Waters to be Stocked
Inside the Outdoors, October 2, 2009

Recently while walking my favorite passage through the woods, Creekside Path, a gent approached me and asked, “Say when are you going to publish the fall stocking schedule outlined by the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission?” That question alerted me as to three revelations – one, he was weekly reading my column, of which I am always appreciative, and two, he was not only looking to be educated, but I quickly concluded, he wanted to do some fall fishing.

So, I did a bit of investigating and this is what I found. The following bodies of water will be stocked according to date, place, time and species of trout.

Westmoreland County

  • Donegal Lake – 10/6 – Donegal Lake Parking Lot, 12:30 PM – rainbow trout
  • Indian Creek - 10/6 - Donegal Lake Parking Lot, 12:30 PM – brook, brown trout
  • Indian Lake - 10/5 - Mammoth Dam, 12:30 PM – rainbow trout
  • Keystone Lake 10/6 - Keystone Lake Park Office, 12:00 PM – rainbow trout
  • Loyalhanna Creek 10/6 – SR 711 Bridge to SR 2045 Bridge, Keystone Lake Park
  • Office, 12 PM – rainbow trout
  • Mammoth Dam Lake – 10/5 – Mammoth Dam, 12:30 PM – rainbow trout
  • Northmoreland Lake – 10/6 – Keystone Lake Park Office, 12:00 PM – rainbow trout
  • Upper & Lower Twin Lakes – 10/2 – Lower Twin Lakes, 11:30 AM – rainbow trout

Somerset County

  • Laurel Hill Lake – 10/6 – Laurel Hill Breast Parking Lot, 10 AM – rainbow trout

Seven-inch brown trout have been stocked in the tributaries of Lake Erie as of Sept. 29. What makes this stocking different is that the fins of the fish were clipped to allow for future identification purposes. These fish were deposited in Trout Run, Presque Isle Bay, Crooked Creek, Godfrey Run and Orchard Beach Creek.

Depending on the water flow of each body of water, tributary stockings were done as close to the mouths of each stream. If the stream flow is low, the fish were stocked directly into the lake near the stream mouth.

“The goal of this program is to emulate the brown trout program on Lake Ontario, but on a smaller scale,” said Lake Erie Fisheries Biologist Chuck Murray. “The intention of this effort is to add some diversity to the tributary fishery, create a near shore springtime fishery and enhance the offshore boat fishery. These brown trout stockings will supplant the surplus steelhead stocked since the elimination of the Coho program in 2003.”

He made mention that approximately 35,000 additional brown trout were already stocked earlier this year. “The success of the program,” he added, “will be monitored through creel surveys and existing assessment programs over the next several years.”

You may recall my article Sept 25 concerning fly fishing whereby I interviewed Rich Rohrbaugh from the Angler’s Room in Derry Township. In this column, he commented about the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission’s income and how the permit costs in Erie should be higher.

Just recently, I received a press release concerning “Changes Made to the Lake Erie Permit Program.” I thought to myself, how timely. In it, it was revealed that legislation was signed into law last month that the Commission was allowed “to fund the fish habitat projects with proceeds from the sale of these permits.”

Monies collected from these sales “will be deposited into a restricted account until Dec. 31, 2014.” The monies will go toward protecting and improving fish habitat.

“With this legislation, the Lake Erie permit program will now play an additional role by providing funding to sustain and improve the natural resources that support and excellent fishery,” said PFBC executive director Douglas J. Austen. “Since the program was introduced, the Commission has secured public access to more than 10 miles of stream. Now we will be able to use some of that money for equally important fish habitat project in the Lake Erie watershed,” he said.

The new law will go into effect Oct. 26. It will allow the Commission to use proceeds for projects on Conneaut Creek, Turkey Creek and its tributaries as well.

Since 2004, anglers have been required to purchase a Lake Erie permit to fish the lake Presque Isle Bay and most tributaries. It is required in addition to a fishing license.

- Paul J. Volkmann
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