Photo courtesy Warren County Conservation District.

Fall, Winter Trout Stocking Underway in Pennsylvania

October 6, 2023

HARRISBURG, Pa. – With the fall season arriving across Pennsylvania, some fantastic stocked trout fishing opportunities are underway on dozens of waterways.

Beginning this week and continuing through mid-December, the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission (PFBC) will stock approximately 117,500 hatchery raised adult Rainbow, Brown, and Brook Trout in 119 stream sections and lakes. These stockings will immediately replenish some of the most popular fishing spots across the Commonwealth and provide ice fishing opportunities as conditions allow throughout the winter.

“Anglers who spend time on the water during the fall season, especially, are surrounded by some of the most beautiful scenery and comfortable temperatures of the year,” said Robert Brown, PFBC Deputy Director of Field Operations.

“The enjoyment of fishing on a stream or lake in fall and winter can be even more enjoyable when you plan your adventure around stocked trout fishing opportunities. The chance to catch stocked trout complements the world-class wild trout fisheries that also come alive around the same time the leaves start changing colors.”

In October alone, the PFBC will stock approximately 87,900 trout into 93 waters, including 53 lakes and 40 stream sections, including 16 Keystone Select Trout Waters, which are managed under Delayed Harvest Artificial Lures Only regulations. An additional 26 lakes will be stocked with approximately 29,600 trout during November and December.

Anglers and stocking volunteers should note that stocking schedules are subject to change due to a variety of factors, including water temperature fluctuations and hatchery logistics.  Check the schedule often for postponements and rescheduled stockings.

Extended Trout Season Regulations

Trout that are stocked during fall and winter can be fished for immediately. Anglers ages 16 and older must have a valid Pennsylvania fishing license and trout permit. During the extended trout season (September 5 – December 31, 2023, and January 1 – February 19, 2024), the daily creel limit is three trout of combined species with a minimum size of seven inches, unless a water is managed under special regulations.

It should also be noted that extended trout season regulations apply only to designated Stocked Trout Waters, and harvest of trout in other waters during the extended trout season is prohibited.

Fishing licenses and permits can be purchased online at Fishandboat.com or by visiting one of nearly 700 retail license issuing agents.  Extended trout season regulations apply only to designated Stocked Trout Waters.

Fishing from a boat in fall can be a great way to experience the changing fall foliage as it reflects off the water around you, however, boaters should keep in mind that as cooler air moves in, water temperatures can drop rapidly, presenting added dangers.  All boaters are reminded to wear a life jacket.

During the cold weather months from November 1 through April 30, anyone on a boat less than 16 feet in length, including all canoes, kayaks, and paddleboards, is required to wear a life jacket.  Children ages 12 and under must always wear a life jacket while paddling.

A Launch permit or registration is required for operators of unpowered boats, including kayaks and canoes, who wish to use hundreds of PFBC boat access areas and DCNR boat ramps inside state parks.  Launch permits and boat registration renewals are available for purchase on the PFBC website.

      

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