ShareThis Page

Big trout key to Yough River stocking effort

| Tuesday, March 4, 2014, 10:30 p.m.

Give the people what they want, that's the thinking behind the trout stocking program run by Smithton Sportsmen and Conservation Association.

The 300-member club has put trout in the Yough River for almost five decades.

For much of that time, the emphasis was on stocking as many fish as possible.

Then, things changed.

A few years ago, the club opted for planting fewer but bigger fish, trout averaging 14 to 15 inches long.

That has proven popular.

“We're sacrificing quantity for quality. It's probably been five or six years now that we've been doing that, but the reports we get back from everyone is that they just like that better,” said club president Tom Morrisey of White Oak.

“I know I like the fight of a bigger fish, and I think I speak for a lot of other people, too.”

Each stocking also will include five or so trophy trout in the 15- to 18-inch range and occasionally one as big as 22 inches or so, he added.

The club's goal is to put $12,500 worth of fish in the river this year, starting Saturday. They will be browns and rainbows with a few golden rainbows, or “palominos,” mixed in.

The club plans to stock the river six times. All will occur before the April 12 opening day of trout season in Western Pennsylvania, with the last set for April 9.

That's a change meant to take advantage of when the club's volunteers are available and promote fishing before opening day, Morrisey said.

“I think it's a win-win,” he said. “We want to get them in, and then, if guys want to fish that area, they'll have a better shot at getting some of the fish.”

Sales of buttons — they're $10 — make the stocking program possible.

Buttons can be purchased at Gander Mountain in Greensburg or from club members on the days fish are being released.

“We're always looking for more members,” Morrisey said. “All of the money goes back into the fish, so it's a real deal.”

Bob Frye is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. Reach him at or via Twitter @bobfryeoutdoors.

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.