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PA Fishes photo collage

Activities/Crafts -- Coloring Pages -- PLAY (Pennsylvania League of Angling Youth) Newsletters -- Videos/Links -- Additional Resources


Education Packages

All About Trout Education Package

PA Fishes Education Package


Big Summer Bass
Crossword puzzle testing your knowledge of Largemouth Bass and fishing techniques.

Estimating Fish Populations
Teachers or parents can utilize this activity from the PFBC’s “Wild About PA Fishes” curriculum to help students develop an understanding of types of activities PFBC biologists engage in by estimating a ‘population of fish’ using at least two mathematical models and comparing the results of each.

Fish Parts
Word search puzzle on external anatomy of soft ray fish. Label the parts and find the names in the word search. Good introduction to terminology. Answers

Fish Prints
Learn how to make your own Fish Print using the Japanese art form of gyotaku.

Freaky Fish
Cut and paste together different fish shapes to create your very own Freaky Fish! 

Life of a Trout
 Cut out, paste and learn about PA’s trout, their habitat and their lifecycle.

Little Cats
Do you know how many catfish are in PA? Test your knowledge, fill in the answers and uncover a secret message using this fun activity.

Pike Family
Word search introducing you to the fish found in the Pike Family.

Perch Family
Word search introducing you to the fish found in the Perch Family.

Smallmouth Bass Skills
Use the PLAY: Smallmouth Bass articles to find “BOLD Letter words” throughout the issue. Use those words to solve the puzzles in this activity!

The Search for Big Black Bass
Word search introducing you to PA’s Black Bass.

This Fish Has A Scale To Tell
Publication that introduces readers to how biologists use age scales to learn more about individual fish, fish health, groups of fish and their habitat.

Trout Stream Food Chain
This activity shows the process of a potential food chain in a trout stream.

What Fish Can You Catch at the Lake
Word scramble and matching activity.

What's What in Your Boat
Learn boating terminology with this fun activity page.

"How to Draw A (Fish)" Videos

How to Draw a... Brook Trout
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Let’s learn How to Draw a Brook Trout with the help of one of PFBC’s Fishing Skills Instructors, Tiffany London.

How to Draw a… Channel Catfish
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Next to the Flathead Catfish, the Channel Catfish is one of PA’s largest Catfish. They can weigh up to 15lbs and measure 30 inches long. They are found statewide, usually in clear, warm lakes, and large rivers, over clean sand, gravel, or rock bottoms. Usually anglers find them in deep pools/runs in the rivers. In the summer, they are lots of fun to catch at night!

How to Draw a… Crappie
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At first glance, Crappie appear to be black and white; but look closer and you will see iridescent colors and sheens. Have fun adding colors to your drawing!
Another popular PA sportfish, Crappie, provide fun fishing opportunities throughout the year. Fall is yet another great time to target Crappie. They live in most lakes/ponds across PA.

How to Draw a... Largemouth Bass
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Known as “Bucketmouth”, Largemouth Bass are a popular PA sportfish found in most ponds/lakes. They are PA’s largest Sunfish. Staying close to logs, stumps, and weedy areas of the lake, they like to ambush prey. They are lots of fun to catch throughout the summer!

How to Draw a… Musky
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October’s “How to Draw a (Fish)” brings us the Muskellunge! I am PA’s largest & fastest-growing fish. I am missile-shaped and have a ducklike snout filled with sharp teeth. My color and markings vary in intensity. I am an apex predator and anglers love fishing for me.

How to Draw a... Pumpkinseed
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Displaying colors as vibrant as some tropical fish, Pumpkinseeds have bright turquoise colors on their head and body. Their belly can be yellow or sometimes orange in color. Warm, sunny days in May are a great time to head to local lakes and learn how to fish! Pumpkinseeds are lots of fun to catch and easier to catch than most fish! They provide multiple opportunities for new anglers to learn how to hook, reel in and release fish for the first time.

How to Draw a... Smallmouth Bass
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Known as “Bronzeback” by some anglers, Smallmouth Bass, are a popular sportfish across PA. The scales on their body cast a bronze colored sheen. They have a series of 8-15 olive colored, vertical lines on their sides. Their eyes can be orange to red in color.

How to Draw a… Steelhead
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Known by some as "Silver Shadows" or "Chromers", Steelhead are lake run Rainbow Trout.  Once they hatch, they travel down streams to Lake Erie.  There, they grow for a few years and then return to the streams to spawn. Steelhead have a pink strip down their sides, like Rainbow Trout; however, they usually appear more silver in color.  They grow to an average size of 6-8lbs and can live for up to 8 years.  In PA, the best time to fish for Steelhead is from early November through early April.

