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Trout stocking is underway in southcentral Pa.

Written by Jim Hook/The Chambersburg Public Opinion | Mar 12, 2018 1:08 PM
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Robert Hedge gets help from his son, Tucker, 8, as they volunteer to stock trout at the western branch of the Conococheque Creek in Fort Loudon on Friday, March 9, 2018. Fishing season starts Saturday, March 31 in Franklin County. (Photo: Markell DeLoatch, Public Opinion)

(Harrisburg) -- The Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission this season plans to stock more than three million trout in streams and lakes across the state.

Trout season opens March 31 in Franklin and 17 other counties.

Next year the commission is planning to stock 240,000 fewer adult trout -- unless the legislature approves a hike in license fees.

The 2018 stocking numbers are comparable to previous years, according to commission Executive Director John Arway. The current plan is to save $2 million by closing a trout hatchery and two warm-water hatcheries.

The state Senate has passed the legislation enabling the commission to set its own licensing fees. The bill (Senate Bill 30) is in the House Game and Fisheries Committee.

The 2018 trout season will open March 31 in 18 southeastern counties -- Adams, Berks, Bucks, Chester, Cumberland, Dauphin, Delaware, Franklin, Juniata, Lancaster, Lebanon, Lehigh, Montgomery, Northampton, Perry, Philadelphia, Schuylkill and York. Mentored Youth Trout Day program in those counties will be on March 24.

The remainder of Pennsylvania counties are open to angling on April 14 with their Mentored Youth Day on April 7.

Check the stocking schedule here

More than 30,000 kids signed up for the 2017 mentored youth days. The program requires adult anglers (16 years or older) to have a valid fishing license and trout permit and be accompanied by a youth. Youth anglers must obtain a free PFBC-issued permit, or a $2.90 voluntary youth fishing license. Both are available at www.GoneFishingPA.com or at any of more than 900 licensing agents across the state.

For every voluntary youth license sold, the PFBC receives approximately $5 in federal revenue from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's Sport Fish Restoration Act program.

The PFBC annually stocks 720 streams and 126 lakes open to public angling. The average length of a stocked trout is 11 inches.

The commission also plans in 2018 to stock about 8,700 trophy golden rainbow trout at least 14 inches long and weighing an average of 1.5 pounds.

The commission will stock about two million rainbow trout, 640,000 brown trout and 500,000 brook trout. PFBC cooperative nurseries run by sportsmen's clubs will add another 1 million trout.

This article is part of a content-sharing partnership between Chambersburg Public Opinion and WITF. 

 

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