HARRISBURG – Anglers looking forward to Pennsylvania’s popular spring trout season have another tool at their fingertips, as the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission (PFBC) has made its 2024 adult trout stocking schedule available using the FishBoatPA mobile app and website (FishBoatPA.com).
“Even though the calendar says it’s still winter, spring will come before we know it,” said Brian Newinski, director of the PFBC’s hatchery office. “For many people, fishing on the opening day of the Pennsylvania trout season and the weeks following is a tradition they look forward to all year long. Now that the long-awaited trout stocking schedule has been published, anglers can start preparing by purchasing licenses Their fishing, preparing their gear, and planning their fishing trips.
The trout stocking schedule is searchable by county, lists waterways in alphabetical order, and indicates stocking dates, volunteer meeting locations, and the species of trout scheduled to be stocked at each location. In 2024, Pennsylvania’s statewide trout season opening day will be held on Saturday, April 6. One youth-oriented trout day will be held statewide on Saturday, March 30.
To prepare for the start of the season, stocking operations are scheduled to begin the week of February 19. Anglers should note that fishing is not permitted in lakes and streams designated as trout stocked waters from February 19 to 8 a.m. on opening day. Trout fishing season, excluding a youth supervised trout fishing day, unless the water is included in a year-round open stock water trout fishing program.
3.2 million trout
In 2024, the PFBC will stock approximately 3.2 million adult trout in 697 rivers and 129 lakes open to public fishing. These numbers, which correspond to the number of trout stocked over the past decade, include approximately 2.4 million rainbow trout; 702,000 brown trout; and 132,000 trout. As in previous practice, the average size of trout produced for stocking is 11 inches in length and an average weight of 0.58 pounds.
In 2024, anglers will have an excellent opportunity to catch large trout. This year, PFBC will stock approximately 70,000 broodstock, 2 1/2- and 3 1/2-year-olds, hatchery-raised rainbow trout, brown trout, and brook trout 14-20 inches long. Approximately 70% of these large fish will be stocked in streams and lakes during the pre-season period prior to the opening day of the trout season, and 30% will be stocked during in-season replenishment stocking.
In 2024, the PFBC will stock approximately 14,000 golden rainbow trout. In addition to being stocked during the pre-season prior to Opening Day, these highly prized fish featuring a vibrant golden orange hue and weighing an average of 1.5 pounds will be stocked during the replenishment stockings of the season. Approximately 75% of the golden rainbow trout will be stocked during the pre-season, and approximately 25% during the season.
In addition to the trout raised at state fish hatcheries, PFBC cooperative nurseries operated by sportsmen’s clubs and other groups across the state will add another million salmon to waters open to public fishing year-round.
Once again included in this year’s stocking listings is the Keystone Select Stocked Trout Waters Program, where sections of 24 streams across the state are stocked with large trout measuring 14-20 inches and are managed under late-harvest artificial baits only or various special regulations. . Under this program, approximately 10,000 large trout will be distributed among the streams. Trout will be stocked at a rate of 175 to 225 fish per mile of river, which is comparable to the numbers of similarly sized fish in Pennsylvania’s best wild trout waters.
PFBC will welcome volunteers to help distribute approximately 3.2 million adult hatchery-raised trout to hundreds of waterways statewide throughout the 2024 season. PFBC is proud to partner with conservation groups, schools and volunteers to help spread trout to local waterways. Volunteers are asked to consider the safety of PFBC staff and other volunteers and adhere to traffic laws while pursuing storage vehicles.
Licenses and permits
To participate in fishing and keeping trout, anglers 16 years of age or older must obtain a fishing license and a trout permit. Anglers and boaters can start preparing for opening day of trout season now by purchasing their 2024 Pennsylvania fishing licenses, launch permits, and boat registration renewals on the PFBC website, the FishBoatPA mobile app, or by visiting an agent Issuing approximately 700 retail licenses. By purchasing licenses and permits online, customers can save time and avoid lines at stores when waiting to purchase a license as the start of the trout season approaches. Hunters may digitally store a photo of their license on their phone as proof of possession.
PFBC is a user-funded agency that receives no Pennsylvania General Fund tax revenue. Funding generated through the sale of fishing licenses supports hatchery operations, fisheries management, law enforcement, and infrastructure improvements to provide adequate, high-quality public access to fishing and boating opportunities.