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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
The writing is on the wall. Hatcheries are in disrepair, funding is being cut, and the stocking program I'm afraid is seeing it's waning days. I posted last year about how PA's Trout stocking program should be lauded, and how it needs to perpetuate. A handful of superior fisherman, searching for waters, and fishing over a few handfuls of Wild Browns are not going to keep fishing alive. Trout season fills camps, those very camps that are pretty much empty nowadays through most of the Deer season. Spring/Summer camp outings, or fishing destination outings, do more for the local ma and pa's than any other time of year. The state has to do whatever it can to keep, and even enhance this stocking program. It's every bit of PA as rifle season for Deer.
 

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I have mixed feelings on this.

I am all for guys fishing, but with the ethics that many of todays anglers have disturb me. I in some ways welcome this. Guys following a stock truck to catch 5 trout in 5 minutes and leave in my opinion is a waste of a great resource. All of the litter i am seeing along the streams, causing increases in posted land. All too many of these streams may be nearly fished out after the first few months only to have the precious fish get thrown in the woods a few weeks before the upcoming season. Each trout cost around 3 dollars to get to their typ adult size. What a waste of money.

These increased posted ground are often times saved by issuing special regulation areas to eliminate bait containers and hook packages. This in turn causes more turmoil umungst bait fisherman and fly fisherman.

I am just tired of a lot of the garbarge going on by the anglers of today. I carry garbage bags with me to clean up after slobs.

I am not 100% for special regulation areas but the fact that the guys that fight for them to be open to any fishing at all, go in and clean up the stream and gain back the land owners trust is admirable, but then these guys get attacked for setting up special regulations to keep out a lot of the litter and other nonsense.

Any more this side of fishing is annoying to me anymore. I am in no way an elitist. I love to fish with bait fisherman and flyfisherman and spin fisherman, whatever you fish with. Fishing is fishing to me. I just hate all of the unethical slobs out there that give trout fishing a bad name. I think we need increased fines for littering and make it a harder pushed issue.
 

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Maybe it's time to outsource to private hatcheries. Take whatever money comes in from the T/S and accept bids from private hatcheries in the different regions.
 

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I like co-op hatcheries as long as they are in the right management style.

ex. a co-op hatcher like the one I am a part of. Public notices of stocking schedule, where to meet. stuff like that. The fish commission gives us 7500 trout or so a year to distribute. With out our co-op these fish would not get put out and the streams we stock would only see about 800 trout. They are a great thing as long as they are managed correctly and all stocking locations, times, and dates are public knowledge.
 

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There is a pretty easy solution to this latest reduced stocking number and it is substantial to the tune of almost 1 million less trout in 2014 (We wont see the effects this year). Stop...once and for all....the continued stocking over sustainable wild trout populations. Hundreds of thousands of trout are stocked into Class B and C (and Class A streams whether they admit it or not.....see Cross Forks and those doctored surveys). I dont give a hoot if they are on public ground or not. Trust me when I say I you can catch more quality trout from a Class C wild trout stream then most put and take streams a month after the last stocking. Just cause it's a C doesn't make it a poor fishery. It's just not as good as an A. If mother nature can sustain the trout population then let her do so and dump the hatchery fish elsewhere. This is one answer.

Second. What about doing more put, grow, and take fisheries out there. Without naming names some of my favorite places to fish are fingerling fisheries....especially in the west. I could provide the PAFBC a list of probably around 100 streams where I think there would be a reasonable shot that a put grow and take fishery would work. If an adult hatchery trout can carry over and fingerling most cretainly can.

Will either idea be adopted. Almost certainly not. They'll just stock fewer fish in all the same areas and the number of fisherman will drop the at the same rate and the cycle will continue. On the brigt side.....I'll have a lot less competition for shoulder space real soon!
 

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I'm not a big proponent of government fish hatcheries (both state and federal) or of fish stocking in general, although I do think they have their place in a number of specific instances.

