Trout fishing in the eastern portion of the Keystone State will open at 8 a.m., Saturday, March 31, and includes the counties of Schuylkill, Northampton, Lehigh, Berks, Lancaster, Chester, Philadelphia, Delaware, Montgomery and Bucks. The western half of the state will have to wait until April 14.
According to the Pennsylvania Fish & Boat Commission, here are some things you should know if you're planning on breaking out the rod and reel this weekend:
Minimum Size: Seven (7) inches
Fishing Hours: 24 hours a day, after the 8 a.m. opener
Regular season (opening day thru Labor Day) — 5 (combined species)
Extended season (Jan. 1-Feb. 29) & (day after Labor Day-Dec. 31) — 3 (combined species)
Creel limits apply to the majority of trout fishing waters (inland waters). Other rules apply for Special Regulation Areas. Anglers should consult the Summary of PA Fishing Laws and Regulations, distributed free with their licenses, for more details.
- In addition to a fishing license, trout anglers 16 and older must posses aTrout/Salmon Stamp (or Combination Trout-Salmon Stamp/Lake Erie Permit) to fish for trout.
- A Lake Erie Permit (or Combination Trout-Salmon Stamp/Lake Erie Permit) is also needed to fish for trout, salmon and steelhead in Lake Erie and its tributaries.
- Licenses, stamps and permits must be signed in ink and displayed on an outer garment. Anglers must also be able to provide positive proof of identification (other than the fishing license) upon request of a Waterways Conservation Officer.
- License Fees: 2012 licenses, stamps and permits are valid December 1, 2011 through December 31, 2012 (except 1, 3 and 7-day licenses) and are available Dec. 1, 2011 at issuing agents statewide and online through the The Outdoor Shop. See the full list of fees here.
If you're a novice fisherman, or just looking for some like-minded souls to talk lures and secret spots with, get in touch with the Stony Creek Anglers. They have a regular meeting on the second Monday of each month at 7:30 p.m. at Norristown's , 920 Haws Ave.