“I enjoy stocking them just as much as I do fishing for them,” Ed Kern said as he tossed a bucket of rainbow trout into Bald Eagle Creek.
Kern was just one in a swarm of volunteers who gathered to help the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission stock rainbow trout and trophy golden rainbow trout Thursday morning.
Waterways Conservation Officer for the north-central region Gregory Kraynak said he was grateful for the line of volunteers hauling the buckets. The morning went quickly as hundreds of trout were introduced to the chilly waters that will be lined with fishermen Saturday morning.
Pennsylvania fishermen with the trout and salmon permits can cast their lines for a daily limit of five, 7-inch-long trout.
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Stocking the fish is paid for by the trout permit that is purchased in addition to a fisherman’s fishing license. This permit allows a month and a half of fishing to only those who paid to help raise the fish. A preseason stock, followed by a stock in the upcoming weeks and then a fingerling release will ensure enough trout to sport throughout the year.
The Pennsylvania Boat and Fish Commission reminds fishermen to be respectful as they fish from private land. Many landowners work with the commission to allow stocking and fishing on their properties.
Different classes of water determine the rules for each area, which can be viewed on the PFBC website.
In his orange waders, Nate Walters from the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission’s Pleasant Gap fish hatchery doesn’t get attached to the fish he raises. He said stocking season is fun, and is what makes his job worth it.