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SE Region Reports

REGION COUNTIES -- Berks, Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Lancaster, Lehigh, Montgomery, Northampton, Philadelphia, Schuylkill (County Guide


Amphibian and Reptile Coloring Page Series

For a PDF version of the first two coloring pages in the Amphibian and Reptile Series, open here: Coloring Series 1.pdf 

April 1, 2020

Read our response to the COVID-19 Situation and changes to the trout season here: https://www.fishandboat.com/Pages/covid-19.aspx

 

Delaware County

As of March 28, Delaware County has had all streams stocked with pre-season trout; except for Ridley Creek (in the State Park) and E. Br. Chester Crk.  The goal is to get as many fish in as we can before the opener which is now scheduled for April 18.  PFBC staff were unable to accept stocking help from the public.  This decision was made in the interest of public safety, and hopefully we will be able to resume our standard stocking procedures next year.  The streams were bucketed in some places and tubed in others.  The recent rains should have the trout scattered pretty good by the opening day.  Our culturists at Huntsdale Hatchery did a great job raising some quality trout this year.  It was exciting to see so many nice brood fish go into some of our local streams.   

The striped bass are beginning to show up in the Delaware River.  There were 50 cars lined up along Hog Island Road hoping to catch a big striper before the end of the month.  Don't forget, the striped bass regulations are changing on April 1.  THE STRIPED BASS REGULATIONS IN THE SUMMARY BOOK DO NOT REFLECT THE CURRENT CHANGES.  Specifically, the PFBC changed the minimum size limit for Striped Bass to a 28 to less than 35 inch slot limit in the Delaware Estuary (from the Pennsylvania line upstream to Calhoun Street Bridge) and Delaware River (from the Calhoun Street Bridge upstream) during the periods January 1 through March 31 and June 1 through December 31 (one fish daily limit), and changed the slot limit during the period April 1 through May 31 to 21 to less than 24 inches (two fish daily limit). The PFBC also requires the use of non-offset (in-line) circle hooks when fishing with bait for any species of fish in the tidal Delaware Estuary, including tributaries from the mouths of the tributaries upstream to the limit of tidal influence.  If you catch a striped bass that doesn't meet the slot limit, release it immediately, unharmed back to the waterway. 

Hopefully, our lives will return to normal soon and we can resume fishing!

 

Lancaster County

Outdoor recreation at any time provides respite from everyday life concerns; nature's rejuvenator is evidenced presently with the public health concern posed by Novel Coronavirus Covid-19 as anglers and boaters are taking to the County's streams, rivers and lakes.  Regrettably, a minority faction is opting to do so in violation of applicable laws and regulations.  In particular as it relates to PFBC Stocked Trout Waters – Lancaster County,   multiple individuals have been charged with fishing during the closed period.  Moreover, there is amongst this minority a gross misunderstanding of the regulations in that their comprehension is that it is acceptable to fish Stocked Trout Waters currently and either target species other than trout or simply practice catch and release of trout. As delineated in PA Title 30 – Section 2102 – Regulation 63.3

§ 63.3. Fishing In Stocked Trout Waters.

It is unlawful to fish in stocked trout waters regulated under §61.1 (relating to Commonwealth inland waters) from 12:01 a.m. on March 1 to 8 a.m. on the first Saturday after April 11 and in stocked trout waters regulated under §65.12 (relating to regional opening day of trout season) from 12:01 a.m. on March 1 to 8 a.m. on the first Saturday after March 28. As used in this subpart, the term ''stocked trout waters'' means waters that are stocked with adult trout by the Commission. A listing of stocked trout waters is published in the Commission's ''Summary of Fishing Regulations and Laws,'' which is available from the Commission at Post Office Box 67000, Harrisburg, Pennsylvania 17106-7000. The Executive Director or a designee may, from time to time, supplement or modify the list of stocked trout waters, and additions or deletions will be published in the Pennsylvania Bulletin

Anglers should also be cognizant of Regulation 63.4

§ 63.4. Fishing In Areas Or Waters Where Fishing Is Prohibited.

There shall be a rebuttable presumption that a person is fishing in violation of this subpart if the person has in his possession a fishing line, rod or other device that may be used for fishing while on or in water where fishing is prohibited or on the banks within 25 feet of the waters.

