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Regulations (warmwater and trout) too complicated for newbies?

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2006/11/10 8:32
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I would be interested in learning whether any (many?) of you have ever heard from a new angler or from someone with whom you were discussing fishing in Pa that the Pa regulations were so complex that they discouraged entry-level anglers from participating.

Posted on: 12/14 16:16


Re: Regulations (warmwater and trout) too complicated for newbies?

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2013/8/26 20:36
From Ellwood City
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I'm fairly new this year and they didn't discourage me. I'm heavily addicted though and have read countless articles and books though. I think if you're serious about it and are willing to put a little time in out of the water there isn't much to them

Posted on: 12/14 16:34


Re: Regulations (warmwater and trout) too complicated for newbies?

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This coincides perfectly with something I was going to post, so I might as well tie it into the original question. I don't think the current regulations are overly complicated. But what is complicated is some of the historical legacy of some regulations, and the collective ignorance and urban myths that the Internet, forums, and forum members (sometimes ignorantly) perpetuate. I am not referring specifically to PAFF, but generally, anytime you get people together, opinions and interpretations will often overshadow facts.

The specific case I would refer to is after hour fishing on special regulations stream sections. For the better part of my life, my understanding of the regulation included that fishing was prohibited from the time period of one hour after sunset to one hour before sunrise. This was changed in 2013 to not prohibit (from a PFBC regulation perspective) fishing on special reg sections. It was published in the Summary book you receive with your license and I remembered reading about the potential change a few years back. However, I would guess that the majority of people who fish FFO or Artificial Lures sections still believe the historical regulations are in effect. In fact, if you look at many of the posters that are hung on trees in those sections, they still contain that old rule. I was able to get confirmation from the PFBC that indeed, 24-hour fishing was permitted on special regulation sections, so long as the property owner permitted 24-hour access to the property itself. And see here, for the actual regulation change and discussion.

My point would be that if you were to ask on PAFF about this specific regulation (or to the angling population in general), you probably would have a majority that would respond with the old dusk to dawn exclusion time. And, if you were an angler streamside, you would be presented with the old legacy rule, printed on plastic, hung to a tree.

Likewise, you have stream sections where wading historically was banned, or where barbless hooks were required. And now, you can wade in some sections where you couldn't before, and I'm still trying to figure out if there are any stream sections where only barbless hooks can be used (apparently the answer is the barbless requirement was eliminated with the inception of C&R FFO regulations). The information that can be found varies greatly - for instance, look at the "Slate Run" website, which a new angler could potentially take as authoritative. It states "Fishing in Pennsylvania for Slate Run Trout must use fly fishing tackle, including flies and barbless hooks, and must immediately release their Slate Run Trout back into the stream.". However, the PFBC lists Slate Run in the C&R FFO reg, which makes no mention of barbless hooks.

Another example that often is inquired about is fishing ATW or wild waters in and out of season. The PFBC has some good FAQ answers to this question, but hopefully a WCO or deputy would have the same interpretation as their employer does, about what you can and can't do on such waters, and when you can do it.

I think it boils down to there is a lot of old outdated information or misinformation available and anglers often parrot back what used to be the case. The best that the PFBC can do is to make sure that information about current regulations is readily accessible on their website. But there is a big potential for confusion when what is hanging on the trees doesn't agree with the current state of things. Nor is it practical to replace the thousands of signs every time a regulation is tweaked.

Generally speaking, I don't think any of the regulations would discourage entry-level anglers from participating. I do think that at times, they may not take full advantage of the opportunities available to them, because they think they can't fish X water. And that might not be limited to entry-level anglers.

Posted on: 12/14 17:30


Re: Regulations (warmwater and trout) too complicated for newbies?
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Quote:

salmonoid wrote:
My point would be that if you were to ask on PAFF about this specific regulation (or to the angling population in general), you probably would have a majority that would respond with the old dusk to dawn exclusion time.


Yep - I was certainly one of them until Salmonoid reminded me of this change (which I vaguely remember now, but had forgotten) in a recent thread. Certainly, there are regs that are vague - every winter we have a huge thread here about where one can fish during the closed season and folks are still scratching their heads on this topic. I can think of some other regs that are vague or confusing. However, in the interest of keeping this topic from veering off the rails.....

Mike,
My short answer to this question is a qualified "no."
I cannot recall any beginner fishermen ever telling me that they chose not to pursue the sport or buy a license due to ambiguity in regulations. I can, however, recall quite a few beginners coming to me with questions about regulations or what they meant. The rules are complicated but not much more so than comparable states with similar fisheries.

Posted on: 12/14 19:10


Re: Regulations (warmwater and trout) too complicated for newbies?

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Quote:

Mike wrote:
I would be interested in learning whether any (many?) of you have ever heard from a new angler or from someone with whom you were discussing fishing in Pa that the Pa regulations were so complex that they discouraged entry-level anglers from participating.


No, never. Some occasional grumbling, yes.

But I've never heard anyone say they quit fishing or decided not to pursue it because the regs were too complicated. And I'm skeptical that happens.

Most flyfishers release their fish. Someone who fly fishes and doesn't keep trout has little to fear regarding running afoul of the regs.

A C&R flyfisher who fishes general regs areas, flyfishing only areas, artificials only areas, trophy areas, C&R areas, etc., fishes them all the same way.

