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Trout season ‘operating under a consolidated statewide schedule’

Fishing is essentially a form of social distancing before social distancing became a key part of our lexicon.

But that doesn’t mean that the COVID-19 crisis isn’t impacting trout season in the Commonwealth.

The Fish & Boat Commission has issued a statement as well as a FAQ on fishing in the midst of the pandemic.

First of all, fishing is still permitted.

“Fishing is often a solitary activity and is currently acceptable per the guidelines issued by the Pennsylvania Department of Health if social distancing guidelines are followed,” the PFBC states.

The PFBC explains that trout season is “operating under a consolidated statewide schedule for all counties during the 2020 trout season.”

That includes an April 11 Mentored Youth Trout Day and state-wide opening day set for April 18.

The state is still stocking trout as they do every year but “the public is not permitted to help stock fish at this time,” according to the PFBC. “The 2020 trout stocking schedule is being conducted on an accelerated schedule. These changes will not result in any reduction in the approximately 3.2 million trout scheduled to be stocked state-wide in 2020.”

Trout stocking schedules currently aren’t available as the PFBC’s focus is “on stocking and efficiently as we can” and the PFBC says an updated schedule will be posted closer to that April 11 youth dayas “in some cases pre-season and in-season allocations of trout will be combined into single stocking event to increase the efficiency of stocking trips.”

“Thank you to the anglers and boaters of Pennsylvania for their understanding as we all experience these changes together,” Tim Schaeffer, PFBC executive director, said in a statement. “While our calendars may start to look a little different, one thing we can count on is that there will be a trout season and there will be plenty of fish out there to enjoy.

“Working under unprecedented circumstances, our staff is committed to providing the quality fishing experience that we all expect.”

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