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Get hooked on trout fishing


Brook Trout

Brown Trout

Golden Trout

Rainbow Trout

There’s one down and one to go. I am talking about the two opening days of the trout season here in Pennsylvania. The first opening day took place yesterday in the southeast region of the state. Our Pennsylvania Outdoor Life cameras caught part of the action in Schuylkill County and that story will be on tonight at 6:30 on WNEP. The second or traditional opening day will take place in two weeks on Saturday, April 16th.This includes all of the counties north of Interstate 80.

Luzerne County is part of the second opening day and many of the streams and lakes will be stocked over the next two weeks if they haven’t already been done. The Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission plans on stocking approximately 4 million trout throughout the state in 744 streams and 122 lakes. That’s a lot of fish and some of them are real trophies. In fact, 8,650 trout being stocked are big enough to be called trophy trout. I have seen these for myself and they are huge and can be easily mounted by a taxidermist. Remember that any angler 16 years of age and older must have a valid Pennsylvania fishing license fish and a trout/salmon stamp to fish for trout. It is not too late to purchase them especially online. You can buy one and instantly print it by going to the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission website at www.fish.state.pa.us.

There are four kinds of trout being stocked for the season. They are Rainbows, Brooks, Browns and Golden trout. I have decided to give a brief description of these fish and an illustration of them from the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission.

Rainbow trout are silvery-gray to dark-green on the back and sides. They have a pinkish or reddish lateral stripe, sometimes with lavender or orange overtones, from the gill cover running the length of the fish to the tail. The caudal fin has rows of small dark spots, and there are more small blackish spots sprinkled on the head and sides, and spotting on the dorsal and adipose fins. The belly is whitish. The lower fins are pale-pink without spots.

Golden rainbows are a deep golden-yellow in body color, with pinkish lower fins, pink or red tones on their cheeks and with the rainbow’s reddish lateral stripe. There isn’t any spotting on the body or fins. The Pennsylvania record golden rainbow trout is over 11 pounds.

Brown trout are brownish in overall tone. The back and upper sides are dark-brown to gray-brown, with yellow-brown to silvery lower sides. Large, dark spots are outlined with pale halos on the sides, the back and dorsal fin, with reddish-orange or yellow spots scattered on the sides. The fins are clear, yellow-brown, and unmarked. The belly is white-yellow.

The brook trout is Pennsylvania’s official state fish. The brook trout’s general body color is dark-green. Looking closer, its back is dark olive-green or gray-green, mottled with dark, squiggly or wormlike markings from head to tail. The sides and belly shade lighter, sometimes with green, gray or even lavender tones, and additional irregular marks. The sides also have scattered red dots, surrounded by bright-blue halos. The belly is usually pale yellow-orange, with a blackish or gray streak down the middle. The pectoral, pelvic and anal fins are pale to bright-orange with a white leading edge followed by a black stripe. There are dark blotches on the dorsal and caudal fins. The brook trout’s tail fin is less forked than that of most trout and salmon.

You can catch as many as you like but you can only keep five trout a day and they must be at least seven inches long. The actual opening time is 8am on Saturday, April 16th. Remember to pack a lunch, some extra clothes and your fishing gear. You may get lucky and want to stay all day especially if you get hooked on trout fishing.

The Pennsylvania Outdoor Life Expo

The Pennsylvania Outdoor Life Expo took place last weekend at the Lycoming Mall in Pennsdale. I must say that I was pleasantly surprised with the number of people who stopped by to say hello from the Sunday Dispatch reading area. We talked about everything, laughed at anything and really enjoyed meeting all of you. Thousands of people made the trek to the show and it was quite overwhelming. Thanks for visiting with us.

Outdoor Life

Be sure to watch Pennsylvania Outdoor Life tonight at 6:30 on WNEP-TV. We will have a story on the opening day of the trout season from Schuylkill County and we’ll take you along on a trout stocking adventure. Have a great day!

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