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HARRISBURG, Pa. (Dec. 26) — Young anglers and their adult mentors can get an early start to trout season by fishing one of 12 waters on March 23, the weekend before the regional opening day.
The 12 waters identified today by the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission (PFBC) are part of the Mentored Youth Trout Day program, a new pilot project being launched within the 18-county southeast area that makes up the regional opening day.

“The Commission is piloting the Mentored Youth Trout Day as part of its goal to keep young anglers and their families fishing,” said PFBC Executive Director John Arway. “The pilot program gives us the opportunity to gauge interest and to determine the feasibility of expanding the program across the state.”

Under the program, kids under the age of 16 must register with the PFBC before joining a mentor angler, who must have a current fishing license and trout permit. They will then be able to fish on the Saturday before the southeast opener on the select waters from 8 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. Waters included in the pilot are listed below.

“The waters will be stocked to ensure a plentiful supply of fish to catch for the youth day and the regular season to follow,” said Laurel Anders, PFBC director of Boating and Outreach.

On-line registration is currently available on the PFBC website at: http://fishandboat.com/MentoredYouth.htm. Paper registration forms will be available at many of the Mentored Youth Trout Day locations starting Feb. 1, 2013.

“Registration is free and youth will have the opportunity to receive a free one-year subscription to the Pennsylvania League of Angling Youth (PLAY) newsletter,” added Anders. “The PLAY newsletter is written for young anglers and includes articles and activities on fish, fishing, and PA’s aquatic resources published four times each year.”

The 12 waters in the program include (by county):

Adams – Waynesboro Reservoir
Berks – Antietam Lake
Berks – Scotts Run Lake
Bucks – Levittown Lake
Cumberland – Children’s Lake
Cumberland – Doubling Gap Lake
Dauphin – Middletown Reservoir
Lancaster – Muddy Run Recreational Lake
Lebanon – Lions Lake
Lehigh – Lehigh Canal, Section 8
Montgomery – Deep Creek Dam/Green Lake
Schuylkill – Locust Lake

Each person will be permitted to keep a combined species total of two fish and the fish must be at least 7 inches in length. Other Commonwealth inland regulations will apply on this day. It is unlawful to fish in waters designated under the Mentored Youth Trout Fishing Day Program without a valid fishing license or without being accompanied by a registered youth.
Visit Mentored Youth Trout to register or to find additional information.

Media Contact
Carl Richardson
717.705.7848
[email protected]


The mission of the Fish and Boat Commission is to protect, conserve, and enhance the Commonwealth’s aquatic resources and provide fishing and boating opportunities. For more information about fishing and boating in Pennsylvania, please visit our website at fishandboat.com
 

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I dont know why the PAFBC always has to tip toe around everything. If you think it's a good idea then just DO IT!! This is like the stupid brook trout enhancement program that is a dismal failure. Let's designate 10 public waters and publisize them then focus all attention on them and expect great things??? It's stupid. All native brook trout streams should have been included. Every one Just open up the whole darn state to kids fishing that week. The elbow room alone is what really matters to a kid and their will be none of that under this format. All lakes too????? Who the heck wants to sardene there youth into one of these 12 waters that are going to be completely packed to the 'gills' with fishermans anymore.

This, as it stands under the current format, is one of the worst ideas the PAFBC has tried in a long time. Open it up state wide to KIDS FISHING ONLY!!! Adults and assist but not fish. Is it really that hard?
 

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Trout 2003 said:
Adults and assist but not fish. Is it really that hard?
BOOM!

i see guys taking out a three year old just to get first crack at the big trout. i don't really care if the big boys get caught but i agree with you on this one Trout2003 why even let the adult fish?
 

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I think they want to test the waters(pun intended) to see how well it works. Yea, they should open up the whole state. Why bother with 12 lakes???
As for the adults using kids?? Yea, I've seen that. Local TU has a fishing contest every year in a stream and the kids use the waters for the first 5 hours and then it's open to adults. Well I found an older man use his grand kids while he "watched" the rod and caught fish. A few parents told me about it and I went and had a discussion with the guy. He had 3 limits of trout with him. I asked who cught each limit and he started naming kids...Well, where are they?? One of the kids was 3 years old and when I asked the 3 year old how do you hold a fishing rod??? Then I turned to the grand father and asked-- show me how she can reel in the line from that rod...Well he couldn't. He left right after the discussion.
People will cheat no matter the circumstance.

Big D
 

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I'm still ticked out this a day later. PAFBC has gone so far downhill and I am one of their biggest supports. This 'test' is a failure before it even hit the water. 12 lakes?????? Adults??? C'mon guys! It's not that hard to get this one right!! Open EVERYWHERE to Kids only!!!!! Sure people are going to cheat and fish early but they do that anyhow. At least now you'll have dad with kids to watch the stream and call in any issues. All streams and lakes.....kids only. Unreal.
 

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This is an excellent opportunity for my dad and I to take out my niece, nephew & son to introduce them to trout fishing. Like any time you take young children out, it will be for as long as they are having fun. I will post pictures to show everyone the smiles on their faces!


