Trout Season Opens Sat.
Whether your hook is threaded with a nightcrawler, a hunk of cheddar cheese or even a live cricket, you’re sure to reel in something Saturday when trout season opens here in Fulton County.
An estimated 850,000 fishermen will buy their license in 2013, with many of those finding themselves stream- or lakeside or in a boat for the traditional statewide opener on April 13. Three million adult trout are stocked in anticipation of this day, which, according to Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission Executive Director Arway, is “as much as about friends and family as it is about fishing.”
As March 30 marked the regional opening day of trout season in 18 of the state’s southeastern counties, waterway conservation officers, including WCO Anthony Quarracino have been busy throughout the region in recent weeks with special enforcement details and stocking.
Quarracino, along with fellow WCO Ted Kane, is expecting opening day here to be similar to that of Franklin County where average crowds were reported. At that time, one of the biggest issues observed by officers was the lack of life jackets being worn while boating.
Quarracino told the “News” regulations were recently altered to require individuals occupying boats smaller than 16 feet in length to wear a life jacket. The officer noted that whether you’re 2 or 92 years old, adults and children alike are now required to wear a life preserver between November 1 and April 30 due to the colder waters and water.
Smaller bodies of water such as the reservoir at Letterkenny or Cowans Gap Lake present an opportunity for this regulation be enforced.
“This is definitely something we will be looking at hard on opening day,” said Quarracino, who added boat owners are ultimately responsible for ensuring their occupants are properly outfitted in life jackets. If convicted of this offense, a fine of $75 plus costs will be imposed.
Local anglers are reminded that fishing season will open promptly at 8 a.m. and not one minute before. Those who opt to defy the odds and get caught face a fine for fishing in approved trout waters prior to the season. An additional fine can be imposed in the event that fisherman is also caught with fish in hand prior to 8 a.m.
Fellow anglers witnessing violations in progress are asked by local WCOs to record as much pertinent information as possible ranging from license plate numbers and vehicle descriptions to the nature of the violation and description of the accused. The information, Quarracino said, should be immediately turned over to Fish and Boat’s Southcentral Region Office in Newville by calling 717-486-7087.
For the first time this year, anglers are eligible to purchase a multi-year fishing license, including a resident three-year license for $64.70 or a resident five-year license for $106.70. Resident three-year and five-year trout permits cost $25.70 and $41.70, respectively.
A license is required for anyone ages 16 and older, and a trout permit is required for trout fishing. Licenses can be purchased at local sporting venues, the county treasurer’s office or online at www.gonefishingpa.com.