Trout stocking season nears – York Daily Record/Sunday News

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Watch: Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission stock Fishing Creek in York County on Wednesday, March 23. It’s part of the state’s program to stock more than 3.8 million trout this year.
Jim Seip/York Daily Record

It’s that time of the year again. Hunting seasons are winding down and thoughts are turning to fishing – trout fishing in particular.

The Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission recently posted the 2017 trout stocking schedules and anglers will soon be tuning up their gear.

According to PFBC reports, the agency stocks about 3.15 million adult trout in more than 720 streams and 120 lakes open to public angling. That number includes:

  • 2 million rainbow trout
  • 640,000 brown trout
  • 500,000 brook trout

In addition to those fish averaging 11 inches long, the PFBC says it plans to stock about 8,700 trophy golden rainbow trout that weigh an average of 1.5 pounds and measure at least 14 inches long.

The nurseries run by sportsmen’s clubs are expected to add another 1 million trout to public waters, PFBC reports state.

A majority of the trout waters will be stocked in advance of the mentored youth days, which mark the annual opening of each season. But some of the waters may not be stocked in time because of the weather, water conditions and scheduling logistics.

The 2017 season will open March 25 for the Mentored Youth Trout Day program in 18 southeastern counties: Adams, Berks, Bucks, Chester, Cumberland, Dauphin, Delaware, Franklin, Juniata, Lancaster, Lebanon, Lehigh, Montgomery, Northampton, Perry, Philadelphia, Schuylkill and York.

The following weekend – April 1 – kicks off the Regional Opening Day of Trout Season in the same 18 southeastern counties.

The new stocking schedule is available on the website: www.fishandboat.com or for anglers with smartphones on the PFBC’s free mobile app, “FishBoatPA.”

The Internet sites also list the stockings for the Keystone Select Stocked Trout Waters, a program where 14 waters across the state will be stocked with large 14” – 20” trout. Approximately 4,500 large trout will be distributed among the 14 waters at a rate of 175 to 225 per mile, which is comparable to the numbers of similarly sized fish in Pennsylvania’s best wild trout waters.

The mentored youth trout program for the remainder of the state will be held April 8, and the statewide opening day will be April 15

To participate in the mentored youth program, adult anglers (16 years or older) must have a valid fishing license and trout permit and be accompanied by a youth. Youth anglers must obtain a free PFBC-issued permit, or a voluntary youth fishing license (only $2.90 including all fees). Both are available at www.GoneFishingPA.com or at any of the more than 900 licensing agents across the state.

Also, special regulation areas, like Catch and Release Fly-Fishing Only or Delayed Harvest Artificial Lures Only, are not included in the mentored youth program.

Stocking of trout in Adams and York counties waters will begin early in March, pending weather conditions.

Block shoot

The McSherrystown Fish and Game Association will hold a block shoot on Sunday, Feb. 19. Registration opens at noon, and the shoot starts at 1 p.m. Entry fee is $40. Refreshments will be available.

Native brookies presentation

“Mud Flats to a Native Brook Trout Fishery,” is the subject of a presentation for a meeting of the Adams County Chapter, Trout Unlimited at 7 p.m. Feb. 28 in the Adams County Agricultural and Natural Resources Center, 670 Old Harrisburg Road, Gettysburg.

ACTU board members Richard Lewis and Dave Swope will tell the remarkable story of how the drained old Chambersburg Water Co. reservoir in western Adams County was transformed from a mud flat into a wild brook trout fishery.

The public is invited to this free event.

Bob Marchio is outdoors writer for The (Hanover) Evening Sun. He may be reached at: bmarchio@embarqmail.com.

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