Following another successful Mentored Youth Trout Fishing Day this past weekend, anglers in 18 southeastern counties are warmed up and ready to kick off a new fishing season April 2, which marks the regional opening day of trout season.
All along creeks and lake shorelines, anglers and their friends and families will wait at their favorite spots for the official 8 a.m. start and an opportunity to catch some of the 3.2 million trout stocked each year by the Fish and Boat Commission. Anglers can keep a daily limit of five trout, which must be at least seven inches long.
“While opening day of trout season is always one of the most exciting fishing days of the year, it’s also one of the biggest social events,” said PFBC Executive Director John Arway. “They are designed to be enjoyed with family and friends and to create memories that last a lifetime.”
The 18 counties opening on April 2 include: Adams, Berks, Bucks, Chester, Cumberland, Dauphin, Delaware, Franklin, Juniata, Lancaster, Lebanon, Lehigh, Montgomery, Northampton, Perry, Philadelphia, Schuylkill, and York.
The PFBC’s "great white fleet" of hatchery trucks has been busy since late February stocking Pennsylvania's waterways with a fresh supply of brook, brown and rainbow trout. Anglers can find stocked waters in their county by visiting the PFBC website or by downloading the free FishBoatPA smartphone app from the Apple App Store or Google Play Store.
“Our goal is always to find ways to improve the fishing and boating experience for our anglers and boaters, and this app does just that,” Arway added. “Now our customers can spend less time looking for information and more time outside fishing and boating.”
The app has been downloaded more than 38,600 times so far. One of the first item users see when the app is opened is an “Upcoming Trout Stocking” link, which updates in real-time.
Users can sort stocking schedules by county. The app is tied directly into the PFBC’s online stocking schedule, so anglers can see past and upcoming stockings and the type of trout placed in a water.
The “Near Me” feature uses a phone’s GIS coordinates to locate and display trout waters within 5, 15, 25 and 50 miles of the user, who can then use mapping apps to get directions to their favorite stocking site.
Each year more than 850,000 anglers buy a fishing license, which is required for anyone 16 and older.
The price of a resident annual license is just $21; non-resident annual $51; and senior resident annual $10. Trout permits are $8. Anglers also can purchase an optional $5 metal button for an alternate way to display their license.
The PFBC also offers a voluntary youth fishing license for $2.70. For every youth license sold, the PFBC receives approximately $5 in federal funding, which is reinvested into youth fishing programs.
“Trout season is a great cure for cabin fever and an opportunity to get outside and enjoy the Commonwealth’s abundant natural resources,” Arway added. “It’s also a perfect time to share your excitement with others by ‘Paying it Forward,’ and doing a good deed.”
“Maybe you help bait someone’s hook, offer to take a shore angler out on your boat, or even buy someone a fishing license,” he said. “The idea is that we all benefit when we do good deeds for others.”
Anglers can share their support for the regional opening day by visiting the PFBC’s Facebook event.
A second Mentored Youth Trout Fishing Day will be held on April 9 in the remaining 49 counties. This is the Saturday before the April 16 Statewide Opening Day of Trout Season.Licenses and buttons can be purchased at more than 900 licensing agents and online at www.GoneFishingPa.com.