.  The Secretary of the Interior released the first rare and endangered species list. There were 78 species listed.

1966   The Bituminous Mine Subsidence and Land Conservation Act (Act 1) was passed. This act provided for homes built prior to 1966 over coal mines to be protected from subsidence whether or not the homeowner owned the coal.

1966   The Pennsylvania Game Commission decided antlerless deer season could be extended in case inclement weather prevents desired or adequate harvest.

1966   The Triple Trophy Award was created by Game Commission for hunter who harvests antlered white-tailed deer, black bear and wild turkey in single hunting license year.

1966   The land owned by Curtiss Wright was returned to the state. This was the beginning of the creation of the 55,000-acre Quehanna Wild Area.

1966   The Atomic Energy Development and Radiation Control Act (Act 578) was passed by the Legislature and signed into law by the governor. This act would regulate sources of radiation in Pennsylvania.

1966   April 8   John Alden Knight died in South Miami, Fla. A native Pennsylvanian, he was best known as the originator of the Solunar Tables in 1926.

1966   June 22   The Falmouth Access Area on the Susquehanna River in Lancaster County was officially opened.

1966   June 30   The Pennsylvania Fish Commission celebrated its centennial . The following projects were completed: Speedwell Forge Lake, Lancaster County; Kyle Lake, Jefferson County; New Brighton Access Area, Beaver County; Falmouth Access Area, Lancaster County; Thompsontown Access Area, Juniata County; North Fork Red Bank Creek, Jefferson County; and Dutch Fork Lake, Washington County.

1966   June 30   The Game Commission removed the payment of all bounties for predators and other “nuisance” animals effective June 30.

1966   October   The Consolidated Sportsmen of Lycoming County set up a liming device on Pine Run to treat acid-mine drainage. The Pennsylvania Fish Commission made its first experimental stockings of coho salmon in Upper Woods Pond, Wayne County, and Harveys Lake in Luzerne County.

1966   Samuel S. Cobb became state forester


1967   Project 500, a bond issue approved under Act 442, provided $500 million to be used for acid-mine drainage and strip-mine reclamation. This was known as Operation Scarlift.

1967   The Joint Legislative Air and Water Pollution Control and Conservation Committee was formed. This bipartisan committee was formed to oversee the work of Project 500 money and to evaluate air and water pollution laws.

1967   The coal fired Keystone Generating Station at Shelocta was brought online.  The station is owned by a consortium of energy companies and is operated by Reliant Energy.

1967   The Chesapeake Bay Foundation was formed to educate the public about conditions in the Chesapeake Bay.

1967   The Brandywine Conservancy Inc. was formed with the intention of protecting historic and natural resources in the Brandywine Creek watershed.

1967   Act 442, Preserving Land for Open Air Space, created a program for the state and counties to preserve open space.

1967   New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania signed an agreement to form the Mid-Atlantic States Air Pollution Control Commission.

1967   Lake Marburg at Codorus State Park was impounded.

1967   Russ Blessing of Harrisburg invented the Wooly Bugger.

1967   The Pennsylvania Fish Commission listed 62 cooperating nurseries in Pennsylvania.

1967   The Allegheny Reservoir at Kinzua Dam was stocked by air.

1967   The Pennsylvania Council of Trout Unlimited adopted a Stream Management Policy for Pennsylvania. It was the first policy adopted by the Pennsylvania Council.

1967   Carnegie Mellon Institute was founded by the merger of Carnegie Technical Institute and Mellon Institute in Pittsburgh.

1967   January 17   Raymond P. Shafer was inaugurated governor of Pennsylvania.

1967   May   The Pennsylvania Fish Commission introduced the “Husky Musky Club.” Any licensed angler who legally hooked and landed a muskellunge over 40 inches in length became eligible to join.

1967   June 9   Gov. Shafer proclaimed the week of June 17 to 23 as “Let’s Go Fishing in Pennsylvania Week.” In addition, he dedicated the Palomino Streamer to commemorate “The Golden Age of Conservation in Pennsylvania.” The streamer was designed by Samuel Slaymaker.

1967   June 30   The Pennsylvania Fish Commission in its annual report listed expenditures totaling $2,601,738 and an additional $727,024.54 was spent from the Act 673 Fund during the previous fiscal year.

1967   August 10   Albino brook trout and palomino trout were stocked for the first time by the Pennsylvania Fish Commission. Act 227 was signed into law. It required the display of a capacity plate on most boats.

1967   Autumn   The commonwealth initiated plans for the reconstruction of Legislative Route 872 in Potter County for a distance of 5.1 miles from the Potter-Clinton County line to the village of Wharton. One half of the cost was to be paid with federal funds. The construction plans developed called for the relocation of a section of old Route 872. The area involved in the relocation was approximately 4,100 feet south from Bailey Run, and it involved significant impact on First Fork of Sinnemahoning Creek.

1967   December   The Alvin R. Bush Dam on Kettle Creek, Clinton County, won the first annual Award for Conservation of Natural Beauty.

1967   The first statewide extended (or late or winter) archery deer season was held.


1968   The Solid Waste Management Act (Act 241) was passed and signed into law in Harrisburg.

1968   The Cheswick Power Plant on the Allegheny River owned by Duquesne Light began operation,

1968   Act 322 was signed into law. This law, known as the Sewage Treatment Plant and Water Works Operators Certification Act, required all operators of sewage treatment and drinking water treatment plants to be certified by the state.

1968   The first fall run of coho “jack” salmon, from fingerlings planted in the spring, returned to Erie’s tributary streams.

1968   Under a trade agreement with the Soviet Union, the Pennsylvania Fish Commission received Amur pike eggs. The eggs were hatched at Benner Spring and the fry were stocked in Glendale Lake. The trade continued for two years.

1968   The Oswayo Hatchery in Potter County was purchased by the Pennsylvania Fish Commission.

1968   The practice of “Road hunting” from a motor vehicle became unlawful.

1968   Spotlighting became prohibited between mid-night and sunrise.

1968   The Appalachian Trail was designated a “National Scenic Trail.”

1968   Construction was begun on Raystown Dam in Huntingdon County.  The dam was completed and the lake filled in 1978.

1968   January 19   Governor Raymond P. Shafer signed “Project 500” legislation (Act 443). It provided $500 million for recreational projects, strip and deep mine reclamation and local sewage treatment plant construction.

1968   February 1   The Pennsylvania Railroad merged with the New York Central Railroad to form the Penn-Central Transportation Company.  Its headquarters were in Philadelphia.

1968   March   The Pennsylvania Fish Commission experimentally stocked Octoraro Creek, Lancaster  County, with 4,000 fingerling coho salmon.

1968   March 1   The Federal Fire Research and Safety Act of 1968 became law.

1968   The First spring gobbler hunting season was held in Pennsylvania.

1968   May   The Pennsylvania Fish Commission stocked 6,000 coho salmon in Brodhead Creek, Monroe County, Bushkill Creek, Northampton County, and Brandywine Creek, Chester County.

1968   May 8 & May 15   The Route 872 relocation project was advertised in the Potter Enterprise in Coudersport. There was no request for a public hearing.

1968   September    The Coal Refuse Disposal Control Act (Act 1040) became law. The purpose of the law was to prevent pollution from coal refuse piles.

1968   October 2   The Wild and Scenic Rivers Act was passed by Congress

1968   October 11   The Department of Transportation entered into a memorandum of understanding with the Pennsylvania Fish Commission “wherein it was provided that the commonwealth would make available to the Fish Commission any information concerning planned highway location and design of planned highways needed by the Fish Commission in evaluation of the effect of a new highway location on fish, wildlife and related natural resources.” This memorandum had direct impact on the Route 872 project.

1968   December 6    The plans for the Route 872 relocation project were submitted to the Fish Commission for review. In the review, the Fish Commission approved the channel change and recommended a sub-channel of greater depth through the changed area.

1968   December 20   The Pennsylvania Department of Forests and Waters, Water and Power Resources Board, by issuance of a permit, gave its consent to a channel change of First Fork of the Sinnemahoning in the section of the Route 872 construction project.


1969   The Group Against Smog and Pollution (G.A.S.P.) formed in Philadelphia.

1969   The Honey Hollow Environmental Education Center was established by the Bucks County Audubon Society. This environmental outreach program supported a number of environmental programs. The historic tree registry, nesting box program, wetlands watch Program and other projects were carried out by the organization.

1969   The Passage of U.S. Endangered Species Conservation Act expanded efforts to protect endangered species and their environments. It extended coverage to vertebrates, mollusks and crustaceans.

1969   The Homer City Generating Station was brought on line.  It was constructed by the Pennsylvania Electric Company (Penelec).  It is located in Center Township, Indiana County near the borough of Homer City.

1969   The Susquehanna Chapter of Trout Unlimited, under the direction of Bob McCullough enlisted the help of two Penn State University faculty members. They were Peter W. Fletcher, a professor of forestry, and Paul J. Glantz, an associate professor of veterinary science. Their job was to document the sources of pollution into Pine Creek. Out of this effort, the Pine Creek Watershed Protective Association was formed. It was supported not only by Trout Unlimited, but also by the Pennsylvania Forestry Association, Pennsylvania Federation of Sportsmens Clubs, Lycoming County Planning Commission, Lycoming County Environmental Commission, Williamsport Chapter of the League of Women Voters, Loyalsock Men’s Club, American Association of University Women and Williamsport Junior League.

1969   Bear skulls were added to Game Commission trophy records program.

1969   Hunter safety training became mandatory before youths under 16 years of age could purchase a hunting license.

1969   The peregrine falcon was listed as an “endangered species” by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service.  In addition all species of hawks were given complete protection in northeastern Pennsylvania.

1969   September   The first mature coho salmon from the initial planting returned to the tributaries of Lake Erie.

1969   September   Penn Shore Vineyards in Northeast obtained one of the first two limited winery licenses issued by the state and began crushing grapes. The winery opened in April of 1970. Penn Shore had the distinction of being one of the first two wineries to open in Pennsylvania.

1969   November 14   Final plans for the Route 872 relocation project were submitted to the Fish Commission for review.

1969   November 20   The Secretary of Transportation approved the Route 872 project for federal participation.

1969   November 23   The final approvals for the Route 872/First Fork project were given by the Fish Commission, the Department of Forests and Waters, the secretary of transportation, the secretary of highways and the governor.

1969   December 19   Bids were opened for the 872/First Fork project.

1969   December 29   Bids were awarded for the 872/First Fork project.


1970   Three Rivers Stadium opened in Pittsburgh,

1970   Charlie Fox published Armchair Adventures for the Angler. Construction began on the Pennsylvania Fish Commission Big Spring Hatchery in Cumberland County.

1970   The Pennsylvania State University, with a grant from the Eastern Pennsylvania Chapter of Trout Unlimited and a National Defense Education Title IV fellowship, began a survey in Brodhead Creek, Monroe County and Spring Creek in Centre County. The purpose of the study was to determine whether or not white suckers competed with brown trout. As reported in the “Double Haul” column of Trout (Volume 11, #1), “The results of this study point to two obvious conclusions. First, the white sucker lived up to its reputation as a trout competitor. It utilized many of the same food resources as the trout and was able to depress the growth rate of young trout in one instance and limit trout numbers in another. The second conclusion is that the outcome of the competitive interaction is not predictable simply from knowledge of the opponents. In the two cases studied, two different effects of suckers on trout were observed – a slight depression in growth in the hard-water stream and a decline in the number of trout supported in the soft-water stream. Thus environmental variables, such as the productivity of the stream, the densities of the competitors, the range of foods available, the other fishes present and their densities, may all enter into the final equation which determines what effect if any, competition will have on the participants.”

