Friday, March 26, 2021

Wildlife For Everyone: Soaring Eagle Wetland Hosts Unique Opportunity For Anglers In Centre County

This year, a special opportunity awaits anglers in central Pennsylvania. The nearly one-mile section of Bald Eagle Creek that runs through the
Soaring Eagle Wetland, located between Port Matilda and Julian in  Centre County, allows anglers a chance to catch bigger trout (14-20 inches in length) using any tackle type (bait, lure and fly). 

This is the result of the Fish and Boat Commission’s approval of an experimental special regulation for this section of Bald Eagle Creek. 

Deemed a Keystone Select Stocked Trout Water, this part of Bald Eagle Creek will allow for an extended catch and release period using all tackle types in the cooler months of the year and the harvesting of trout (subject to a reduced creel limit) from June 15 to Labor Day when stream conditions are less favorable for trout survival. 

For the angler, this unique opportunity allows for year-round fishing of larger trout using any tackle preference. For the agency staff, this experimental program will enhance stocked trout management.

This section of Bald Eagle Creek is the first Keystone Select water in central Pennsylvania and the only one in the entire state to allow the use of bait. 

Other Keystone Select streams are managed with traditional artificial-lures-only restrictions (lures and flies). 

The addition of bait fishing on this part of Bald Eagle Creek will give agency staff an opportunity to compare angler opinions, usage, catch and preferences among the two types of Keystone Select waters. 

On March 13 over 200 large trout and many smaller rainbow, golden rainbow and brown trout were stocked in this section of Bald Eagle Creek. 

A second stocking will occur on April 19.

Most of the specially regulated stream section is owned by the Wildlife for Everyone Foundation, headquartered in State College.  The new regulations are a win for the organization as well. 

Board member Jerry Regan said, “We are excited to host this experimental water. It ties in well with our plans to build a larger parking area, as well as an ADA-compliant trail, fishing platform, and other amenities that make this reach of stream accessible to all anglers regardless of physical abilities.”

“A stream habitat improvement project completed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service during the summer of 2019 has already enhanced the fish habitat in this area and the new regulations, along with increased stocking of larger trout, should make the fishing even better,” Regan continued. 

The best access to this special regulation water is from the parking lot of the Soaring Eagle Wetland at 6543 South Eagle Valley Road, Julian.

For more information on programs, initiatives, upcoming events and how you can get involved, visit the Wildlife for Everyone Foundation website.  Follow them on Facebook and Twitter.

The Foundation promotes wildlife conservation and education in Pennsylvania and supports projects for  wildlife and wetland habitat improvement, creek and lake restoration and to increase student educational opportunities.

(Photo: John Jackson of Milesburg participated in the first stocking of this section of Bald Eagle Creek on March 13. Mark Nale is the photographer.)

Related Articles:

-- Wildlife For Everyone Awards 5 Scholarships To Conservation-Focused Students

-- Hawk Mountain Sanctuary, Partners Host Virtual Wild About Raptors Workshop Series For Educators 

-- Penn State Extension: A Closer Look at Vernal Pools: Unique Wetland Environments 

[Posted: March 26, 2021]  PA Environment Digest

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