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150th Anniversary logoIn 1866, a convention held in Harrisburg to investigate pollution, bad conditions existing in mountain lakes and streams, and the stopping of spring shad runs by dams resulted in Governor Andrew G. Curtin signing the law, Act of March 30, 1866 (P.L. 370, No. 336), that named James Worrall as Pennsylvania's first Commissioner of Fisheries. This created what would become the Board of Fishery Commissioners, then the Pennsylvania Fish Commission and now is the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission (PFBC).

While our name has changed during our 150-year history, the agency’s commitment through its mission and staff has remained constant and is best exemplified by its philosophy of “Resource First: Protect, Conserve and Enhance.” With the understanding that we need to first protect our aquatic resources in order to have great recreational fishing and boating, the PFBC is proud of its past . As we “reel in” the years and reflect back on both the challenges and the accomplishments, we also look forward to a continuation of progress and hope that you’ll visit this web page throughout 2016 to take stock of our history.

Events & News


PFBC Calendar of Events

Fishing and Boating Opportunities: PA Fish and Boat Commission

Historical Marker Ceremony

Learn about PFBC as it celebrates its 150th Anniversary (PennLive)

Centre Region Office Dedication Ceremony and Open House

PFBC is marking its 150th Anniversary (Outdoor News)

Old Columbia dam that blocked shad helped create the Fish & Boat Commission, celebrating its 150th year (LancasterOnline)

Somerset LakeFest 150th Celebration

Pirates Recognize 150th Anniversary of PFBC (video)

150 Years of Fishing & Boating Opportunities
150 Years of Fishing and Boating Opportunities

150th Anniversary State Museum Event


Governor Tom Wolf’s Proclamation
PA House Resolution 737
PA Senate Resolution 314
U.S. Congressional Record

150 Years of Excellence—The Commission’s Past

150 Years of Excellence—The Commission’s Present and Future

150 Years of Fishing & Boating Opportunities

A Chronology of the Pennsylvania Fish & Boat Commission

Captain Driscoll and the Commodore Perry

Charles French hatcheries video

History of the Management of Trout Fisheries in Pennsylvania

Meet Me at the Fair

PLAY Winter newsletter – Flowing through Time with PFBC

Pleasant Mount Hatchery’s 100-year anniversary

Straight Talk–Sesquicentennial (150th) Anniversary 1866-2015

"Susquehanna," Pride of the Fish Commission

The Line of Duty

Pennsylvania Angler Articles

To Protect, Conserve and Enhance
The Art of Tom Duran Jr. and Ned Smith

Pennsylvania Angler Vintage Articles

Jan/Feb 2016
Mar/Apr 2016
May/June 2016
July/August 2016
September/October 2016
November/December 2016

Pennsylvania Angler Vintage Covers

1930-40's, Fred Everett

Ralph W. Abele

Abele Bio
Abele Conservation Heritage Award
Abele Final Report
Abele Finding Aid
Abele Marker Dedication video
Abele Scholarship Fund
Abele State Archives video

Archival Commission Reports


James Worrall’s Memoirs