HARRISBURG, Pa. – The Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission (PFBC) is offering two Mentored Youth fishing opportunities this summer near Pittsburgh and Philadelphia.
“Youth can never have enough opportunities to fish,” said PFBC Executive Director John A. Arway. “The Commission is committed to providing youth and their mentors with many different opportunities to learn fishing skills and participate in special Mentored Youth Days. These two programs are specifically designed to show kids who live in urban environments that there are good fishing opportunities close to their cities.”
The first opportunity will be on July 28 and 29 in North Park, in Allegheny County, on the Boathouse Pond portion of North Park Lake. North Park is located north of Pittsburgh at 10301 Pearce Mill Road, Allison Park, PA 15101. This is a cooperative effort involving Allegheny County Parks.
Beginning at 6 p.m. July 28 at North Park, properly licensed or permitted youth and mentors will have the chance to participate in the Mentored Youth summer catfish opportunity. Fishing will continue until 11 p.m. and again from dawn until 11 p.m. on July 29. PFBC staff, partners, and volunteers will be on hand both days to help participants.
The second opportunity will be on August 4 and 5 at the Children’s Pond, at Nockamixon State Park. Nockamixon State Park is located at 1542 Mountain View Drive, Quakertown, PA 18951. This is a cooperative effort involving the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, Bureau of State Parks.
Beginning at 6 p.m. August 4, properly licensed or permitted youth and mentors will have the chance to participate in the Mentored Youth summer catfish opportunity. Fishing will continue until 11 p.m. and again from dawn until 11 p.m. on August 5. PFBC staff, partners, and volunteers will be on hand both days to help participants.
A Catfish Expo will take place at each location, from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. before the Mentored Youth opportunity. The expos will help prepare youth and mentors for the fishing that will follow. During the expo, visitors will have the opportunity to interact with PFBC staff, and learn about catfish biology and management, basic angling techniques for catfish, and cleaning and cooking fish. Attendance at the expo is not required in order to participate in the mentored youth fishing.
Catfish Expos will be open to anyone, however the fishing that follows will be available only to holders of Mentored Youth fishing permits or Voluntary Youth fishing licenses, and will require that a mentor be present while the youth is fishing. Youth anglers can obtain a free PFBC-issued permit or a purchase a Voluntary Youth fishing license at www.GoneFishingPA.com. Adult anglers (16 years or older) must have a valid Pennsylvania fishing license and be accompanied by a youth.
The catfish population at both sites will be supplemented with a stocking of catfish prior to the Mentored Youth Days. The stocked catfish will range from 14 inches up to a hefty size of 24 inches. Youth may harvest two catfish per day, but mentors must practice catch and release.