2013-02-21 / Front Page

Cowans Gap Lake Open To Year-Round Fishing

Anglers should not target trout outside of season
By Chanin Rotz-Mountz


An approved trout water open to year-round fishing, Cowans Gap Lake is now open to anglers 365 days of the year thanks to recent changes in regulations by the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission. An approved trout water open to year-round fishing, Cowans Gap Lake is now open to anglers 365 days of the year thanks to recent changes in regulations by the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission. NEWS EDITOR

New regulations recently implemented by the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission now allow local anglers to partake in the sport of fishing on any given day at Cowans Gap Lake.

As a follow-up to removing the lake from the “early season trout stocked waters” program, PFBC has declared the area will now be managed under the commission’s “approved trout waters open to year-round fishing,” according to Waterways Conservation Officer Anthony Quarracino.

“Anglers can now fish in the waters at Cowans Gap Lake year round – 365 days,” WCO Quarracino announced to the “News” “There is no time that the lake is closed to fishing.”

The waterways conservation officer said that in the past the lake had been closed to all fishing during a two-week time frame beginning April 1. The no-fishing policy was then lifted at 8 a.m. on the opening day of trout season.

“Even though the lake is open to fishing year-round, anglers can only keep trout when the season is open for trout,” said Quarracino, adding that opening day here in Fulton County is Saturday, April 13.

“Anglers used to be able to catch and keep three trout under the old regulations from March 1 through March 31. This is no longer the case.”

Quarracino noted the change was prompted by PFBC’s desire to promote year-round fishing for all species of fish that swim at the lake.

He does, however, caution fishermen of the large population of trout inhabiting Cowans Gap Lake. Therefore, while fishing, anglers should refrain from “specifically targeting” trout during the closed season.

“There is no way to predict what will bite your line, but there are some things you can do to possibly prevent hooking trout during the closed season,” he said, urging anglers to refrain from using trout-specific baits or using barbless hooks.

“These are just my recommendations and not law. However, a trout or any species of fish that is caught out of season must be immediately released unharmed to the waters from which it was taken. Fish that swallow hooks and are bleeding from the gills are harmed and may be deemed in the possession of the angler who caught the fish, resulting in prosecution for out-of-season possession,” he said.

Regarding the change to yearround fishing, Quarracino said he viewed the new regulation as a “good thing.” “Now anglers can take advantage of it and target some of the lake’s panfish population,” he related.

He indicated the lake is and will continue to receive plenty of trout stockings in the future. In fact, stocking was done as recently as Wednesday, February 6, through the ice.

Anglers who may have additional questions regarding the new year-round fishing regulation at Cowans Gap Lake or on other laws are urged to contact the PFBC’s Southcentral Region Office at 717-486-7087.

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