PFBC Unveils Keystone Select Stocked Trout Waters ERIE, Pa. (Sept.
29) Trout anglers who want an experience targeting bigger fish will have the opportunity to catch 14 -20 trout in eight Keystone Select Stocked Trout Waters, unveiled here today at the quarterly meeting of the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission (PFBC). Under the program, approximately 3,200 large trout will be distributed among the eight waters, one in each commissioner district. The trout will be stocked at a rate of up to 250 trout per mile, which is comparable to the numbers of fish of this size in Pennsylvania s best wild trout waters. The eight waters include:
- Chester County, Middle Branch White Clay Creek, Section 3 (1.67 miles)
- Dauphin County, Wiconisco Creek, Section 3 (0.74 miles)
- Lackawanna/Wyoming Counties, South Branch Tunkhannock Creek, Section 4 (0.99 miles)
- Lawrence County, Neshannock Creek, Section 3 (2.67 miles)
- Lycoming County, Loyalsock Creek, Section 5 (1.49 miles)
- Potter County, First Fork Sinnemahoning Creek, Section 4 (1.67 miles)
- Somerset County, Laurel Hill Creek, Section 3 (2.33 miles)
- Westmoreland County, Loyalhanna Creek, Section 3 (1.67 miles)
We wanted to add an element of excitement to trout fishing and at the same time remind anglers that the trout season can extend well into the summer, said PFBC Executive Director John Arway. These are the biggest stocked trout we raise, so anglers will definitely enjoy catching them.
And the waters are regulated under Delayed Harvest Artificial Lures Only (DHALO) regulations, which provides the opportunity to catch these fish multiple times. Under DHALO regulations, waters are open to fishing year-round. But anglers may harvest trout only between June 15 and Labor Day and the trout have to be a minimum of nine inches. From the day after Labor Day until June 15, these waters are managed on a catch-and-release-only basis and the creel limit is zero. Tackle is limited to artificial lures and flies. Arway added that similar programs have proven very popular on other waters, such as Pine Creek in Lycoming County.
These programs have successfully demonstrated that destination fisheries can be created, drawing anglers from across the state and even the country and providing an economic boost to local communities, he said. We re confident our program will have the same effect and we ll draw anglers to each of these eight destinations.
The waters in Dauphin and Chester counties will be stocked with the larger trout in advance of the regional opening day of trout season on April 2. The other waters will be stocked prior to the April 16 statewide opener for trout. Each of the eight waters will also receive an in-season stocking in late April. Both stockings will include a number of these larger fish. The PFBC website or FishBoatPA app should be consulted for the actual stocking dates.
PFBC staff presented the concept of the new program at the last quarterly meeting, and then ran an online promotion asking anglers to submit suggestions for the name.
More than 1,550 submissions were received with 144 different names recommended by the public. A committee reviewed the selections and the Keystone Select Stocked Trout Waters name was chosen, said Leroy Young, Director of the Bureau of Fisheries. This name ties the program uniquely to Pennsylvania and includes the new Stocked Trout Waters name, which replaces the previously named Approved Trout Waters beginning in 2016.
In other Commission action today, the Board:
- Approved the acquisition of an easement on 1,600 linear feet along Conneaut Creek as it flows across property owned by the Borough of Conneautville, Crawford County, for $25,000. The easement will be for public fishing, boating and riparian and fishery management. The PFBC will also acquire easements for parking and a footpath to provide access to the creek. The easement area is located north of Route 198. Conneaut Creek provides significant steelhead fishing opportunities in the area.
- Approved the sale of 53 acres of the PFBC s Hereford Manor property in Franklin Township, Beaver County. The property is not actively used by the PFBC. It sits southwest of State Route 288 and south of Lake Road and is separated by the roads from the remaining 396.5 acres that comprise Hereford Manor. Abarta Oil & Gas Company, Inc.
has agreed to purchase 16 acres for $200,000. The Zelienople Municipal Airport has agreed to purchase 37 acres for approximately $148,000. The PFBC will retain all oil, gas, coal, mineral and timber rights on the property.
