“Although there is still plenty of winter left across Pennsylvania, we are already deep in preparations for spring trout fishing season. Few things rival the anticipation and excitement of opening day, and our team is working hard to make sure that and every single day,” he said. Tim Schaefer, Executive Director of the PFBC.
Under a change approved during its last meeting in October 2021, Pennsylvania reverted to a single statewide opening day for trout season that will occur annually on the first Saturday in April, and in 2022 it will occur on Saturday, April 2. Young Guide Trout Day will take place on Saturday, March 26th.
To accommodate the previous trout season statewide, fishermen were also reminded that pre-season trout stockpiling is scheduled to begin the week of February 21, and that PFBC will welcome volunteers to help distribute the approximately 3.2 million hatchery-bred trout to Hundreds of waterways statewide throughout the 2022 season. The 2022 trout stocking schedules are expected to be available on the FishBoatPA mobile app and the PFBC website (www.fishandboat.com) beginning February 1.
“This is an exciting time of the year as we prepare for the incredible task of transporting millions of trout from hatcheries to hundreds of waterways across the state,” Shafer added. “Storage during the pandemic has been a challenge, but we have learned a lot over the past two seasons about protecting our staff and volunteers. This year, we will once again work hard to stock trout in the safest and most efficient way possible, while delivering the best product to our fishermen in time for opening day. Among the salmon Trout and formidable wild trout, there really will be something for everyone this spring.”
Schaeffer also noted that many Pennsylvania lakes are currently frozen in ice, providing ice fishing opportunities.
“Ice fishing can be a really fun way to enjoy the beauty of winter,” said Schaeffer. “Please, if you are venturing out on the ice this winter, check carefully for sufficient ice thickness, fish with others, carry safety equipment such as snow hoses, and always wear a life jacket. Cold water kills, so please remember that life jackets are required on all Canoes, kayaks, and boats less than 16 feet in height from November 1 through April 30.”
Schaeffer described improvements to the agency’s online licensing system and encouraged fishermen to purchase their 2022 fishing licenses by visiting the FishBoatPA mobile app, www.fishandboat.com, or a local release agent. “With improvements to the online license purchase experience and the fact that you can now store your license on your phone, preparing for the 2022 fishing season is easier than ever. Thank you in advance for choosing Fishing and Boating in Pennsylvania in 2022. You’ll be glad you did!”
R3 Education Scholarship Program
Commissioners have approved the $150,000 R3 Education Grant to Venture Outdoors in Pittsburgh to support the creation of a pilot program for the First Catch Center in Pittsburgh. First Fishing Centers is a Recreational Boating and Fishing Foundation (RBFF) concept designed to provide fishing and boating experiences in urban communities. First Catch Center in Philadelphia was established in 2018 and is maintained through funding inherited to PFBC by Samuel Gaun Estate. In 2021, PFBC partnered with Venture Outdoors to apply for a grant through the Richard King Mellon Foundation (RKM), which sought to support programs aimed at conservation, retention and revitalization (R3) recruitment. The $150,000 grant from RKM will be a pass-through grant, meaning that the money will be awarded to PFBC, and will then be distributed to Venture Outdoors. In addition to the grant from RKM, PFBC will provide approximately $70,000 in-kind matching for the Pittsburgh pilot program, and RBFF will provide $25,000 to purchase a freight trailer and make necessary modifications. The Pittsburgh pilot program is scheduled to be conducted by Venture Outdoors beginning in the spring of 2022 and will conclude in the fall of 2023, during which 50 educational programs will be conducted.
