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Outdoor Columnist 

Trout Season Now Open

Series: Coronavirus | Story 127

When I got home this morning, April 7, from fishing on one of the specially regulated waters where trout fishing is open the year round, Donna greeted me by saying, "Do you know that trout season is open today? Kendra called and told me that Justin wanted you to know the regular trout season opened this morning at eight."

"That's not right," I replied. "That's just a rumor. Guys on the internet have been saying they've seen people fishing on stocked trout streams already. They are not supposed to be."

"You're wrong, Rich," Donna insisted. "In fact, I saw on the noon news that trout season had opened today. This is to minimize the crowding on the water because of the coronavirus. The Fish Commission is doing this in conjunction with the governor's office as a response to the pandemic. Look it up on the internet. You'll see that I am right."

Being the dutiful husband I am, I headed right for the computer and googled the Pennsylvania Fish & Boat Commission's website. I went right away to the news section.

Donna was correct, of course. The Pennsylvania Fish & Boat Commission chose to open the regular trout season Tuesday, April 7, in an effort to minimize the crowded conditions that exist on many stocked trout waters on the traditional opening day.

"We realize this announcement is another disruption to tradition, but it is the best interest of public health and safety," said Tim Schaeffer, PFBC executive director. "We have already seen that anglers and boaters across the commonwealth are willing to adapt their behavior to include social distancing, and we ask everyone to follow their lead while enjoying outdoor activities at this challenging time. The trout we have stocked have spread out, and so should you."

Trout will continue to be stocked in approved trout waters during the early spring, but not all waters have been stocked at this time. However, since the PFBC is discouraging crowds of anglers gathering at stocking holes, in-season stockings will not be publicized as they have been in the past.

In addition, since the season is now open, there will be no mentored youth fishing day this Saturday, as had been scheduled.

Anglers are encouraged to do their trout fishing within 15 minutes of home, if possible. Also, if they are fishing in state park waters, the restroom facilities may be closed.

Properly licensed anglers are also encouraged to practice social distancing while on the water.

This is setting up to be an unusual trout season.


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