Fall trout stocked in Western Pa. waterways
Steady rain didn’t dampen the anticipation of the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission and local anglers for the fall stocking of rainbow trout Tuesday at Deer Lakes Park and other waterways.
The water temperature at Deer Lakes was 58 degrees, which is perfect for stocking trout, a coldwater fish, said Mike Walsh, a waterways conservation officer for the commission.
“This time of year is a great time to fish for trout and other fish because they are feeding heavily before the winter,” Walsh said.
Fall trout have been around all summer, growing larger in the commission’s Pleasant Gap hatchery in Bellefonte.
A commission-raised trout averages about 11 inches. Walsh said the fish stocked Tuesday were noticeably larger. For 2019, the commission will stock an estimated 4.4 million brook, brown and rainbow trout in 834 streams and lakes.
The Fish and Boat Commission stocked rainbow trout at the three lakes in Deer Lakes; the delayed harvest areas in Pine Creek in Hampton and Deer Creek in West Deer; Northmoreland Lake in Allegheny Township; Keystone Lake in Derry Township; Mammoth Lake in Mt. Pleasant Township; and Loyalhanna Creek in Westmoreland County. Another trout stocking is planned for Twin Lakes in Hempfield Township on Wednesday and North Park Lake on Dec. 13.
“Fall fishing is great,” said Mike DeFazio, 65, of Springdale, who recently retired and volunteered to help with stocking in Deer Lakes.
“For one thing, it’s not crowded because people don’t want to be out in weather like this,” DeFazio said, referring to Tuesday’s rain while clad in a waterproof jacket.
He also thinks the fish bite better in the fall.
Another angler, Alan Kolan, 59, of West Deer, waited for the commission to blow the fish from the truck into Deer Lakes Park’s upper, middle and lower lakes.
“This is nice,” he said as the commission’s fish truck began “tubing” the fish into the lower lake.
“I’ll fish here for the rest of the week, then after that, it’s steelhead in Erie,” said Kolan who has been fishing in the park for 30 years.
Anglers from the Tri-County Trout Club, the Allison Park Sportsmen’s Club and others assisted with the stocking.
The commission needs more volunteers because the existing ones are getting older and are not being replaced by younger anglers, Walsh said.
To learn more about the fall trout stocking and to volunteer, visit the commission’s website: www.fishandboat.com.
Mary Ann Thomas is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Mary at 724-226-4691, [email protected] or via Twitter .