2014-04-10 / Front Page

Trout Season Opens Sat.

By Chanin Rotz-Mountz

NEWS EDITOR

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 special Saturday when trout season opens here in Fulton County.

More than 850,000 fishermen are expected to purchase their license in 2014, with many of those anglers finding themselves stream or lakeside or in a boat for the traditional statewide opener on April 12.

“Through March 15, our sales were up by 7 percent, which is fantastic news,” according to Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission (PFBC) Executive Director John Arway. “That tells me that anglers are ready for winter to end and spring fishing to begin.”

An estimated 3.2 million adult trout ranging from brook and brown to the popular rainbow varieties are stocked in anticipation of this big day. In fact, the PFBC’s “great white fleet” of hatchery trucks has been on the road since late February getting lakes and streams prepared for local anglers.

Up-to-date stocking schedules found on the PFBC’s Web site indicate Wednesday was the last day for stockings locally. The Laurel Fork along with Little Brush Creek, Oregon Creek and sections of Sideling Hill Creek were slated to be stocked with trout from the Reynoldsdale hatchery.

As March 29 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 and fellow WCO Ted Kane are expecting a good opening day here as was the case in Franklin County, even though participation may have been lighter than average. While temperatures have been on the rise in the last week, the cooler temps still left “Letterkenney Reservoir with enough ice on it to make it virtually unfishable either by boat or shoreline,” Quarracino told the “News.”

He strongly urges local fishermen to remain respectful of private property and landowners who continue to open their land to public fishing.

Furthermore, anglers are re- minded that fishing season will begin 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 a fisherman is also caught with fish in hand prior to 8 a.m.

Anglers witnessing violations in progress are asked by area 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 PFBC’s Southcentral Region Office in Newville by calling 717-486-7087.

Once again this year, fishermen are eligible to purchase a multiyear fishing license, including a resident three-year license for $64.70, or a resident five-year license for $106.70. Resident threeyear 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. A resident one-year license is available for $22.70.

“For the first time this year, we are offering a voluntary youth fishing license for $2.70, which will provide an approximate $5 reinvestment into youth fishing programs,” noted Arway. “For those anglers who want to go back to the future, they can purchase an optional $5 metal button for an alternate way to display their license.”

Licenses can be purchased at local sporting venues, the county treasurer’s office or online at www.GoneFishingPa.com.

Quarracino said unlike hunting licenses, the Fish and Boat Commission still has “display requirements” for Pennsylvania fishing licenses. In addition, if anglers choose to display the new 2014 PA fishing license button, they must also carry their paper license with them. “Then and only then can it be in their wallets,” the WCO added.

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