by Nick Hromiak
The Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission pulled a fast one on trout anglers. Instead of the consolidated Apr. 18 trout opener that was scheduled, a last-minute decision from the PFBC said trout season opened Tuesday, April 7.
“We realize this change is a disruption to tradition,” Tim Schaeffer, PFBC Executive Director, said in a news statement. He went on to say anglers still need to follow social distancing (six-feet apart and wear masks) and that trout that have been stocked have had time to spread out, so should anglers do the same and spread out.
The fall turkey hunting season gets underway this Saturday (Nov. 2) in some parts of the state, some of which have split seasons (consult the Hunting/Trapping Digest for dates). The exceptions are in Wildlife Management Units (WMUs) 5C and 5D and that’s due to low turkey population numbers.
In some areas, the dates were adjusted because of low numbers due to several cold, wet springs that limited turkey reproduction.
With temperatures forecasted to be in or close to 100 degrees this week, these dog days of summer make for tough fishing in local streams, rivers and lakes. If you crave big, good eating fish, head to the Jersey shore for some saltwater action.
According to our On the Water fishing reporter, more keeper fluke were reported in northern New Jersey as anglers make the most of the dwindling summer flounder season.
Our popular Little Lehigh Creek has a problem, according to the PA Fish & Boat Commission. And it’s called Mudsnails.
The PFBC says that after confirming the presence of the aquatic invasive species (Potamopyrgus antipodarium) in Little Lehigh Creek, the agency is reminding anglers and boaters that cleaning their gear is the easiest, most effective means of preventing its spread to other waters.
If you’re an avid saltwater fishing fan, you have to attend the only saltwater fishing show in the northeast. And until you can wet a line in the suds, the Saltwater Fishing Expo in New Jersey serves as a primer to the upcoming saltwater season.
This annual saltwater expo kicks off its three-day run on Friday, March 17. It features the latest in saltwater tackle, boats, watercraft gear and seminars that cover the gamut of saltwater angling. In fact, there are tackle items offered that can’t be found in most tackle shops or big box stores.
One can tell the trout fishing season is near when the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission makes the 2017 trout stocking schedule available. And it’s available online as well as on the PFBC’s Fish BoatPA free mobile app that’s available for smart phone users from the Apple App and Google Play stores.
To check the schedules, go to www.fishandboat.com and click on the link ‘Fish’ in the upper right corner, then select ‘Trout Stocking Schedules.’ Then choose the county of choice, enter start and end dates from the calendars then press ‘Go.’
With the regional trout season underway, and with portions of the Lehigh River getting stocked April 2 by the Lehigh River Stocking Association, there should be lots of leftover trout in area streams and lakes, especially since the rainy weather made for a light turnout on the opener. And with predicted cold weather, it will make the fish lethargic, as well as the angler. Best fishing then is in the afternoons when air and water temperatures rise.
The much-awaited 2015-16 deer harvest numbers are in and they show some interesting findings.
The entire harvest of 315,813 increased about four percent over the 2014-15 harvest of 303,973. Of that number, 137,580 were antlered deer. That reflected an increase of about 15 percent over the previous season’s harvest of 119,260. And that resulted in a whopping 59 percent of bucks that were 2 1/2 years old or older, which makes it the highest percentage of adult bucks in the harvest in decades, says the Pennsylvania Game Commission.