Trout season opens Saturday in southeast region of stateBy ERIC LONG - email@example.com
While the state Fish and Boat Commission continues to stock nearly 3 1/2 million trout in streams and lakes, anglers in the southeastern region of the state will get an earlier start in pursuit of the game fish.
Saturday is the opening date for trout in 18 southeastern counties, while anglers in the rest of the state will have to wait until April 12 to bait their hooks.
Anglers in Adams, Berks, Bucks, Chester, Cumberland, Dauphin, Delaware, Franklin, Juniata, Lancaster, Lebanon, Lehigh, Montgomery, Northampton, Perry, Philadelphia, Schuylkill and York counties get to start the season at 8 a.m. Saturday.
According to Commission officials, the best conditions for trout fishing arrive about two weeks earlier there than in the rest of the state.
Climate differences there cause trout waters to warm earlier than those in the rest of the state. By mid-May, the waters are too warm for trout, officials say.
In Northumberland County, Mahantango Creek, which runs between Northumberland and Dauphin counties, is part of the earlier opening day, as is the West Branch of Mahantango Creek between Snyder and Juniata counties.
In Carbon County, Lizard Creek and Mahoning Creek are part of the early trout opener.
Anglers who are 16 years or older must possess a valid fishing license and a trout-salmon stamp and must adhere to all Fish and Boat Commission regulations.
The cost of a 2008 fishing license is $22.70 for residents 16 to 64 years of age. The trout and salmon stamp costs an additional $9.70.
Some waters in the state have special regulations, such as delayed harvest, artificial lures only and catch and release.
Trout caught and kept must be at least 7 inches long. The creel limit from opening day through Labor Day is five trout, combined species.
During the extended season, from Jan. 1 through Feb. 29 and the day after Labor Day through Dec. 31, the creel limit is three trout.