Statewide Opening Day of Trout Season is Saturday

HARRISBURG, Pa. – Anglers from across the state are gearing up to fish their favorite spots on Saturday, April 16, which marks the traditional statewide opening day of trout season.

(Photo courtesy of PA Fish & Boat Commission/

All along creeks and lake shorelines, anglers and their friends and families will anxiously wait for the official 8 a.m. start and an opportunity to catch some of the 3.2 million trout stocked each year by the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission (PFBC). Anglers can keep a daily limit of five trout, which must be at least seven inches long.

“While opening day of trout season is always one of the most exciting fishing days of the year, it’s also one of the biggest social events,” said PFBC Executive Director John Arway. “Many family and friends begin the season by helping the PFBC stock trout in their local waters weeks in advance of opening day. This gives everyone the chance to see the excellent quality of trout that are stocked and dream about catching one of the trophy trout that they stocked themselves.”

The PFBC’s “great white fleet” of hatchery trucks has been busy since late February stocking Pennsylvania’s waterways with a fresh supply of brook, brown and rainbow trout. Anglers can find stocked waters in their county by visiting the PFBC website or by downloading the free FishBoatPA smartphone app from the Apple App Store or Google Play Store.

“Our goal is always to find ways to improve the fishing and boating experience for our anglers and boaters, and this app does just that,” Arway added. “Now our customers can spend less time looking for information and more time outside fishing and boating.”

The app has been downloaded more than 38,600 times so far. One of the first item users see when the app is opened is an “Upcoming Trout Stocking” link, which updates in real-time. Users can sort stocking schedules by county. The app is tied directly into the PFBC’s online stocking schedule, so anglers can see past and upcoming stockings and the type of trout placed in a water.

The “Near Me” feature uses a phone’s GIS coordinates to locate and display trout waters within 5, 15, 25 and 50 miles of the user, who can then use mapping apps to get directions to their favorite stocking site.

Each year more than 850,000 anglers buy a fishing license, which is required for anyone 16 and older.

The price of a resident annual license is $21; non-resident annual $51; and senior resident annual $10. Trout permits are $8. Anglers also can purchase an optional $5 metal button for an alternate way to display their license. The PFBC also offers a voluntary youth fishing license for $2.70. For every youth license sold, the PFBC receives approximately $5 in federal funding, which is reinvested into youth fishing programs.

“Trout season is a great cure for cabin fever and an opportunity to get outside and enjoy the Commonwealth’s abundant natural resources,” Arway added. “It’s also a perfect time to share your excitement with others by ‘Paying it Forward,’ and doing a good deed.”

“Maybe you help bait someone’s hook, offer to take a shore angler out on your boat, or even buy someone a fishing license,” he said. “The idea is that we all benefit when we do good deeds for others.”

Anglers can share their support for opening day by visiting the PFBC’s Facebook event.

Licenses and buttons can be purchased at more than 900 licensing agents and online at

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