How to Draw a… Yellow Perch
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Yellow Perch are a popular sportfish with lake and ice anglers. Known to be very tasty, Yellow Perch anglers are usually gearing up to fish for them from December through March. Yellow Perch live in a variety of aquatic habitats, including warm or cold lakes and ponds. A prime Yellow Perch lake is cool and clear, with a sandy or gravelly bottom, covered in underwater vegetation



Coloring Pages

Read Along Cover



PLAY Newsletters

Read Along with PFBC playlist
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Listen and/or read along with PFBC staff as they share PLAY (Pennsylvania League of Angling Youth) newsletters in a video format.

"Fishing is Reel Fun” booklet
This 18-page activity booklet is full of fishing and boating information to help anglers and boaters of all ability levels enjoy safe, fun, and year-round outdoor adventures in Pennsylvania. Enjoy!

"My Adventures" write-your-own story booklet
With this 12-page activity booklet you can write-your-own adventure about a trip on or near a PA waterway (e.g. stream, river, pond, lake). You can also share something you learn, share how you would teach someone else about what you learned, and share a memory that you will keep with you as you grow. Begin your story today!

PLAY: All About Fish
PLAY issue containing the following articles: fish anatomy, a fish family tree, and How fish swim.

PLAY: All About Trout
PLAY issue containing the following articles: All About Trout, PA's Trout & Salmon Family Tree, It's a Trout's Life, Trout Fishing, Care of the Catch.

PLAY: The Catfish Family
PLAY issue containing the following articles: The Catfish Family;Catfish in Pennsylvania;Life of a Catfish; Know your Catfish; To Catch a Cat; Little Cats (questions & word secret message).

PLAY: Freaky Fish of PA
PLAY issue containing the following articles: Freaky Fish of PA; Paddlefish & Gars; Catfish; Parasitic Lampreys; Northern Snakehead; Aquatic Invasive Species; Create Your Own Freaky Fish.

PLAY: Largemouth Bass
PLAY issue containing the following articles: Let’s Look at Largemouth; Watery Nest-Builders; Is It a Largemouth Bass; To Catch a Bass; Big Summer Bass (crossword puzzle); Boats and Bass; and What’s What in Your Boat (activity).

PLAY: PA’s Most Migratory Fish
PLAY issue containing the following articles: PA’s Most Migratory Fish; The Life Cycle of American Shad; Where Have All the Fish Gone?; A Successful Shad Story; Many More Migratory Fish.

PLAY: PA’s Plentiful Yellow Perch
PLAY issue containing the following articles: PA’s Plentiful Yellow Perch; Range & Habitat; ID a Perch; A Fish of Many Names; Life Cycle; What’s For Supper?; Perch Matching Game.

PLAY: PA's Unusual Fish
PLAY issue containing the following articles: Unusual Fish, Paddlefish, Quillback Carpsucker, Longnose Gar, Atlantic Sturgeon, American Eel, Burbot.

PLAY: Perch Family
PLAY issue containing the following articles: The Perch Family; Darters; Yellow Perch; Fishing for Yellow Perch; Sauger and Walleye; Fishing for Sauger or Walleye; The Perch Family (word search).

PLAY: Pike Family
PLAY issue containing the following articles: All About the Pike Family; Grass Pickerel and Redfin Pickerel; Chain Pickerel; Northern Pike; Muskellunge; Pike Family Word Search.

PLAY: Smallmouth Bass
PLAY issue containing the following articles: Smallmouth Bass; A Bronzeback is Born; Here a Bass, There a Bass; Smallmouth Bass Game; Tubing for Smallmouth, Smallmouth Bass Skills.

PLAY: The Sunfish Family (Bass)
PLAY issue containing the following articles: The Sunfish Family, Sunfish Family Tree, Life of a Sunfish, Know Your Bass, To Catch a Bass, Care of the Catch.





The following two links are playlists that will take you through all of PFBC’s videos related to PA Fishes OR you can go through them individually by clicking links below.


A Swimmingly Good Time!
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These Rainbow Trout are checking out their new home while demonstrating how they use their body and fins to swim.