1970   February 11   President Nixon issued a special message to Americans outlining a detailed 37-point plan that encompassed water pollution control, air pollution control and solid waste management.

1970   March 9   The brook trout (Salvelinus fontinalis) was named the official state fish of Pennsylvania by Act 61.

1970   March 31   Action was brought by the appellants in the United States District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania to enjoin the Pennsylvania Department of Highways from construction of the Route 872 relocation. The case was officially known as:

The United State Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit

No. 19,453

Pennsylvania Environmental Council, Inc., The Allegheny Mountain Chapter of Trout Unlimited, Colson E. Blakeslee, Marion E. Brooks, Robert L. Kolek, Bertel L. Anderson and Joseph H. Fritz, Appellants


Robert G. Bartlett, Individually and as Secretary of the Department of Highways of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, John Volpe, Individually and as Secretary of Transportation of the United States, Central Pennsylvania Quarry, Stripping and construction Co., Stabler Construction Co., and Reed and Kuhn, Inc. Appellees.

1970   April 3   President Nixon signed Public Law 91-224 HR 4148 know as the Water Quality Improvement Act of 1970.

1970   April 6   The Department of Forests and Waters) recommended that the flood plain on the east side of First Fork be raised 1.5 feet to 3.5 feet during the relocation of Route 872.

1970   April 22   The name of the Federal Water Pollution Control Administration was changed to the Federal Water Quality Administration as part of the Water Quality Improvement Act of 1970.

1970   April 22   Earth Day was celebrated nationally for the first time.

1970   April 20-22   The case involving Route 872 and First Fork of Sinnemahoning Creek was heard before the Honorable William J. Nealon at the Federal District Court in Harrisburg. Among other testimony was Pennsylvania Fish Commission Executive Director Rober Bielo, who testified: “The fisherman has other values that are important to him beyond having plenty of fish available in the stream. Much of fishing enjoyment comes from the beauty of the stream, the roll and gurgle of the ripples, mirrored surface of a deep pool, the graceful sweep of water around the rocks or over a natural ledge or submerged log. Wooded streambanks with large trees providing overhanging bows add charm and beauty. A most important feature to the fisherman is the feeling of isolation, or seclusion, of escape from hurry, noise and generally from any view of man’s encroachment upon the natural setting.”

1970   April 30   In the Route 872 case, the judge ruled that the plaintiffs were not entitled to injunctive relief and dismissed their complaint.

1970   May 6   The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation was created from the former Department of Highways by Act 120 approved by the legislature.

1970   May 8   The plaintiffs in the Route 872 relocation filed Motions for Additional Finding of Fact and to amend Conclusions of Law and Judgment under Rule 52 (b) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, together with a motion for a stay.

1970   May 25   The district court denied the plaintiffs’ motion in the Route 872 case.

1970   June 21   After only two years of operation the Penn Central Railroad, officially known as the Penn Central Transportation Company, declared bankruptcy.  It was at the time the largest bankruptcy in history.

1970   July 9   President Nixon transmitted to Congress Reorganization Plans 3 and 4 of 1970. The plans called for the establishment of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

1970   August 25   The District Court entered an order granting in part the motion of the plaintiffs for additional findings of fact and denying the Motion for Amendment of Conclusions of Law and the Judgment in the Route 872 relocation. The case was eventually dismissed, and the commonwealth prevailed. State Route 872 was relocated, but because of that case, Pennsylvania Trout became a force in future stream relocation projects that involved the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation. Said Horace Hand of the Susquehanna Chapter: “We may have lost the battle, but we won the war.”

1970   September 29   Pennsylvania, Maryland, New York and the U.S. Department of the Interior signed an agreement with four power companies relating to their interests in the Susquehanna River and the return of the anadromous American shad.

1970   Bear season was closed in Pennsylvania for the first time in 36 years due to a low population of bears.

1970   December 3  Act 275 establishing the Department of Environmental Resources (DER) was signed by Governor Raymond Shafer.


1971   Chinook salmon smolts were released in Lake Erie.

1971   Nolde Forest Environmental Education Center opened. It was part of the Bureau of State Parks.

1971   Act 147 was passed providing amendments to the Bituminous Coal Open Pit Mining Act.

1971   The Ohio River Basin Commission was created with Pennsylvania joining eight other states.

1971   The Susquehanna River Basin Commission was also created to address common issues among states and the federal government concerning the Susquehanna River basin.

1971   The Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay was founded. This organization was established to educate the public about pollution and how to prevent it in the Chesapeake Bay watershed.

1971   Charlie Fox published This Wonderful World of Trout. Preston Jennings published A Book of Trout Flies. James E. Leisenring published The Art of Tying the Wet Fly and Fishing the Flymph.

1971   Ned Smith published Gone for the Day

1971   January   The first Game Commission meeting open to the general public was held

1971   January 19   In one of his last acts as governor, Gov. Raymond Shafer presided over the creation of the Department of Environmental Resources. Maurice K. Goddard was named the first secretary of the department.  Act 275 created the Department of Environmental Resources. Altogether, 17 pollution control and resource management agencies, boards and commissions were absorbed into the department.  However, the Pennsylvania Game Commission and the Pennsylvania Fish Commission remained independent. Also, the first natural and wild areas were established in state forests.

1971   January 19   Milton J. Shapp was inaugurated governor of Pennsylvania. He was the first governor to serve a complete term under the State Constitution of 1968.

1971   April 16   Fire weather during the spring fire season was so severe, with 1,257 fires reported that Governor Shapp placed a statewide ban on open burning.

1971   May 18   Pennsylvania adopted Article I, Section 27, the Environmental Amendment to Pennsylvania’s Constitution. It was approved at the primary election of 1971 by a vote of  1,021,342 to 259,979. It reads: PENNSYLVANIA CONSTITUTION Article 1, Section 27, “Natural Resources and Public Estate “The people have a right to clean air, pure water, and to the preservation of the natural scenic, historic, and esthetic values of the environment. Pennsylvania’s public natural resources are the common property of all the people, including generations yet to come. As trustees of these resources, the Commonwealth shall conserve and maintain them for the benefit of all people.”

1971   June 30   The Fish Commission acquired Mill Creek in Clarion and Venango counties, Mill Creek in Lycoming County, Quaker Lake in Susquehanna County, Mahantango Access on the Susquehanna River in Snyder County, Kettle Creek in Potter County, Neshannock Creek in Lawrence County, Walnut Creek Access in Erie County and the Huntsdale Hatchery in Cumberland County. Access areas were built at Amity Hall, Dauphin County, Levittown Lake, Montgomery Ferry and Lake Wallenpaupack.

1971   Autumn   Trout magazine (Volume 12, #4) carried the article, “Take the Case of Pine Creek,” by Richard Williamson with photographs by Bob McCullough. Mr. Williamson was the corresponding secretary for the Susquehanna Chapter at the time. The article talked about work that had been done previously on documenting pollution into Pine Creek by Fletcher and Glantz and a potential federal survey to see if it met the criteria for inclusion under the federal Wild and Scenic Rivers Act. As a result of the Susquehanna Chapter’s efforts, the Pennsylvania Council of Trout Unlimited made the preservation of Pine Creek a major priority.

1971   October 12   Responsibility of gypsy moth problems transferred from Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture to tile Department of Environmental Resources.


1972   The use of the pesticide DDT was banned in the United States. The Department of Environmental Resources began a large-scale spraying campaign against gypsy moths to prevent forest defoliation.

1972   Ed Zern published A Fine Kettle of Fish Stories, and George Harvey retired from Penn State. (It is not believed that the first event led to the other.) Mr. Harvey is credited with teaching the first fly-casting and fly-fishing courses in the nation at a college level. He was succeeded by Joe Humphreys.

1972   The Pennsylvania Fish Commission named 75 streams in the Wilderness Trout Program.

1972   The Citizens for Letort Environmental Action and Restoration (CLEAR) was formed in Carlisle. This was the forerunner of the Letort Authority, the first municipal authority in Pennsylvania formed solely for the purpose of stream protection.

1972   A fish trapping facility at Conowingo Dam on the Susquehanna River was completed. The purpose of the fish trap was to capture American shad to move them upstream or to strip eggs and milt.

1972   A Game Law amendment made it illegal to possess a loaded firearm in a vehicle. A previous regulation made it illegal to possess a loaded firearm “on or along” a road.

1972   Hunters were permitted to take two turkeys per license year – one each in the spring and fall seasons – for the first time since 1915.

1972   The Game Commission’s “Triple Trophy Award” was terminated.

1972   March   Ralph Abele became the executive director of the Pennsylvania Fish Commission.

1972   Maurice K. Goddard was confirmed as Secretary of the Department of Environmental Resources.  Previous to that he had been Acting Secretary

1972   March 1   A gasoline tanker truck at a gas station spilled 2,770 gallons of gasoline that entered Benner Spring Fish Research Hatchery and killed 25,292 brown trout.

1972   March 10   All hawks and owls were given complete protection by federal law.

1972   April   The Pennsylvania Angler listed nine Pennsylvania Fish Commission-owned hatcheries and 160 cooperative nurseries in operation in Pennsylvania.

1972   June 22 -25   Tropical Storm Agnes flooded most of Pennsylvania. The greatest 24 hour rainfall amount measured in Pennsylvania was 14.8 inches in Schuylkill County in the Mahantango Creek basin. Total precipitation for the storm at several locations from New York to Virginia was in excess of 15 inches. Peak flows at Harrisburg were in excess of 7.5 million gallons per second (1 million cubic feet per second. Total damage from Tropical Storm Agnes was estimated at $3.1 billion. During the storm, Fish Commission personnel, using patrol boats, aided stricken residents throughout the commonwealth, and many personnel received special citations from Gov. Milton J. Shapp.

1972   September    The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ Raystown Dam in Huntingdon County was completed.

1972   September 23   National Hunting and Fishing Day was celebrated for the first time.

1972   October   The Pennsylvania Angler reported a new access area on the Allegheny River was opened at Tarentum.

1972   Small game season limits were replaced with possession limits by the PGC.

1972   November   The residents of Monroe County, Pennsylvania, and Warren County, New Jersey, voted by almost 2-1 to oppose the Tocks Island Dam on the Delaware River. Those same voters by almost the same margin voted to approve the establishment of a national park in the same area but without the dam.

1972   December 5   The Pennsylvania Scenic Rivers Act (Act 283) was signed into law. This law would allow for designation of rivers with unique scenic and recreational values as part of the state Scenic Rivers System.


1973   A Project to create 764 7.5 minute topographic maps completely covering Pennsylvania was completed.

1973   Pennsylvania sent its first group of specialized forest firefighters west to assist in fires there.

1973   The National Commission of Fire Prevention and Control report – America Burning was released.

1973   The first mature chinook salmon returned to the tributaries in Lake Erie where they had been planted.

1973   The resident fishing license fee increased to $7.50.

1973   The West Hickory Access Area on the Allegheny River in Forest County and the Oil City Access Area in Venango County were completed.

