Meet WCO Troy Merrell

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.”

Welcome Woody’s Sporting Goods

Welcome Woody’s Sporting Goods in Wernersville to the Great Day Outdoors radio family..  Not many places like Woody’s left. Archery sales and service…fishing stuff too. Good deals and expertise. Get the service and attention you deserve.
Woody’s Sporting Goods
37 Werner Street
Wernersville, PA
Open: Monday, Tuesday and Thursday, 10 a.m. – 9 p.m.; Wednesday, 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.; Friday, 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.; Saturday, 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. Sunday, closed.
FB  Woody’s Sporting Goods
 www. Woody’s Sporting

Bob Entler, builder

Bob Entler’s Berks County building and remodeling business began in 1981. (PA license number: 028078).  He is proficient in new home building and all types of remodeling including additions, doors, windows, kitchens and baths.

As a Master Carpenter, Bob can build to your specifications and blueprints or offer design services.

His work is fully insured and his business is licensed in Muhlenberg Township where he serves on the Muhlenberg Township Planning Commission. He is also a member of the Timber Framers Guild for 20 years.

Snakehead caught at Bernhardt Reservoir

From Reading Eagle: 5.7.17

This invasive northern snakehead was caught, April 27, from Bernhardt Dam near Laureldale by a youth angler who forwarded photos and details of the catch to the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission.

Roger Mallon
The Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission has confirmed that a northern snakehead was caught by Max Solensky, 17, of Temple, the evening of April 27, while fishing with a soft-plastic crappie jig at Bernhardt Dam, north of Reading in Laureldale.
Also known as the “Frankenfish” this invasive fish is native to China, Russian and Korea. Northern snakeheads are a predatory fish and compete with other fish species for forage and habitat.
“Obviously this fish was introduced to Bernhardt by either a hobbyist or an angler,” said Mike Kaufmann, PFBC area fisheries manager for southeastern Pennsylvania. “One wonders if more than one was introduced and whether or not they are reproducing.  They would probably reproduce well there if there are weed beds present, but that may not be a strict requirement.”
According to the PFBC, “Northern snakeheads were first confirmed in Pennsylvania in July, 2004 after an angler caught and preserved two from the 17-acre Meadow Lake in Philadelphia County. The lake is part of a maze of interconnected embayments and tidal sloughs and the PFBC believes additional snakeheads are likely present elsewhere in the system, including the nearby lower Schuylkill and Delaware Rivers.”
Solensky, who lives within walking distance of reservoir could not readily identify the fish, but thought it looked familiar.
“I researched the fish and was pretty sure it was a snakehead, so I called the PFBC right away. They got back to me first thing the next morning,” said Solensky.
“Anglers have two legal choices if they catch one of these fish,” said Kaufmann. “They must either release the fish back into the lake immediately or “dispatch” it immediately.  They may not be possessed alive, whether on a stringer, in a bucket, or elsewhere.  In this case and others, we appreciate photos being taken before they are released or killed because those photos are necessary for us to separate snakeheads from native bowfins, and that in turn, is necessary for us to track the expansion of snakehead distribution in the Commonwealth.”


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