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Wild Trout Offer a Change of Pace

HARRISBURG, Pa. – The opening days of trout season may have passed, but the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission (PFBC) is reminding anglers that the stocking season is still going strong and the spring season offers plenty of opportunities to catch brook, brown and rainbow trout.

The PFBC will stock 500,000 more trout into 445 water sections through the end of May, said Brian Wisner, Director of the PFBC Bureau of Hatcheries.

“The annual buildup to the Mentored Youth Trout days and the opening days of trout season is always fun and generates a lot of excitement with adult anglers and kids,” he said. “But we want anglers to know that great trout fishing continues through spring and into June and picks up again in fall when water temperatures start to cool.”

Included in this year’s stocking lists are the popular Keystone Select Stocked Trout Waters, a program where large 14”-20” trout are stocked into 14 streams across the state. The program was launched last year with eight streams. Six new waters were added this year. Select here for more information about this exciting program.

The PFBC annually stocks approximately 3.15 million adult trout in more than 720 streams and 120 lakes open to public angling. These figures include approximately 2 million rainbow trout; 640,000 brown trout; and 500,000 brook trout. As with past practice, the average size of the trout produced for stocking is 11 inches in length.

In addition to these fish, the PFBC stocks about 8,700 trophy golden rainbow trout that weigh an average of 1.5 pounds and measure at least 14 inches long. Also, PFBC cooperative nurseries run by sportsmen’s clubs across the state add another 1 million trout to waters open to public angling.

Wisner added that anglers can easily search the trout stocking schedules for locations and dates of interest by using the PFBC’s mobile app “FishBoatPA,” which is available for free on both Google’s Play Store and Apple’s App Store. The app has been downloaded more than 71,000 times.

Users can sort stocking schedules by county, and the app is tied directly into the PFBC’s online stocking schedule, so anglers can see past and upcoming stockings and the type of trout placed in a water. The “Near Me” feature uses a phone’s GIS coordinates to locate and display trout waters within 5, 15, 25 and 50 miles of the user, who can then use mapping apps to get directions to their favorite stocking site.

Anglers also can view stocking schedules by visiting the PFBC website and clicking on the link for Trout Stocking Schedules. Select a county and enter start and end dates from the calendars at the top of the page. Then press “Go.”

In addition to the PFBC’s extensive hatchery trout stocking program, Pennsylvania also has thousands of wild trout streams. At present, there are 3,700 miles of streams containing some level of wild trout and 1,644 miles of Class A wild trout streams. Class A streams are the Commonwealth’s best wild trout streams and they offer a different challenge and reward for anglers.

These waters can be found on the PFBC website.

“These fish and the streams that contain them are some of Pennsylvania’s most treasured resources that all trout anglers need to experience,” said Wisner. “Enjoy the in-season stockings and make this the year that you branch out from your favorite stocked water and add some wild trout fishing to your ‘to do’ list!”