I would like to know if you publish any results of your electrofishing surveys. If so, I would like copies of these results. I do most of my fishing for wild trout and I'm always looking for new streams to fish. The results of your surveys would be a big help in finding new wild trout streams. Also, do you have a report on water quality or maps of Class A streams? Thank you very much and keep up the great work!--Ronald S. Stahl, Pottstown.
Following each stream survey, a narrative or report is prepared summarizing the results of the survey. As you can imagine, this amounts to a large number of reports, even during one field season. Therefore, because of the large volume of reports, we cannot practically provide all of the copies to an individual. Some of the more recent reports are available electronically at the Commission's web site, www.fish.state.pa.us. However, for a more comprehensive review of the information available, it may be worthwhile for you to visit our office in Pleasant Gap. Our files are open to public review Monday through Friday, from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., and when you visit, staff can assist you with locating information from our files.
Although we do not have maps available pertaining to Class A streams, a good source for locating these waters is a commercially available gazetteer. This includes topographic maps of the entire state. Products like these can be found in a variety of shops, including some sporting goods stores.--R. Thomas Greene, Coldwater Unit Leader.
Regarding the drop in the number of fishing licenses sold, I believe the main reason is the size of trout that are stocked. I love trout fishing, yet I gave it up for 5 years because of the size of the trout. My proposal is to create a $5 trophy trout stamp for anyone at least 16 years old. Also, 12- to 15-year-olds should have to purchase a $4.00 license. With this added money, build a new trout hatchery where you raise nothing but trophy trout (which I define as 18 inches or longer). I suggest raising about 100,000 trophy trout a year to be released. I think the majority of fishermen would favor this proposal because just about all fishermen love big trout.--Douglas Borzak, Frackville.
Each year, the Fish and Boat Commission stocks some 5.3 million adult brook, brown, and rainbow trout in Commonwealth streams and lakes open to public fishing. Of this total, about 5.2 million are about 1.5 years in age and average 10.1 inches in length. Some 53,000 are about 2.5 years in age with a length of 12 inches to 15 inches, and 25,000 are "trophy" in the size range of 16 inches to 24 inches. In addition, during the preseason stocking period (March 1 to opening day), the Commission stocks some 10,000 golden rainbow trout in the 14-inch to 20-inch size range. We believe this mixture of species and sizes provides anglers with a wide variety of opportunities for angling in stocked trout waters.
In 1991, when the Commission obtained support from Pennsylvania anglers for a $5 trout and salmon stamp, and again when the resident adult license fee was increased in 1996, we also solicited responses for a proposal for a "junior" (ages 12 through 15) resident license. Some 60 percent of anglers did not support that proposal.
Thank you for your interest in our program.--Dennis C. Ricker, Chief, Division of Trout Production.
Here's a picture of me and a friend, Pete Dobrosky (right), with a 40.5-inch, 18-pound musky I caught. The fish was caught in August at the mouth of Buffalo Creek on the Allegheny River, "The Point," in Freeport, Pennsylvania. The fish, caught around 12 a.m., took us both by surprise. We were cleaning up after a night of catching walleyes, sauger, carp, and catfish. I noticed a small bite on my rod, but when I set the hook, it felt as if I'd missed the bite. As I began to take up slack line, my drag began to work overtime! After a long fight and several jumps, the fish came to net. The most shocking thing to both of us was the fact that the fish was taken on my homemade carp doughball bait. The doughball was the size of a marble with a size 10 treble hook.
I've been reading your magazine for three years. Thank you for sharing your knowledge and time with fellow anglers. Keep up the good work.--Kenneth Obringer, Freeport.
The Commission web site has to be one of the most organized, best structured sites that I have ever seen. It is just amazing how much I have learned so far. I'm only 18, but I've been fishing since I was in diapers and I recently got involved in boating. Knowing the rules and regulations of safe boating has helped me avoid more than one unfortunate situation. I love what the PFBC is doing for our great state. Thank you.--Jeremy S. Gehman, via e-mail.
Thanks for the feedback! The Commission's homepage is www.fish.state.pa.us.
