For the 2021 Trout Season, the PFBC will operate under a consolidated statewide schedule for all counties. Under this revised plan, a single Statewide Mentored Youth Trout Day will occur on Saturday, March 27, and a single Statewide Opening Day of trout season will take place on Saturday, April 3. As a result of this consolidation, separate regional mentored youth and opening days will not occur. Anglers are also reminded that because the mentored youth days were cancelled in 2020, all Voluntary Youth Fishing Licenses purchased last season remain valid and will be honored during the 2021 season.
To prepare for the consolidated statewide trout season schedule, the PFBC will begin pre-season trout stocking operations on February 15, 2021, approximately two weeks earlier than in previous seasons. This change will allow hatchery staff to deliver trout to many waters ahead of the Statewide Mentored Youth Trout Day and, weather permitting, all waters prior to the Statewide Opening Day. Due to this change, all streams that are designated as Stocked Trout Waters will be closed to angling when stocking begins on February 15. To provide for additional angling opportunities during this time, trout which are stocked in lakes, reservoirs, and ponds during the pre-season will be open to catch-and-release angling but may not be harvested until Statewide Mentored Youth Day and Statewide Opening Day.
In addition, fishing will be closed on the Lake Erie Tributaries and Presque Isle Bay from 12:01 a.m. on April 2 until 8:00 a.m. on April 3. This temporary modification to the trout season, size, and creel limits will mirror regulation changes that occur annually in the Lake Erie region prior to the regular Statewide Opening Day and are designed to protect against the overharvest of steelhead.
To achieve the highest quality stocking operations, the PFBC will be reintroducing volunteer opportunities in 2021. However, to protect the safety of PFBC staff and the public all volunteers will be required to wear personal protective gear, including masks and gloves, and practice social distancing while participating in stocking operations.
To inform anglers of trout stocking dates and locations, a stocking schedule will be provided on the PFBC website and FishBoatPA mobile app beginning on February 1. Anglers are reminded that all stocking dates are subject to change due to weather conditions and other factors, and they should check the stocking schedule throughout the season.