|Harrisburg, PA – Anglers from 18 southeastern counties are gearing up for the March 31 opening of trout, which marks the unofficial start of the 2012 fishing season.
John Arway, executive director of the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission (PFBC), says opening day is a special time that families and kids look forward to every year.
“Opening day is a time-honored tradition for so many families, including grandparents, parents and their children,” Arway said. “I remember lying awake the night before and then getting up early and fishing with my family on opening day. It’s a lot of fun that I now share with my grandkids.”
With this spring’s record warm weather and a significant jump in license sales, the PFBC expects opening to be very busy. License sales are about 22 percent higher than last year at this time.
“Last year we had a cold and wet start to the fishing season,” Arway said. “This year we’ve had so much warm weather that anglers everywhere are excited to get out and start the season. And we’re seeing that excitement represented in our sales. People want to be out fishing.”
The 18 counties open March 31 include: Adams, Berks, Bucks, Chester, Cumberland, Dauphin, Delaware, Franklin, Juniata, Lancaster, Lebanon, Lehigh, Montgomery, Northampton, Perry, Philadelphia, Schuylkill, and York.
April 14 is the traditional opening day for the rest of the state.
In a special promotion this season, the PFBC has teamed up with Pittsburgh Pirates baseball. During the baseball season, 2012 fishing license holders are eligible to purchase discounted outfield box tickets and receive a free custom, limited-edition Pirates ball cap with each PNC Park game ticket. The offer is good on any day of baseball, with the exception of opening day and Saturday games.
The promotional offer is good for advance ticket purchases only. Visit the Pirates web site at www.pirates.com for a seating chart. Fans can complete an order form on the PFBC website and mail it to the Pirates office or fax it to 412.325.4410. Phone orders cannot be accepted. The online form (with more details) can be found at: http://fishandboat.com/promo/2012events/pirates-mag-form.pdf.
While opening day is one of the biggest fishing days of the year, it’s also one of the biggest social events. Research shows that when it comes to fishing, anglers like being together with friends just as much as they like catching fish.
“It’s great if you catch trout,” Arway added. “But the day is really about getting out of the house, enjoying the outdoors and spending quality time with family and friends. If you haven’t done so yet, purchase your license and join us on March 31 to kick off a new fishing season.”
The PFBC’s "great white fleet" of stocking trucks has been busy since mid-February replenishing Pennsylvania's waterways with a fresh supply of brook, brown and rainbow trout. Every year the PFBC stocks about 3.2 million trout in waterways across the state.
More than 850,000 anglers buy a fishing license each year. A resident fishing license costs $22.90 and a trout-salmon permit is $9.90. A license is required for anyone 16 and older. Licenses can be purchased at sporting goods stores and online at www.fishandboat.com.
To see if your favorite trout stream is being stocked this year, visit the PFBC stocking schedule page. Also, a media resources page contains web banners, high resolution photos and radio public service announcements for graphic artists and reporters to use.