The Council agreed to publish a notice setting the proposed rules relating to bowfishing. While the use of crossbows, crossbows, spears, and bow-hunting carts is already regulated in the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Code (58 Pa. Code §63.8), the proposed amendment addresses a growing number or complaints to PFBC enforcement regarding excessive lighting and generator noise that can They are created by participants in bow hunting. The amendment prohibits bow fishing in any special regulation of trout waters; make it unlawful to cast a direct beam of a searchlight, a composite headlight, or any other artificial light of any kind from any watercraft onto any occupied building or other watercraft; And limit the noise from generators used on a boat during bow fishing to no more than 90 dB(A). When measuring noise emissions, the test measurement will be carried out with a sound level meter at least four feet above the water at the point where the cannon and port or starboard intersect. If the final rulemaking is approved at a future meeting, the amendment will enter into force when it is published in
The commissioners have approved the publication of a notice setting proposed rules relating to fishing regulations at Little Chartiers Creek, Section 05, in Washington County. Under the proposal, Section 05, which extends approximately half a mile from the outflow of Lake Canonsburg to the confluence of Chartiers Creek, would be removed from the list of managed waters under various special regulations. While Section 05 is not administered by the PFBC as Stored Trout Water (STW), a special variety regulation has been in place since the early 1980s that prohibits fishing from the end of the extended season for trout until 8:00 a.m. at the opening. A day out of the regular season for trout, which is usually associated with STWs. Historically, the rationale for this special regulation was the ban on fly fishing in Section 05 during the shutdown following the stocking of trout in Lake Canonsburg, which could escape downstream into Little Chartiers Creek. The escape of stored trout has caused undesirable and disturbing hunter behavior in Section 05 and its management is guaranteed by these special regulations. During the annual regulatory review process, UNHCR staff determined that these regulations were no longer necessary and recommended that they be removed. If removed, this change would simplify regulations and increase fishing opportunities while still providing adequate protection for resources. If adopted in final rulemaking at a future meeting, this amendment will enter into force on January 1, 2023.
The Board has agreed to publish a Notice of Proposed Rule-Making with respect to Fishing Regulations in Penns Creek, Section 03, a stream of Class A wild trout with a strong population of wild brown trout in Central and Mifflin counties. Under the proposal, the Miscellaneous Special Regulation that has been in place since 2014. The current Miscellaneous Special Regulation is a pilot regulation of trout holes allowing year-round fishing, use of all types of fishing gear, and harvesting of two trout per day that are at least seven in length inches but less than 12 inches, from the opening day of the regular season for trout until Labor Day, with no harvest allowed for the remainder of the year. As a result of PFBC surveys from 2014-2019 revealing the presence of larger brown trout (greater than 16 inches in length) and favorable hunter reactions during this trial period, the PFBC established an official Trout Slot Limit with two subprograms in 2021. Upon removal of the special miscellaneous regulation Under this proposal, Section 03 of Pence Creek will be proposed for appointment to the All-Tackle Trout Slot Limit Program at a future meeting of the Board of Directors. It should be noted that if approved, the name of the regulation applicable to Penns Creek, Section 03 will change; However, the regulation itself will remain the same. If adopted in final rulemaking at a future meeting, this amendment will enter into force on January 1, 2023.
The Board approved the addition of eight sections of the streams to the list of Class A wild trout streams. The board also approved the addition of nine new waters to the authority’s list of wild trout streams and revised the department’s limits for one water currently listed. These additions and revisions will take effect upon posting of a second notice in Penn Bulletin. A list of proposed waters for wild trout stream and Class A wild trout stream designation can be found on the PFBC website.
The council has authorized the lease of portions of the property in Childerns Lake, Cumberland County, to South Middleton Township (township). The 7.63-acre property containing the lake fed by the springs is the recreation hub of Boiling Springs Village. Support for the upcoming $3 million Lake Children’s Lake Rehabilitation and Strengthening Project, scheduled to begin in the spring of 2022, was a collaborative partnership between the PFBC, the Save the Lake campaign, and South Middleton Township. As part of the on-going property management partnership, the borough wishes to enter into a 25-year lease agreement with the PFBC, under which the town will be responsible for the routine maintenance, operation, repair and oversight of the rental area. The authority will be responsible for the dam, dam facilities and water levels. The lease will also require that the site remain open for public fishing and free boating. Fishing and boating will take precedence over all other recreational activities.
The next meeting of the PFBC Board of Commissioners is scheduled for 25-26 April 2022.
Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission