It’s that time of year again friends and neighbors. Once again, the Pa. Fish and Boat Commission’s great white fleet is on the move, bringing load after load of trout to a waterway near you.
Stocking trout throughout Pennsylvania is a big job. Just imagine if you will the manpower required to net, load, deliver, escort, and unload thousands upon thousands of trout throughout our great state.
While the majority of fish will no doubt be rainbows, a good number of browns, brook and trophy sized golden rainbows will also be released. To learn where these fish will be placed, check your Rules and Regulations summary.
Need more? On top of the thousands of fish raised at state hatcheries, a number of sportsmen’s groups, in conjunction with the PFBC, also raise and release fish for the public to enjoy.
Still not enough? Let’s not forget about streams that produce native brook trout. These beautiful fish can only be found in the purest of waters but are well-worth the search. Though not a true native due to their ancestors having once been released, a growing population of naturally-born browns and rainbows also exist in our state. One of the leading waterways for producing stream-bred brown trout is located right here in the central part of the state. That waterway of course is Penns Creek — a stream known not only for its fish population but also for its heavy fly hatches. Thought of by many as one of the eastern United States’ premiere trout waters, anglers both near and far travel to Penns Creek to try their luck. Ask any eastern fly fisherman where the best green drake hatch occurs, and odds are good they’ll answer the Penns Creek.
Have you ever observed a preseason trout stocking? If not, I would highly recommend it. I bet you’d be surprised what a crowd of onlookers it can draw.
A trout stocking brings with it an almost carnival-like experience as young children can be seen smiling away as they excitedly help release fish. Older folks such as myself see it as an opportunity to not only judge how this year’s fish look in the way of size and color, but also an opportunity to gossip and swap a few fish stories with friends who we may not have seen since last season. To learn where and when trout stocking will occur on your favorite waterway visit the PFBC website at www.fishandboat.com for a list of times and locations.
Some may consider the passing of snow geese and swans a sign that spring is on its way, and still others look for the first robins as proof. I, and many of my fellow anglers, consider catching a glimpse of a fish commission’s stock truck loaded down with fish the true harbinger of spring and all of the good times associated with it.
Let the trucks roll! And the fun of trout fishing will soon follow.
This year’s Mentored Youth Day will occur on Saturday, March 25 and will be followed by the all ages trout opener on April 1. It won’t be long now my friends, not long at all. So, get out there, buy that new fishing license if you haven’t already, and load up your gear. It will soon be time to wet a line and hopefully enjoy the tug of a hungry trout.
Larry Hendricks is an avid outdoorsman from Union County.
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