PENNSYLVANIA (WTAJ) – Anglers looking forward to Pennsylvania’s popular spring trout season have another tool at their fingertips as the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission (PFBC) is pleased to announce its 2023 adult trout stocking plan via the FishBoatPA mobile app and website available ( fishandboat.com).
The trout stocking plan is searchable by district, lists the waterways in alphabetical order, and provides stocking dates, volunteer meeting points, and the trout species to be stocked at each location.
You can view the full schedule of trout stocking days/locations here.
In 2023, Saturday, April 1 will be the statewide opening day of the Pennsylvania trout season. A single nationwide Mentored Youth Trout Day will be held on Saturday, March 25th.
In preparation for the start of the season, stocking operations are scheduled to begin the week of February 21st. Anglers should note that fishing in lakes and streams designated as stocked trout waters is not permitted from February 21 through the opening day of trout season, except for Mentored Youth Trout Fishing Day, unless the waters are stocked trout Waters Open to Year Round Fishing program included.
In 2023, the PFBC will stock approximately 3.2 million adult trout in 697 streams and 126 lakes open to public fishing. These numbers, which tally with the number of trout caught over the past ten years, include about 2.3 million rainbow trout; 707,000 brown trout; and 168,000 brown trout.
As in the past, the average size of trout produced for stocking is 11 inches long with an average weight of 0.58 pounds.
The PFBC will welcome volunteers to help distribute approximately 3.2 million hatchery-reared adult trout to hundreds of waterways across the state during the 2023 season. The PFBC is proud to work with conservation groups, schools and volunteers to help spread trout to local waters. Volunteers are asked to keep the safety of PFBC staff and other volunteers in mind and obey traffic rules while following vehicles.
Licenses and Permissions
In order to participate in trout fishing and hold trout, anglers 16 years and older must have both a fishing license and a trout license. Anglers and boaters can now prepare for opening day of trout season by purchasing their 2023 Pennsylvania fishing licenses, launch permits and boat registration renewals online at www.fishandboat.com, the FishBoatPA mobile app, or from one of approximately 700 retailers that issue licenses agents.
Buying licenses and permits online allows customers to save time and avoid long queues at stores when waiting to purchase a license just before the trout season begins. Anglers can digitally store an image of their license on their phone as proof of ownership.
Each year the PFBC adjusts its stocking program for adult trout based on various factors. A waterway may be added, expanded, restored, or removed depending on existing or upcoming changes in access for anglers, changes in designations of streams managed for wild trout populations, water quality issues that may threaten the survival of trout stocks, maintenance work on dams, and others Infrastructures that lead to lowering of reservoirs or reduced water flow.
Added or expanded bodies of water:
Kinzua Creek, McKean County
A fall stocking will be added to the 4.7-mile stretch of stream managed under Delayed Harvest Artificial Lures Only (DHALO) regulations, which extends from the Guffey Road bridge downstream to the border of the Allegheny National Forest nearby extends from Westline. In the past, this water was only stored in the pre-season and during the season.
Pine Creek, Tioga County
A fall stocking will be added to the 3.4-mile stretch of stream managed under DHALO regulations, extending from Marsh Creek downstream to Bear Run. In the past, this water was only stored in the pre-season and during the season.
South Branch Tunkhannock Creek, Lackawanna and Wyoming counties
A fall stocking will be added to the 1-mile stretch of the stream, managed under DHALO regulations, extending from the State Route 6 Bridge downstream through the Keystone College campus. In the past, this water was only stored in the pre-season and during the season.
Sheppard Meyers Reservoir, York County
This 46.9 acre seizure will be reintroduced to the trout stocking program with a pre-season stocking. Maintenance and repair work on the dam has been completed and the reservoir is scheduled to be fully filled again in early spring 2023. In the past, this water was only stored in the early season.
When survey data indicate that a waterway is no longer suitable for stocking adult trout due to loss of angling access, environmental factors, or designation as a Class A Wild Trout Stream, the PFBC will make every attempt to relocate the fish to a comparable location in the to relocate nearby.
Children’s Lake, Cumberland County
This 8.9 acre reservoir will be temporarily removed from the trout stocking program as the lake is currently being completely drained to allow for maintenance and repair work on the dam. Maintenance and repair work is due to be completed in 2023 and the lake will be reintroduced to the trout stocking program once post-replenishment conditions permit.
Neshannock Creek, Lawrence and Mercer counties
A reduction in access to the river has resulted in the removal of trout stock from a 3.6-mile stretch of the river stretching from the Interstate 80 (I-80) bridge downstream to the Cannery Road bridge. The remaining sections of the creek, from the headwaters downstream to the I-80 bridge and from the Cannery Road bridge downstream to the mouth, continue to be stocked during the pre-season and mid-season.
Seven Mountains Boy Scout Pond, Center County This 6 acre dam will be removed from the adult trout stocking program as the pond has been completely lowered to allow for maintenance and repairs to the dam and spillway. Maintenance and repair work is due to be completed in 2023 and the pond will be re-introduced to the trout stocking program once post-restock conditions permit.
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“While many anglers still have their rods and tackle boxes stowed away for the winter, the release of our trout stocking plan is always highly anticipated and a reminder that spring fishing opportunities are just around the corner,” Brian Wisner, director of the PFBC Bureau said of Hatcheries. “This schedule is the blueprint we will use as we build a world-class stocked trout fishery in all corners of the Commonwealth over the next few weeks. Anglers can consult the stocking plan to find out which local waters will be ready for great fishing very soon. So buy your fishing license and trout license, get your gear ready and start planning now for the trout fishing adventures that await.”