BY DOYLE DIETZ
More than the last verse of “Here, There and Everywhere” by John Lennon and Paul McCartney, those lines describe how trout anglers in every corner of Pennsylvania can approach where they choose to fish on the opening day of trout season, with the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission returning to a single statewide opener Saturday, April 3.
While many living in the Southeast Region will undoubtedly continue to target their home waters opening day before heading “upstate” in a week or two, there will be some who head to the Northern Tier. Others will choose to split the difference and Friday head to the campgrounds along Fishing Creek in Columbia County to fish the Eyer’s Grove Access Area.
Last year a sign was installed marking the area as the final step for a grant awarded by the Pennsylvania Wildlife Federation in 2014. PWF provided a $16,000 grant for the purchase of a conservation easement on 13.26 acres now known as the Eyer’s Grove Access Area, which is managed by the Fishing Creek Sportsmen’s Association.
As part of the agreement, the Fishing Creek Sportsmen’s Association must allow public access for hunting, fishing and passive outdoors recreation. It is dedicated to promoting outdoors recreation, raising approximately 25,000 trout annually that are used to stock local waters for all to catch; maintaining an all-access fishing pond; and hosting a shotgun and rifle range for members to use.
“The Pennsylvania Wildlife Federation was able to provide a grant of $16,000 back in 2014 for the purchase of a conservation easement on this land,” Pennsylvania Federation of Sportsmen and Conservationists and PWF executive director Harold Daub said. “As part of the agreement, Fishing Creek Sportsmen’s Association has and will provide open access for hunting, fishing and overall recreation, and it is through partnerships like this that our outdoors heritage continues in Pennsylvania.”
Often, the best places to fish are waters closest to home, but in addition to nearby waters being stocked with trout, anglers can check out the list of Pennsylvania’s Best Fishing Waters on the PFBC website and FishBoatPA mobile app. This list is based on biologist surveys of fish populations on waters across the state and can lead to prime fishing spots — including 32 Pennsylvania State Parks — for trout and many other popular fish species.
Approved trout waters
These area Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission “Approved Trout Waters” will be open for Mentored Youth Trout Day, Saturday, March 27, beginning at 8 a.m., and opening of the statewide trout season, Saturday, April 3, beginning at 8 a.m.
Berks County: Allegheny Creek, Antietam Creek, Antietam Reservoir, Furnace Creek (Robesonia), Hay Creek, Kaercher Creek Dam, Kistler Creek, Little Lehigh Creek, Little Swatara Creek, Maiden Creek (confluence with Kistler Creek in Kempton downstream to dam in Lenhartsville), Manatawny Creek, Mill Creek (tributary to Sacony Creek), Mill Creek (tributary to Schuylkill River), Mill Creek (tributary to Tulpehocken Creek), Northkill Creek, Ontelaunee Creek (Spring House Road Bridge, Route 4024 downstream to mouth), Perkiomen Creek, Pine Creek (tributary to Maiden Creek), Sacony Creek (Bowers Road downstream to Route 222 Kutztown by-pass), Scotts Run Lake, Spring Creek, Swamp Creek (Chestnut Hill Road, Route 2001 downstream to mouth in Morgantown), Tulpehocken Creek, Willow Creek, Wyomissing Creek (headwaters downstream to Route 222)
Carbon County: Lizard Creek, Mahoning Creek
Dauphin County: Armstrong Creek, Clark Creek, Mahantango Creek, Manada Creek, Middletown Reservoir, Pine Creek, Powell Creek, Rattling Creek, South Fork Powell Creek, Stony Creek, West Branch Rattling Creek, Wiconisco Creek
Lehigh County: Cedar Creek (Lake Muhlenberg outflow downstream to mouth), Coplay Creek, Jordan Creek, Kistler Creek, Laurel Run (South Branch Saucon Creek), Lehigh Canal (from first lock upstream of Monocacy Creek downstream to Monocacy Creek Crossing), Little Lehigh Creek, Monocacy Creek, Ontelaunee Creek, Swabia Creek, Switzer Creek, Trout Creek (Big Trout Creek, Slatington)
Schuylkill County: Bear Creek, Deep Creek, Little Catawissa Creek, Little Mahanoy Creek, Little Schuylkill River (From confluence with Locust Creek downstream to confluence with Panther Creek, preseason and in-season; and from mouth upstream 1.1 miles to Port Clinton, in-season only), Lizard Creek, Locust Creek, Locust Lake, Lower Little Swatara Creek, Mahantango Creek, Mahoning Creek, Pine Creek (tributary to Little Schuylkill River), Pine Creek (tributary to Mahantango Creek), Pine Creek (tributary to Schuylkill River), Rabbit Run Reservoir (off East Valley Road southwest of Tamaqua), Sweet Arrow Lake, Tuscarora Lake, Upper Little Swatara Creek, Whipoorwill Dam
Snyder County: West Branch Mahantango Creek
Northumberland County: Mahantango Creek
Mark your calendar
Mentored Youth Trout Day
- When: Saturday, March 27, 8 a.m.
- Minimum size: Seven inches
- Creel limits: Two combined species
- Eligibility: Anglers must have a free fishing permit or a voluntary youth fishing license and be accompanied by a licensed angler 16 or older.
Statewide Opening Day
- When: Saturday, April 3, 8 a.m.
- Fishing hours: After the 8 a.m. opener, 24 hours a day statewide through Labor Day
- Minimum size: Seven inches
- Creel limits: Regular season — five, combined species, opening day through Labor Day. Extended season — three, combined species, day after Labor Day through Dec. 31. Other rules apply for Special Regulation Areas listed in “Summary of Pennsylvania Fishing Laws and Regulation,” distributed with fishing licenses.
- Eligibility: Trout anglers ages 16 and older must have a fishing license and Trout/Salmon Stamp or Combination Trout/Salmon Stamp-Lake Erie Permit, which is needed to fish for trout, salmon and steelhead in Lake Erie and its tributaries. Licenses, stamps and permits must be signed in ink. Anglers have the option to display them on an outer garment and must be able to provide another form of identification upon request of a Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission waterways conservation officer.