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What's the first thing you think of when you hear the name Pennsylvania Fish & Boat Commission? Most people probably think of fish and fishing. They think about fish hatcheries and stocking trucks or maybe even their local Waterways Conservation Officer. Fish and fishing are very important to us, but we have many other duties. We serve the public in ways that most people aren't aware of. And we've been serving Pennsylvanian's for a long time - since 1866, making us one of the oldest conservation agencies in the world.

Did you know that our agency manages and protects fish, amphibians and reptiles and the habitats they live in? We have fisheries biologists that study and manage fish populations. They make sure we have enough healthy fish to catch. We have biologists that protect our amphibians and reptiles. We also have staff that manages and protects the habitats in which all those aquatic critters live. We even protect threatened and endangered species.

Trout are probably you're first thought when it comes to stocking fish. Right? Our hatchery staff put a lot of effort into raising and stocking healthy trout. But did you know we also raise and stock many other fish like Channel Catfish, panfish, bass, musky, Walleye, Paddlefish and migratory fish like the American Shad. We do this to supplement fish populations and provide anglers with fishing opportunities.

We also make sure that anglers and boaters are safe. We educate the public about boating and water safety and enforce regulations. One of the ways we do this is through volunteers. They are one of our biggest assets. Our volunteer Deputy Waterways Conservation Officers help enforce our waterways. Other volunteers provide fishing or boating courses or programs to schools, scouts, the public and many other groups.

PLAY is a great way to learn more about aquatic habitats and the critters that live in them. It's also a great way to learn more about how our agency manages and protects those aquatic habitats and critters. Make sure you check out all the great links on this PLAY page.

Mentored Youth Program
Mentored Youth Trout Fishing Days provide an opportunity for young anglers and their adult mentors to fish for trout prior to the opening day of trout.

PLAY (Pennsylvania League of Angling Youth) Magazine
Online version of the Commission's popular youth magazine. Even though targeted towards kids 8-12, PLAY contains a wealth of information and activities for anglers and boaters of all ages.

Want to have fun online?
Visit our friends at " Boating Safety Sidekicks"! Plenty of games and activities for kids of all ages.

State-Fish Art Contest logo - click for contest informationDo you like to paint?
How about painting a picture of Pennsylvania's state fish, the brook trout -- give it a try by entering the State-Fish Art Contest

Catch a big fish? Or your first one?
Be sure to get a fish certificate by completing an application for an Angler Award, or you can complete your own First Fish Certificate and print it out.

Conservation Award Program
The purpose of the Commission's CONSERVATION AWARD is to encourage the youth of Pennsylvania to study and become more knowledgeable in the conservation of the aquatic environment and in watercraft safety. Through this program, we recognize individuals and groups who make significant contributions to improving the environment for the benefit of themselves and others.