|HARRISBURG, Pa. (April 1) – Two outdoor recreation businesses like the idea of a voluntary youth fishing license enough that they are offering free licenses to kids ages 15 and younger as a way to encourage and develop interest in the sport.
Kinsey’s Outdoors, in Mount Joy, Lancaster County, and the Slate Run Tackle Shop, in Slate Run, Lycoming County, are offering to pay the $2.90 for kids at either of the stores.
Kinsey’s offer is good on April 3 and 4 and again on May 8 and 9, just before the statewide Mentored Youth Fishing Day on May 10.
Slate Run is offering the free license to the first 200 kids who come into the shop. It also is offering a free fishing class on May 17 at the Tomb Flat access area, one mile downstream from the village of Slate Run. One of the instructors at the class will be Amidea Daniel, northcentral region education specialist for the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission (PFBC).
The PFBC had originally planned for two mentored youth days on March 22 and April 5. But cold weather and lingering ice on most of the waters forced the days to be combined into one day and rescheduled for May 10.
“We’re very excited that outdoor businesses like Kinsey’s and Slate Run see the benefit of using the voluntary youth fishing license to encourage kids’ interest in the sport and as a way to benefit sportsmen and sportswomen across the state,” said PFBC Executive Director John Arway.
“This is exactly the type of opportunity we thought businesses might pursue when we introduced the product earlier this year,” he added.
For every voluntary youth license sold, the PFBC will receive approximately $5 in federal revenue from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s Sport Fish Restoration Act program, which provides funds to states based on a formula that includes the number of licenses a state sells. All revenues earned from a voluntary youth fishing license will be dedicated to youth fishing programs.
“We see this as a great opportunity to help raise money for youth programs supported by the PFBC,” said Alex Smay, sales and marketing manager for Kinsey’s Outdoors. “Engaging youth helps preserve the heritage of fishing in Pennsylvania, and that’s very important to us.”
After a highly successful first run last year, the PFBC expanded the popular Mentored Youth Fishing Days program across the state this spring.
The program regulations will remain the same on the new May 10 statewide date. The waters will be open only for mentored youth day participants from 8 a.m. to 7:30 p.m., and anglers may keep two trout.
After 7:30 p.m. the waters will be open to all anglers.
To ensure that plenty of stocked trout are available to anglers on the mentored youth day, the waters will be closed to all fishing from noon May 9 until 8 a.m. on May 10.
To participate in the program, adult anglers (16 years or older) must have a valid fishing license and trout/salmon permit and be accompanied by a youth. Youth anglers must obtain a free PFBC-issued permit or a voluntary youth fishing license. Both are available at www.GoneFishingPA.com or at any of the more than 900 licensing agents across the state.
Click here for more detailed instructions on how to obtain a free permit or to purchase a youth fishing license.
Kinsey’s Outdoors – Alex Smay
Slate Run Tackle Shop – Tom Finkbiner
PFBC – Eric Levis, Press Secretary