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Question about if I can keep the fish or not

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2013/8/16 21:41
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Hello! I am 100 percent new to fly fishing and fishing in general but I would still like to give it a shot. I apologize if my question is silly but I cant find the answer anywhere and I have searched "www.fish.state.pa.us" up and down. I would like to get into fishing for the sport of it, I see it as relaxing but if I happen to catch a very large fish I might want to keep it with the intention of eating it, can I? I understand that there is a limit to how many fish I can keep per day, but is there a restriction to only being able to keep fish from a certain area, all within season of course. If its any help im in the Montgomery/Leigh county.

Posted on: 2013/8/16 22:00


Re: Question about if I can keep the fish or not
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Quote:

Nocc wrote:
if I happen to catch a very large fish I might want to keep it with the intention of eating it, can I? I understand that there is a limit to how many fish I can keep per day, but is there a restriction to only being able to keep fish from a certain area,


Welcome, Nocc, to our online community.

Your question is actually pretty complicated. Yes, you can keep fish to eat but it will depend on the size and species of fish as well as the time of year and the lake or stream in which you caught it. For us to be able to give you a solid answer, you would have to be more specific about where you are fishing and what species of fish you will be targeting. As someone who is new to fishing, I'd suggest taking a couple fishing trips with someone who is experienced (or hire a fishing guide) and they can introduce you to the different species and identify what you catch, whether they're good to eat, and whether it is legal to keep them.

Posted on: 2013/8/16 22:07


Re: Question about if I can keep the fish or not

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Just go to some place that sells fishing licenses, like Walmart, and ask them for the Fish Commission rules booklet. It's free.

The rules on how many fish, what size, the seasons etc. are all explained in there.


Posted on: 2013/8/16 22:14


Re: Question about if I can keep the fish or not

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Start here

http://fishandboat.com/fishpub/summary/inland.html

Click on the highlighted links in that summary to get more specifics about the special regs for some fish species and fishing waters. It can get a little complicated, especially for trout.

Overall, the restrictive regs have helped the fishery a lot. Although there's nothing like a healthier environment for more and better fish habitat.

I keep fish to eat sometimes. I prefer to keep the smaller ones, they're usually tastier. And putting the big ones back makes for more and bigger wild fish.

Posted on: 2013/8/16 23:18


Re: Question about if I can keep the fish or not
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2006/9/11 8:26
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Quote:

barbless wrote:
Start here

http://fishandboat.com/fishpub/summary/inland.html

Click on the highlighted links in that summary to get more specifics about the special regs for some fish species and fishing waters. It can get a little complicated, especially for trout.

Overall, the restrictive regs have helped the fishery a lot. Although there's nothing like a healthier environment for more and better fish habitat.

I keep fish to eat sometimes. I prefer to keep the smaller ones, they're usually tastier. And putting the big ones back makes for more and bigger wild fish.


+1

No sin in keeping some fish within the legal limits. Consider keeping panfish like sunnies, crappies, perch, etc. All good eating and very prolific.

Also, many of the stocked trout streams are not capable of sustaining trout in the warm season, so taking home some "stockies" has no impact on the natural population of fish in those streams.

I do not harvest wild trout or bass. While legal to harvest in most streams, rivers and lakes, I believe it is best to return these wild fish back to spawn new generations of fish.

The choice is yours.

Posted on: 2013/8/17 6:45

Edited by afishinado on 2013/8/18 7:26:00


Re: Question about if I can keep the fish or not

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2013/4/23 19:39
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Most streams, at least trout streams, will have signs posted along the banks letting you know of any special regulations in the area. The signs may not totally explain the regs, but it should at least you you a phrase to goggle and find them.

Posted on: 2013/8/17 9:32


Re: Question about if I can keep the fish or not
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You can take trout from any water that is not specially regulated between Opening Day of Trout Season until Labor Day. There is a statewide limit of 5 per day, I think. Special regulation streams are listed and often marked clearly at the waterway. Read the regs on them. After Labor Day, harvest is only permitted on Approved Trout Waters and any water downstream (meaning into which the ATW runs) and the limit is lower. There are also special regs trout waters that permit limited year-round harvest within certain parameters, too variable to list, at least for me.

For other species, check the statewide "Seasons, Sizes, and Creel Limits" section of the booklet mentioned or the website linked.

