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Trout stockings will be completed by this weekend

All pre-season and in-season trout stockings throughout Pennsylvania are expected to be completed by this weekend.

That’s according to an update from Fish & Boat Commission Executive Director Tim Schaeffer during Tuesday’s Commission meeting which was streamed on Facebook.

Schaeffer said that Commission staff have been “doing a great job of operating remotely or safely in office locations.”

He said license and registration staff are working in shifts “keeping those aspects of the agency moving forward” and said there are staff “teleworking state-wide.”

Schaeffer thanked the Governor’s office, the Department of Health and the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources “for collaborating as we led up to the decision” to open trout season early.

He said that has “been a really smooth implementation so far,” explaining that the “accelerated stocking schedule commenced on March 15” and that all pre-season and in-season stockings would be completed by this weekend.

He said it was a “great team effort to get the fish stocked this spring,” thanking staff, commissioners, agency partners and “most of all to the anglers who are setting a good example of practicing social distancing this spring.”

Wayne Melnick, lead counsel for the Commission, said the Commission back in 1984 took action to give the executive director to take actions such as the decision to change the date for the start of trout season, subject to a ratification by Commission members.

“All of these changes are temporary and affect only the 2020 trout season,” he said.

The Commissioners ratified Schaeffer’s actions.

“This was a very difficult decision” for the commissioners, Commissioner Richard Lewis said, knowing it would disrupt people’s Opening Day plans. “We finally came down and decided (tha the) health and safety of our anglers was paramount and that was the reason for the decision.”

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