|Harrisburg, PA – As the 2010 trout season opens next month, Pennsylvanians are reminded that fishing is a fantastic way to enjoy the state’s great outdoors and get some exercise with friends and family. It is also important to remember that fresh trout and other fish can be an important part of a healthy, balanced diet.
“Fish are high in protein and are a valuable source of vitamins, minerals and beneficial oils that are low in saturated fat,” notes John Arway, Executive Director of the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission (PFBC). “Trout are especially high in vitamin B-12 and omega-3 fatty acids, which improve cardiovascular health and brain development in children.”
To help Pennsylvanians make educated choices about which fish from the state’s many waters to eat and how often, the Commonwealth conducts regular sampling and testing of wild fish, as well as hatchery trout released to Pennsylvania streams. Because exposure to high levels of various chemicals can increase certain health risks, this testing enables the Commonwealth to make both general and specific recommendations. In 2010, tests have shown no need for additional special guidelines for eating PFBC-raised trout.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration, American Heart Association and other nutrition experts recommend eating up to 12 ounces, or 2-3 servings, of fish per week; except for certain large ocean fish (Shark, Swordfish, King Mackerel, or Tilefish). As general guidance, the departments of Health, Environmental Protection, and Agriculture, along with the PFBC, suggest that pregnant and breast-feeding women, women of childbearing age and children can make sport-caught fish the source for one of their weekly meals of fish.
All sport-caught fish in Pennsylvania are subject to a one-meal-per-week consumption advisory. In some instances, testing of wild fish in specific areas suggests they should be eaten less often, or in rare cases, not at all. Anglers can find these more detailed recommendations in the Pennsylvania Fishing Summary book (http://fishandboat.com/bookfish.htm) issued when a PA fishing license is purchased. The complete and updated recommendations can also be found on the DEP web site (www.depweb.state.pa.us), with additional information available on the PFBC website at http://fishandboat.com/qpcb2001.htm.
The 2010 Pennsylvania trout season starts at 8 a.m. on April 3 for 18 counties in southeastern and parts of southcentral Pennsylvania, and on April 17 for the entire state. Anglers can easily purchase fishing licenses online through the PFBC website and conveniently print them at home. Gift licenses can also be purchased. For more details, including information on the location of great trout fishing waters all over the state, select the link http://fishandboat.com/fact_fast_trout.htm.
The 18 counties where the season will open on April 3 are: Adams, Berks, Bucks, Chester, Cumberland, Dauphin, Delaware, Franklin, Juniata, Lancaster, Lebanon, Lehigh, Montgomery, Northampton, Perry, Philadelphia, Schuylkill, and York.
Also, the PFBC has scheduled the annual Fish for Free Days on Saturday, May 22, and Sunday, June 6. No fishing license is needed to fish on either of these days. It’s a great way to introduce someone to the world of fishing. Remember that all other regulations apply.
The mission of the Fish and Boat Commission is to protect, conserve, and enhance the Commonwealth’s aquatic resources and provide fishing and boating opportunities. For more information about fishing and boating in Pennsylvania, please visit our website at www.fishandboat.com.
Tom Rathbun, Dept. of Environmental Protection
Eric Levis, Fish and Boat Commission
Stacy Kriedeman, Dept. of Health
Justin Fleming, Dept. of Agriculture