Pennsylvania Mentored Youth Trout Fishing Day March 26

HARRISBURG, Pa. – The Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission (PFBC) reminds anglers that Mentored Youth Trout Fishing Day will happen on Saturday, March 26, 2022, beginning at 8 a.m. This is a statewide event open to youth anglers and their mentors in all 67 counties.

“Mentored Youth Trout Fishing Day is a really special, fun opportunity that is all about building the future of fishing and conservation,” said Tim Schaeffer, PFBC Executive Director. “We gladly open up trout season a week early for kids on this day so that they can have the chance to fish among lighter crowds and learn fishing skills from their adult mentors.”

Participants should note that while PFBC pre-season trout stocking is well underway in advance of the statewide Opening Day of trout season on April 2, not all waters will be stocked with trout prior to Mentored Youth Trout Fishing Day on March 26. To ensure an enjoyable experience and locate waters that have already been stocked, please review the complete 2022 trout stocking schedule on the FishBoatPA app and PFBC website.

To participate in any Mentored Youth Trout Fishing Day, anglers ages 15 and under must obtain either a Voluntary Youth Fishing License ($2.97) or a free Mentored Youth Permit from the PFBC and be accompanied by a licensed adult angler with a trout permit. Permits and licenses are available using the FishBoatPA mobile app, online at, and in-person at nearly 700 license issuing agents. To purchase a fishing license or obtain related permits, all anglers, including youth, are required to have their own account within the licensing system, which can be created either online or at a retail license issuing location. Upon creation of an account, anglers are issued a permanent, individual Customer Identification Number (CID#) that can be used for an improved, user-friendly experience during future transactions.

Adult mentors (anglers 16 years of age or older) participating in Mentored Youth Trout Fishing Day must possess a valid Pennsylvania Fishing License and a Trout Permit and be accompanied by a properly permitted or licensed youth (less than 16 years of age). While mentors are permitted to fish for trout, they are not permitted to harvest trout and must release them immediately, unharmed.

“The spirit of this day is to teach and learn, and adult mentors should be solely focused on helping kids be successful,” said Schaeffer. “We really recommend that only one adult accompany each youth angler for the most effective mentoring experience. If you’ve ever fished with a young child, you know how rewarding it can be, and that your constant attention will be needed. Prepare to make a lot of great memories helping the child to cast, untangle lines, and hopefully remove a few trout from the hook.”

Why buy a Voluntary Youth Fishing License?
The Fish and Boat Commission is a user-funded agency which receives no PA General Fund tax revenue to support its programs, including the world-class trout stocking operations. For each Voluntary Youth Fishing License purchased for $2.97, the PFBC receives approximately $5 in funding as a federal reimbursement. These funds are dedicated for use only in youth outreach and education programs. The PFBC does not receive any funding to support programs through the issuing of free Mentored Youth Trout Permits.

Catch-and-Release Fishing Techniques

The PFBC reminds anglers of proper catch-and-release fishing techniques when harvest is not permitted or when anglers choose to practice catch-and-release fishing during Mentored Youth Day. The techniques listed below will ensure that released fish have the best chance to survive and contribute to future angling enjoyment.

Land your fish as quickly as possible and don’t play the fish to exhaustion. Excessive stress and exhaustion increases post-release mortality.
Use a landing net (rubber or rubberized mesh is best) to better control your catch and reduce trauma associated with handling.
Keep the fish in the water as much as possible. The chance of a fish being injured increases the longer it is held out of the water.
Wet your hands, your net, and other materials that touch the fish. Don’t handle fish with a towel or rag. This helps to keep a fish’s protective mucus or slime layer in place.
Hold the fish upside down while removing the hook. This can calm the fish for quicker unhooking and release.
Use hemostats or long nose pliers to aid in removing a hook quickly and safely. Use barbless hooks or pinch down barbs on existing hooks with small pliers to make removing hooks easier.
When not possible to remove the hook without harming the fish, cut the line or harvest to eat (subject to season, length, and creel limits).
Avoid contact with the gills and do not handle by placing your fingers under the operculum (gill cover).
Hold the fish upright underwater after unhooking until it can swim away on its own. If necessary, gently hold the fish out of strong current until it revives.