DAUPHIN COUNTY, Pa. – Trout season opens tomorrow, and as rain poured, fishermen and wildlife officers were busy stocking creeks in parts of Dauphin County.
There’s a couple different factors at play, officials say the rain affects what the trout are eating, the color of the water, and most importantly, fishermen safety.
"Waterways are going to have a little bit of color. Those fish are really going to look hard to find your lures. So you’re going to have to take time and be patient,” said Mark Sweppenhiser, a Waterways Conservation Officer.
With less than 24 hours to spare, fishermen and Upper Dauphin students got their boots on and dumped fish into parts of the Wiconisco and Rattling Creeks in Dauphin County, despite beating rain and mud.
"Water’s going to be up. So those fish are going to be holding tight, closer to the shore banks, closer to the structure, closer to the bottom,” said Sweppenhiser.
And with the water levels being up…
"if you have trouble walking or wading, I would certainly be wearing a life jacket,” Sweppenhiser warned.
Waterway officials say there’s an added safety risk.
"Anytime you're near water, none of us can walk on water. We have to watch out for each other. You're going to have slippery banks. Waters going to be swift. It's going to be up,” said Sweppeniser.
Besides the higher water levels, Sweppenhiser says the rain can put ants and other insects into the waterways which means the fish may not be as hungry.
"They have a feeding frenzy of some sort," he explained.
The rain affected how some of the Upper Dauphin students stocked the creeks too.
"Today, were walking them down because of the weather condition, but usually, we have canoes,” said Dave Savidge, a retired Conservation Club Advisor.
"The rain doesn't really phase me. I mean, I'm out here today, so you can tell,” said Tanner Klinger, a senior at Upper Dauphin High School. The Upper Dauphin High School AP biology class helped stock the Wiconisco Creek.
Even with the showers, fishermen say it’s not the worst they've seen for opening day.
"Three years ago, we actually had to chop ice to put holes in the water,” explained Savidge.
And they'll still be out, hooks ready and prepped to catch some of the big guys.
"We've seen anything from sunny days to rain, snow, sleet. You pretty much have to expect anything,” added Savidge.
Trout season starts tomorrow at 8 a.m. Wildlife officials say to be safe, fish with a buddy if you can, and most importantly, have fun.