DAUPHIN, Pa. (WHTM) — Hundreds of rainbow and brown trout were released into a pair of Midstate creeks on Tuesday.
While most Pennsylvanians think of spring as the official start of the trout fishing season, fall opportunities are increasing. Following a dry summer with dozens of days exceeding 90-degree heat, anglers are anxious to enjoy cooler air and water temperatures that benefit fish.
“This is the time you want to be out fishing,” says Mark Sweppenheiser, a Waterways Conservation Officer with the PA Fish and Boat Commission. “Fish have great color. They want to bite because they’re feeding up for winter. They want to build up their stores. Anglers enjoy the fall because they don’t have to compete with so many others, especially when so many other sportsmen are now splitting off time for hunting.”
Fall stocking is limited to waterways listed under Special Regulations, such as the two-mile stretch of the Clarks Creek stocked on Tuesday. The heavily wooded creek along Route 325 near Dauphin is considered a high quality watershed, where water temperatures remain very consistent throughout the spring, summer and fall.
“It is open to year round fishing, but there is a restriction on the tackle and the harvest,” adds Sweppenheiser. “You have to use fly fishing gear, flies, and you cannot harvest the fish. Strictly catch-and-release. So, every time you come out, you have an opportunity to catch fish because the last angler threw them back for you.”
All of the fish stocked in the Clarks and Quittapahilla Creek near Annville were raised at the Huntsdale Fish Hatchery in Cumberland County, and trucked in to the sites. Volunteers of all ages were on hand to assist in netting fish from large tanks on the trucks, and transporting them in buckets to the waterways.
A calendar of fall stocking opportunities is listed on the PA Fish and Boat Commission website.