Often, fish stocking is just a waste of money, in my opinion. You just dump xx hundred fish in a stream that can't support a trout population more than a few weeks into the season, half of them die from shock, polution, etc, another 1/4 are caught the first day by people that dump them in the garbage as soon as they get home (or dump them somewhere else along with that other litter Bowmike commented on), and if (a big IF) any of them make it to the table, they taste like well used cat litter.

Okay, I can see fish stocking in the local pond where the kids get a thrill of catching a few on worms, and may develop an interest in fishing that will stay with them throughout their life. And, I can see stocking fish where our wounded veterans, or other disabled persons can get the thrill of that tug on the end of their line. I'm also in favor of stocking fingerlings in those rivers and streams that can sustain a year round fishery, but do not have sufficient natural reproduction. There are other stocking examples like these that I think also make good sense.

However, if it does cost something like $3 to raise a fish, then I think that people that want to have continued wasteful stocking programs should ante up their own money to pay for them. Join a sportsman's club that has a hatchery. Just don't ask me to use my hard earned money to support it.
 

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Fleroo said:
The writing is on the wall. Hatcheries are in disrepair, funding is being cut, and the stocking program I'm afraid is seeing it's waning days. I posted last year about how PA's Trout stocking program should be lauded, and how it needs to perpetuate. A handful of superior fisherman, searching for waters, and fishing over a few handfuls of Wild Browns are not going to keep fishing alive. Trout season fills camps, those very camps that are pretty much empty nowadays through most of the Deer season. Spring/Summer camp outings, or fishing destination outings, do more for the local ma and pa's than any other time of year. The state has to do whatever it can to keep, and even enhance this stocking program. It's every bit of PA as rifle season for Deer.
I agree, though maybe not fo exactly the same reasons.
 

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I agree with much of what has been said, and many of the opinions to a degree. I do see trout stockings/opening day as a tradition (despite how goofy it may be) but with the masses comes chaos. Every year you see more confrontations, more men acting like children and even more litter. It goes from having the potential to be an enjoyable experience outdoors to a circus of tangled lines, attitudes, and confrontations.

In my opinion, in order to eliminate some chaos and weed out the "questionable" individuals, as well as increase revenue.... A drastic trout permit/stamp increase would likely do wonders. Really, it wouldn't matter what they charged I'd still buy one. Maybe even knocking the creel limit back to 3, even 2. I also agree with the notion of stocking creeks on a put and take basis only if they are incapable of sustaining a wild trout populion.

Will any real changes take place? Likely not...
 

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some change will, a lot of what is happening is coming from the state legislature. THe fish commission asks for more money and they are declined.

I also feel bad for those who are likely to lose their jobs.
 

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Those folks who work at the closed hatcheries have been offered their positions at the other state hatcheries. Works out well for those folks at bellefonte, since other hatcheries are close by, the folks from Oswayo will have to relocate.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I'm looking at this purely from a traditional, and people in the out of doors involvement standpoint. I understand the so called "pelletheads" offer up little by way of table fare, but those "pelletheads" are the lifeblood of getting entire families, multiple generations at a time, out and about in the outdoors. Isn't that the big push nowadays ? PA Wilds, etc... get people, family's involved in what PA has to offer out in it's wild (and even not so wild) expanses. The Trout Stocking program does more to get family's at camp, family's outside, and general family unity, than Pheasant Stocking, Smallgame Hunting, Deer Hunting, and any other form of hunting combined. Love or hate stocked Trout, it does more for PA outdoor type FAMILIES than anything, and I hate to see the program suffer.

To that, the Game Commission has seen an influx of revenue from gas leasing. Enough to ramp Pheasant stocking back over 200,000 birds/yr. It's a shame PFBC doesn't have the means to share in some of that windfall. As many arguments that can be made for keeping the agency's separate, the gas dollars would have been a good oppportunity for PFBC to enhance infrastructure had the agency's been combined.
 
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