1973   Marion Brooks, a noted conservationist from northcentral Pennsylvania, died.

1973   Act 198, passed by the Pennsylvania Legislature, authorized municipalities to establish local environmental advisory councils. The purpose of the councils was to identify local environmental issues and develop recommendations for solutions.

1973   February    The Pennsylvania Angler carried the article “It’s Coming Back,” by Sam Hossler, dealing with the angling that had returned to the Clarion River.

1973   February    Robert L. Butler, Edwin L. Cooper, J. Kent Crawford, Donald C. Hales, William G. Kimmel and Charles C. Wagner complete EPA report EPA-R3-73-032 Fish and Food Organisms in Acid Mine Waters of Pennsylvania. Cooper and Wagner were the principal authors of Part II: The Effects of Acid Mine Drainage on Fish Populations. Their recommendations state that, “The reclamation of streams receiving acid-mine drainage must be sufficient to maintain concurrent readings of pH not less than 5.5 and a total mineral acidity not exceeding 5 p.p.m. to assure a diverse and productive fish population. The added toxicity of heavy metals will be largely avoided if suitable pH and acidity levels are maintained. Even though fish populations have been eliminated in large portions of major watersheds, there are sufficient native populations present in small isolated tributaries to restock most waters once they are reclaimed to a suitable quality for fishes.” One hundred sixteen species of fish were found, though Cooper and Wagner admitted that the list was incomplete.

1973   April   Hereford Manor Lake, Beaver County, was acquired by the Pennsylvania Fish Commission.

1973   July    The Western Pennsylvania Conservancy announced plans to purchase 1,267 acres from Miami Oil Producers Inc. in Tidioute Borough and Triumph Township in Warren County.

1973   September 1   The Pennsylvania Fish Commission reorganized into six law enforcement regions. The northwest regional office at Franklin had Walter G. Lazusky as supervisor and Cloyd Hollen as assistant supervisor. The northcentral region at Lock Haven had Miles D. Witt as supervisor and Paul Swanson as assistant supervisor. The northeast region at Sweet Valley had H. Clair Fleeger as supervisor and Robert Perry as assistant supervisor. The southwest regional office at Somerset had Thomas F. Qualters as supervisor and Anthony Murawski as assistant supervisor. The southcentral region at Mifflintown had Richard Owens as supervisor and Frank Kulikosky as assistant supervisor. The southeast regional office at Speedwell Forge had Norman W. Sickles as supervisor and Stanley Paulakovich as assistant supervisor.

1973   October 4   Compound bows as archery equipment were legalized for taking game.

1973   Bear check stations were established at 25 locations across state by the Game Commission. All bears killed had to be checked and tagged within24 hours of harvest.


1974   The Youth Conservation Corps was begun

1974   The Pennsylvania Fish Commission established its first “rearing marsh” at Glendale Lake in Cambria County. The use of electric motors was authorized on all Fish Commission lakes.

1974   HB 2538 gave the Fish Commission jurisdiction over reptiles, amphibians and aquatic organisms.

1974   Cortland Line Co. of Cortland, N.Y., introduced the 444 “peach” line for $16.50.

1974   Fenwick announced its HMG graphite rod.

1974   The Schuylkill River Greenway Association was formed to restore and preserve the historic Schuylkill River corridor in southeastern Pennsylvania.

1974   Act 24 was signed into law and was known as the Pesticide Control Act. It would regulate the use and disposal of pesticides in the state.

1974   The Solid Waste Resource and Recovery Act (Act 148) provided grants to municipalities to demonstrate new recycling and resource recovery technologies.

1974   The Clean and Green Program was initiated with the passage of Act 319. This act was based on the Constitutional amendment to preserve farmland through preferential property tax assessments.

1974   The muzzleloader deer license was created and the fee for the license was $3.25.  The first muzzleloader deer season was held for three days on 37 state game lands in Jefferson County.  65 deer, including four bucks, were taken.

1974   The Peach Bottom Atomic Power Station a two-unit nuclear generation facility located on the west bank of the Conowingo Pool on the Susquehanna River near Delta came on line.

1974   February 2   The Pennsylvania Federation of Sportsmen’s Clubs voted to hire a full-time executive director.

1974   March 22   The bog turtle became protected by HB 1248. Gov. Shapp signed a new littering law.

1974   April   H.R. Stackhouse former executive director of the Pennsylvania Fish Commission died.

1974   June 30   The Pennsylvania Fish Commission renovated the Corry Fish Cultural Station, and continued development of the Oswayo Hatchery. The Tionesta and Bellefonte hatcheries were also undergoing renovation. New access areas included Leetsdale, Allegheny County, Kaercher Creek Lake, Bucks County, Lily Lake Access, Luzerne County, Laurel Creek Reservoir Access, Mifflin County, and Winola Lake Access, Wyoming County. The Bradys Bend Access in Armstrong County and the Goldsboro Access in York County were acquired as well as the Mill Creek Dam in Clarion and Venango counties, Fords Lake in Lackawanna County, Lake Winola in Wyoming County, and three springs and water rights at the Bellefonte Hatchery.

1974   September 21   The Medix Run Stream Improvement Project dedicated to the late Marion Brooks and the late Floyd Oyler was begun.


1975   Hurricane Eloise struck the state that fall.

1975   The first strike by Commonwealth of Pennsylvania employees happened.

1975   The Pennsylvania Chapter of the Nature Conservancy was established to preserve natural areas. The Pool Wildlife Sanctuary was established at the bequest of Leonard Parker Pool.

1975   The Pennsylvania Chapter of the National Wild Turkey Federation was founded.

1975   A record number of miles of trout water was stocked totaling 5,042.8. Trout season was extended to Oct. 31 on “all approved trout waters” for the first time.

1975   Charlie Fox published The Book of Lures.

1975   Orvis and Cortland announced their first graphite fly-rods.

1975   Penn Power (now First Energy) created Little Blue Lake in Beaver County and across the West Virginia, Pennsylvania border as a fly ash disposal site.

1975   June 30   The Curwensville Reservoir in Clearfield County was stocked with walleye fry and other gamefish for the first time. Introductory stockings of muskellunge were made in the North Branch of the Susquehanna and the Chemung River. The Oswayo Fish Culture Station in Potter County was completed at a cost of $1,330,000. Kimmetts Lock Access in Lehigh County and Struble Lake Access in Chester County were completed. Lake Kahle in Clarion and Venango counties was completed.

1975   October 31   Trout season extended to Oct. 31 on “all approved trout waters” for the first time, but with reduced creel limits.


1976   Pennsylvania transferred Independence Mall State Park and Valley Forge State Park to the National Park Service. President Gerald Ford was in attendance.

1976   Vince Marinaro published In the Ring of the Rise. Sam Slaymaker with cooperation from George Harvey published Tie a Fly, Catch a Trout. The Fish Commission began a major trout stream inventory. The commission adopted new regulations for organized snake hunts.

1976   A major wild fire of 470 acres occurred on the Thornhurst Tract (Lackawanna State Forest).

1976   April 7   Harold Corbin retired from the Pennsylvania Fish Commission. He was responsible for initiating the first formal training for deputy waterways patrolmen. Corbin passed away on July 14.

1976   April 19   The Haneyville Fire in Lycoming County occurred. The fire burned 3,330 acres before it was extinguished on April 21 and required fire suppression efforts of 18 Forest Fire Wardens, 392 crew members, and 26 State Forest and Park employees.

1976   May   The Department of Environmental Resources reported samples of 150 ppb to 180 ppb of kepone on Nease Chemical Co. property and Thornton Run, a tributary to Spring Creek.


1977   The Federal Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act became law. It required the states to regulate surface coal mining and established the Abandoned Mine Reclamation Fund to pay for reclamation of abandoned surface mines. The excise tax imposed was 35 cents per ton of surface mined coal and 15 cents per ton of underground mined coal.

1977   The Pennsylvania Alliance for Environmental Education was founded.

1977   Fred Daley caught a world record Amur pike from Glendale Lake. It was 48 1/4 inches and 24 pounds 3 ounces. Joe Humphreys caught a record-breaking brown trout from Clinton County’s Fishing Creek. The fish was 34 inches long and weighed 15 pounds, 5 ounces. E.S. “Inky” Moore Jr. was elected Pennsylvania Council president succeeding Mike Boyle.

1977   January   The oil tanker Olympic Games grounded with a punctured hull at Marcus Hook spilling 134,000 gallons of oil into the water. On Jan. 4, the Pennsylvania Fish Commission, acting under its authority provided in Act 200, cited the master of the ship and the “docking pilot” for “allowing a substance deleterious, destructive, or poisonous to fish, aquatic organisms, amphibians, and reptiles, to be turned into or allowed to run, flow, wash, or be emptied into any waters within this commonwealth.”

1977   June 30   The Pennsylvania Fish Commission acquired accesses at Halifax, Dauphin County, Fort Hunter, Dauphin County, West Falls on the North Branch of the Susquehanna River in Wyoming County, and North Bend in Clinton County.

1977   July 19-20   Twelve inches of rain fell on and around Johnstown causing the second “Johnstown Flood.”  The flood claimed 85 lives and a federal disaster was declared for Cambria Somerset, Indiana, Bedford, Westmoreland, Clearfield, Blair  and Jefferson counties.  The flood caused over $300 Million in property damage.

1977   Steel shot was required to hunt waterfowl in Crawford County, on the Middle Creek Wildlife Management Area and within 25 yards of the Susquehanna River from Northumberland to the Maryland line.

1977   The Allegheny Mountain Chapter was monitoring Moose Creek near Clearfield after Benjamin Coal Co. caused an acid discharge to a tributary. James C. Dunbar, president of the Penns Woods West Chapter, testified before the Environmental Quality Board in favor of adoption of interim regulations for the surface mining of coal. In part, his testimony was, “…These requirements take long overdue prevention approach to acid-mine drainage from future operations. We strongly support the sensible and realistic prevention approach ….”

1977   October 20   Richard R. Thorpe named state forester

1977   November 18   The Pennsylvania Wild and Scenic Task Force met. It was noted that budget cuts in the Department of Environmental Resources have slowed momentum in the process of having rivers designated.

1977   No bear season was held because of a low bear population in the state.

1977   December 6    The United Mine Workers of America began a national coal strike that lasted until March 19, when President Jimmy Carter invoked the emergency provisions of the Taft-Hartley Act.  While other states mobilized National Guard units Pennsylvania Governor Milton Shapp and West Virginia Governor, Jay Rockefeller refused to mobilize the National Guard in their states.

1977   December 13   The first meeting of the ad hoc task force on mining legislation was held at the Farm Show Building in Harrisburg. Richard M. Boardman, deputy secretary for technical programs in the Department of Environmental Resources, was the chairman. The charge of the task force was to develop a recommended package of proposed amendments to various state laws and regulations impacted by the Federal Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act of 1977. This package of changes was needed so the Legislature could act quickly in order for Pennsylvania to achieve primacy under the provisions of the federal act. Bill Kodrich was the Trout Unlimited representative on the group.

