2012-04-12 / Front Page

Trout Season Opens Saturday

By Chanin Rotz-Mountz

Licking Creek at Harrisonville near Possum Hollow Road is a familiar “fishing hole” to many county anglers. Licking Creek at Harrisonville near Possum Hollow Road is a familiar “fishing hole” to many county anglers. The banks of your favorite fishing spot could be a little more crowded Saturday morning when the trout season opener gets under way here.

The Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission announced last Tuesday fishing license sales have jumped by more than 20 percent in anticipation of the statewide opener on April 14. According to PFBC Executive Director John Arway, the increase in sales will lead to approximately 53,000 additional anglers heading to the waterways in comparison to the 2011 season.

Also helping boost participation on opening day could be spring’s record warm weather, even though Franklin County residents had to deal with lower temperatures and a bit of rain when their season started two weeks ago along with 17 additional southeastern counties.

“Last year we had a cold and wet start to the fishing season,” Arway said in his annual announcement. “This year we’ve had significantly warmer weather and anglers everywhere are excited to get out and start the season. And even though the early regional opener was colder than many people would have liked, reports from our field staff indicate that a lot of anglers and their friends and families were still out.”

“Opening day is a timehonored tradition for so many families, including grandparents, parents and their children. I remember lying awake the night before and then getting up early and fishing with my family on opening day. It’s a lot of fun that I now share with my grandkids,” added Arway.

More than 850,000 anglers buy a fishing license annually, the PFBC reported. An in-state fishing license costs $22.70, while a trout-salmon permit is $9.70. A license is required for any individuals age 16 and older. Licenses can be purchased at sporting goods stores locally as well as online at www.fishandboat.com.

To help prepare for the impending season opener, the PFBC’s fleet of hatchery stocking trucks have been replenishing waterways across the commonwealth since mid-February with a variety of brook, brown and rainbow trout. It is estimated the state agency stocks around 3.2 million trout statewide.

Upcoming stockings include PFBC officials and volunteers meeting a truck from the Huntsdale hatchery at K’s Place on Wednesday, April 11, at 10:45 a.m. in order to stock Big Cove Creek and Spring Run. In addition, a stocking of Cowans Gap Lake, the south branch of the Little Aughwick and Wooden Bridge Creek is set for Friday, April 13. Those assisting with the stocking should meet trucks from the Benner Spring and Huntsdale hatcheries at the lake’s park office during the late morning hours.

As in seasons past, anglers are reminded to be courteous of other fisherman as well as landowners. With the majority of stocked waters in the commonwealth in private ownership, waterways conservation officers, such as WCO Ted Kane of Fulton and Bedford counties, urge fisherman to leave no trace behind.

In regard to following basic fishing regulations, such as possession limits, anglers fishing as a family or with friends should keep their daily limit on a separate stringer or in a separate container. Fishermen should also refrain from “culling,” which entails throwing back a fish when a larger or better fish presents itself.

In addition to being one of the biggest fishing days of the year, opening day is one of the biggest social events.

“Research shows that when it comes to fishing, anglers like being together with friends just as much as they like catching fish,” Arway said. “It’s great if you catch trout, but the day is really about getting out of the house, enjoying the outdoors and spending quality time with family and friends. If you haven’t done so yet, purchase your license and join us to kick off a new fishing season.”

Fishing season will open promptly at 8 a.m. Saturday and continue 24 hours daily following the season opener. Fishing licenses must be displayed on outer garments and include a trout/salmon stamp, and anglers are also required to carry one other form of proper identification with them.

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