PFBC's Winter Stocking Forthcoming
Inside the Outdoors, February 1
, 2013

Before I get on the subject of the upcoming trout stockings by the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission, I received notification by a Latrobe resident that disturbed me, to put it mildly. She told me her doctor forbids her to eat fish because of the mercury content in it. Interesting as it is, I can almost bet on the fact that he didn’t mention that animals have toxicity, as well, yet she did not tell me he didn’t advise her to cut out meat from pigs, for example.

The latter statement was not made to alarm anyone. It was made to draw one’s attention to the fact there are other sources of ways one can get much of mercury in his systems. A matter of fact, the biggest culprit is by overdosing on some medications.

Back in January of 2010, I published, in this column, an column revealing some of the many findings disclosed by the Center for Consumer Freedom. It disclosed, for instance:

  • Americans who consume twice as much mercury as the FDA recommends are still protected by a 500-percent cushion. The same generous safety margin applies to the Environmental Protection Agency’s mercury “Reference Dose;
  • There are no scientifically documented cases of Americans developing mercury poisoning from eating commercially available fish.
  • Researchers at Harvard University concluded that the health benefits of fish “greatly out weigh the risks.”

According to Tom Qualters, waterways conservation officer for the PFBC, Southwest Region, Somerset office, “It takes years and years for mercury to build up in one’s system. Seniors don’t have to worry about it at all. They’ll never live long enough to feel its effects.” I hope this gives one the go-ahead into eating some of the best freshwater fish that come out of area waters and saltwater species as well. Onward…

There will be a number of lakes that will be stocked with trout between February 1 and the 28th. All basins will receive buckets of rainbows. Bodies of water and the corresponding dates include:

Keystone and Northmoreland Lakes – Feb. 1; Donegal and Mammoth Lakes – Feb. 13; and Upper and Lower Twin Lakes, Feb. 14.

So sharpen those hooks, change to new line, if need be, bundle up and prepare yourself days of excitement. Oh, and one more thing – take a kid or friend with you. It makes the trip a whole lot more fun!

The PFBC always comes up with something new each year. This year is no exception. One of the topics that seemed to surface at a recent Forbes Trail Chapter Trout Unlimited meeting recently concerning fishing hour restrictions at the Delayed Harvest sections of the creeks. According to the PFBC, “Fishing hour restrictions have been removed for Catch and Release, Catch and Release Fly Fishing Only projects, and Delayed Harvest Artificial Lures only special regulation trout waters.”

In some approved trout waters, lakes and streams are not closed between March 1 and opening day of trout season. Since we live in Westmoreland County, listed are those bodies of water that are labeled ‘Approved Trout Waters Open to Year-Round Fishing.’

These include the following: Donegal, Keystone, Mammoth, Northmoreland and Lower and Upper Twin Lakes. One may still fish in them all year long, but have to throw the fish back if caught between the disclosed dates.

By the way, lifetime license permit holders may obtain a free booklet by stopping by a retailer selling licenses and get one just for the asking.

Finally, there are only 25 days left to buy your ticket for the FTTU 40th Anniversary Annual Banquet to be held here in Latrobe at the American Legion. This Latrobe-based organization’s volunteers continually strive to work hard to enhance our environment, promoting conservation, restoration of resources and education of all, particularly youth who want to learn about fly fishing and observation of the discoveries in the streams and overall care of the great outdoors. What is required is financial backing. This is its only fundraiser for the year, so it is most important that all who care about the great outdoors support the FTTU endeavors including purchasing a ticket for the banquet. One can get them at The Angler’s Room, Rt. 217, Latrobe, or Ligonier Outfitters, Main St. Ligonier. Bring the family!

- Paul J. Volkmann
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To buy my book, Off the Wall Favorites, call me at 724-539-8850.