1977   December 27   The Clean Water Act of 1977 was signed into law by President Carter.


1978   The 3 millionth gallon of fire retardant dropped on a wildfire in PA

1978   The Young Adult Conservation Corps begun

1978   Charlie Fox published Rising Trout. Ernie Schwiebert published Trout.

1978   In Pennsylvania, bituminous coal surface production peaked at 46,605,297 tons.

1978   The Flood Plain Management Act (Act 166) directed communities to adopt flood plain ordinances and participate in the federal flood insurance program.

1978   The U.S. Congress passed the National Scenic Trails Act whose purpose was to protect by acquisition or easements natural scenic trails. It also created the Appalachian National Scenic Trail Advisory Committee (ANSTAC).

1978   The Pennsylvania Appalachian Trails Act (Act 41) and the Schuylkill River Scenic Rivers Act (Act 333) were passed. The Upper Delaware Scenic and Recreational River Area was designated as part of the Federal Wild and Scenic Rivers System.

1978   The Tocks Island project ended It had been withdrawn by the Federal Government.

1978   No bear season was held.

1978 The Game Commission launched its Endangered Species Program.

1978   January 12   The Ad Hoc Task Force on Mining Legislation met for a second time and established a clear picture of its organization and function. It decided to continue to meet as a full committee and to discuss the issues of how Pennsylvania can best implement its laws in conjunction with the federal law.

1978   February 9   The Ad Hoc Task Force on Mining Legislation met again. William Guckert representing the Pennsylvania Federation of Sportsmens Clubs asked why the Department of Environmental Resources had stopped issuing mining permits. Representatives for the department responded that the Department of Environmental Resources did not plan to take actions that were in conflict with the Federal Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act. This indicated that no mine permit applications that were applied for after Feb. 3, 1978, would be issued until the Department of Environmental Resources was satisfied that Pennsylvania was in compliance with the federal act.

1978   May 25   Karl Ebert, contributing editor to PA Trout, was alerted to a meeting in Meadville regarding water pollution in Clarion County as a result of mining operations. Elissa Parker, attorney for the Department of Environmental Resources, allowed Ebert to attend provided he not write any details of the meeting as it might jeopardize future litigation. Also in attendance from the department were Ken Young and Tony Talek. Mr. Young asked to read Ebert’s articles before they were printed. Terry Pope, the attorney for C&K Coal Co., asked Ebert to leave. He did.

1978   October 4   The Storm Water Management Act was passed. The Storm Water Management Act (Act 167) required the Department of Environmental Resources to develop model stormwater ordinances and required counties to prepare stormwater management plans.

1978   November 26   The Dam Safety and Encroachments Act (Act 325) was passed. The purpose of the act was to reduce flooding by controlling development in streams and identify the hazards presented by unsafe dams.


1979   Allegheny County established as a “special regulations hunting area.”

1979   The Lake Erie Zone established for waterfowl hunting.

1979   Muzzleloaders were permitted for use for the first time in Southeastern Special Regulations Area.

1979   A Muzzleloader deer season held statewide for the first time. The reported harvest was 2,459 deer.

1979   The Pennsylvania Biological Survey was formed to inventory and assess the state’s fauna and flora. Sponsoring organizations were National Audubon Society, Game Commission, Fish Commission and Department of Environmental Resources.

1979   Construction was completed on Blue Marsh Lake in Berks County.  Construction on the flood control / multi use impoundment on Tulpehocken Creek began in 1974.

1979   Fishing license fees increased to $9 for residents, $14 for nonresidents, $9 for seven-day tourists and $10 for lifetime residents 65 years and older.

1979   The Environmental Radiation Act (Act 49) was passed as law. It required independent radiation monitoring around nuclear power plants.

1979   Act 100 created the Agricultural Lands Condemnation Board. The purpose of the board was to approve the use of farmland for solid waste disposal and other public facilities.

1979   The Butler Tunnel breakout along the Susquehanna River contaminated the Susquehanna River for miles with illegally dumped hazardous waste.

1979   January 1   Dave Erlanson caught the state record northern pike 46 and 5/16 inches and 29 pounds 12 ounces at Kinzua’s Chappel Fork.

1979   January 11   Dr. Albert Sidney Hazzard died in Sebring, Fla., at the age of 77. He was an early advocate of “Fish-for-Fun” projects and as assistant executive director of the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission in the early 1960s he promoted such. He was the first recipient of Trout Unlimited’s Conservationist Award in 1964.

1979   January 16   Richard Thornburgh was inaugurated Governor of Pennsylvania. He accepted the resignation of Maurice K. Goddard as Secretary of DER and Clifford Jones became the second Secretary of the Department of Environmental Resources.

1979   March   The Pennsylvania Angler reported that BASS had spent $12,000 over four years to assist the Pennsylvania Fish Commission in a research program at Kahle Lake.

1979   March 28   The worst nuclear accident in America began at Three Mile Island near Middletown.

1979   April 1   An MOU was signed between the Bureau of Forestry and the Fish Commission which designated 18 Natural Areas as special regulation areas for reptiles and amphibians.

1979   May 8   The fish ladder was dedicated at Fairmount Dam on the Schuylkill River in Philadelphia.

1979   May 15   Roger Latham died in an accident in Switzerland. He was the outdoors editor of the Pittsburgh Press, a noted conservationist and one of the early members and unabashed supporter of Trout Unlimited in Pennsylvania. His articles on the fight with PennDOT over Route 872 and the First Fork of Sinnemahoning Creek were instrumental in galvanizing opposition to the plan to channelize and relocate the stream.

1979   September   It was reported in the Pennsylvania Angler that Richard Pryor had taken a new state record rainbow trout from the Yellow Breeches. It was 27 inches and weighed 10 pounds 11 1/4 ounces and was taken on a White Marabou.

1979   September 25   President Carter signed H.R. 4388 the Public Works Appropriation Act of 1979 that permitted the construction of Tellico Dam on the last free-flowing stretch of the Little Tennessee River. This was a defeat for Trout Unlimited in its longest-ever environmental battle with the government at that time. It was a disappointment for environmentalists, conservationists and snail darters everywhere.


1980   The Dauphin County Chapter of Trout Unlimited began to study ways to treat acid-mine drainage in Stony Creek which Gov. Thornburgh had signed into law as a Wild and Scenic River under Pennsylvania Act 18. General Crushed Stone Co. and Valley Forge Chapter reached an amicable agreement concerning the discharge of warm “wash water” into West Valley Creek.

1980   The Bluff Recession and Setback Act (Act 48) was signed into law to prevent development of the Lake Erie shoreline.

1980   The Building Conservation and Energy Act (Act 222) also became law.

1980   Act 154 provided amendments to the Surface Mine Conservation and Reclamation Act

1980   Act 155 provided amendments to the Coal Refuse Disposal Control Act. These amendments were passed to strengthen the law to meet the minimum requirements of the federal law.

1980   Governor Thornburgh appointed Bob McCullough to the DER Citizens Advisory Council.

1980   A Trapper Education Program was implemented by the Pennsylvania Game Commission.

1980   Protection was removed on cub bears during bear season for the first time since 1925.

1980   Resident motorists were allowed to pick up road-killed deer after they obtained permit from a game protector or deputy.

1980   “Working Together for Wildlife” program was launched to raise funds to expand the agency’s wildlife management activities, particularly for non-game species.

1980   The annual fixed charges, in lieu of taxes, on State Game Lands increased from 20 to 39 cents per acre.

1980   North and south zones were established for waterfowl hunting; and used in conjunction with Lake Erie zone established in 1979.

1980   Fish and Wildlife Conservation Act adopted; authorized U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service to spend $20 million over four years to help states develop non-game management programs.

1980   A rabies outbreak occurred in southcentral Pennsylvania; it spread throughout eastern Pennsylvania over next 10 years.

1980   July 7   The Solid Waste Management Act (Act 97) became law. This law was passed to regulate the treatment and disposal of municipal, residual and hazardous waste. It required the state to develop a hazardous waste plan, and it required each municipality to plan for municipal waste disposal.

1980   September 1   Deer, bear and woodchuck hunters were required by law to wear at least 100 square inches of fluorescent orange material on their head, or on their chest and back combined.

1980   October 16   Govovernor Thornburgh signed the Fish and Boat Code of 1980 (Act 175), which significantly revised fishing and boating laws. It also gave limited police powers to the commission’s waterways conservation officers. It became effective Jan. 15, 1981. The first striped bass tournament was held at Raystown Lake in Huntingdon County.

1980   November 5   An injunction was filed against the Department of Environmental Resources by the Pennsylvania Coal Mining Association, Keystone Bituminous Coal Association, United States Steel, Jones & Laughlin Steel, Consolidation Coal Co., Bethelehem Mines Corp., Republic Steel, Rochester & Pittsburgh Coal Corp., West Freedom Mining Co. and others to enjoin the Pennsylvania Department if Environmental Resources from gaining “primacy” regulation of coal mining from the Federal Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement.


1981   Peter S. Duncan III was named as the third secretary of the Department of Environmental Resources.

1981   The Agricultural Area Security Law (Act 43) was passed. It authorized counties to create Agricultural Security Areas to preserve farmland. Voters also approved a $300 million bond issue to finance improvements to drinking water systems, storm water facilities and unsafe dams.

1981   Landlocked salmon were stocked in Harvey’s Lake, Luzerene County.

1981   Osprey hacking selected as first “Working Together for Wildlife” project.

1981   Turkey production was stopped at the Meadville State Wild Turkey Farm. Pheasants were raised in their place.

1981   The Game Commission stopped production of waterfowl at the State Wild Waterfowl Farm in Crawford County and the remaining stock was released into the wild in 1982.  Crawford County’s “Waterfowl Area” renamed the Pymatuning Wildlife Management Area.

1981   Quail season was closed for the first time since 1953.

1981   The General Assembly passed legislation creating the state’s first bear hunting license. License price: residents, $5; nonresidents, $15. The first allocation is 125,000

1981   Four peregrine falcons were successfully hacked from a ledge on the 34th floor of the Philadelphia National Bank.

1981   Three turkey management areas were established in state.

1981   The Northwest Zone established for waterfowl hunting; was used in conjunction with three previously-established zones.

1981   Wild plants were placed under the jurisdiction of Department of Environmental Resources. No agency managed them prior to this.

1981   January 1   The Pennsylvania Fish Commission launched “Operation Future.” Under the direction of executive director Ralph W. Abele, this project was designed to:

  1. Establish and maintain a current database on the quality and quantity of Pennsylvania’s aquatic and fishery resources for effective environmental protection and resource conservation;
  2. Develop statewide management programs to assure consistent treatment of all resources within any given class. Similar waters will be managed to meet the same objectives under the same philosophy on a statewide basis;
  3. Manage self-sustaining fish populations as a renewable natural resource to preserve and/or conserve that resource and the angling it provides;
  4. Use hatchery fish to provide recreation in those waters where fish populations are inadequate to sustain the fishery at desired levels;
  5. Develop appropriate regulations and operational strategies to replace policies that are not compatible with management through resource classification.

1981   May 17   A discharge of endosulfan, a pesticide from a watercress operation in the headwaters, destroyed the fish population in Letort Spring Run. Charlie Fox, who lived along the banks of the stream and was considered “the dean of the Letort,” later commented, “To give you an idea of the level of toxicity of this stuff (endosulfan)… I became slightly ill after wading and putting my hands in water that formed a small pool as it came out of the affected cress beds. In that pool below the cress beds nothing survived.”