“All About Fish” Station - VFFP 2020
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Welcome to “All About Fish”, brought to you by the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission. In this video we introduce you to SW Region Education Specialist, Mandy Smith, who provides the complete "All About Fish” station of PFBC’s Virtual Family Fishing Program. You will learn "What Makes a Fish a Fish", "Identifying Characteristics of a Fish", and about "Fish Habitats and Local Fishing Opportunities in PA". The more you learn about the fish that you are trying to catch, the better angler you’ll become! Shorter, individual clips are available on both platforms for those who do not have time to watch the full-length version.

Collecting Walleye for Spawning- Linesville SFH (2018)
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See first-hand how Walleye are collected for spawning.

Fall Trout Stocking at Little Buffalo (2018)
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PFBC Hatchery staff, Waterways Conservation Officers and volunteers stock several hundred rainbow trout into Holman Lake at Little Buffalo State Park in Perry County.

Intro to Bass Fishing
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In this video, PFBC Fishing Skills Instructors, Don & Renee Kelly, introduce you to some basics on where to fish for Bass, essential fishing equipment, how to setup your rod and reel, and some great tackle and techniques to use for Bass.

Introduction to Brook Trout in Pennsylvania
This video introduces you to PA’s State Fish, the Brook Trout!  Learn where they are native to; impacts to waters they call home; identifying characteristics; prime habitat areas; life history; spawning behavior; and their role as one of PA’s key, indicator species of healthy waters.  

Introduction to Brown Trout in Pennsylvania
This video introduces you to Brown Trout in Pennsylvania. Learn the history, identifying characteristics, spawning behavior, and habitat associated with this common Pennsylvania Salmonid.

Intro to Crappie Fishing
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Late May through early June can be a very productive time to catch Crappies! They are fun to catch and can be found within casting distance of the shoreline this time of year. Check out this Intro to Crappie Fishing video, created by PFBC Fishing Skills Instructors, Don and Renee Kelly (Owners of Wellsboro Tackle Shack)!

Intro to Panfish Fishing
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Late May & throughout summer is a great time to get out and fish for Panfish! They are fun to catch and quick to take your bait on warm days. Check out this Intro to Panfish Fishing video, created by PFBC Fishing Skills Instructor, Kelly Williams!

Introduction to Rainbow Trout in Pennsylvania
This video introduces you to Rainbow Trout in Pennsylvania. You will learn the history, identifying characteristics, spawning behavior, and habitat associated with this common Pennsylvania Salmonid.

 PFBC Lake Erie Brown Trout Program
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Learn about PFBC’s Lake Erie Brown Trout program. Check out video caption for more details about the program.

Linesville State Fish Hatchery Brown Trout
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The staff at Linesville State Fish Hatchery in Crawford County has been stocking hundreds of trophy-sized brown trout into Lake Erie tributaries.

Musky Stocking at Marsh Creek State Park
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On July 15, 2020, the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission stocked 800 purebred muskellunge into the lake at Marsh Creek State Park. In 2020, the PFBC will stock, 34,625 purebred muskies and 5,850 tiger muskies. The fish are 13-14 months old and 12-14 inches long when they are stocked. PFBC surveys and angler reports indicate that many muskies stocked in 2018 now measure between 28-32 inches, providing a world-class sportfishing opportunity on dozens of large and medium-sized rivers, lakes and streams across Pennsylvania.

Pennsylvania Fishes
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Have you ever wondered about the variety of fishes that swim within Pennsylvania’s abundant waterways? Well, wonder no more!

Pennsylvania Musky Program (2019)
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The stocking of fewer but larger yearling muskies represents a change in the way the PFBC manages muskies; whereas previously, a larger number of smaller fingerling muskies were stocked. Biologist research indicates that the new approach of introducing larger fish will greatly increase the survival rate of these fish.

Pennsylvania’s Steelhead Program (2019)
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In this video, Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission hatchery staff and volunteers collect hundreds of steelhead during their annual spawning voyage to Trout Run, a protected tributary nursery water.

PA Rainbow Trout Spawning (2015)
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Have you ever wondered about the raising of trout in one of our State Fish Hatcheries? Last Spring we shared with you an in-depth look of the process from fingerling to stocking day. Now, we are pleased to bring you "The Prequel" to that video. Join us as we learn about raising your Rainbow Trout from spawning to fingerling.

Prep for 2020 Walleye and Sauger Season
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Did you know that the PFBC raises and stocks more than trout?

PFBC Musky Program
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Learn all about PFBC’s Musky rearing and stocking program. Check out the video caption for more details.

