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Questions about PA trout laws

Joined:
3/5 13:11
From Chesterbrook
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Ok once and for all, can someone please explain PA trout laws to me? I moved here a few years ago but only recently started fishing again, and this whole concept of a trout "season" is new to me. The state I came from you could go fishing Jan 1st as long as you had a license. I only fly fish and only catch & release, so I try to find dhal streams since they are less likely to be fished out. But what I don't understand is, when am I allowed to start fishing? Do I still need to wait for opening day? Or is opening day just the first day you are allowed to keep fish? And if that is the case, can I fish c&r anywhere all year long? Or only in dhal streams? There's a pretty nice wild brown trout stream by my house and it's c&r all year long, so that's kind of my go to spot, and I'd love to start hitting it up now that the weather is getting nicer, but don't want to get in any trouble since it's in a national park and any tickets/fines you get there are federal F'd in the A type stuff.

Posted on: 3/5 13:24

Edited by Juvi1624 on 2018/3/5 13:50:10


Re: Questions about PA trout laws

Joined:
2013/12/8 21:26
From Granville
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If it isn't stocked then it is open to year round fishing. If it is a Delayed Harvest area then it is also open to year round fishing. Trout cannot be harvested until the season opens back up in late March or April depending where you live. The only waters that generally close here in PA are the normal stocked trout waters and they are only closed for about a month. So all unstocked waters, all DHALO areas, all Class A sections (except the ones that get stocked) are open to year round angling just not year round harvest.

Posted on: 3/5 20:46


Re: Questions about PA trout laws

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2014/2/8 21:59
From centre/potter county
Posts: 71
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Quote:

jifigz wrote:
If it isn't stocked then it is open to year round fishing.


So I am a little confused as well. I was told from a fly fishing instructor at Penn State that wild brook trout streams are closed until opening day of trout season as of a couple years ago..I may be completely wrong and that would be great news to me as I will be heading up to check on the cabin in a week and would love to get out..

Posted on: 3/5 21:17


Re: Questions about PA trout laws

Joined:
2013/12/7 0:10
From SE Pa
Posts: 652
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Get yourself a good attorney and cartographer and the laws are actually pretty simple.

Posted on: 3/5 21:19


Re: Questions about PA trout laws

Joined:
2013/12/8 21:26
From Granville
Posts: 945
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The laws are quite simple. The closing of Brook Trout waters thing is something I have never heard of and sounds totally bogus to me. Download the "pocket-guide" of seasons/regulations from the PFBC as that may help. Seriously, the only closed waters are MOST stocked trout waters from March 1 till opening day. Harvest ends on Class A trout streams earlier than on "stocked waters and all waters downstream of stocked waters." And notice I said MOST stocked waters but there is a list of even stocked waters open to year round fishing. That list is easy to find and it is clearly posted on the website.

http://pfbc.pa.gov/fishpub/summaryad/troutregs.htm

Posted on: 3/6 3:32


Re: Questions about PA trout laws

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2006/11/2 8:50
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You can get the regs booklet at any Walmart, for free.


Posted on: 3/6 6:33


Re: Questions about PA trout laws
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Joined:
2006/9/11 8:26
From Chester County
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The PFBC site features a "Trout Stream Map" listing all the trout waters in PA by Classification. You can zoom in on any stream and click on it, the stream name will pop-up in a box along with a link back to the PFBC site detailing the regulation that applies to the stream and an up-to-date listing of all the streams managed under that regulation.

As posted above, stocked trout waters are generally closed beginning in March because they are being stocked and wild trout streams, which are unstocked are generally open to C&R fishing. There are also many special regulation areas that may be open.

The map below lists all of them and their regulations. In addition it shows boundaries of state and local parks open to the public.

Trout Stream Map

Posted on: 3/6 7:02

Edited by afishinado on 2018/3/6 7:17:37


Re: Questions about PA trout laws

Joined:
2006/9/11 13:05
From Reedsville
Posts: 397
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Stocked waters: Cannot fish from 3/1 until opening day. Can fish and harvest from opening day through labor day. Can fish and harvest less fish form Labor Day until the next 3/1.

