The Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission announced the continuation of the Mentored Youth Fishing Days Program in 2014. The program was developed to allow adult anglers to enjoy fishing with their children in advance of the official opening of trout season in Pennsylvania. The programs take place on specified waters throughout the state. There are 11 waterways designated for the first date of March 22, 2014. Another 29 waterways will be included in the second date on April 5, 2014. This includes four lakes from the counties surrounding Johnstown.
The program was begun in 2013 with over 8,800 anglers participating in the program. PFBC Executive Director John Arway said in a press release, “The pilot program this year was such a huge hit with anglers and their friends and family that we decided to expand the program statewide in 2014. Adult anglers from across the state now will have a special day to fish with the children in their lives in advance of the traditional opening day of trout season.” More than 3,700 adult anglers registered 5,110 kids for the fishing opportunity. “We expect to see an even higher level of involvement and enthusiasm this year since anglers have been sharing their stories about the great time they had in the pilot program,” added Arway.
A survey of participants in the pilot program found that 89 percent of the registered youth fished that day. All total, the kids and their mentors fished 7,727 hours and reported releasing 4,405 trout and harvesting 1,183. While most mentors revealed that they fished on opening day, a third of them said that they did not take the children with them. The program can also be seen as a way to promote family activities as a majority of mentors were family members.
The lakes in the Johnstown area that will be part of this program are as follows:
- Lake Rowena in Cambria County
- Laurel Hill Lake at Laurel Hill State Park in Somerset County
- Mammoth Lake in Westmoreland County
- Twin Lakes Number One Reservoir (Lower) in Westmoreland County
There are a few requirements for participants in the program for 2014. Adult anglers (16 and older) must have a valid fishing license with a trout/salmon permit. They must also be accompanied by a participating youth. Youth anglers must also obtain and carry a free permit for the program issued by PFBC. These can be obtained after February 1 at www.GoneFishingPA.com or at any of the more than 900 licensing agents across the state.
So mark your calendars now and enjoy the day with the kids.