Anglers are encouraged to review the regulatory information per the 2020Pennsylvania Fishing Summary: https://pfbc.pa.gov/fishpub/summaryad/troutregs.htm

 

REPORTING VIOLATIONS:  Illegal Fishing Activity Can Be Reported In "Real-Time" To The PFBC Southeast Region Headquarters In Elm At [717] 626-0228, Monday – Friday [ 8-4] Or At All Other Times To The Non-Emergency Number Of Countywide Communications At [717] 664-1180 – Be Certain To Inform The Dispatcher That It Is A Fishing Violation And Request That It Be Routed To Officer Schmidt.

 

 

March 25, 2020

Amid concerns regarding the spread of COVID-19, the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission (PFBC) announced several changes to the 2020 trout season intended to protect the safety of the public and staff, while preserving the opportunity to enjoy the fun and recreational health benefits of fishing.

These changes, effective immediately, include consolidating the 2020 trout season schedule into a single, statewide schedule for all Pennsylvania counties; accelerating trout stocking operations and limiting volunteer participation; and adding more convenient ways to purchase fishing licenses online and display proof of a fishing license and boating documents on a digital device.

 

Statewide Mentored Youth Program and Opening Day

The PFBC will operate under a consolidated statewide schedule for all counties during the 2020 trout season. Under this revised plan, a single Mentored Youth Trout Day will occur on Saturday, April 11, and a Statewide Opening Day of trout season will take place on Saturday, April 18.

As a result of these changes, separate, earlier regional mentored youth and opening days will no longer occur in the 18 southeastern counties, including: Adams, Berks, Bucks, Chester, Cumberland, Dauphin, Delaware, Franklin, Juniata, Lancaster, Lebanon, Lehigh, Montgomery, Northampton, Perry, Philadelphia, Schuylkill and York. Anglers in these areas should revise their plans as necessary to adjust to the statewide schedule. These changes, made by the PFBC under direction provided by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and the Pennsylvania Department of Health, are intended to reduce large gatherings of people and the number of anglers traveling into the regional area (18 southeastern counties), which is already heavily affected by the COVID-19 outbreak.

 

Accelerated Trout Stocking Operations and Volunteer Participation

2020 trout stocking will be conducted on an accelerated schedule, and volunteers will not be permitted to assist with stocking activities. To complete trout stocking operations without the assistance of the public, the PFBC will modify stocking methods for this year. Many PFBC staff are being reassigned from their normal work duties to assist with stocking fish into lakes and streams. In some cases, pre-season and in-season allocations of trout will be combined into single stocking events to increase the efficiency of stocking trips. Initially, stockings will be prioritized to deliver trout to regions of the Commonwealth that are predicted to be affected most severely by COVID-19 that could result in restrictions on travel.

Moving forward this season, trout stockings will be announced upon their completion, rather than in advance on the FishBoatPA mobile app and PFBC website (www.fishandboat.com). The change in stocking procedures will not result in any reduction in the approximately 3.2 million trout scheduled to be stocked statewide in 2020, and stocking will occur seven days a week until further notice.

 

Northampton County

Thank you to all our volunteers who have come out to help stock in the first half of March. For those who have not heard, we are no longer utilizing volunteers for stockings to help do our part to keep everyone safe and healthy. Thank all of you who have kept your distance and allowed us to stock the streams safely and without traffic issues. Please keep watching our website, press releases, and the Fish & Boat app for any changes. This is a unique situation for everyone, including us, so if you are a new angler or seasoned angler, thank you for your involvement, and we're looking forward to getting back to "normal" whenever that may be.

 

Chester County

All the Stocked Trout Waters in Southern Chester County, that is all the County South of Route 322, have been stocked with trout except for the East Branch Octoraro Creek Section 2. Since the opening day is now April 18, it is highly possible that I will be able to stock it before the opening of trout season, again, that is 8 AM, April 18th, but it is also possible that I will not be able to stock it. Watch future web reports as I will post a report when and if I am able to get it stocked. The closest stream for those of you who like to fish that area is the Buck Run, the Elk Creeks, & West Branch Brandywine Creek all of which have been heavily stocked, and all of those streams have received large brood stock.