Here are "Frequently Asked Questions" on the PFBC for further clarification.
2013 Mentored Youth Trout Day Pilot
Why provide this opportunity?
Mentored youth hunting programs and special youth hunts have been instituted across the U.S. in recent years in an effort to stem the decline in license sales. These special hunts allow youth to harvest game in advance of the general opener. The Pennsylvania Game Commission established early youth opening days in the mid-to-late 1990’s.
Most often, parents are the source of both instruction and serve as mentors to young anglers and hunters. Special youth opportunities offer a one-two punch by engaging both youth and their parents or other mentors.
Additional information on the PFBC’s rationale can be found on the Mentored Youth Trout page on www.fishandboat.com

Why limit to the 18 counties, why not statewide?
The Commission has established this as a pilot program to evaluate angler interest and determine if the resources would be available to expand the program statewide. Given the 18-county southeastern earlier region opening day, this was the best timing and location in the state to give this program a try. Depending on the results of this pilot, the Commission will be considering regulations establishing a more formal program and possible expansion.
Essentially, we're "testing the waters" to see what the potential may be with this type of program. This smaller scale test also gives us a chance to work through issues related to stocking, law enforcement etc, before taking the program to a larger scale. We believed it best to start small rather than taking it statewide from the start.

What waters are included?
The 12 waters in the program include (by county):
Adams –Waynesboro Reservoir
Berks – Antietam Lake
Berks – Scotts Run Lake
Bucks – Levittown Lake
Cumberland – Children’s Lake
Cumberland – Doubling Gap Lake
Dauphin – Middletown Reservoir
Lancaster – Muddy Run Recreational Lake
Lebanon – Lions Lake
Lehigh – Lehigh Canal, Section 8
Montgomery – Deep Creek Dam/Green Lake
Schuylkill – Locust Lake
Visit http://fishandboat.com/MentoredYouth.htm for additional information on locations, and to register.

Why were these waters selected?
Several factors were considered when selecting waters for this pilot. Foremost, we were looking for waters with plenty of access and where anglers would have a good chance of catching trout.
Streams were not selected for the pilot as water conditions that time of year are unpredictable. One good rain the week before and the water may be unfishable. We believe that the waters selected provide a better opportunity to catch trout at this time of year.
Stocking logistics also played a part in selecting waters, as we wanted to ensure fish were stocked prior to March 23, while not requiring additional stocking trips.

Why require registration?
The registration requirement provides a means for the PFBC to measure the interest in the program. It also requires the involvement of the adult mentor in planning for the day. Currently the PA Game Commission and agencies in other states require registration for their mentored hunter programs. The PFBC is modeling the Mentored Youth Trout Day on those programs.

How can I register?
Visit the website: http://fishandboat.com/MentoredYouth.htm
Will the PFBC provide registration confirmation?
Yes, the adult registering the youth on-line will receive a confirmation e-mail. This e-mail should be printed out and carried while fishing on March 23. Those registering on paper form will retain a portion of the form to show the youth is registered.

What if the person registering the youth is not with them on the day?
The person registering the youth is not required to be present on that day. The only requirement is that the registered youth youth be accompanied by a properly licensed angler 16 years of age or older.
NOTE: The confirmation e-mail should be printed and carried while fishing on March 23.
Is there a maximum number of youth an adult can take?
Yes, the limit is 5 registered youth per licensed adult.

What’s the creel limit?
Each person will be allowed to keep a combined species total of two fish and the fish must be at least 7 inches. Other Commonwealth inland regulations will apply on this day. It is unlawful to fish in waters designated under the Mentored Youth Trout Fishing Day Program without a valid fishing license or without being accompanied by a registered youth.

Why are the adult mentors permitted to fish and keep two trout?
This opportunity is as much about providing a connection between young anglers and their mentors as it is about getting kids to fish. Kid’s only fishing events often result in the kids fishing without the parent or other adult present. This format allows the adult and youth participate together. We are encouraging them fishing together.

Will additional fish be stocked?
Yes, additional fish will be stocked as part of regular pre-season stocking of these waters.
We are new to trout fishing; will anyone be there to help us?
Some locations will have PFBC staff or other partners available to assist beginning anglers. This information will be added to our website in early March.
 

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Trout 2003 said:
Open EVERYWHERE to Kids only!!!!! Sure people are going to cheat and fish early but they do that anyhow. At least now you'll have dad with kids to watch the stream and call in any issues.
+1
 

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I'm a little happier after reading DFP's post and I thank him for posting that. I can accept a pilot program for one year like this......as long as it's just one year. Hopefully next year its closed or opened everywhere state wide. No gray areas.
 

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I don't like this program one bit. I would more in favor of allowing children under 16 to fish from 8 AM Until Noon opening day.

I do however like that this program is limited only to lakes. I feel that it should stay only in lakes. I would suggest that less "greedy" fishing occurs in lakes, as the fish are much harder to see, and they are free to move about, while the anglers remain stationary.
 

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I'd support and all lake format as long as it was ALL lakes and not just a handful. The whole mentor being allowed to fish thing still bugs me though.
 

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This makes no sence to me. The weather this early in the year is unpredictable, how many of us have seen kids complaining to their parents to go home on the first day?

In My opinion this will do more to turn young children against fishing.
 
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