Young anglers have a chance to try their hand at trout fishing this weekend during the statewide Mentored Youth Trout Fishing Day.
Scheduled for Saturday, anglers age 15 and younger will have the opportunity to hit lakes and streams across the state prior to the opening of trout season on April 3.
The goal of the program, according to Tim Schaeffer, executive director of the Pennsylvania Fish & Boat Commission, is to develop a new generation of anglers.
“We set aside this special day every year, one week before the opening day of trout season, to give young anglers the chance to fish and learn fishing skills from their adult mentors ahead of opening day,” Schaeffer said in a news release. “It’s a really fun experience for the kids.”
The Mentored Youth Trout Fishing Day event will run from 8 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. and includes stocked waters listed for the opening day of trout season, according to the PFBC website. Officials noted, however, that while stocking is underway, all waters might not be stocked prior to Saturday. A 2021 schedule can be found at fishandboat.com.
Planning for this year’s event came after last year’s youth trout fishing day was canceled due to the covid-19 pandemic. Changes, such as consolidating the event into one day, were implemented to avoid travel across the state, which could potentially spread the virus, officials said in February.
Those changes reflect those made to this year’s trout season, which will begin two weeks earlier than normal. Normally, there are two starts to trout season — a regional beginning for areas that tend to warm up more quickly, which typically attracts people from other counties, and the statewide start.
To participate in the Mentored Youth Trout Fishing Day, participants must be accompanied by an adult mentor with a valid Pennsylvania fishing license and a current trout permit. Mentors are permitted to fish throughout the day, but all trout must be released unharmed.
Anglers ages 15 and younger must purchase a voluntary youth fishing license, which costs $2.97, or obtain a free mentored youth permit from the state Fish & Boat Commission. Permits are available on the FishBoatPA mobile app or online. Permits purchased for last year’s youth trout fishing day will be honored.
“This day is all about the kids. If you’ve ever fished with a young child, you know how rewarding it can be, and that your constant attention will be needed,” Schaeffer said. “Prepare to make a lot of great memories helping the child to cast, untangle lines and hopefully remove a few trout from the hook.”
Megan Tomasic is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Megan at 724-850-1203, email@example.com or via Twitter .
Local | Regional