PA (April 7) – Effective 8:00 a.m. on Tuesday, April 7, 2020, the Pennsylvania
Fish and Boat Commission (PFBC), in consultation with the Office of the
Governor, Pennsylvania Department of Health, and Pennsylvania Department of
Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR) opened the statewide 2020 trout
measure allows properly licensed anglers and youth to begin fishing for and
harvesting trout. All regulations, sizes, and creel limits apply.
Anglers and boaters must abide by social distancing guidelines provided
by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and Governor Tom Wolf’s Stay-at-Home Order regarding COVID-19.
realize that this announcement is another disruption to tradition, but it is in
the best interest of public health and safety,” said Tim Schaeffer, PFBC
Executive Director. “We have already seen that anglers and boaters across the
Commonwealth are willing to adapt their behavior to include social distancing,
and we ask everyone to follow their lead while enjoying outdoor activities
during this challenging time. The trout we have been stocking have had time to
spread out, and so should you.”
and boaters should limit travel by fishing close to home, cover their faces
with a mask or other cloth covering, keep a distance of at least six feet from
others (the length of arm with an outstretched fishing rod is a good guide),
only go fishing with members of their families living in the same household,
and never share fishing gear with others. If another angler is in an area you
intended to fish, move on to another spot.
Pennsylvania fishing license holders should comply with the CDC Travel Advisory urging residents in several
states, including New York and New Jersey, to refrain from non-essential
decision to open trout season immediately is intended to discourage
concentrated gatherings of people that may have occurred on the traditional
opening day, to minimize intrastate and interstate travel, and to reduce the
threat of illegal poaching in waters that have already been stocked.
staff will continue to stock trout throughout the spring, but not all waters
have been stocked at this time. To further discourage group gatherings, a
stocking schedule and list of waters that have been stocked will not be
provided to the public this season. Anglers should also be aware that public
access to some waters may be restricted by the landowner or local municipal
and boating is permitted in Pennsylvania state parks and state forests, when
social distancing guidelines are followed. DCNR is encouraging people to fish
and conduct other outdoor recreation within 15 minutes of their homes. Anglers
should note that state park facilities, including restrooms may be closed.
recreational activities, including fishing, lift our spirits and help relieve
stress, but they need to be done with attention to social distancing guidelines
to help protect ourselves and others, and slow the spread of COVID-19,” DCNR
Secretary Cindy Adams Dunn said. “That means practicing physical distancing of
six feet, avoiding crowds and staying close to home, and being prepared with a
mask and hand sanitizer.”
of fishing location, anglers should bring a bag with them and carry out their
a result of this action, a Mentored Youth Trout Day will not take place this
season. The PFBC will honor all Voluntary Youth Fishing Licenses purchased in
2020 for all mentored youth fishing opportunities during the 2021 season.
participate in trout fishing, anglers must have a Pennsylvania fishing license
and Trout/Salmon Permit, both of which may be purchased online using the FishBoatPA mobile app for smartphones, or at www.fishandboat.com. Those who
do not have the ability to purchase online and are unable to visit a retail
location may call (814) 359-5222 for purchasing assistance. Anglers may produce
a digital copy of their license on their mobile device as proof of purchase. A
signed, printed copy is not currently required to prove you own a valid
license. If approached by a Waterways Conservation Officer in the field, an
angler or boater may provide a digital image or receipt of their fishing
license, and a digital receipt from their launch permit or boat registration.
Anglers may still display their fishing license.
Practice Social Distancing While Fishing
accordance with direction provided by the Governor, Pennsylvania Department of
Health, and the CDC, the PFBC recommends that anglers practice social
distancing while fishing to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
Stay home if you do not feel well.
Cover your face with a mask or cloth covering.
Practice social distancing by keeping at least 6 feet (the length
of an outstretched standard fishing rod) between you and the nearest angler.
Avoid crowds. If you arrive at a fishing spot that is already
occupied, find another location.
Keep children from wandering into the personal space of others.
Do not share fishing gear.
Do not carpool.
Buy your fishing license online.
Continue to follow CDC guidelines, which include washing your hands
or using hand sanitizer frequently, and not touching your face.
If you are fishing at a state or local park, the restrooms may be
closed. Use the bathroom before you visit or dispose of waste properly. Carry
out your trash.
message containing social distancing recommendations while fishing can be
viewed here: https://youtu.be/NUtaY260DDA