From Reading Eagle: 5/28/17
By Roger Mallon
For nearly a year, Berks County native, Troy Merrell, has been on duty as the Waterways Conservation Officer for the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission in charge of western Berks County, including the Reading area and Blue Marsh Lake.
WCO Chase Rhoads covers the other half of Berks County.
After serving in the Marines and U.S Army Reserve, Merrell received a degree in Plant Biology and Environmental Science from Kutztown University.
“I am super into conservation,” said Merrell, who worked for three years in the Harrisburg office of the Pennsylvania Department of Enviornmental Protection.
“When the opening came in 2015 for a WCO in Berks County, I was lucky enough to get the gig. Now I get to do what I love every day in the county where my wife and I grew up. Working with deputies, we have fishing and boating patrols and but also pollution investigations where I feel I can make a personal impact on the environment,” said Merrell.
Merrell recently gained the appreciation of many Berks County anglers when on April 13 he apprehended two unlicensed poachers at Blue Marsh Lake in possession of 21 striped bass.
According the PFBC: “The daily limit is two and in addition to grossly exceeding the creel limit, not a single fish met the minimum size of 20 inches.”
Merrell said he was on foot patrol at Blue Marsh regarding a different matter when he came across the two poachers.
“I like being where I’m not expected,” said Merrell.
In addition to his law enforcement duties, Merrell attends meetings of local outdoor organizations.
“I get acquainted with new people every day,” he said. “And I hope when people see me that they will approach me and talk for a while.”