March has arrived which means the opening of trout season in our region is only days away. But, all the snow we have received this winter has caused delays and changes to the trout stocking schedule.
Updated 2014 adult trout stocking schedules for Pennsylvania are available on the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission (PFBC) website. Anglers can search the trout stocking schedules for locations and dates of interest. Select a county and enter start and end dates from the calendars at the top of the page. Then press “Go.” The search results will provide each body of water within a county that is scheduled for stocking, the section of water, the date, the species of trout, the meeting place and time, the hatchery stocking the section, the regulations that apply, and the latitude/longitude number.
“The PFBC annually stocks approximately 3.2 million adult trout in 731 streams and 124 lakes open to public angling,” said Dave Miko, Chief of the PFBC Division of Fisheries Management. “These figures include approximately 2.01 million rainbow trout; 647,000 brown trout; and 527,000 brook trout. As with past practice, the average size of the trout produced for stocking is 11 inches in length.” In addition to these fish, the PFBC plans to stock about 8,500 trophy golden rainbow trout that weigh an average of 1.5 pounds and measure at least 14 inches long.
Also, cooperative nurseries run by sportsmen’s clubs across the state will add another 1 million trout to waters close to them.
About 53% of the trout are stocked prior to opening day; 43% are stocked between opening day and the end of May; and the remaining 4% are stocked from October through February of the following year.
The 2014 season will open March 22, beginning at 8 a.m. and ending at 7:30 p.m., for the second annual Mentored Youth Day on 12 waters in 18 southeastern counties, including: Adams, Berks, Bucks, Chester, Cumberland, Dauphin, Delaware, Franklin, Juniata, Lancaster, Lebanon, Lehigh, Montgomery, Northampton, Perry, Philadelphia, Schuylkill and York. The following weekend - March 29 – kicks off the Regional Opening Day of Trout Season in the same 18 southeastern counties. A second Mentored Youth Day will be held on April 5, the Saturday before the April 12 regular opening day of trout season.
To participate in the Mentored Youth Day anglers 16 years of age or older (adult anglers) must possess a valid Pennsylvania Fishing License and current Trout/Salmon Permit and be accompanied by a youth (less than 16 years of age) who has obtained a Mentored Youth Fishing Permit or Voluntary Youth Fishing License from the Commission. Click here for more information about the youth program.
In 2013, the first Mentored Youth Day was such a great success (5,100 youth registered) in the southeastern part of the state that the PFBC decided to expand it statewide this year. Last year only kids under 16 with an adult mentor were allowed to fish for trout on selected waters and were allowed to keep up to 2 fish. The adult mentors were not allowed to fish but this year the mentors will be allowed to fish with the kids so that they can show the children first-hand how to fish and provide a positive learning experience.