So, with the rescheduling of the Opening Day of Trout here in Southeastern Pennsylvania, specifically Southern Chester County to 8 AM on April 18th, where can I fish till then? If you live in Chester County you are fortunate to be within easy driving distance of one the Pennsylvania Fish & Boat Commission's Keystone Select Stocked Trout Waters The Middle Branch White Clay Creek which is managed as a Delayed Harvest Artificial Lures Only is one of those Keystone Select Stocked Trout waters. This means that the state has stocked the 1.7 mile stretch with 2 to 3 year-old fish, 14 to 20 inches in size at a rate of around 250 per mile. Have you ever seen a blue trout? One of these was stocked in this section on a recent stocking. The White Clay Fly Fishers also stocked hundreds of nice sized brown trout into that section of creek. Delayed H will be strictly enforced in this waterway to ensure that everyone has an opportunity to catch these trophy class trout. For those of you plan to go to the Delayed Harvest Artificial Lures Only regulations taking scented baits/paste baits, and other baits out of the Power Bait marked bags they come in and putting them into unmarked plastic sandwich bags, you can save yourself a lot of money by not bothering as that will not prevent you from getting a very expensive ticket.  You can get more information on the web about both the Keystone Select Stocked Trout Waters and the Delayed Harvest Artificial Lures Only regulations at http://www.fishandboat.com/fishpub/summary/delayedartificial.html

Remember that the idea behind DHALO, Delayed Harvest Artificial Lures Only Area is that lures and flies usually result in lip hooking a fish so that it can be caught many times. With bait, there is a tendency to gut hook a fish which leads to its death and it is then no longer available to be caught. We just cited several anglers this past weekend for using and possessing bait paste in the DHALO.

Two maps of the DCNR White Clay Creek Preserve are available, regular and large print at

http://www.dcnr.state.pa.us/cs/groups/public/documents/document/dcnr_002972.pdf

To get to the Middle Branch White Clay Creek, Delayed Harvest Artificial Lures Only section, take Route 41 to just south of Avondale and turn south on Penn Green Road. Follow Penn Green Road to Good Hope Road and turn right on Good Hope. Go past Bank Road and Crestwood Road and you will come to the top of the Delayed Harvest Artificial Lures Only section of the Middle Branch White Clay. Limited Parking is available on either side of the bridge. More parking is available in the lot near the Iron Bridge at London Tract in the center of the section. For more information on The White Clay Creek Preserve, you can call the park office at 610-274-2900. The park office is located at 39 44' 48.1" North, 75 46' 27.2" West. The nature center is located at39 44' 46.4" North and 75 46' 29.6" West. Both the nature center and Park Office are closed for the time being.

Be mindful of the Delayed Harvest Artificial Lures Only regulations if you decide to go fishing there. Open to year-round fishing, no closed season. A current fishing license with a trout stamp is always required when fishing in a Delayed Harvest Artificial Lures Only area.

If you wish to see the complete DCNR 17 PA Code, Subpart B, State parks, you can find it at http://www.dcnr.state.pa.us/ucmprd1/groups/public/documents/document/d_001192.pdf

The Regional Opening Day which was scheduled for the first Saturday in April has been cancelled and the opening day here in Southeastern Pennsylvania has been rescheduled to Saturday, April 18 at 8 AM. Please be aware of this change and let's get the word out to your fellow fishermen. The stockings have not only continued, but have been accelerated to get the fish in the water to give our anglers an early Christmas gift. You have an opportunity to catch exceptionally sized trophy trout and some of them are once in a lifetime fish. One monster was a Golden Rainbow Trout that was over 30 inches long and that was not the only exceptional fish as quite a few of these large fish were recently stocked here in Chester County. The monster Golden Rainbow Trout was stocked in the White Clay Creek Section 3. The West Branch of the Brandywine Creek within Hibernia County park received several Golden Rainbows, which were 25 to 29 inches long. All the Chester County streams received very large trophy-sized brood trout during recent stockings.

 


Reports compiled by Andrew Desko (RA-FBSEFISHNRPT@pa.gov), Southeast Region Outreach & Education Coordinator, using information provided by Waterways Conservation Officers, Area Fisheries Managers and other PFBC staff.