Posted on: 2013/8/17 11:22
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Re: Question about if I can keep the fish or not

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Welcome. Aboard. GG

Posted on: 2013/8/17 17:45
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Re: Question about if I can keep the fish or not

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2013/7/30 17:16
From Fairborn, OH
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Good thread. You actually got me thinking about the state definition of "harvest": are you allowed to catch and release on non-approved trout waters outside of the regular season, or are you completely prohibited from wetting a line out of season? In other words, I will be back in PA around October 13th. I wanted to fish for wild browns and brookies, but have zero intention of keeping them. Do I have such an option on non-approved waters or do I have to stick to stocked rivers and streams?

Posted on: 2013/8/17 23:15


Re: Question about if I can keep the fish or not
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Quote:

Six-Gun wrote:
are you allowed to catch and release on non-approved trout waters outside of the regular season, or are you completely prohibited from wetting a line out of season?


Six,
Trout fishing regulations in PA are complicated and there are some gray areas (this has generated a lot of discussion on this website over the years, do a search for these threads).......however it is generally agreed that you can fish for trout on a catch and release basis outside of Approved Trout Waters throughout the regular season and extended season. You cannot harvest fish during the extended season outside ATWs. During the closed season in March-early April.......you cannot fish at all (even catch and release) in almost all ATWs but there is some debate about stream sections above and below the stocked areas. Sections of streams listed as "Class A" or "Wilderness" are generally recognized as fishable on a C&R basis throughout the year including the closed season.

Posted on: 2013/8/18 7:59


Re: Question about if I can keep the fish or not

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2006/9/13 10:18
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After Labor day, it's all no kil in anything except Apporved Trout Waters, which are stocked streams, and a few other waters list in the regs summary.

Posted on: 2013/8/18 16:31
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It's time to stop stocking all wild trout streams no matter what Classification they are, and time to eradicate brown trout in some of our limestone streams and re-establish brookies in them.


Re: Question about if I can keep the fish or not

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2013/7/30 17:16
From Fairborn, OH
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Awesome. Great info and that actually clears up a lot. I guess if you catch a wall-hanger out of season, your best bet is to just take measurements and get a fiberglass repro made. Other than that, I can't see any reason to harvest in wild trout waters anyway. I honestly prefer catch and release, especially when I can't tend to the fish for consumption quickly.

Posted on: 2013/8/18 21:59


Re: Question about if I can keep the fish or not

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ATW's and all waters downstream from ATW's: Stocked. Minimum size = 7". Limit is 5 from opening day till Sept. 2. From Sept. 3 through Feb. 28, the limit is 3. March 1 through the regional opening day is totally off limits to wetting any sort of line. Opening days are listed in the book and on the commission website, and start earlier in the SE portion of the state compared to the rest of the state.

Special regulation: There are a variety of special regulation streams, and they are listed individually. In all of them, I believe fishing is permitted year round. But size and creel limits vary, generally more restrictive than ATW's. Some are no harvest at all, while others have more restricted size limits or dates, etc. Also, some carry tackle restrictions (artificials only, or fly fishing only, etc.).

Class A: These are NOT stocked. They can also carry special regulations, in which case the special regs always take precedence. But assuming they don't have special regs, then from opening day through Sept. 2, the rules are the same as in an ATW. There is no extended season, so from Sept. 3 through opening day, you are allowed to fish but on a catch and release basis only, no harvest.

Not ATW, not class A: We've debated this on this forum before, as the fish commission literature is vague and sometimes somewhat contradictory. Opening day to Sept. 2 is the same as an ATW. The rule actually states that from Sept. 3 through opening day, you can not, even unintentionally, "harm" a trout. What that entails is up for debate, but the consensus here is that you can fish on a C&R basis, making the rules are pretty much the same as for class A streams. It seems that while not prohibited, they aren't exactly encouraging us to fish these between Sept. 3 and opening day.

Posted on: 2013/8/19 8:16


Re: Question about if I can keep the fish or not

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2013/7/30 17:16
From Fairborn, OH
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Thanks for expanding the definition on these, pcray. This is the kind of info that keeps new/infrequent PA fisherman out of trouble. I'm going have to bookmark this thread.

Posted on: 2013/8/19 11:39


Re: Question about if I can keep the fish or not

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2011/7/6 13:48
From Philadelphia PA
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In the winter time I do alot of catching and releasing on the stocked streams. This insures that I will have trout to catch throughout the fall winter season.

Posted on: 2013/8/19 14:40
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