- Approved an amendment to boating regulations which eliminates the restriction for personal watercraft (PWC) to tow no more than one skier. The total number of persons being towed, in addition to the operator, observer and any other passengers, may not exceed the maximum passenger capacity of the boat. The amendment goes into effect on Jan.
- In Beaver County, approved a regulatory amendment which limit boats on the lower section of Little Beaver Creek to slow, no wake speed from the PA/OH state line to the creek s mouth on the Ohio River. This section of the creek flows through the borough of Ohioville and is used mostly for fishing, paddling and accessing the Ohio River by the borough s access area. The amendment goes into effect on Jan.
- In Beaver County, approved a regulatory amendment which prohibits the use of boats powered by internal combustion engines on Bradys Run Lake in order to conform to county regulations. The 28-acre lake is owned and operated by the Beaver County Recreation and Tourism Department. The amendment goes into effect on Jan.
- In Bucks County, approved a regulatory amendment which limits boats on Neshaminy Creek to slow, no wake speed on the entire creek from its headwaters to its confluence with the Delaware River. The amendment goes into effect on Jan.
- In Cumberland County, approved a regulatory amendment which eliminates the waterskiing zone on the Conodoguinet Creek in the vicinity of the Power Company Dam at Cave Hill. This does not prohibit water skiing.
Boaters may still waterski as long as conditions allow for safe operations. The amendment goes into effect on Jan.
- In Delaware County, approved a regulatory amendment which limits boats on Darby Creek to slow, no wake speed on the entire creek from its headwaters to its confluence with the Delaware River. The amendment goes into effect on Jan.
- In Lehigh County, approved a regulatory amendment which allows water skiing on the Lehigh River at the Allentown Pool, between the Tilghman Street Bridge and the Hamilton Street Dam in Allentown. The amendment goes into effect on Jan.
- In Luzerne County, approved the publication of a notice of proposed rulemaking which would allow boats up to and including 20 feet in length to operate on Lily Lake. Currently, only boats 18 feet and shorter are permitted. If approved on final rulemaking, the amendment would go into effect when published in the PA Bulletin.
- Approved the publication of a notice of proposed rulemaking which would eliminate the requirement that inflatable boats must have at least two separate buoyancy chambers in order to be used on PFBC lakes. With the advent of high-quality, durable inflatable boats with less than two separate buoyancy chambers, such as inflatable standup paddleboards, the PFBC believes the current regulation is overly restrictive.
- Approved the designation of five lakes as catch and release lakes in order to restore the fisheries. Each of the lakes were lowered or drained in recent years to repair or rebuild dams. They include Colyer Lake, Potter Township, Centre County; Speedwell Forge Lake, Elizabeth Township, Lancaster County; Lake Jean, Ricketts Glen State Park, Luzerne and Sullivan counties; Lower Owl Creek, Tamaqua, Schuylkill County; and Lake Nessmuk, Wellsboro, Tioga County. The PFBC will monitor fish populations at the lakes while they develop and recommend appropriate regulations once the fisheries are rebuilt in order to continually provide high quality recreational angling opportunities.
- Approved the publication of a notice of proposed rulemaking to add the Hornyhead Chub to the state s Endangered Species list; to remove the Mountain Brook Lamprey from the Threatened Species list; and remove the Hornyhead Chub, Ohio Lamprey, Bowfin and Timber Rattlesnake from the Candidate Species list.
- Added 102 waters to the list of wild trout streams, revised the section limits of four waters, and removed one water. The list can be found on the PFBC website.1
- Added 40 stream sections to the list of Class A wild trout streams.
The list can be found on the PFBCwebsite.2
- Approved a pass-through grant of up to $130,000 to the Eastern Pennsylvania Coalition for Abandoned Mine Reclamation or other appropriate partner organization for the removal of the Solomon Creek Dam in Luzerne County. The PFBC received the funds from the state Department of Transportation as mitigation for a highway improvement project on State Route 3046, Section 301, known as the South Valley Parkway Project.
- Adopted the 2015 Pennsylvania Wildlife Action Plan. As required by Congress, State Wildlife Action Plans must be revised no less than every 10 years.
The plan and associated funding from State and Tribal Wildlife Grants have been crucial for protecting and recovering imperiled species and their habitats.