Commission Update Daily Trout Limit
Set at Five Beginning in 2000

Pennsylvania's regular season daily creel limit for trout will be set at five beginning in the year 2000. The Fish and Boat Commission adopted the new limit at its summer quarterly meeting July 18.

The five fish creel limit replaces the current daily limit of eight, which has been in place on Pennsylvania waters since 1952. The regulation change applies to inland waters and only during the regular season--the first Saturday after April 11 through midnight Labor Day. The daily limit will remain at three during the extended season, which runs from midnight Labor Day through the end of February on most stocked trout waters. The limit change also does not apply to waters managed under special regulations, the Conowingo Reservoir, the Delaware River or Lake Erie and its tributaries.

2000 Seasons, Sizes and Creel Limits poster

 Creel Limits

The Commission sought extensive public comment on the reduction, which included public hearings, letters, e-mail and a scientifically valid marketing survey. There was strong public support for the new creel limit, with some 60 percent advocating a reduction. That public support was the crucial factor for Commissioners in considering the proposal because the measure is based on social and policy perceptions instead of a distinct fisheries management need. The new limit will not result in dramatic effects on either stocked or wild trout populations. Nor will a reduction guarantee that the catch rate will be spread among more anglers; on-the-stream creel surveys in Pennsylvania have shown that 90 percent of anglers already creel five or fewer trout.

However, adoption of the new regulation does reflect the modern emphasis on fishing primarily for recreational purposes, instead of fishing solely for consumption. The action also brings trout limits more in line with those established for other popular game fish such as bass (six fish daily limit) and walleyes (six fish daily limit.)

In other action, the Commission:

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September/October 1999 Table of Contents

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