Outdoors notebook: Anglers complaining about size of trout in places
This year's crop of stocked trout is generating complaints in certain places.
Some anglers are reporting that the trout released by the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission — which are to average about 10 1⁄2 inches — are significantly smaller.
“I've been hearing a lot of complaints about small trout this year,” said Wayne Lykens of Island Firearms of Neville Island. “Guys are talking about seeing a lot of 8-inch trout, 9-inch trout. Now there have been some big ones caught, don't get me wrong. But there have been a lot of small ones, too.”
Scott Gates of S&S Bait and Tackle in Chalk Hill said he has heard similar reports. “They're happy to be catching lots of fish. Some people have told me about 20- and 50-fish days,” he said. “But they said a lot of the fish have been small, too.”
That's not been the case everywhere, though. “Guys fishing Pine Creek have said they've been getting a lot of those big brood fish they stock, so they're not complaining at all,” said Dwight Yingling of North Park Sports Shop.
Anyone who has stood in line to buy a license or a box of shells just prior to opening day of Pennsylvania's deer season knows the state has a lot of hunters willing to part with their money.
Just how much that impacts the economy, though, was recently quantified.
The National Shooting Sports Foundation report, “Hunting in America: An Economic Force for Conservation,” states hunting added more than $1.6 billion to the state's economy and supported 15,211 jobs in 2011.
Explosive arrowheads are no longer just the stuff of science fiction. A company called Rac-Em-Bac recently introduced the Bow Mag arrowhead, which holds a .38- or .357-caliber round that fires on impact. It fits over most conventional arrows and crossbow bolts.
Pennsylvania Game Commission spokesman Tom Fazi said the device would be illegal for use in any of this state's hunting seasons.
Birds and pesticides
For years, we've heard that loss of habitat is the main reason grassland birds — including ring-necked pheasants and bobwhite quail — has been in decline.
New research indicates there may be another factor in play. A study by a Canadian toxicologist suggests that acutely toxic pesticides are perhaps the “most likely leading cause of the widespread decline in grassland bird numbers in the United States.”
The study was done by scientist Pierre Mineau from 1980 to 2003.