Experimental mentored youth trout program coming
The Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission is going to experiment with a mentored youth trout program next spring, though not in this area.
The pilot program will be rolled out in the 18 southeastern counties where the first day of trout season opens March 30.
Children younger than 16 who register with the commission will be able to fish select waters March 23 with an adult. The adult must have a fishing license. Both the youth and adult will be permitted to fish, but the limit will be two trout apiece.
The hope is that the program gets families involved in fishing. That's important because research shows that children and adults are more likely to stay involved in the sport — and buy licenses long-term — if they enjoy the activity together, said Laurel Anders, director of the commission's bureau of boating.
“Not only do we need to recruit youths into the sport of fishing, we need to retain those adult anglers as well,” Anders said.
The waters open to fishing on the youth day have not yet been determined. The question of whether adults and children must be matched up one-to-one has yet to be answered, as well. Those details, and information on how youngsters can register, are to be ready by January.
What is known is waters in the program will get extra trout so they're still ready for the general opening day.
“Some fishermen might complain that this is taking their fish. But there will be plenty of fish for everyone,” said commissioner Ed Mascharka of Erie County.
If the program works well in the southeast, it could expand statewide later, Anders said.
Pennsylvania's bureau of forestry is opening more than 400 miles of roads for the sake of hunters this fall.
The roads, typically open for use only by agency staff, are spread across 18 of the state's 20 forest districts. The goal of opening the roads is to give hunters access “while promoting hunting where it is needed to benefit forest regeneration and the overall ecosystem,” said state forester Dan Devlin.
All told, more than 3,000 miles of state forest roads will be open to hunters. Some will be open until January, others seasonally. A complete list of open roads is available at www.dcnr.state.pa.us.
Iowa is the latest state to have discovered chronic wasting disease within its borders. Seven deer, all on deer farms, were found with CWD this year. Five were found on one deer farm.
Bob Frye is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 724-838-5148.