Raising Walleye (2016)
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The Fish and Boat Commission supplements Walleye populations through stocking. There is a good chance that a Walleye you caught was stocked by the Commission. This video provides a quick overview of the process.

Raising Your Trout (short version)
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Learn how your trout are raised and stocked into Stocked Trout Waterways.

Raising Your Trout (2015 extended version)
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This approximately 50-minute video gives the viewer the illusion of watching a live video stream of the life cycle of a hatchery-raised trout, with commentary by Jim Wetherill, Regional Fisheries Manager (retired) of the Huntsdale State Fish Hatchery in Newville.

Recovery of the Chesapeake Logperch
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This video describes efforts by researchers from several conservation agencies to study the life cycle of the Chesapeake Logperch and restore their numbers within their historical home range. (Project partners include the PFBC, USFWS, Penn State University, Pennsylvania Biological Survey, Susquehanna River Basin Commission, Maryland Department of Natural Resources, Conservation Fisheries, Inc., and volunteers.)

Springtime Treasure – Yellow Perch
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Known in some parts of the United States as “Coontail”,“Convict”, or “redfin”, the Yellow Perch is a “springtime” treasure for PA anglers.

Steelhead Collection from Trout Run (2018)
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In this video, Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission hatchery staff and volunteers collect hundreds of steelhead during their annual spawning voyage to Trout Run, a tributary nursery water on the shore of Lake Erie.

Steelhead Stocking Lake Erie Tributaries (2015)
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This video shows PFBC staff from the Fairview State Fish Hatchery stocking juvenile Steelhead into Presque Bay.

Virtual Field Trip to the Linesville State Fish Hatchery (2021)

In this playlist, PFBC staff members will introduce you to what our Linesville State Fish Hatchery is responsible for, the fish it raises, and its importance in our hatchery system.  Staff members will also take you on a virtual tour of our Linesville State Fish Hatchery, showcasing our 2-story, 10,000-gallon viewing tank, and even take you down inside the viewing tank to see how many fish you can ID.  You will also get to go "behind the scenes" on one of our Walleye trap netting excursions, as well as see how we spawn Walleye.  We cap off this playlist with a fun activity for all to enjoy, fish print t-shirts!

Wild Trout Survey: East Branch Standing Stone Creek
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The Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission conducts a wild trout survey along the East Branch Standing Stone Creek, located within Greenwood Furnace State Park in Huntingdon County, PA.

Young-of-year Walleye Survey, Susquehanna River
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This video shows PFBC biologists, on location, conducting an electro-fishing survey to study the populations of Walleye in the Susquehanna River. Check out the video caption for more details.



Additional Resources

The 100-Year Chain: The Pike Family
Overview of the pike family.

American Eel
Introduction to the American eel. 

Atlantic Sturgeon
Introduction to the Atlantic sturgeon.

Back to the Sea
Fact sheet details fall migration of fish such as American shad, herring, striped bass and American eel from Pennsylvania's Susquehanna and Delaware Rivers. Includes information on turbine passage.

Introduction to the burbot.

Information on diadromous fishes--fish that migrate between salt and fresh water. Anadromous and catadromous fish.

Information on the prehistoric fish, Dunkleosteous, found in Pennsylvania.

Fish Biology
PFBC PA Fishes Book chapter 1 - Fish Biology. Covers what makes a fish a fish, anatomy, senses and more.

Fish Get Sick Too
Publication that shares facts about how fish can get sick too.

From Egg to Creel: Life of a Hatchery Trout
Fact sheet on the steps in trout culture. How the Commission raises and stocks trout.

It's a Trout's Life
Compares life cycles of hatchery and wild trout.

Know Your Bass
How to tell the difference between largemouth and smallmouth bass.

Largemouth Bass: Focus on Habitat
This handout describes and shows the habitat for a largemouth bass.

Life of a Sunfish
Life cycle of sunfish.

Migratory Fish Restoration and Passage on the Susquehanna River

Introduction to paddlefish.

Pennsylvania's Trout and Salmon Family Tree
Overview of the trout and salmon family.

Longnose Gar
Introduction to the longnose gar.

Quillback Carpsucker
Introduction to the quillback carpsucker.

Seasons of a Trout
Life cycle of a wild trout.

The Sunfish Family
Overview of the sunfish family.

Sunfish Family Tree
Family tree of Pennsylvania sunfish.

Trout Identification
Identification of brook, brown, rainbow, golden rainbow trout.

Water Temperature and Fish (SMART Angler's Notebook)
Shows the range of water temperatures that different species of fish can live in.