1981   June 10   The Woodduck Chapter of Trout Unlimited, meeting at the Wolf Rocks Hunting Club on Six Mile Run outside of Philipsburg, debated what could be done to protect Cold Stream Run, which was the Philipsburg water supply, from an imminent threat from a proposed surface mining permit by Al Hamilton Inc. A young Department of Environmental Resources staff member in attendance suggested utilizing section 522 of the federal SMCRA to have the area declared “unsuitable for mining.” George “Cappy” Hill took charge of the project.

1981   June 19   The Department of Environmental Resources issued a cleanup order to Rutgers-Nease Chemical Co. to prevent toxic chemicals from entering Spring Creek. This was a major victory for the Spring Creek Chapter.

1981   July 23   The Delaware River Basin Commission issued a ruling that allowed for augmented reservoir releases and improved flow in the Delaware River.

1981   September 2   The Blair County Chapter of Trout Unlimited recorded a pH of 3.0 for rainfall at Altoona.


1982   A Game Law amendment required all first-time hunters, regardless of age, to take the hunter education course.

1982   A “wildlife check-off” was placed on income tax forms for donations to the newly-created Wild Resource Conservation Fund.

1982   Four otters released on Kettle Creek in state’s first otter reintroduction project (35 more released on Pine and Loyalsock creeks over next five years).

1982   Act 71 was the Lehigh River Scenic Rivers Act.

1982   The Used Oil Recycling Act (Act 89) became law and established a program to recycle used motor oil.

1982   Act 97 designated French Creek in Berks and Chester counties as a Pennsylvania Scenic River.

1982   Act 110 provided an amendment to the Pennsylvania Scenic Rivers Act that removed eminent domain authority from the law.

1982   Act 324 added Lick Run in Clinton County to the Scenic Rivers System.

1982   The Wild Resource Conservation Act (Act 170) created a special board to protect endangered and threatened plants and animals. The Pennsylvania Natural Diversity Inventory was established to help with this program.

1982   The commonwealth received primacy in administering the Federal Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act of 1977.

1982  U.S. Steel’s Homestead Works open hearth furnace OH5 closed and the plant was completely closed in 1986.

1982   The Council Run shallow gas field in Clinton and Centre counties was discovered.

1982   January 12   A public hearing was held by the Department of Environmental Resources at the Altoona campus of Penn State to have part of the Altoona water supply watershed declared “unsuitable for mining.”

1982   February 9   The Woodduck Chapter’s petition to have Cold Stream Run declared unsuitable for mining was accepted by the Department of Environmental Resources for consideration.

1982   March   The Audubon Society was the primary petitioner to have Mill Run, Altoona’s public water supply, declared unsuitable for mining. The Blair County Chapter supported the effort, and Bill Richers was the point man for the chapter.

1982   It was reported that the Department of Environmental Resources and the Fish Commission had signed a Consent Order and Agreement with B&W Quality Growers which poisoned Letort Spring Run the previous spring. B&W paid a $20,000 fine and agreed to allow close monitoring by the Department of Environmental Resources. The famous spring creek was showing signs of improvement by that time.

1982   July 17   A rally against a proposed PCB incinerator in Two Mile Run was held at Kettle Creek State Park. There were over 350 people in attendance to protest the permit issued on July 15 to Best Environmental Service and Technology Co. of Southampton. The rally was sponsored by the Kettle Creek Chapter of Trout Unlimited.

1982   August    The establishment of the Goddard Chair in the School of Forest Resources of the College of Agriculture finally became a reality in August 1982 with an announcement by the university President, Dr. John W. Oswald. According to Dr. Oswald, “A chair named for an individual is a prestigious academic honor and to occupy a named chair is one of the highest distinctions that can be bestowed on a member of the school‘s faculty.”  A total of $750,000 had been raised by the time of Dr. Oswald’s announcement, and by 1997 the Maurice K. Goddard Chair in Forestry and Environmental Resource Conservation was fully endowed.

1982   December 9   The Department of Environmental Resources held a public hearing at the Harbor Inn in Philipsburg. The purpose of the hearing was to gather input on the Woodduck Chapter’s Areas Unsuitable for Mining Petition in the Cold Stream and Black Bear Run watersheds. These watersheds serve as the public water supplies for Philipsburg and the surrounding communities. George “Cappy” Hill, president of the Woodduck Chapter, led the charge for Trout Unlimited.


1983   Nicholas DeBenedictis was named as the fourth Secretary of the Department of Environmental Resources.

1983   Act 43 added Octoraro Creek in Chester and Lancaster counties to the Scenic Rivers System.

1983   The Department of Environmental Resources also began a spraying campaign along the Susquehanna River to control black flies. Ironically, the flies became a nuisance to some after significant improvements to water quality in the river became apparent.

1983   Fishing license fees increased to $12 resident; $20 nonresident; $15 seven day tourist.

1983   The Pennsylvania Fish Commission published “Acid Precipitation: Pennsylvania.”

1983   Unit 1 of the Susquehanna PPL nuclear power plant began operation at its site in Salem Township, Luzerne County near the borough of Berwick.  Unit 2 at the site began operation in 1985. The plant is owned by PPL Susquehanna LLC, a subsidiary of PPL Generation LLC (90 percent), and Allegheny Electric Cooperative Inc. (10 percent).

1983   The Pennsylvania Waterfowl Management Stamp Program was established. The first stamp, “Sycamore Creek Woodies,”was painted by Ned Smith and sold for $5.50.  Ned Smith’s “River Otters,” the first Working Together for Wildlife fine art print was also offered for sale at $125.

1983   January   Peter S. Duncan III, Millerstown, began term as Executive Director of the Pennsylvania Game Commission.

1983   May 2   A public meeting was held by the Department of Environmental Resources at the Penn State Altoona Campus regarding the revised E.P. Bender Coal Co. application to mine in the Mill Run watershed.

1983   Summer    PA Trout reported that through the efforts of Trout Unlimited, 70 acres of the Hells Run watershed would be added to McConnell’s Mills State Park. Also through the efforts of the Western Pennsylvania Conservancy and supported by Trout Unlimited, a 176-acre tract was added to the Elk State Forest bringing 4,000 feet of Hicks Run under public ownership.

1983   July 19-20   The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Resources held hearings in North Washington, Butler County, on two surface mine permit applications to mine in the Silver Creek watershed. The permits were for Allegheny Minerals and Big B Mining Co.

1983   September 17   The Department of Environmental Resources denied the mining permits to Allegheny Minerals and Big B Mining Co. in the Silver Creek watershed.


1984   Unit one of the Limerick Nuclear Generating Station near Pottstown in Montgomery County was licensed to begin operation.  Unit 2 was licensed in 1989.  Later that year radon gas was discovered in Berks County when a worker at the Limerick Nuclear Power Plant triggered radiation detection alarms when he was going into the plant.

1984   The Administrative Code of Pennsylvania was amended to require the Department of Environmental Resources to notify municipalities of applications for air, water allocation, water obstruction, water quality and solid waste in the municipalities and allow for the municipalities to comment. This was accomplished by Act 14.

1984   The Safe Drinking Water Act (Act 43) was passed. Act 99 re-authorized the Hazardous Substances Transportation Board.

1984   Act 106 authorized and financed local recreation improvement projects. This was known as the Pennsylvania Recreational Improvement and Rehabilitation

1984   Act. Act 112 was the Pennsylvania Conservation Corps Act, which provided job training for young adults to improve natural, historic and cultural sites.

1984   The Radiation Protection Act (Act 147) gave the state the power to protect citizens from sources of radiation.

1984   The Coal and Gas Resource Coordination Act (Act 214) became law. This law provided for coordination between mining and gas and oil well drilling.

1984   American shad was given gamefish status by the Pennsylvania Fish Commission. The creel limit was set at six per day.

1984   Federal legislation created an amendment (Wallop Breaux Amendment), which added new provisions to the Sport Fish Restoration (Dingell Johnson) Act.

1984   The first female waterways conservation officer was hired by the Pennsylvania Fish Commission,

1984   The first issue of Boat Pennsylvania was published by the Fish Commission.

1984   Annual fixed charges, in lieu of taxes, on State Game Lands increased from 39 to 60 cents per acre

1984   Pennsylvania enacted one of first boating under the influence (BUI) implied consent laws in United States.

1984   Crayola became a wholly-owned subsidiary of Hallmark Cards

1984   The Pennsylvania Council of Trout Unlimited, Pennsylvania Chapter of the Sierra Club, National Audubon Society, Wilderness Society, Pennsylvania Federation of Sportsmen and individuals Bill Welch and Lynn Myers filed suit against the Shawnee Clinger Oil Co. and the U.S. Forest Service to prevent drilling 26 new oil wells in the Allegheny Front section of the Allegheny National Forest.

The Delaware River Basin Commission approved permanent status for the augmented release program on the Upper Delaware River Trout Fishery.

1984   February 11   The petition presented by the Woodduck Chapter to have the Cold Stream watershed and the Black Bear watershed declared unsuitable for mining was finalized in rule-making by the Environmental Quality Board, and 11,200 acres were declared unsuitable for mining. This was a major victory for the Woodduck Chapter of Trout Unlimited to protect the Philipsburg water supply from coal mining. It was the first time a Trout Unlimited chapter had succeeded in protecting a coldwater resource under Section 522 of the federal SMCRA.

1984   August 29   A pipe at Pfizer Inc. broke and discharged 1,500 to 3,000 gallons of diluted sulfuric acid into Bushkill Creek causing the stream’s second fish kill in a year. Pfizer spokesman Leland H. Emery said the company was independently planning to stock 1,000 trout because of the mishap. In 1983, the company stocked 2,400 trout after the fish kill.

1984   September 8   The first Fish for Free Day in Pennsylvania was held. It may have been Sept. 22 as reported in the Pennsylvania Angler.

1984   October 16   The Department of Environmental Resources recommended that the North Fork of the Tangascootack Creek in Clinton County be declared unsuitable for mining.

1984   October 25 A major fish kill occurred in the Little Juniata River and Spruce Creek. The river had a 90-95 percent fish kill, and an estimated 4,500 trout were lost. The source of the fish kill remains unknown.

1984   December 19   The Noncoal Surface Mining Conservation and Reclamation Act (Act 219) and the Oil and Gas Act (Act 223) became law when Gov. Thornburgh signed the bills. The Noncoal Act allowed for comprehensive permitting and enforcement of industrial mineral mines not covered under the Coal Act. The Oil and Gas Act was the first comprehensive effort by the state to regulate the drilling, use and abandonment of oil and gas wells.


1985   Ned Smith, noted outdoor artist and illustrator died.

1985   Act 120 was passed and signed into law. This law committed Pennsylvania to the Appalachian States Low-Level Radioactive Waste Compact. The other states involved were Delaware, Maryland and West Virginia.

1985   A 28-month undercover investigation resulted in the arrests of 135 persons for illegal commercialization of fish and wildlife.

1985   Spring    In the Spring Issue of Trout (Volume 26, #2), Scott Ripley wrote an article for the “Action Line” section and reported on the recovery of the Letort, that had been poisoned by endosulfan on May 17, 1981. A fish survey had been conducted in September 1984 and 165 trout turned up. In September 1980, a survey of the stream had produced 270 trout in the same section. Charlie Fox offered the suggestion: “I believe that any trout lucky enough to be in an isolated side channel was spared, and I think some trout, sensing the oncoming chemical, high-tailed it downstream until the dilution was tolerable.” Fox had for years monitored the spawning of the Letort brown trout, and before the 1981 spill, he had often seen more than 100 hen fish on redds. In the fall of 1984, Fox counted about 30 hens, some over 20 inches.