Christmases of past years always evoke fond memories, especially those from my youth. As a youngster, the perfect gift for me was always fishing gear, and many of those rods and reels are still with me today. Last Christmas brought a few more fishing memories. On Christmas eve, my twin boys, Nate and Scott, received, from my father, beautiful fishing outfits. On Christmas morning, they received from me a subscription to Pennsylvania Angler and Boater. The day after Christmas, line was spooled on the reels, the outfits were rigged, and the boys were reminded that these were very nice gifts and if they take care of them, they would last a lifetime.
Two days after Christmas, in the cold and snow, we arrived at the mighty Lehigh River. We had two goals&SHY;to test the new outfits and make a fire with wet wood. Surprisingly, the fire lit and the outfits cast, without snags. After a few misses, Nate caught a 14-inch brown trout. A few minutes later, Scotty missed a fish. After 2 1/2 hours of battling the elements, we decided to leave. Upon walking over to reel in the line, Scotty's rod received a tremendous hit, and within a few minutes he landed a 21-inch, 3 1/2-pound brown trout. After countless pictures and long-winded tales of the epic battle, the fish is going to be mounted.
This whole tale makes me think how each generation of fishermen affects the next. Long after my father and I are gone, the fishing rods and reels may be worn out, the mounted fish may fade, but the memory will always be vivid. Hopefully, my sons will then pass on the joys of fishing to their sons and daughters.--Scott Gillespie, Coplay, PA.
The dollar-sized subscription card in this issue, placed between pages 8-9 and 56-57, can be used to start a subscription, renew a subscription, and give a gift subscription.--Ed.
I'm a 75-year-young widower who has been fishing the Delaware since I was able to walk. I wrote the reminiscence below because I had to; the words have been in my mind and my heart for so long, they just had to come out.
I wonder how many others have ties to a special place, ties that draw them back over and over through all their years.
I hope you enjoy this memory-picture I tried to paint:
My river, through all my years of knowing you in so many places, so many ways.
Far upstream and down, close to home and miles away,
I've always thought of you that way, My River.
Deep, slow-moving pools and shallow, fast-moving rapids,
Sweltering days when I knew the fish wouldn't bite, but I came to you anyway.
Bitter January days with ice floes choking you from bank to bank.
Spring green, blue skies, and white clouds mirrored on your surface,
Followed so quickly by autumn's brilliant colors.
I know the fish, more than a few, that I held and admired before releasing gently to your flow.
I know the birds that skim your surface or wade your shallows, the rare osprey that makes my heart soar.
A magic day at Smithfield Beach in the Poconos, that day at the Water Gap with Frank and Jim.
We climbed down steep banks to boulder-strewn white water.
A day of high expectations that ended with no fish, but with memories etched on my heart.
A time we launched the canoe at Tinicum, drifting for smallmouths, catching mostly strong river bluegills.
A shad day at Lumberville when I was "top rod," caught just four, but more than anyone else on the line of eight or 10 of us casting to your cold, rushing waters.
I still feel the savage pull of those strong wild fish on the end of my line.
A long-ago day when I sailed your deep waters on a warship, down to your bay and far beyond,
To many oceans, a young sailor who would not return to you for almost three years.
All the bridges cris-crossed, upstream and down,
Always with a quick glance just to know you were there, to greet an old treasured friend.
Long days wading at Washington Crossing, perhaps the most enduring memories of all,
Repeated over and over in my heart like a song.
Times there with Frank, too few times with Pat.
Days that brought big fish or small, many or none, good days all.
Mostly alone now, and less often as my years wind down.
Thoughts of my Betty waiting close by as I climb your steep banks to return to her.
A day we parked at Lumberville and walked the canal path to Point Pleasant, a narrow track that hugs your bank.
Lastly, off a small island I've known for so long, in high water and low.
Out on your wind-ruffled waters, off-and-on sunlight dappling your rapids in silver.
Immersed almost to my wader tops, your strong flow hard against my legs.
I look up to a patch of blue and say, can you hear me, darling?
Can you see me out here on this river I've always called mine?--Frank G. Schroyer, Philadelphia.
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