DHALO: Can fish year round, dawn to dusk, no harvest until Bass season begins. then can harvest less than other stocked waters.

Most Class A's: Can fish year-round. Can only harvest during Trout opener through Labor day.

Other special regulation areas will define under there regs.

***I think the confusion with class a's is that the regs say that no fish can be harmed during that period from labor day through opening day the following year. So technically by fishing you could harm a fish. I still fish them though and so do many many many other people.

Posted on: 3/6 9:49
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Re: Questions about PA trout laws

Joined:
2013/8/5 23:08
From Lancaster
Posts: 332
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Juvi1624- The stream you are referring to is open year round for catch and release fishing. You may find that the park is closed at certain times for various reasons. In that case you would just need to abide by closures that you seem. I'm sure that this is a rare event though.

Fish Away!!

Posted on: 3/6 10:43


Re: Questions about PA trout laws

Joined:
2016/9/6 6:56
From McAlevy's Fort
Posts: 24
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I can appreciate the OP's concern. If you are new to the area, you may not know what is common knowledge for the locals.

I don't think the PFBC website is the most user friendly.

Here's an example:

http://pfbc.pa.gov/fishpub/summaryad/inland.html

Extended Season (Class A wild trout stream sections)
Jan. 1 through Feb. 28 and Sept. 4 through Dec. 31
NO HARVEST - Catch and immediate release only

You could read the inland regulations and conclude that the season for Class A streams ends on Feb. 28.

To find where it says that you CAN fish a Class A stream in March, you have to really dig. And actually I can't find it right now.

Look at this summary page of trout regulations.

http://pfbc.pa.gov/fishpub/summaryad/troutregs.htm

No mention of unstocked Class A streams at all.

I'm not trying to start a "can you or can't you fish a native or Class A stream in March" thread.

I can see where a new person might be hesitant to take the word of "some guy on the internet".

I don't think that the PFBC website makes it easy for a new fisherman to find out.






Posted on: 3/7 15:24


Re: Questions about PA trout laws

Joined:
2014/2/8 21:59
From centre/potter county
Posts: 71
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So what about wild trout streams that are NOT designated "class A". I've been doing some searching and haven't found anything in writing about whether they are fishable year-round or not.

Posted on: 3/7 16:20


Re: Questions about PA trout laws

Joined:
2012/6/5 21:59
From SWYC
Posts: 223
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Here's one for you, Sunday I legally fished a stocked stream in York Co. but was hesitant about fishing the downstream trib.

Posted on: 3/12 20:54
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Re: Questions about PA trout laws

Joined:
2013/12/8 21:26
From Granville
Posts: 945
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Quote:

laszlo wrote:
Here's one for you, Sunday I legally fished a stocked stream in York Co. but was hesitant about fishing the downstream trib.


So you fished South Branch of Codorus? Is the tributary stocked? If it isn't it is fair game.

Posted on: 3/12 22:50


Re: Questions about PA trout laws

Joined:
2013/12/8 21:26
From Granville
Posts: 945
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It used to be easy to find that Class A streams were open year round and I had trouble finding it the other day. If class A streams are open year round then all unstocked are in my assumption. If they were going to make a ref to close them any time of the year the spawn would be the most likely. Fish them, if you run into a WCO I'd be very surprised. And if you did and they could prove it to you that it was closed I'd be very surprised.

Posted on: 3/12 22:53


Re: Questions about PA trout laws
Moderator
Joined:
2016/1/24 14:30
From Gettysburg
Posts: 2801
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Quote:

huntfish wrote:
So what about wild trout streams that are NOT designated "class A". I've been doing some searching and haven't found anything in writing about whether they are fishable year-round or not.


Non stocked, non Class A streams are undefined.
Many of us belive that as long as you practice C&R they can be fished during closed season.

Posted on: 3/13 8:26



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