If you don't believe your eyes, believe the numbers: Opening weekend of trout season is a big deal.
Statistics from the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission show that eight days of the year — the Thursday to Sunday surrounding the regional opening day of trout season in 18 southeastern Pennsylvania counties, and the Thursday to Sunday around the regular opening day across the rest of the state — account for almost one-fifth of the fishing licenses sold each year.
Bernie Matscavage, director of the agency's bureau of administration, said the agency sold, on average, 142,215 license during that span over the previous five years. That's 17 percent of the total sold annually, he said. This year, buoyed by wonderful weather for opening day in Western Pennsylvania, the commission sold 150,773.
“Pennsylvanians love their opening day,” Matscavage said.
But that has been questioned, said commissioner Bill Sabatose of Elk County. Through the years, the commission has debated the possibility of doing away with opening day and letting people fish for stocked trout year-round.
“That should be closed now,” Sabatose said. “We need an opening day.”
Matscavage said typically by April 30 of each year, when trout season is still in full swing, the commission will have sold a little more than 61 percent of the licenses it will in a year's time. License sales get a smaller bump around opening day of bass season in June, for example. But the weekend trout season opens is “far and away” the commission's main sales engine, Matscavage said.
Executive director John Arway said 57 percent of license sales occur after opening day, and 39 percent after May 1, he noted.
Bob Frye is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. Reach him at email@example.com or via Twitter @bobfryeoutdoors.
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com 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.