Summary of Written Public Comments – Trout Summit 2002

 

January 2003

 

Trout Summit LogoRecognizing that insufficient time was available to discuss issues of interest to staff,  participants were provided five questions in the registration packet so they might provide written comments via a drop-off box at the Trout Summit. Some 40 participants provided comments. In addition, commentary was received via the “parking lot” and “fish bowl” and will be covered later in this report.

 

Question 1

 

Currently, the Commission generally only announces the week of inseason trout stocking; however, we have announced the date of Saturday lake stockings and some streams in public ownership.  What information should the Commission provide to anglers about inseason trout stocking?

 

Responses were organized into several groups.

 

  1. Things are fine as they are – 15 responses shared this opinion.  Most thought the current information provided for inseason stocking was fine as is but wanted some more control on the information leaks.
  2. Announce all inseason dates – 10 responses.  Some felt this was the “fairest” method for everyone.  Others felt that there were so many leaks in the current day of stocking information that we might as well just announce all inseason stockings. 
  3. Non-committal or non-related response – 6 responses.  Most of these said they fished for wild trout and didn’t care what we did with stocked trout.  Some did not care as long as the information was available to everyone.  A few other responses did not answer the question, rather they ranted about regulations, etc…
  4. Stream Closures following stocking – 5 responses.  Many of these responses also said we should announce all inseason dates.  They recommended a 24-hour closure following an inseason stocking.
  5. Cooperative Nurseries should be given dates and times for their local streams – 4 responses.  3 of the 4 were from the Newton Wayne Sportsman Club.  The rationale was that if they had this information, they could stock their trout at a different time and be able to make themselves available to help stock Commission trout.
  6. Provide very little or no information – 3 responses.  These responses thought too much information concerning inseason stocking is being provided already.

 

Additional thoughts:

- Provide numbers stocked only.

- Give dates for all public waters only

- Give dates for Saturday lakes only

- Announce stocking by month instead of week or day.

- Need to better educate anglers to “wean” them off the follow the truck mentality

 

Question 2

 

The state’s trout hatcheries are limited in the pounds of trout they can produce.  Hatcheries can produce more small fish or fewer large fish and remain within water quality and flow related production caps.  What balance should the Commission strike between the number of trout stocked and the size of trout stocked?

 

 

  1. Prefer fewer but larger stocked trout – 16 responses.  Many said they preferred quality to quantity and felt most other fisherman feel the same.
  2. Prefer more but smaller stocked trout – 4 responses.  Felt quantity of trout was most important.
  3. Non-committal or things are okay as is – 4 responses.  Most said they didn’t fish for stocked trout all that much.
  4. Specific Suggestions – 3 responses offered their specific suggestions related to percent stocked at a particular size.
    1. 50% smaller trout and 50% larger trout
    2. 80% trout less than 12 inches and 20% over 12 inches
    3. 80-85% 10 to 14 inches and 15-20% over 14 inches
  5. More and Bigger – 3 responses
  6. Stock a variety of sizes – 2 responses.  Would like to see size stocked simulate what you would find in a stream population

 

Additional Comments:

 

- Stock at least one trophy trout or “Salter” trout for each stream.

- Stock fewer larger fish except in urban areas

- Medium size fish are okay

- Stock by pounds instead of numbers

- Use All-Tackle Delayed Harvest regulations to encourage recycling of stocked trout.

 

  

 

Question 3

 

As a result of outstanding volunteer efforts, Pennsylvania cooperative nurseries currently stock about 1 million adult trout each year in various waters.  Looking toward the future, what are your ideas about the role of cooperative nurseries and your suggestions for how cooperative nursery efforts should factor into the state’s trout stocking programs?

 

  1. Support the program and look to increase the role of Cooperative Nurseries. – 20  responses.  Many see the coops as being able to stock waters that the PFBC can not or will not stock.  Particularly, the smaller streams or local streams that have been targeted for removal.   Some suggested that given more resources for better rearing units and fish distribution, coops could take over some of the burden from the PFBC hatcheries.   Others who supported expanding cooperative nurseries did not want the PFBC to dictate where they stock.
  2. Cooperative Nurseries should have the same or a reduced role in PFBC stocking – 10 responses.  Many of these cited factors such as expansion of effluent problems, stocking over wild populations, and a lack of PFBC control over where coop fish are stocked as reasons not to expand the program.
  3. Non-committal – 7 responses.  These respondents either were not aware of the program or did not give an answer related to the question.

 

Additional Comments:

 

- Coops can be used to vary the size distribution of fish stocked

- Will DEP be targeting their discharges?

- Do not use coop fish for derbies and rodeos

 


Question # 4

 

*Please name 4 streams in Pennsylvania where you fish and have desirable wild trout fishing.

 

1.  *There were 80 different streams mentioned.

