Laughlin Encourages Pennsylvanians to Train to Become Waterways Conservation Officers

HARRISBURG Senator Dan Laughlin (R-Erie), as chair of the Senate Game and Fisheries Committee, announced that the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission (PFBC) is recruiting its 25th class of Waterways Conservation Officer (WCO) Trainees at its H.R. Stackhouse School of Fishery Conservation and Watercraft Safety.

After successfully completing training, the class of trainees will become seasonal WCOs with the opportunity to be promoted to permanent WCO positions as they become available. Seasonal WCOs will work full-time, 40 hours each week from approximately March to October of each year.

WCOs protect, conserve and enhance Pennsylvania’s aquatic resources through law enforcement, education and community partnerships with anglers and boaters. These officers are specifically trained in all aspects of fisheries conservation and watercraft safety and work to preserve fishing and boating opportunities on Pennsylvania’s 86,000 miles of rivers, streams and lakes.

Trainees will undergo an extensive 52-week training program encompassing all aspects of conservation law enforcement. Following civil service testing and selection, trainees will first complete a 26-week Municipal Police Officers Basic Training conducted at the Pennsylvania State Policy Academy in Hershey, Dauphin County. An additional 26 weeks of training is conducted at the Stackhouse school in Bellefonte, Centre County and includes field training alongside seasoned WCOs. Trainees will assist with investigations, patrol regions, as well as participate in public outreach events and stock waterways.

“When so many people are looking to break free from the traditional office environment following the pandemic, this is an enticing job opportunity offering the benefit of spending a lot of time enjoying the great outdoors,” Sen. Laughlin said. “Now is a wonderful time to turn a hobby into a family-sustaining career.”

The ideal WCO would enjoy working outdoors and have an unmatched appreciation of the hundreds of native species of fish, reptiles and amphibians that call the Commonwealth home. Applicants must be a Pennsylvania resident, possess a valid driver’s license, be at least 21 years old, graduated from high school or earned a GED and pass a criminal history background check.

Applications are being accepted until Thursday, Oct. 21, online at Click here for more information. 

Contacts:        Senator Laughlin         Matt Azeles       


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