Trout Season Opens April 17
Inside the Outdoors, April 2, 2010

Just before trout season opens annually, the Pennsylvania Boat and Fish Commission emails a release talking about what’s in store for those heading out to hopefully catch their favorite fish - trout.

As I read through the recent article a couple weeks ago, there was one paragraph that caught my eye, in particular. This is what it said. “To help Pennsylvanians make educated choices about which fish from the state’s many waters to eat and how often, the Commonwealth conducts regular sampling and testing of wild fish, as well a hatchery trout released to Pennsylvania streams. Because of high levels of various chemicals can increase certain risks, this testing enables the Commonwealth to make both general and specific recommendations. ‘In 2010, tests have shown no need for additional special guidelines for eat PFBC-raised trout.’”

As you may recall, a number of months ago, I wrote a story about mercury and how a reader told me she was staying away from eating fish because of hearing about reports about chemical content in fish. I did a great deal of research on the subject, and found evidence to back it up that reports via media were erroneous to a great extent. To read that story, one may log onto my website at and click on “Writing Archives,” or Note and click on “Read Outdoors by Paul Volkmann. When my latest story comes up, you will see the word, “archives” above it. Click on it and scroll down until you see the head “Mercury – a problem? If you haven’t read it, I think you will find it fascinating.

Here is what the PFBC release continued to state:

“The U.S. Food and Drug Administration, American Heart Association and other nutrition experts recommend eating up to 12 ounces, or 2-3 servings, or of fish per week; except for certain large ocean fish (Shark, Swordfish, King Mackerel, or Tilefish).

As general guidance, the departments of health, Environmental Protection, and Agriculture, along with the PFBC, suggest that pregnant and breast-feeding women, women of childbearing age and children can make sport-caught fish the source for one of their weekly meals of fish,” it revealed.

According to John Arway, executive director the PFBC, “Fish is high in protein and is a valuable source of vitamins, minerals and beneficial oils that are low in saturated fat, “ he said. “Trout are especially high in B-12 and omega-3 fatty acids, which improves cardiovascular health and brain development in children. As a consequence, fresh trout and other fish can be an important part of a healthy, balanced diet.”

Through this revelation, I believe it is most encouraging that more anglers, both young and old will want to head out to the lakes and streams to use their skills to catch trout beginning April 17 in this region. I say this region, because in other parts of the state, the 2010 trout season began April 3.

I talked to a lad from Indiana recently. He and his father were in Latrobe. I asked him if he had planned to fish this year. He voiced the normal complaint that I hear of so many anglers – “I don’t know if I can afford the license again this year.”

Well young man, the PFBC has scheduled the annual Fish for Free Days on Saturday, May 22, and Sunday, June 6. No fishing license is required to fish on either of these days.

Finally, I touched base with a good friend concerning his favorite recipe for trout. He gave me one for fish jerky. I never heard of fish jerky, so it was a welcome contribution.

This is what I learned from Latrobe’s Skip Shawley. “One will need five to six pounds of trout fillets, three cups of soy sauce and one cup of liquid smoke. Mix soy and liquid smoke in a large bowl with a tight lid. Marinade fillets 12-24 hours in refrigerator. Dehydrate until firm.” He added, “This will keep in the refrigerator for several weeks.” He also pointed out, “This recipe also works very well with many types of fish. Bass is very good this way.” Thanks Skip for this contribution. Now catch those trout and savor the flavor!

- Paul J. Volkmann
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