HARRISBURG – Anglers from across the state are gearing up to fish their favorite spots at 8 a.m. Saturday, which marks the traditional statewide opening day of trout season.
Since mid-February, the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission (PFBC) has been stocking waterways with a fresh supply of brook, brown and rainbow trout.
And with approximately 3.2 million adult trout stocked in lakes and creeks, along with more than 10,000 miles of wild trout waters, anglers will have plenty of opportunities to catch a stocked or wild trout.
Based on participation in the PFBC’s two Mentored Youth Trout Days, PFBC Executive Director John Arway expects large crowds of anglers on the waterways enjoying time with friends and family.
“We’ve sold more than 8,500 voluntary youth licenses and have issued more than 17,500 mentored youth permits,” he said.
“That’s a tremendous number of kids and their adult mentors who have already been out practicing their fishing skills this season. With warmer weather finally arriving, I think they’ll be fishing again this weekend, along with the other anglers who enjoy the opening day tradition.”
Anglers can keep a daily combined species creel of five trout, at least seven inches in length. A license is required for anyone 16 and older and a trout permit is required for trout fishing in all wild and stocked trout waters.
Trout season opened April 4 in 18 southcentral and southeastern counties.
Arway adds that anglers who use smartphones can use the PFBC’s new “FishBoatPA” app to better navigate the Keystone State’s streams and lakes.
“The app helps anglers see which waters have been stocked with trout, how to get to those locations easily, and what other access areas are near their current fishing spot,” he said.
“The use of smartphones has skyrocketed, so we have found a way to improve the fishing and boating experience for our anglers and boaters. Now they can spend less time looking for information and more time fishing and boating.”
In addition to providing access to stocking pages, the new mobile app allows anglers to post photos of their catches under “My Trophies.” Anglers are also invited to post their opening day photos on the PFBC’s Facebook event page athttps://www.facebook.com/events/790313307731647.
The “FishBoatPA” app is available for free on both Google’s Play Store and Apple’sApp Store.
Also this year, adult anglers are enjoying a first-ever $1 decrease in the price of their fishing license.
“This is our way of saying ‘thank you’ to our loyal customers,” added Arway. “And at the same time, we think the price reduction will attract lapsed anglers back to the sport.”
The PFBC announced last fall that it was reducing the price of resident, non-resident and senior resident annual licenses by $1 for the entire 2015 season.
The discount is part of a marketing campaign to highlight the sport’s affordability to families and younger audiences and to persuade lapsed anglers to return. It’s being promoted under the slogan “Catch the Value!” (Twitter – #CatchTheValue)
With the discount, the price of a resident annual license is $20; non-resident annual $50; three-year resident $60; three-year non-resident $150; five-year resident $100; and five-year non-resident $250.
Trout/salmon permits, Lake Erie permits and combo permits are not included in the price reduction.
For more information or to purchase licenses and permits, visit www.GoneFishingPA.com or any of the more than 900 licensing agents across the state.