Partnerships Get Things Done!
A partnership was formed nearly a decade ago between the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission (PFBC) and the Cambria County Conservation District, with a key goal being to bring the West Branch of the Susquehanna River back to a stream that could sustain life. What was once a dead stream, the West Branch of the Susquehanna River has made a huge comeback and is now considered a Class A Fishery housing brown trout and a few brook trout. As many local residents know, the stream that was once too polluted to provide any fishable resources has now become somewhat of an angler favorite. This was made possible by the partnership formed nearly a decade ago.
People tend to think of the Fish and Boat Commission as a strictly policing and regulatory agency that issues fishing license and stocks local waterways, however there is much more they do. Some fishing license funds are used to enhance stream habitat to provide better fishing opportunities to anglers, Mark Sausser, a stream habitat manager with the PFBC, wishes there was more awareness brought to the public about waterway improvements begin done by the agency or the local conservation districts.
Sausser, has been with the Stream Habitat Division of the PFBC for over 12 years and has worked directly with the District to help improve over 4 miles of streams in Cambria county. Many of the projects the District has worked on in conjunction with Sausser have been stream restoration projects, which improve aquatic habitat and stabilizes streambanks from further erosion. Some past projects have been conducted within local flood control projects, making them the first of their kind in the state of Pennsylvania. Several projects are scheduled this summer and early fall in Cambria County along the South and North Branches of Blacklick Creek, the West Branch of the Susquehanna, and Chest Creek in Patton.
Being an angler himself, Sausser, enjoys improving fishing for other anglers and interacting with the public the most about his job. A day in the life of Sausser includes designing stream habitat improvements, coordinating, and implementing construction activities for various projects statewide. As summer begins, Sausser will be working closely with District staff to bring enhanced stream habitats to our area!