A.     There were 60 streams mentioned only once.

a.       52 (87%) are located in the northcentral, northeast or southcentral PA.

b.      8 (13%) are located in other regions of the state.

c.       34 (57%) are managed as Class A or B wild trout populations.

d.      19 (32%) of the waters mentioned are stocked.

 

B.     *There were 20 streams mentioned two or more times.

a.       All were located in the northcentral, northeast or southcentral PA.

b.      15 (75%) are managed as Class A or B wild trout populations.

c.       9 (45%) are managed under special regulations.

d.      12 (60%) were stocked waters.

 

*  The utility of this question is hampered by incomplete responses.  For example, in some cases only the stream name was mentioned and a specific area of the stream was not given.  Thus, it was impossible to determine the management thereof.

 

 

Question 5

 

Using your own fishing experiences, how many trout would you expect to catch and what size trout would you expect to catch per fishing trip to consider it a long-term, rewarding sport-fishing experience? 

 

            Expected

 # to Catch      # Responses

Any                              6

1-5                                6

5-10                             11

11-15                           11

15-20                             3

20+                                5

 

 

Expected Size            

of Fish Caught            # Responses

 

Doesn’t matter                            3

Wide Range                               9

7 – 10 in                                   11

10-14 in                                   17

 

 

Using your own fishing experience, how many trout would you expect to harvest per fishing trip to consider it a long-term, rewarding sport-fishing experience?  Why?

 

Expected #

to Harvest                  # Responses

0                                              27

1                                                1

2                                                5

3                                                2

4                                                1

5                                                4

 

 

Expected Size of

Fish Harvested           # Responses

 

7 – 10 in                                   2

11 – 14 in                                 17

 

Additional Comments:

-         Many responses seemed to think this question related only to wild trout

-         Some said they preferred to eat panfish over trout

-         A majority said they do not use numbers caught and harvested as a sole measure of their satisfaction.  Numerous other factors were mentioned.

-         Many said the numbers and sizes expected would vary based on the water fished, stream conditions, and species.

-         One response said he has no expectations when he goes fishing.

 

 

Fish Bowl and Parking Lot Comments and Questions

 

Trout Summit 2002 participants were provided two other opportunities to offer comments. The “parking lot” approach was intended for mentioning topics/issues that may have been somewhat distant or off the subject being discussed by a focus group. The intent being to include the topic in further discussions or at least have staff address the question later. The four questions/comments regardless of the focus group discussion topic were as follows:

 

            Discuss opportunity for young anglers to catch, kill and eat fish.

            Does termination of stocking hurt access (do property owners post)?

            Does the removal of rural streams from the stocking program hurt license sales?

            What are they (anglers) willing to pay (for stocked trout)?

 

 

The “fish bowl” was an opportunity for participants to provide a note on an issue they felt was not thoroughly discussed, an idea that came to mind after the session, or simply to offer a comment on things in general. Some did not clarify the focus group question or issue at hand. The six fish bowl messages were as follows:

 

            Lower quality streams in certain areas

            Adjust delayed harvest to allow earlier harvest and reduced numbers

            Promote other fish to take focus away from trout

            Cooperate with clubs/cooperative nurseries on stocking to disperse trout

            Decrease PFBC costs by clubs picking up and distributing trout

Delayed harvest stocking may be inappropriate because of impacts on wild trout populations.

 

 

 

 

Acknowledgement and Appreciation

 

Fisheries Technician Bob Weber is to be commended for the tough job of deciphering handwriting and grouping responses to the five questions.

 

Pennsylvania Fish & Boat Commission

Commissioners

William Sabatose, President     Paul Mahon, Vice-President

Donald K. Anderson                 Samuel M. Concilla                                  Richard Czop                          Ross J. Huhn

Ted R. Keir                              Howard E. Pflugfelder, Jr.                          Leon H. Reed                         Rozell A. Stidd

Peter A. Colangelo, Executive Director

 

 

Trout Summit 2002

Dennis Guise                           Rick Hoopes                            Dick Snyder

Jeanne Benner        Tom Cochran           Jim Harvey              Cecil Houser            Marty Marcinko        Andy Shiels             Ken Stark

Cindy Kellander       Kim Gibson              Tom Greene            Bob Weber              Al Woomer              Bruce Hollender      Gary Smith

Tim Wilson               Bob Moase              Rob Wnuk                Mike Kaufmann        Dave Miko                Rick Lorson             Russ Burman

Jeff Bridi                  Don Lauver             Wasyl Polischuk      Fred Keeney           Lisa Cramer             Bill Frazier               Kelly Baker

Dave Bumann          John Simmons         Carl Haensel            Walt Dietz                Ted Walke               Art Michaels            Teresa Erdman

Charrie Seifert         Tom Ford                 Gary Moore             John Arway            Dave Spotts            Dan Tredinnick