CURWENSVILLE – Local outdoor enthusiast, Patrick Domico of Curwensville, was named “Person of the Year” for 2022 by Pennsylvania Outdoor News.
82-year-old Domico has been busy for years helping to clean up the waterways in Clearfield County.
“His persistence inspired the Pennsylvania Fish & Boat Commission to re-classify the 13-mile section of the West Branch (of the Susquehanna River) that flows through Curwensville as a trout stocked fishery,” the article announcing his honor states.
He has made an impact state-wide as well as a member of the Governor’s Sportsmen’s Advisory Council and Gov. Tom Ridge appointed him chairman in August of 2001.
In addition, he is a member of the Wildlife for Everyone Foundation, the Goshen Rod and Gun Club, the Anderson Creek Rod and Gun Club, the Mosquito Creek Sportsmen’s Club and the Old Town Sportsmen.
Domico is a veteran of the U.S. Army where he served as a squad leader with an amphibious vehicle unit during the Cuban Missile Crisis.
After leaving the military, he worked for Kent’s Sportswear in Curwensville but spent most of his working years, 30, as a marketing executive with Clearfield’s The Progress newspaper.
It was there that the publisher, W.K. Ulerich inspired him on his quest to clean up the river.
“Fifty years ago, W.K. told me that someone needed to promote the river and all of the wonderful outdoor things that we have in Clearfield County,” Domico is quoted as saying in the article.
Ulerich went on to say that Domico was “just the person to do that job.”
“I guess I have been doing it ever since,” Domico commented.
Among the things he did to promote the area is starting the annual Kids Fishing Derby held at Parker Dam State Park in Penfield. This year, the event celebrated its 47th anniversary.
Getting kids “hooked on fishing” is the purpose for the derby with many organizations donating prizes for the children participating.
Domico’s Squirrel Tails for Trout group, started 17 years ago, raises money by collecting the tails, which are sent to a lure manufacturer with the proceeds going to purchasing trout for stocking the river several times a year.
Squirrel tails come from all over the state including from the PA Fish & Boat Commission Executive Director Tim Schaeffer, he said.
Domico has gotten other awards including a community service award from the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources for volunteering over 5,000 hours at Parker Dam, the Resource Award from the Fish & Boat Commission in 2016, and in 2019, a Conservation Stewardship Award from the Pennsylvania Wilds Center for Entrepreneurship.
He lives in Curwensville with his wife of 53 years, Joan. They have two children: a son living in Florida, a daughter in York, and three grandsons.
In the article, Domico is quoted as saying “I have been very fortunate to receive a number of awards over the years, but the Pennsylvania Outdoor News honor is top shelf.”