Although Pennsylvania may have been named for its woods, its waters are the real attraction this time of year.
Pennsylvania is home to some of the best trout fishing in the world. Wild and stocked Brook (native, state fish), Brown and Rainbow (including steelhead and golden rainbow) Trout are found in Pennsylvania waters. With nearly 16,000 miles (and counting) of wild trout streams, nearly 5,000 miles of stocked trout streams and more than 125 stocked trout lakes, Pennsylvania has something to offer every trout angler.
This Saturday, April 14, at 8 a.m., fishing enthusiasts from this part of the state will head to their favorite local areas to drop lines in hopes of taking a trophy trout.
“I’m seeing some really nice fish coming out of the hatcheries. I’ve been impressed with the size; that bodes well for trout season,” said Waterways Conservation Officer John Cummings.
Anglers can keep a daily creel limit of five trout. The daily creel limit is the number of a particular sport fish species you may keep in one day’s fishing. Creel limits apply to the majority of trout fishing waters. The trout must be at least seven inches long.
Anglers can find what waters are stocked by visiting the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commision website at www.fishandboat.com.
Each year, more than 850,000 anglers buy a fishing license, which is required for anyone 16 and older.
For every youth license sold, the PFBC receives approximately $5 in federal funding, which is reinvested into youth fishing programs.
The price of a resident annual license is just $21 ($22.90 with fees); non-resident annual $51 ($52.90 with fees); and senior resident annual $10 ($11.90 with fees). Trout permits are $8 ($9.90 with fees).
Anglers can also buy multi-year licenses. A 3-year resident license can be purchased for $63 ($64.90 with fees), a 5-year for $105 ($106.90 with fees) and a 10-year for $210 ($211.90 with fees). Anglers can also buy multi-year trout/salmon and combo permits and experience similar savings.
A current Pennsylvania fishing license, signed in ink and displayed (attach to a hat or outer garment), is required of persons age 16 and over to fish or angle for any species of fish. A license is also needed to take fish bait or baitfish. Casting and/or retrieving whether by rod, reel and line, or by handline, for oneself or another person, requires a current license unless specifically exempted by law.
Most times a clearly displayed fishing license allows a Waterways Conservation Officer to quickly and easily verify that anglers are legally licensed without inconveniencing a fisherman. An optional license button can be displayed in lieu of a paper license (the paper license still must be in your possession).
Anglers should be aware they are required to carry another positive means of identification, a valid driver’s license, for example, to establish their identity if requested by a Conservation Officer.
A lost fishing license can be replaced online or at any issuing agent. The cost is $6.90 for the license and that price includes the cost of any trout/salmon or Lake Erie privileges that were purchased with the original license.
As a reminder, many waters in Pennsylvania are privately owned, and the PFBC listing or mapping of waters does not guarantee public access. Respect the privacy and rights of landowners and always obtain permission before entering any privately owned land. Other rules apply for Special Regulation Areas. Anglers should consult the Summary of Pa. Fishing Laws and Regulations, distributed free with their licenses, for more details.
The Tylersville State Fish Hatchery in Clinton County near Lock Haven, provides the stocked trout to Wyoming County sites. According to WCO John Cummings, the trout are usually held at the hatchery for a year to a year and a half.
When the fish are ready, they are released in batches. The average size is around nine to ten inches. There are some smaller, but some go around twelve inches as well.
“We have also, in years past, put in some brood fish or trophy trout to keep the anglers surprised. Those are usually kept a year or so longer than the averaged stocking fish,” added Officer Cummings.
The hatchery is located on approximately 40 developed acres (125 total acres) with 5,000 feet of concrete linear raceways. The water supply is a spring pool with 8 spring sources and infiltration of subsurface flow that originates from Big Fishing Creek.
Anglers can share their support for opening day by visiting the PFBC’s Facebook event.
Licenses and buttons can be purchased at more than 900 licensing agents and online at www.GoneFishingPa.com.