June 19, 2008

Kingston Man Tabbed for Fish and Boat Board

By Tom Venesky, The Times Leader, Wilkes-Barre, Pa.

Jun. 19--A Kingston man has been chosen by Gov. Edward Rendell to serve as the commissioner for the Northeast Region on the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission board.

Rendell spokesman Chuck Ardo said the governor sent Norm Gavlick's name to the state Senate for confirmation on Tuesday. Gavlick's name was recommended to Rendell by the Governor's Advisory Council for Hunting, Fishing and Conservation. A majority vote is needed to approve the appointment.

The seat has been vacant since the November death of Frederick Osifat. If confirmed, Gavlick will serve an eight-year term representing District 7, which includes Luzerne, Carbon, Lackawanna, Monroe, Pike, Susquehanna, Wayne and Wyoming counties.

Gavlick, 50, president of the Suskie Bassmasters, was a vocal opponent of the proposed inflatable dam and has advocated for improvements to Nesbitt Park to increase river recreation.

He said he applied for the post in order to have input on fishing and boating issues at a higher level.

"We have three rivers in the northeast, a tremendous amount of lakes and incredible water resources," Gavlick said. "I look forward to meeting with anglers, boaters and anyone interested in our waterways and taking their thoughts to the board."

Gavlick said issues he would like to address are: cleaning combined sewage overflows and mine drainage into the Susquehanna River, modifying the Francis E. Walter Dam to allow for more cold water releases for trout and finding a solution for the Delaware River regarding dams and water flow.

Improving shad runs on the Susquehanna and Delaware rivers and monitoring walleye stocking in the Susquehanna are also priorities, he said.

"I'm an idea guy, but I'm also a person who likes to get things done," Gavlick said.

State Sen. Lisa Baker, R-Lehman Township, said she supports Gavlick's nomination and doesn't anticipate any lack of support when it comes time to vote.

Baker cited Gavlick's involvement with sportsmen's organizations, his business background and his work to improve Nesbitt Park as reasons for her support.

"He comes eminently qualified for the position and is a person of integrity," she said.

Baker hoped the confirmation vote could take place before the Senate breaks for the summer later this month.

The board consists of eight district commissioners and two at-large posts.


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