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Thursday, March 12, 2015

Regional Mentored Youth Trout Day Only Weeks Away

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Regional Mentored Youth Trout Day Only Weeks Away
 
HARRISBURG, Pa. (March 11) – With warmer weather finally arriving, excitement is building among anglers and kids for the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission’s (PFBC) popular Mentored Youth Trout Days, which have been expanded this year to include all PFBC stocked trout waters.
 
The first Mentored Youth Trout Day will be held on March 28 from 8 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. in 18 southcentral and southeastern counties, including Adams, Berks, Bucks, Chester, Cumberland, Dauphin, Delaware, Franklin, Juniata, Lancaster, Lebanon, Lehigh, Montgomery, Northampton, Perry, Philadelphia, Schuylkill, and York. Anglers and their mentors can each keep a combined species total of two trout, at least seven inches in length.
 
“Our goal is to get more kids involved in fishing and to keep them engaged, and one of the best ways to do that is to make the experience as easy as possible for parents and mentors,” said PFBC Executive Director John Arway. “By expanding the program this year to include all Commission stocked trout waters, we are substantially increasing the number of available waters and are bringing fishing as close as we can to anglers.”
 
To participate, adult anglers (16 years and older) must have a valid fishing license and trout/salmon permit and be accompanied by a youth. Youth anglers must obtain a free PFBC-issued permit or a voluntary youth fishing license (only $2.70 including all fees) and be accompanied by a licensed adult. Both licenses and permits are available at www.GoneFishingPA.com or at any of the more than 900 licensing agents across the state.
 
For every voluntary youth license sold, the PFBC will receive approximately $5 in federal revenue from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s Sport Fish Restoration Act program, which provides funds to states based on a formula that includes the number of licenses a state sells. All revenues earned from the voluntary youth fishing license is dedicated to youth programs.
 
The second Mentored Youth Trout Day will be held statewide on April 11.
 
Every year, the PFBC stocks approximately 3.2 million adult trout in about 530 streams and 120 lakes across the Commonwealth. They average 11 inches in length and weigh about one-half pound each.
 
The PFBC expects to stock a majority of the trout waters in advance of the mentored youth fishing days. But some of the waters may not be stocked in time due to weather, water conditions and scheduling logistics. Also, special regulation areas, like Catch and Release Fly-Fishing Only or Delayed Harvest Artificial Lures Only, are not included in the mentored youth program.
 
“It’s important for anglers to visit the PFBC stocking page for an updated list so they know exactly what waters are being stocked,” added Brian Wisner, director of the PFBC Bureau of Hatcheries. “We don’t want mentors and kids inadvertently showing up at waters which have not been stocked. Waters that receive a stocking before the mentored youth days will be highlighted on this list to assist anglers with their fishing plans.”
 
Also this year, adult anglers will enjoy a first-ever decrease in the price of their fishing license.
 
“This is our way of saying ‘thank you’ to our loyal customers,” added Arway. “And at the same time, we think the reduction will attract lapsed anglers back to the sport.”
 
The PFBC announced last fall that it was reducing the price of resident, non-resident and senior resident annual licenses by $1 for the entire 2015 season. The discount is part of a marketing campaign to highlight the sport’s affordability to families and younger audiences and to persuade lapsed anglers to return. It’s being promoted under the slogan “Catch the Value!” (Twitter - #CatchTheValue)
 
“By expanding the mentored youth trout program this year to all stocked waters, and taking into account the $1 decrease in the price of an adult fishing license, I’m confident we will see an even greater level of participation,” Arway said.
 
Also, vouchers for the voluntary youth license will be available at the 900 license-issuing agents and online. A voucher acts as a gift card and does not require any personal information at the time of sale. Clubs, organizations, businesses, and individuals who are interested in promoting youth angling can purchase quantities of voluntary youth license vouchers to distribute to children. Personal information is required at the time the voucher is redeemed and a customer identification number is issued.
 
The two Mentored Youth Fishing Days precede their respective opening days of trout season. The regional opening day of trout season is April 4 and the statewide opener is April 18.
 
More information about the program is available at www.GoneFishingPa.com.
 

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