An angler's guide to trout stocking in local waters
The Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission isn't the only outfit stocking trout this spring.
A number of area clubs are once again putting fish in local waters for the benefit of anglers.
Smithton Sportsmen's Club will stock rainbow, brown and palomino trout in a one-mile section of river between Jacobs Creek and Smithton each remaining Saturday in March and April, said club president Tom Morrissey. About $13,500 worth of fish -- or 4,000 trout -- will be released.
Stockings will take place at 9:30 a.m. starting at the ballfield in Smithton.
In past years, the average trout stocked by the club was 9 inches to 11 inches long. This year, they'll be bigger, with a couple of 18- to 24-inch trout in each load, Morrissey said.
"Guys told us they'd rather catch fewer but bigger trout, so that's what we're going to provide," he said.
To support the stocking effort, anglers can buy membership buttons for $10. They're available at Gander Mountain in Greensburg and at each stocking.
Updates on stockings, including details on if any need to be canceled, will be posted at www.smithtonsportsmen.com .
West Newton Sportsmen
West Newton Sportsmen's Club will stock between $15,000 and $18,000 worth of rainbow, brown, brook, tiger and palomino trout in the Yough River.
Stockings are set for 1 p.m. on a series of Saturdays: March 20 and 27, April 3 and 10, and May 1. Fish will also be stocked at 6 p.m. on two Fridays, April 16 and 23.
As always, all of the fish will be at least 12 inches long, and some will be much bigger, said club spokesman Stan Sanner. Roughly 300 fish will be tagged for prizes. Tags need to be turned in at Youghiogheny Canoe Outfitters and Bait Shop in West Newton.
Anglers can support the stocking programs by buying $10 buttons available at Williams Ace Hardware, West Newton Sportsmen's Club, Youghiogheny Canoe Outfitters, Palfey's Bar, the Gander Mountain stores in West Mifflin and Greensburg, Trailside Cafe, Don Lux Barbershop, Yowanske Bait, Leterrio's Beer Distributing, Messner Bait, Stan's Barber Shop, The Picnic Place and the German Club and Slovenia Club in Collinsburg.
Perry Township Sportsmen
Perry Township Sportsmen's Association is planning to stock trout in the Yough River four times, on the last Saturday in March and the first three Saturdays in April.
The stocking truck will arrive between 9 a.m. and 11 a.m. each time and release fish at five or six spots in Whitsett, said club spokeswoman Kathy Strothers. Some of the fish may be tagged, though that's yet to be finalized, she added.
Anglers can support the stocking effort by buying $10 membership buttons. They're available at each stocking, at Mayor Ed's Pub in Perryopolis or by calling Ron at 724-736-4054.
Twin Lakes Fishing Association
Twin Lakes Fishing Association is again stocking trout in Upper and Lower Twin lakes.
Fish were released into both waters March 4. Three additional stockings are planned, two in April and one in October.
In all, the club will stock about $6,000 worth of fish.
Last year, 180 fish were tagged for prizes. The plan is to tag more fish again this year, said spokesman Don Ringling.
The club plans to host a fishing derby offering trophies and prizes in May, too.
To support those efforts, $10 membership buttons are available at the boathouse at Lower Twin Lake.
April will mark the ninth in a row that trout are stocked in the Kiski River by members of the Kiskiminetas Watershed Association.
William Berry of Leechburg, who originated the program, said some of the stocked fish will be tagged for prizes. Tags can be turned in at Rivers Edge Canoe and Kayak.
The trout released are generally of all varieties, with some lunkers mixed in.
Buttons to support the effort cost $5 and can be had at Rivers Edge Canoe and Kayak, Goodman's Bait and Tackle and Allegheny Bait and Tackle. Donations, payable to the Kiskiminetas Watershed Association Trout Fund, can also be sent to William Berry, 73 Tunnel Hill Road Leechburg, PA 15656.