Summary of Written Public Comments – Trout Summit 2002
Recognizing 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.
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.
- 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
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?
- 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.
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?
- 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
*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.
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?
# to Catch # Responses
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?
to Harvest # Responses
Fish Harvested # Responses
7 – 10 in 2
11 – 14 in 17
- 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.
William Sabatose, President Paul Mahon, Vice-President
Donald K. Anderson
Samuel M. Concilla
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
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