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Helping Stock Trout
Lily Bialousz and Zachary Cramer help stock the Yellow Breeches CreekEvery year, the Pennsylvania Fish & Boat Commission stocks trout in thousands of stream miles and dozens of lakes, in spring, fall and winter. Interested anglers and other citizens often arrive to help or watch individual stockings. The safety of all in attendance often becomes a significant concern, as does the effective stocking of the delicate cargo brought to the water from our hatcheries.

A planned fish stocking can be disrupted or delayed because of unsafe conditions created by factors including the weather, road and traffic conditions, the number of participant vehicles, access to the water by the stocking truck and officer, and participant conduct. When attending a fish stocking, it's important for everyone to abide by the directions given by the waterways conservation officer (WCO) or his/her designee at all times, and:

  • Arrive in time to hear the WCO's briefing of safety and stocking instructions.
  • Don't help carry fish if you have any health problems.
  • Do not park ahead of the stocking procession's lead vehicle or behind the designated tail safety vehicle.
  • Keep your vehicle at least 40 feet behind the stocking truck at all times.
  • Do not jump ahead of the stocking truck and park in off-road spots that will be used by the truck. Doing so can cause the truck to bypass that stocking location.
  • Do not park your vehicle in a manner that obstructs traffic. Park safely off the roadway in a legal manner.
  • Carpool with other participants, if possible.
  • If you're going to help carry buckets, always off-load the buckets from the back of the truck.
  • Fish don't survive long in a bucket, so carry your buckets as quickly as possible from the truck to the water. Bring the bucket back to the truck promptly so that the stocking can continue without delay.
  • Don't pour buckets of fish into shallow, muddy or silted areas. Be sure the water is deep enough to prevent the fish from dying because of clogged gills.
  • Always stay alert to moving traffic. Keep children under immediate safe control, and do not stand in traffic lanes while watching or helping to stock.

The Fish & Boat Commission is not liable for any injury to stocking assistants or damage to their vehicles. Please help make fish stockings safe, efficient and enjoyable by always staying safety alert!

NOTE: Stockings and public participation are coordinated by the Commission's Bureau of Law Enforcement. If you have any further questions, contact the regional office for your area, contact information is listed on our Region Office directory page.

Related topics
Region offices
Trout stocking
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