No fishing? What?!
If you aren’t familar with the term “Approved Trout Water” please allow me to provide an explanation:
These waters are closed to all fishing (including taking of minnows) from March 1 to 8 a.m. on the opening day of the trout season. Some of these waters have been included in the Early Season Trout-Stocked Waters Program and are open from March 1 through March 31. A person shall be deemed to be fishing if he or she has in possession any fishing line, rod or other device that can be used for fishing while on or in any water or on the banks within 25 feet of any water where fishing is prohibited. Via fishandboat.com
The map above is an approximate view of the Approved Trout Water in Montgomery County PA (orange lines). For a detailed look at Southeastern PA’s Approved Trout Water click here
What is the point of approved trout water?
Great question. While I still need to track down the official answer from the PA Fish and Boat Commission, I will venture a guess. Most of these approved waters are heavily stocked with trout in preparation for the opening day of Pennsylvania’s Trout season. Closing the water to all fishing for a month allows these hatchery fish to acclimate to the water, move around a bit, and try to find natural food.
Truth be told, hatchery fish are kinda dumb, probably won’t move much, and have a burning desire to eat orange Powerbait… But hey, the least we can do is give them ONE month of freedom!
While I rarely keep fish for the table, I will say Trout caught on opening day are going to be eaten. Many of these Trout would have a seriously difficult time making it through a Summer in Southeastern PA and are generally not savvy enough to survive in the local streams for a long period of time.
A few points to keep in mind:
- “Trout Season” doesn’t mean “fishing season”. If it isn’t Approved Trout Water, you are allowed to fish there all year long.
- Trout season starts at 8am on March 31 in Southeastern PA and April 14th in the rest of PA
- You can buy your 2012 PA fishing license right now ONLINE
- The lovely people of the PA Fish & Boat Commission aren’t being mean. They are doing this to give the Trout a fighting chance and hopefully add a little more challenge to your fishing.
- If you haven’t been to The PA Fish and Boat Commission homepage yet you are missing out!
Are you excited about the opening day of Trout season? Are you bummed that you live farther north and have to wait a few more weeks? Let us know in the comments below!