Also mentioned in the article was the fact that the Carlisle sewage treatment plant had been closed on the lower Letort and a new plant servicing the Carlisle area had been built and began operation on the Conodoguinet Creek. As a result of this, the lower Letort was beginning to develop as a trout fishery.

1985   May 31   A series of large tornadoes swept through Forest, Warren, McKean, Crawford, Erie, Union, Northumberland, Clearfield, Clinton, Cameron, and Lycoming Counties.

1985   June 25   The Chesapeake Bay Commission Agreement (Act 25) was formalized. This agreement committed Pennsylvania, Maryland and Virginia to cleaning up the Chesapeake Bay

1985   August    The Valley Forge Chapter of Trout Unlimited reported that PCB contamination from the Paoli railroad yards had affected Valley Creek. As a result of this contamination, Valley Creek was closed to killing or keeping fish but angling was still permitted. This situation was exactly the same as the situation on Spring Creek but with different chemicals as the cause. The Valley Forge Chapter was working with the Department of Environmental Resources and the EPA to try and have the PCBs cleaned up.


1986   A 33 inch-minimum-size limit was established for striped bass in the Delaware River.

1986   Zebra mussels were unintentionally introduced into the Great Lakes from ocean-going ships.

1986   The Pennsylvania Environmental Defense Foundation was established to educate, aid and assist Pennsylvanians in fighting for their rights to a clean environment.

1986   A statewide, three-day bear season was adopted for the first time since 1959.

1986   August    The last class graduated from Ross Leffler School of Conservation near Brockway.  The training school moved to Harrisburg.   427 officers graduated from school over its 50-year existence.


1987   Robert Casey was inaugurated governor. Arthur A. Davis became the fifth secretary of the Department of Environmental Resources. In the transition between the Thornburgh and Casey administrations a guy named Smith took the job and then decided to retire. As a result Mr. Davis became the fifth secretary but only the fourth to serve any appreciable amount of time.

1987   The Radon Certification Act (Act 43) required the certification of firms that performed radon tests and remediation work.

1987   Act 54 was a bill for the voters to approve a $100 million bond issue to preserve farmland. It passed.

1987   Act 70 known as the Pennsylvania Farmland Preservation Act, was approved by the voters.

1987   The Pennsylvania Fish Commission adopted the motto: “Resource First.”

1987   February 2   A farmer discovered a broken pipe which caused 300,000 gallons of liquid cow manure to flow from the Sangray Farm into Warriors Mark Run, Spruce Creek and ultimately the Little Juniata River. The Pennsylvania Fish Commission estimated 11,640 fish were killed of which 21 percent were trout.

1987   February 3   The U.S. House of Representatives voted 401-26 to override President Reagan’s veto of the Clean Water Act. The act re-authorized the 1972 Clean Water Act and provided $20 billion through 1994 for various clean water programs. A part of the money was to be channeled to nonpoint source pollution.

1987   The Game Commission obtained 40 purebred Sichuan cock pheasants from the Michigan Department of Natural Resources.

1987   The bonus deer program was adopted for Southeastern Special Regulations Area counties giving hunters with appropriate licenses the chance to take two deer in one license year. At least one of the two deer must be antlerless.

1987   The District Game Protector title was changed to Wildlife Conservation Officer. Deer and turkeys in the commonwealth didn’t seem to mind much. Bears were reported as being in a huff because they were not asked for their opinion.

1987   May 29   Ralph Abele retired as the executive director of the Pennsylvania Fish Commission. His position was filled by Edward R. Miller.

1987   July 1   The Game and Wildlife Code superseded the Game Law of 1937. Fines for practically all offenses were increased substantially.

1987   August 20   The Independent Regulatory Review Commission held a public hearing on Lloyd Wilson Chapter’s “Areas Unsuitable for Mining Petition” on the North Fork of Tangascootack Creek.

1987   A bill was introduced by state Rep. John Broujos of Carlisle to have the Letort Spring Run declared a wild and scenic river.


1988   Act 12 was signed into law and became known as the Low Level Radioactive Waste Disposal Act. It established procedures and environmental standards to be used to site a low-level radioactive waste disposal facility as required by the Appalachian States Compact.

1988   Act 16 created the Pennsylvania Infrastructure Investment Authority (PennVest) for the purpose of financing drinking water and sewage systems.

1988   The Infectious and Chemotherapeutic Waste Act (Act 93) required the preparation of a statewide plan for dealing with the waste as well as placing a moratorium on permits for commercial incinerators.

1988   The Municipal Waste Planning, Recycling and Waste Reduction Act (Act 101) mandated local recycling programs, county waste plans and strengthened the environmental protection standards for new municipal waste facilities.

1988   The Hazardous Sites Cleanup Act (Act 108) created a program to fund the cleanup of toxic waste sites and strengthened the environmental standards for new hazardous waste facilities.

1988   The Environmental Hearing Board Act (Act 94) made the Environmental Hearing Board independent of the Department of Environmental Resources and expanded the board to help deal with a 1,000 case backlog.

1988   Act 42 designated Letort Spring Run as a Scenic River. Act 161 likewise designated Tucquan Creek in Lancaster County. Act 17 designated additional segments of the Schuylkill River as a Scenic River.

1988   Winter    In the winter edition of Trout (Volume 29, #1), H. Roebling Knoch, M.D., of York suggested in a letter to the editor that Professor William Pfeiffer of the Penn State School of Forestry at Mont Alto was the first to successfully identify the tricorythodes and successfully imitate the mayfly. His experimental work was conducted primarily on Falling Spring some years earlier.

1988   The Valley Forge Chapter of Trout Unlimited negotiated an agreement with Trammell Crow to maintain Crabby Creek, a tributary to Little Valley Creek. At a cost of over $100,000 to the developer, 180 feet of streambank was restored.

1988   Lead shot was banned for waterfowl hunting in Pennsylvania.

1988   The bonus deer program was implemented statewide giving hunters with appropriate licenses the chance to take two deer in one license year. One of the two deer had to be antlerless.

1988   Big game hunters were required to wear a minimum of 250 square inches on their head, chest and back combined.

1988   January 2   An oil tank owned by Ashland Oil Co. at Floreffe ruptured as it was being filled to capacity for the first time. The resulting spill of 2 million gallons of diesel fuel overwhelmed the onsite containment dikes and the oil spilled into the Monongahela River. Water intakes serving over 1 million people in the Monongahela River and the Ohio River were shut down. Wildlife, private property and ecosystems were adversely affected in Pennsylvania, West Virginia and Ohio.

1988   January 9   The Pennsylvania Fish Commission authorized the staff to purchase a 57-acre parcel of land adjacent to Elk Creek in Girard Township, Erie County.

1988   May 31   The governors of Pennsylvania, Delaware and New Jersey formally nominated Delaware Estuary to the National Estuary Program.

1988   September    The Ashland Oil Co. was indicted by a federal grand jury for negligently discharging oil into the Monongahela River in violation of the Clean Water Act.


1989   James C. Nelson became the state forester

1989   A Stream Bank Fencing Program was launched in a cooperative effort by the Game Commission and Department of Environmental Resources in an effort to protect Chesapeake Bay.

1989   Lower Brandywine Creek in Chester and Delaware counties was added to the state’s Scenic Rivers System by

1989   Act 7. Act 26 reauthorized the Sewage Enforcement Officers Certification Board. Along those same lines,

1989   Act 112 re-authorized the Sewage and Water Treatment Certification Board.

1989   The Storage Tank and Spill Prevention Act (Act 32) was passed partly in response to the Ashland Oil spill a year earlier. It established a comprehensive program to prevent leaks and spills from underground and above ground tanks.

1989   The Lead Ban Notification Act (Act 33) banned the use of lead pipes and solder in drinking water systems.

1989   An amendment to the Solid Waste Management Act via Act 55 authorized the beneficial use of municipal and residual waste.

1989   Act 85, the Radiological Emergency Preparedness Act and created a program to plan for and fund activities needed to prepare for an emergency at a nuclear power plant.

1989   The Department of Environmental Resources also revised the Municipal Waste Regulations to place some of the most stringent standards on the design and operation of municipal waste landfills, incinerators and transfer stations.

1989   April 11   Sam Slaymaker died.

1989   July    The Great Lakes Protection Agreement came into existence when Act 34 was signed into law by the governor.

1989   July 5   The Phosphate Detergent Act became law with the signing of Act 31. This act banned the use of laundry detergents containing phosphates in an effort to help clean up the Chesapeake Bay.


1990   As a result of legal action brought against the Borough of Bellefonte by the Pennsylvania Environmental Defense Foundation, $35,000 was placed in escrow for the Spring Creek Chapter to use in enhancing the coldwater fishery in Spring Creek. This involved fencing the pastures and bank restoration.

1990   Legislation was passed (Act 14) that banned the practice of hauling food in vehicles that carried waste or hazardous chemicals.

1990   Act 24 encouraged the consolidation of small water and sewer systems.

1990   Act 66 re-authorized the Recreation Improvement and Rehabilitation Act.

1990   The Low-Level Radioactive Waste Disposal Site Search Funding Act (Act 107) was signed into law.

1990   Act 109 amended the Solid Waste Management Act to deal with aquaculture, food processing plants and transfer stations.

1990   Act 165 became law and was known as the Hazardous Materials Emergency Planning and Response Act.

1990   Act 194 established accreditation for asbestos removal contractors and Act 167 provided state workmen’s compensation coverage for spill response teams.

1990   Act 120 established the Pine Creek Gorge Rails to Trails project

1990   Act 188 established the Rails to Trails Program within the Department of Environmental Resources.

1990   Act 133 provided penalties for vandalizing caves.

1990   Hunters were allowed to buy two bonus licenses, which permitted them to harvest of up to three deer. Two of the three deer must be antlerless.

1990   River otters were stocked for the first time in northwestern Pennsylvania. The critters were placed in the Allegheny National Forest’s Tionesta Creek.

1990   Antlerless deer licenses were allocated for Philadelphia County for first time.

1990   April 28   The Two Rock Run fire or Big Fire covering 9600 acres in Clinton and Centre counties began when a person lit a pile of trash.

1990   June 15   Ralph Abele, retired executive director of the Pennsylvania Fish Commission, died.

1990   June 30   The Pennsylvania Fish Commission, at its regular meeting, made several changes to special regulation waters. A 1.7-mile stretch of the Little Schuylkill River in Schuylkill County was designated as Delayed Harvest – Artificial Lures Only. The commission changed a 1.2-mile section of French Creek in Chester County from Fly Fishing Only to Delayed Harvest – Artificial Lures Only. They designated a 1.2-mile section of West Valley Creek in Chester County as Delayed Harvest – Artificial Lures Only. The Fly Fishing Only Project on Bowman Creek in Wyoming County was changed to Delayed Harvest – Artificial Lures Only. The commissioners also voted to change a 2.3-mile stretch of Kinzua Creek in McKean County to Delayed Harvest – Artificial Lures Only. All regulations would take effect Jan. 1, 1991.

