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PFBC issues reminders about opening of 2022 trout season, importance of staying safe while ice fishing and boating

Under a change approved during its last meeting last October, Pennsylvania returned to a single, statewide Opening Day of Trout Season on the 1st Saturday in April.
Credit: FOX43

HARRISBURG, Pa. — The Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission on Monday issued a reminder to anglers about changes to the start of the 2022 trout season and the importance of staying safe on ice and water.

The reminders came as the PFBC began its quarterly business meeting, which was held virtually on Monday with Commissioners and PFBC staff participating remotely.

“Although there is still plenty of winter left across Pennsylvania, we are already deep into preparations for the spring trout fishing season," said PFBC executive director Tim Schaeffer. "Few things rival the anticipation and excitement of opening day, and our team is hard at work to make sure it and every day are memorable ones on the water."

Under a change approved during its last meeting in October 2021, Pennsylvania returned to a single, statewide Opening Day of Trout Season that will occur annually on the first Saturday in April.

Opening Day this year is set for Saturday, April 2.

A single, statewide Mentored Youth Trout Day will take place on Saturday, March 26, the PFBC said.

To accommodate the earlier statewide trout season, anglers were also reminded that preseason trout stocking operations are set to begin the week of February 21, and that the PFBC will be welcoming volunteers to help distribute approximately 3.2 million hatchery-raised adult 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 PFBC website (www.fishandboat.com) beginning on February 1.

“This is an exciting time of year as we prepare for the incredible task of moving millions of trout out of our hatcheries into hundreds of waterways across the state,” said Schaeffer. “Stocking 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 be working hard again to stock trout in the safest and most efficient ways possible, while delivering the best product to our anglers in time for opening day. Between the stocked trout and our phenomenal wild trout waters, there really will be something for everyone this spring.”

Schaeffer also noted that many of Pennsylvania’s lakes are currently frozen over with ice, presenting ice fishing opportunities.

“Ice fishing can be a really fun way to enjoy the beauty of winter,” said Schaeffer. “Please, if you venture out onto the ice this winter, carefully check for adequate ice thickness, fish with others, carry safety equipment such as ice awls, and always wear a life jacket. Cold water kills, so please remember that life jackets are required on all canoes and kayaks and boats under 16 feet from November 1 until April 30.”

Schaeffer described improvements to the agency’s on-line license system and encouraged anglers to purchase their 2022 fishing licenses by visiting the FishBoatPA mobile app, www.fishandboat.com, or a local issuing agent. 

“With the improvements to the on-line license buying experience and the fact that you may now store your license on your phone, getting ready for the 2022 fishing season has never been easier," he said. "Thank you in advance for choosing to fish and boat in Pennsylvania in 2022. You will be glad you did!”

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