PA Fish Commission set to stock trout in coming weeks (2024)

It might still be the dead of winter but that won’t stop the folks at the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission (PFBC) from thinking ahead to springtime and the trout season that goes with it. To that end anglers looking forward to Pennsylvania’s popular trout season have another tool in their toolbox that makes the PFBC’s 2023 adult trout stockingscheduleavailable using the FishBoatPA mobile app and website (Fishandboat.com).

“While many anglers still have their rods and tackle boxes stored away for the winter, the release of our trout stocking schedule is always highly anticipated and is a reminder that spring fishing opportunities are just around the corner,” said Brian Wisner, Director of the PFBC Bureau of Hatcheries. “This schedule is the blueprint we use as we build a world-class stocked trout fishery in all corners of the Commonwealth over the next several weeks. Anglers can review the stocking schedule to find out which local waters will be ready for some great fishing very soon. So, buy your fishing license and trout permit, get your gear ready, and start planning now for those trout fishing adventures that await.”

The trout stocking schedule is searchable by county, lists the waterways in alphabetical order, and indicates stocking dates, meeting locations for volunteers, and the species of trout that are planned to be stocked at each location.In 2023, Pennsylvania’s statewide Opening Day of Trout Season will be held on Saturday, April 1.A single, statewide Mentored Youth Trout Day will take place on Saturday, March 25.

To prepare for the start of the season, stocking operations are set to begin the week of February 21.Anglers should note that fishing is not permitted on lakes and streams designated asStocked Trout Watersfrom February 21 to the opening day of trout season, with the exception of the Mentored Youth Trout Fishing Day, unless waters are included in the Stocked Trout Waters Open to Year-Round Fishing program.

In 2023, the PFBC will stock approximately 3.2 million adult trout in 697 streams and 126 lakes open to public angling.These figures, which are consistent with the number of trout stocked over the past decade, include approximately 2.3 million Rainbow Trout; 707,000 Brown Trout; and 168,000 Brook Trout. As with past practice, the average size of the trout produced for stocking is 11 inches in length with an average weight of .58 pounds.

In 2023, anglers will have an excellent chance to catch large, trophy-sized trout. This year, the PFBC will stock approximately 70,000 brood fish, which are 2 ½ year-old and 3 ½ year-old hatchery-raised Rainbow Trout, Brown Trout, and Brook Trout measuring 14-20 inches.Roughly 70% of these large fish will be stocked into streams and lakes during the preseason prior to opening day of trout season, and 30% will be stocked during in-season replenishment stockings.

In 2023, the PFBC will stock approximately 14,000 golden Rainbow Trout. In addition to being stocked during the preseason period before opening day, these highly prized fish featuring vibrant golden-orange pigmentation and weighing an average of 1.5 pounds will be stocked during in-season replenishment stockings. Approximately 80% of golden Rainbow Trout will be stocked during the preseason, and approximately 20% will be stocked in-season.

In addition to trout raised at state fish hatcheries, PFBC cooperative nurseries operated by sportsmen’s clubs and other groups across the state will add another one million trout to waters open to public angling throughout the year.

The PFBC will be welcoming volunteers to help distribute approximately 3.2 million hatchery-raised adult trout to hundreds of waterways statewide throughout the 2023 season.The PFBC is proud to partner with conservation groups, schools, and walk-up volunteers to help spread out the trout in local waterways.

AND THE SHOW GOES ON. The Great American Outdoor Show continues its run at the Pennsylvania Farm Show Complex in Harrisburg this week. One of the most popular events at this show is the Pennsylvania Outdoor Writers Association’s (POWA) Annual Sportsman’s Auction which takes place on the show’s final day, Sunday, Feb. 12, from 1 to 3 pm. Items up for auction include a pair of African safaris, a turkey gobbler hunt, a ringneck pheasant hunt, a guided fishing trip on the Juniata River, a rabbit hunt in central Pennsylvania, and a flounder fishing adventure in Ocean City, MD, (guided by yours truly) and much, much more.

This is the 40th Annual Sportsmen’s Auction to benefit the Kermit Henning Youth Educational Grant Program. All funds raised are granted to organizations around the state foractivities that include young people in the outdoors, such as conservation camps, field days, hunting and fishing programs, etc. To date, these sportsmen’s auctions have raised almost $500,000 to date. Come on out and make your bids! And speaking of POWA, we’ll be manning booth # 4168 in the Hunting Outfitter Hall. Stop by and say Hi!

To purchase tickets to the show or browse the list of events, seminars, exhibitors and more, visit the official website at www.greatamericanoutdoorshow.org. See you at the show.

Tom Tatum is the outdoors columnist for the MediaNews Group. You can reach him at tatumt2@yahoo.com.

PA Fish Commission set to stock trout in coming weeks (1)
PA Fish Commission set to stock trout in coming weeks (2024)
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