With the coronavirus increase causing massive societal disruptions, especially in the southeastern part of PA, and with 3.2 million trout in hatcheries that must be stocked ASAP, the Fish and Boat …
With the coronavirus increase causing massive societal disruptions, especially in the southeastern part of PA, and with 3.2 million trout in hatcheries that must be stocked ASAP, the Fish and Boat Executive Director Tim Schaeffer announced several changes to the 2020 trout season that is intended to protect the safety of the public and the Fish Commission staff. Also to get trout out of the hatcheries and preserve the opportunity to enjoy fishing for stocked trout.
Among the changes were consolidating the 2020 trout season into a single statewide schedule for all PA counties with an opening day of April 18. That would eliminate the April 4 start for 18 southeastern counties.
Under this revised plan, a statewide Mentored Youth Trout Day will occur on April 11.
The changes were made by the commission under the direction provided by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and the PA Department of Health to limit the spread of coronavirus.
The changes are intended to reduce large gatherings of people and the number of anglers traveling into the regional area (18 southeastern counties) which is already heavily affected by the COVID-19 virus.
Director Schaeffer said, “We wanted to make sure the trout that we spend all year raising, that we are very proud of, are stocked quickly as we can for anglers to enjoy.”
Schaeffer also stated that the commission was accelerating trout-stocking operations and eliminating volunteer stocking participation. To complete the trout-stocking without the assistance of the public, the commission will modify stocking methods for this year. Fish and Boat Commission staff are being reassigned from their normal work duties to assist with stocking trout.
The change in stocking procedures will not result in any reduction in the 3.2 million trout scheduled to be stocked statewide. The stocking will occur seven days a week until further notice.
The commission said this season, trout stockings will be announced upon their completion, rather than in advance on the commission's website: www.fishandboat.com.
Jack Danchak is the President of the Federation of Sportsmen's Clubs of Sullivan County.