1990   December 4   The Pennsylvania Fish Commission signed a land purchase contract for a 57-acre parcel of property adjacent to Elk Creek on the shore of Lake Erie.


1991   The Pennsylvania Fish Commission introduced a Trout/Salmon Permit (stamp) for the 1991 license year. All trout and salmon anglers were required to purchase a “trout stamp” for $5.

1991   The Pennsylvania Fish Commission became the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission. Boat registration fees increased for first time since 1963.

1991   Act 22 eliminated sales tax on the purchase of electric-powered vehicles.

1991   Act 26 created a mass transit fund, a snowmobile trail development grant program and an advisory committee for farmland preservation.

1991   Act 35 changed the Administrative Code as it related to liability for the Quehanna wild area cleanup, authorized the development of water wells on state forest land and allowed for establishment of emergency review procedures for certain Department of Environmental Resources permits.

1991   An internal reorganization in DER placed the bureaus of State Parks and Forestry under a Deputy Secretary for Parks and Forests

1991   Act 44 designated May 27 as Rachael Carson Day.

1991   Act 49 allowed townships to utilize eminent domain to purchase recreational areas.

1991   The U.S. State Department declared Presque Isle Bay on Lake Erie as an area of concern.

1991   Southeast Special Regulations Area for deer hunting was enlarged to include all of Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Montgomery and Philadelphia counties.

1991   The first Youth Field Day was held at the Franklin Izaak Walton League club in Venango County. The event drew 255 youngsters.

1991   Lead shot banned in the United States for waterfowl hunting.

1991   February 11   An agreement was signed between the Spring Creek Chapter and the Bellefonte CEDA-COG Rail Authority for a 1/3-mile easement along Spring Creek.

1991   Spring   The Holsum-Butter Krust Co. and Pennsylvania Trout approved an agreement that would provide funding for stream improvement projects, educational projects relating to stream water quality and research projects to better understand coldwater fishery problems. Holsum-Butter Krust would make a donation for every package of bread sold that bore the “Save Pennsylvania’s Streams” logo.

1991   June 11   James G. Apple, president, and John G. Apple of Butter Krust Baking Co. of Sunbury presented a check to Pennsylvania Trout for $26,698.58 as part of the “Save Pennsylvania Streams Program’.” “Trout Unlimited is the leader in coldwater conservation and it’s a privilege to join with them this way,” said James G. Apple. “The public’s tremendous support of ‘Save Pennsylvania Streams’ made the donation even larger than what we had anticipated.” He added, “We’ve joined with Trout Unlimited because we really believe that together we can make a difference. We plan to build on what we’ve done this year with the ‘Save Pennsylvania Streams’ program.” Ten percent of the funds would be used to help endow the Living Brightwater Trust Endowment Fund to further coldwater resource initiatives on a national scale.


1992   Otters were released into the Youghiogheny River and The Atlas of Breeding Birds of Pennsylvania was published.

1992   Act 5 established a Small Water Systems Technical and Management Assistance Program.

1992   Act 9 provided for municipalities to collect penalties and the law provided injunctive relief for municipalities enforcing federal pretreatment requirements for wastewater discharges.

1992   Act 14 provided tax breaks for property owners of residential property on state or federal toxic waste cleanup sites.

1992   Act 21 gave municipalities more flexibility in bidding procedures to market recyclables.

1992   Act 23 provided for the use of funds from the Federal Farm Bill of 1990 to purchase farmland preservation easements.

1992   An amendment to the Public Utility Code (Act 27) increased penalties for pipeline safety violations, authorized the Public Utility Commission to order the consolidation of small water and sewage systems and established procedures for the Public Utility Commission to review acid rain compliance plans of utilities as required by the Federal Clean Air Act.

1992   Act 41 banned the use of TCE as a septic system cleaner because of potential groundwater contamination.

1992   Act 78 amended the Oil and Gas Act to extend the compliance date for bonding pre-1975 wells and created the Oil Well Plugging Fund.

1992   Act 95 amended the Air Pollution Control Act and authorized the Department of Environmental Resources to implement key provisions of the Federal Clean Air Act.

1992   Act 103 authorized the use of Industrial Communities Action funds for hazardous waste cleanup.

1992   Yellow Breeches Creek, Tulpehocken Creek, Pine Creek and another section of the Schuylkill River were added to the state’s Scenic Rivers Program by Act 116, 118, 124 and 125 respectively.

1992   Act 131 amended the Municipalities Planning Code to allow the practice of forestry. Act 149 authorized local stormwater management facility funding.

1992   Act 151 established a State Board for Professional Geologists.

1992   Act 173 amended the Surface Mining Conservation and Reclamation Act to provide better protection for drinking water supplies, provide incentives for re-mining and provide for the treatment of mine discharges.

1992   Act 183 amended the Administrative Code to prohibit the Department of Environmental Resources from reviewing or the Environmental Quality Board for considering petitions to designate areas unsuitable for noncoal mining that were submitted after July 30, 1992.

1992   Act 174 authorized a special Wild Resource Conservation license plate

1992   Peregrine falcons hacked from Harrisburg’s Fulton Bank Building in downtown Harrisburg; The hacked birds were raised from eggs taken from nests in the Philadelphia area with a history of reproductive problems.

1992   Fall turkey and small game hunters were required to wear 250 square inches of daylight fluorescent orange on head, chest and back combined.

1992   It became unlawful to hunt turkeys, small game or furbearers with shot larger than No. 4 lead or No. 2 steel.

1992   The “Pine Creek Benthos Study Potter, Tioga & Lycoming Counties” was published as DER File No. 21166, by Ronald E. Hughey, Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Resources, Water Management, Northcentral Region, Williamsport. The conclusions drawn by Hughey included: 1. Marsh Creek continues to supply moderately high concentrations of phosphorus to Pine Creek. It could not discern any detrimental impact on Pine Creek benthos related to elevated phosphorus. 2. Babb Creek was essentially sterile at its mouth and was causing slight to moderate impairment of the benthos community in 2.5 miles of Pine Creek.  Acid-mine drainage and metals were the cause. 3. Babb Creek was discharging less iron in 1992 than in the early ’70s and about the same amount of aluminum and manganese. 4. The portions of Pine Creek not affected by Babb Creek supported good water quality and an excellent community of benthic macroinvertebrates. 5. The Rolling Reference RBP seemed effective in discerning subtle benthic impacts. 6. Although the CPOM samples were troublesome to collect, the shredder metric did seem sensitive to toxicity. What this report seemed to indicate was that Pine Creek was impaired but not as bad off as it once was or had been feared to be.


1993   James R. Grace named state forester

1993   Act 1 designated each April 22 as Earth Day.

1993   The Nutrient Management Act (Act 6) was signed into law. This law established a nutrient management program to control agricultural nonpoint sources of pollution.

1993   Act 11 created the Department of Environmental Resources’ Agricultural Advisory Board.

1993   The Environmental Education Act (Act 24) authorized the creation of the Environmental Education Program in the Department of Environmental Resources and the Department of Education.

1993   Act 40 made changes to the Industrial Development Program, which helped finance the cleanup of abandoned industrial sites.

1993   Act 74 made it easier to finance pollution control equipment and other economic development projects through the state and local economic development agencies.

1993   The Keystone Recreation, Park and Conservation Act (Act 50) authorized a $50 million bond issue referendum and created a deferred maintenance account by earmarking a portion of the realty transfer tax for state parks, historic sites, libraries, zoos and institutions of higher education.

1993 Act 82 allowed the use of larger motors on boats using Pymatuning Lake.

1993   All hunters, with the exception of those hunting with a muzzleloader stamp were required to purchase an antlerless license to harvest an antlerless deer. Each antlerless license came with a separate ear tag and report card.


1994   In legislative action, it was a busy year. Act 10 provided penalties for unauthorized removal of timber.

1994   Act 52 required the Department of Environmental Resources to determine if certain types of permit applications were complete within 20 days of receipt.

1994   The Mine Subsidence and Land Conservation Act (Act 54) provided protection for water supplies affected by underground coal mining and revised the requirements for repairing or replacing buildings damaged by mine subsidence.

1994   Act 56 provided for voting delegates for the Wild Resource Conservation Board.

1994   The liquor code was amended by Act 77 to allow taverns to participate in curbside recycling (of their recyclables, not their customers).

1994   Act 114 was signed into law to encourage the siting of coal refuse disposal facilities on land that had been previously affected by mining.

1994   Act 115 allowed for motor homes, trailer and trucks to purchase special license plates to support the Wild Resource Conservation Fund.

1994   The establishment of a pilot project to build anaerobic manure digesters to determine their effectiveness was made possible by Act 128.

1994   Act 129 created a Sustainable Agriculture Program in the Department of Agriculture.

1994   Act 130 established a loan program to for farmers who wanted to implement farming practices that would reduce runoff from their fields.

1994   Act 149 made comprehensive changes to the Sewage Facilities Act dealing with the approval of sewage plans, requiring notice of sewage facility availability in land sales contracts, changing reimbursement rates for qualified local agencies and requiring additional training for sewage enforcement officers.

1994   The General Assembly suspended the centralized Vehicle Emissions Inspection and Maintenance Program and the Employer Trip Reduction Program. The legislators also directed the Joint Legislative Air and Water Pollution Control and Conservation Committee to study issues concerning forest regeneration and the management of state forests.

1994   The Pennsylvania Organization of Watersheds and Rivers (POWR) was formed.

1994   April 15   Ken Sink died. In his memory, the state council of Trout Unlimited established the Kenneth Sink Outstanding Service Award.

1994   June 19-22   The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Resources hosted the Pennsylvania Rivers 2000 Conference: Building Partnerships for River Conservation at the Hilton Hotel in Harrisburg. Trout Unlimited was well represented.

1994   July 29   The Woodduck Chapter hosted the Dirt and Gravel Roads Task Force meeting at Wolf Rocks Camp on Six Mile Creek. Bud Byron was the key Trout Unlimited player in having the bill introduced in both the Pennsylvania Senate and the House.

1994   October   Dr. Jack Beck and Enoch S. “Inky” Moore conceived the idea of a Rivers Conservation and Fly Fishing Youth Camp. The purpose of the camp would be to educate the best and brightest teenagers about the importance of coldwater conservation. Peter Colangelo became the executive director of the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission.

1994   October 4   A fish kill caused by chlorinated water from a Bethlehem Municipal Water Authority line rupture caused a massive fish kill in Hokendauqua Creek. The Hokendauqua Chapter responded by monitoring the recovery. The Department of Environmental Resources and the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission fined the city of Bethlehem $20,614.

1994   October 5   Lake Erie Permit Act 79 was signed into law and it required a permit for fishing Lake Erie, Presque Isle Bay, and their tributaries. The $3 permit was created to provide compensation for holders of commercial fishing licenses, which were prohibited by the act from using gill nets.


1995   Tom Ridge was inaugurated governor of Pennsylvania. James M. Seif was named the sixth secretary of the Department of Environmental Resources.

1995   The Land Recycling and Environmental Remediation Standards Act (Act 2) created the Land Recycling Program.

1995   The Economic Development Agency, Fiduciary and Lender Liability Act (Act 3) exempted economic development agencies from cleanup liability from pollution they did not cause.

1995   The Abandoned Industrial Sites Environmental Assessment Act (Act 4) provided funding for assessments and cleanup of lands in use prior to July 18, 1995.

1995   Act 26 established an Agricultural Education Program in the Department of Agriculture.

1995   Act 49 doubled the in-lieu of tax payments for state forest and state park lands.

1995   Act 68 exempted certain rural roads from dust control provisions of the Air Pollution Control Act.

1995   June   Act 18 passed by the General Assembly and signed by Gov. Ridge split the Department of Environmental Resources into the Department of Environmental Protection and the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources. Traditional environmental protection programs stayed in the Department of Environmental Protection. State parks, state forests the Bureau of Topographic and Geologic Survey and programs of that nature (sorry, I couldn’t resist) became the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources. Jim Seif was named the first secretary of the Department of Environmental Protection. John Oliver was named the first secretary of the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources.

1995   Fishing license fees increased for first time since 1983. It cost $16.25 for a resident license, $34.25 for a nonresident license, $14.25 for a three day tourist license and $29.25 for a seven day tourist license. The issuing agent fee was increased to $.75 per license sold.

1995   April 18   The Black Cherry Chapter of Trout Unlimited joined forces with the Elk County and Allegheny Mountain chapters as well as the U.S. Forest Service and the Highland Sportsmen’s Association to place 32 tons of high calcium limestone in the headwaters of Big Mill Creek near Ridgway.

1995   June 25-29   The first Rivers Conservation and Fly Fishing Youth Camp was held at Allenberry on the Yellow Breeches in Boiling Springs, Pa. Thirty-two youths attended the five-day camp. The camp was a combination of college-type classes, hands-on stream investigation, a stream habitat project, fly-tying and fly-fishing. Robert Hunt, noted stream ecologist from Wisconsin, was the keynote speaker.  Among other notable instructors were George Harvey and Ed Shenk. The students received a diploma signed by all three of these gentlemen as well as the other instructors and counselors.

1995   July    The Department of Environmental Protection initiated a Money Back Guarantee Program that set deadlines for reviewing permit applications. The department also began a regulatory basics initiative that was a comprehensive review of all of the department’s regulations and policies. The purpose of the review was to ensure that the regulations and policies were consistent and environmental protection standards would be kept. The Office of Mineral Resource Management began a customer needs survey to evaluate the way its programs served the public, local governments and mine operators. The Department of Environmental Protection also announced that it was seeking volunteer host communities for the Low-Level Radioactive Waste Disposal Facility.

1995   September 14   Maurice K. Goddard died from burns suffered in a fire in his home


1996   Act 43 amended the Surface Mining Conservation and Reclamation Act to provide more flexibility to provide financial guarantees and for applying for reclamation bond credits for remining areas previously affected by mining. It defined no-cost government financed reclamation contracts, clarified water replacement for those properties affected by mining, provided for surety company reclamation of sites that had their bonds forfeited and allowed for grants for reclamation to nonprofit groups.

1996   Act 58 created the Department of Community and Economic Development by merging the Department of Commerce and the Department of Community Affairs.

1996   Act 185 amended the Fish Code to give full authority for black-fly suppression to the Department of Environmental Protection.

1996   Act 190 created the Waste Tire Remediation Program.

1996   The Department of Environmental Protection created the wetlands replacement fund to encourage land owner preservation and creation of wetlands.

1996   January   Pennsylvania was hit with the Blizzard and Flood of ’96.

1996   The state’s first “Becoming An Outdoors Woman” program held at Camp Soles, Somerset County.

1996   March   The Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, the Department of Environmental Protection, the Department of Agriculture and the Department of Education co-hosted the conference “Building a Sustainable Future In Pennsylvania – A Conference on Sustainable Development.” The conference was held in Harrisburg.

1996   March   The Department of Environmental Protection officially began its voluntary siting process for a low-level radioactive waste disposal site. No communities volunteered.

1996   March 25   The Department of Environmental Protection issued a permit for an industrial minerals limestone quarry to Con-Stone Inc. in the Penns Creek watershed. The permit was located near the confluence of Elk and Pine creeks, both of which had been recently designated as Exceptional Value streams.

1996   July    The Department of Environmental Protection and the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources published the “Conservation Directory”. This was a comprehensive listing of all conservation organizations in Pennsylvania.

1996   August   The Department of Environmental Protection adopted its Public Participation Policy to encourage public participation in the development of polices and regulations.

1996   October  Governor. Tom Ridge presented the first Governor’s Awards for Environmental Excellence. The governor also joined the Chesapeake Bay states’ pledge to create 2,010 miles of streamside buffers by 2010.


1997   Pennsylvania produced 113,879,988 tons of industrial minerals with Northampton County leading with 10,028,986 tons.

1997   The Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission documented the first American shad to utilize the recently completed fish passage facilities on the Susquehanna River. This was the first upstream successful migration of the fish since the 1800s.

1997   The Pennsylvania Angler changed to the Pennsylvania Angler and Boater to reflect the change from the Pennsylvania Fish Commission to the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission.

1997   January 29   The Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission held a meeting to pull together anglers from across the state to discuss wild trout issues. Pennsylvania Trout was well represented by Jack Beck, Mark Nale, Joe Armstrong, Dave Rothrock, Bob McCullough, Bob Carline, Fred Johnson and Harrison Langley Jr.

1997   January 31   Pennsylvania Trout kicked off a partnership with the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources and the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission for the Coldwater Heritage Watershed Project. This project was designed to protect and enhance where possible the best coldwater watersheds in Pennsylvania.

1997   February 10   Charles Kunkel Fox died. Fox was a noted angler, author and conservationist from Carlisle. He was also the founder of Trout Unlimited in Pennsylvania.

1997   February 28   The wild trout workgroup met again with the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission at Pleasant Gap. Pennsylvania Trout made a motion that the group encourage the adoption of a minimum-size limit of eight inches on all trout and that the commission pursue the installation of All Tackle Selective Harvest regulations on wild trout streams with a nine-inch minimum size for brook trout and a 12-inch minimum size on the harvest of brown trout. The motion passed 9-1.

1997   April 17   Act 3 amended the Transportation and Vehicle Codes to enhance the Department of Transportation’s revenues and appropriated $5 million for dirt and gravel road maintenance.

1997   April    The Senior Environmental Corps was also created. The senior citizens were enlisted to help in watershed monitoring and watershed protection activities.

1997   April 20   Pilot Walter J. Hirth, Jr. and Co-pilot William Babka died when their Lockheed PV-2 “Harpoon” aircraft, designated “Airtanker 38” crashed near Bells Gap in Blair County while fighting a forest fire.

1997   June 22-27   The third Rivers Conservation and Fly Fishing Youth Camp was held at Allenberry Resort in Boiling Springs. An additional day was added, and Dr. Robert Behnke was added to the staff as a featured speaker.

1997   September 18   A group of concerned citizens, anglers and local land owners gathered at the fire hall in Cross Fork to question the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission about the fate of Kettle Creek, particularly the special regulation area. Flooding the past spring had devastated that particular section of stream. Fish Commissioner Bill Sabatose opened the meeting by stating the meeting was for public information only and the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission had already decided to change the regulations from Catch-and-Release to Delayed Harvest because the water no longer met the criteria and was considered Class D. A near riot ensued. This was the seminal event that led to the creation of the Kettle Creek Watershed Association.

1997   November   The Kettle Creek Watershed Association was formed. From its inception, this organization had strong support from Trout Unlimited at the national, state and local levels.


1998   Act 91 required owners of “run-of-the-river” type dams to post warning signs on the bank as well as buoys above and below the dam.

1998   Act 94 established provisions relating to aquaculture development,

1998   Act 125 provided for the cleanup of state forest lands.

1998   Boat titling was required in Pennsylvania for certain boats.

1998   The Game Commission trapped and transferred 34 elk from Elk to Clinton County

1998   A potable waterline broke spilling its contents into the Upper Little Valley Creek where it killed fish.

1998   March   The Bennett Branch Watershed Association was formed.

1998   June 8   James M. Seif, secretary of the Department of Environmental Protection, announced that Pennsylvania was suspending its search for a site for a low-level radioactive waste disposal site. The reason was given that the site in Barnwell, S.C., had the disposal capacity to handle the Pennsylvania waste.

1998   June 21-26   The fourth annual Rivers Conservation and Fly Fishing Youth Camp was held at Allenberry Resort in Boiling Springs. This was the first camp held following the death of co-founder Jack Beck. Prior to the camp, the steering committee met and decided unanimously that Beck would have wanted the camp to go forward without him. The organization’s structure was revised, an application for tax-exempt status was applied for and the organization began the process of incorporation. E.S. “Inky” Moore Jr. became the chairman of the board.


1999   Act 68 was signed into law. It was known as the Environmental Good Samaritan Act and provided legal immunity for citizens and nonprofit groups who volunteered to cleanup abandoned oil or gas wells or abandoned mine sites.

1999   The Lake Erie stamp was discontinued after the 1998 license year because adequate funds had been raised for the compensation program for commercial fishermen in Lake Erie.

1999   February 20            Pennsylvania Trout hosted the third annual Keystone Coldwater Conference: Multiple Benefits of Streamside Buffers. The conference was also sponsored by Trout Unlimited, The Chesapeake Bay Foundation, Pennsylvania Environmental Council, Canaan Valley Institute, Fly Fishers Paradise, Orvis, Willamette Industries, Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection, Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources and the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission.

1999   Pennsylvania Trout had entered into a lawsuit with the Pennsylvania Federations of Sportsmen’s Clubs, Sierra Club, Tri-State Mining Network, Mountain Watershed Association and Citizens for Pennsylvania’s Future (Penn Future) in filing suit against the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection and the Federal Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement because it was felt that the agencies had failed in their nondiscretionary duty to ensure that bonding levels for mine sites were adequate to prevent acid-mine drainage from degrading and polluting Pennsylvania’s streams.

1999   Kettle Creek had been selected as Trout Unlimited’s third stream for a Home Rivers Initiative program.


2000   October 15   Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commissioner and Trout Unlimited stalwart Enoch S. “Inky” Moore Jr. died. At the request of his family, the Enoch S. Moore Jr. Scholarship Endowment was begun in his memory to provide scholarships for students to the Rivers Conservation & Fly Fishing Youth Camp.

2002   Milk and dairy accounted for $2.9 billion or 47.5 % of animal agricultural sales in Pennsylvania.

2002   July 28   The rescue of nine miners from the Quecreek Mine in Lincoln Township, Somerset was completed.

2008   April 24   The Williamsport Sun Gazette reported on 3,816 acre fire in Tioga and Lycoming counties.

2008   May 7   Clifford Jones, second secretary of DER died

2009   Pennsylvania Prescribed Burning Practices Act (Act 17 of 2009) passed and signed into law

2011   April 23   Joseph Ibberson died

2012   April 9   French Creek forest fire began on April 9, 2012. Sparked by downed trees blown onto power lines running through the Hopewell Furnace National Historic Site, the blaze would become the longest active fire operation in Pennsylvania’s history and involved hundreds to finally put it out two weeks later.

Before it was over, the fire went from 10 acres to 741 but, amazingly, no structures were lost and no one was injured.

2012   September 18   DCNR dedicated a monument to the CCC at Hyner View State Park in Clinton County.