Winter tough on Trout stocking season

Saturday is opening day of Trout Season for a number of counties in Pennsylvania, and that usually coincides with spring and warmer weather. But this year, the Fish and Boat Commission has found their preparations to be challenging, as they work to stock many of Pennsylvania’s lakes and streams.

“The pipe is frozen,” yelled a worker as he worked to stocked Children’s Lake in Boiling Springs, Cumberland County.

“I’ve done my share of busting open ice to get the fish in.  I’ve been doing this job for eight years and I’ve never seen this much ice,” said Waterways Conservation Officer with the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission, David Hurst. “We have run into issues with frozen water, snow pack, mud. It’s a tough stocking season this year but we’re on schedule and they are all going to be in by March 29,” said Hurst.

Stocking trucks will deliver 3.2 million trout – 1.8 million rainbow, 835,000 brown and 507,000 brook – averaging 11 inches in length to 733 streams and 124 lakes open to public fishing, said Eric Levis, Press Secretary for the PA Fish & Boat Commission. 53 percent will be stocked prior to opening day; 43 percent between opening day and the end of May; and 4 percent (128,000) from October through February 2015.

Mentored Youth Trout Days were scheduled for March 22, and April 5, 2014, but have been rescheduled, because of ice on some of the bodies of water. Both have been moved to May 10, beginning at 8 a.m. and ending at 7:30 p.m. To see a map with program waters and for more information on the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission click here