Posted on: 12/14 21:59


Re: Regulations (warmwater and trout) too complicated for newbies?
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I have never had anyone complain to me about the regs. Like FU I have spent numerous times explaining the regs to folks who didn;t understand them, but they all had licenses. and wel ignorance is bliss. They wanted to fish and they did. And I spend a great deal of time "out there" talking about fishing and watersheds with folks, usually representing MCTU at Street fairs, Sports shows and Opening Day Food Stands.

On the other hand, I have had many people complain about the cost of a license. I had a guy visit a watershed weekend venue we hosted (professionally not TU). It was a series of rain gardens and stormwater conveyances on a public "dog walk" area so the visitors were not there to see the project. One guy that happened by was curious about why we "dug up" the place. The convo quickly went to fishing and how he used to be a trout fishing phenom in York. But not anymore...it just costs too much and there are so few fish. A real sour grapes guy. I hammered him saying are you kidding me? $32 for a years entertainment? Really, thats too much. How much do you spend on dog food? He said York used to have so many trout streams and now they are all posted. I said well we have over 9 miles of ATW in the Muddy Watershed and probably 10+ miles in the codorus All stocked and within half hour of here. He was stunned...I said Hell I moved here because of the fishing. I fish year round and this county is loaded with wild trout. HE then said Oh I love those natives...they have that pink flesh. They taste so good. I said well I only catch and release. He said he may just have to get a license if all this is true...Where are the wild trout streams he asked? I said, well, If I told you I would be cutting my own throat wouldn't I?

What do you mean he said? I said wild trout don;t reproduce well in a skillet. He said don't worry, they will stock more won't they? A glazed look went over my eyes and I said, Well I have to get back to work now.

I would bet my best orvis rod he doesn't get a license.

Now not all the visitors were that naive. You should have seen the blond in lycra who jogged up after a four mile jaunt. She seemed very interested in the project. And she never asked about the complicated regulations for um...what were we talking about?


Posted on: 12/14 22:18
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Re: Regulations (warmwater and trout) too complicated for newbies?
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Mike,

Same here. I talk to people every day at the shop, and have taught close to a thousand new anglers in our fishing classes in the past few years, and I rarely hear anyone complain about complex fishing regulations.

In addition, when discussing fishing licenses, most new anglers believe that $30 or so for a license to fish for an entire year is a bargain.

Posted on: 12/15 6:18


Re: Regulations (warmwater and trout) too complicated for newbies?

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2012/3/22 8:26
From Couldn't Care Less
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Mike .. I’m still new to fishing in general & I’m someone who hates regulations, hates having to read them, follow them etc and it didn’t discourage me. The regs are fairly basic (from what I know) when it comes to what you can and can not do, when you can do it, where you can do it, etc tho some common sense comes into play. Any questions I have ever had have been happily answered by the gents on this board. If someone isn’t lazy and takes the time to seek out an answer to anything they deem complex …. with the internet it’s fairly easy to get and answer.


@Maurice/AFish ... I would LOL @ anyone who complained abt a $32 fishing license tho I may disagree with the concept. Ask them if they would complain if a bunch of state owned golf course (if they exist) and sold you a license for $100 to golf for a year on any course .... would you consider that a bargain?

Posted on: 12/15 7:46
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Re: Regulations (warmwater and trout) too complicated for newbies?

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2012/10/24 19:22
From Landenberg, PA
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when i moved here. i looked up the regs and posted questions here.

i still am not quite sure of the ATW rules and tributaries thing.....

my proposal to get young blood into fishing would be a $1 one day licence for buyers in their first year, based on their SSN which we have to give you now anyway.


Posted on: 12/15 16:25
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Re: Regulations (warmwater and trout) too complicated for newbies?

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I am an instructor of sorts, I work somewhere that we occasionally (3-4 times a year) take trips out with people who have never fly fished (or never fished in general) before and show them the basics. At first, a lot of them are not aware that regulations exist at all, but once they are informed there are no complaints.

OT but what gets me is when people are clueless about what species of fish they are catching. All fish look the same to some people.

Posted on: 12/15 16:33
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Re: Regulations (warmwater and trout) too complicated for newbies?

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In all honesty, I never heard someone complain about the regs being too complicated. IMO they aren't complicated enough to successfully manage most wild trout populations in our pa borders.

Posted on: 12/15 17:38
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Re: Regulations (warmwater and trout) too complicated for newbies?

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What changes are being considered?

Posted on: 12/15 18:39


Re: Regulations (warmwater and trout) too complicated for newbies?

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I've never heard of anyone not getting into fishing because of how complicated the regs are, but I know for sure there are many anglers out there who may not fully understand the regs. Maybe just because they don't read them carefully enough, or maybe because some of the regs are confusing and contain grey areas.

Quote:
IMO they aren't complicated enough to successfully manage most wild trout populations in our pa borders.


I agree. And not just wild trout, but all species. More location specific regs would be nice instead of the "one size fits all" regulations. It would definitely make things even more complicated though.

Overall, I think they are fine as is(complication wise).

Quote:
OT but what gets me is when people are clueless about what species of fish they are catching. All fish look the same to some people.


This(as well as many other things) is a big pet peeve of mine. It's not neccessarily always the persons fault, maybe they just weren't educated and only fish one or two times a year if that. And a lot of those people may also be the type that think "What? You need a license to go fishing?!?"

Posted on: 12/15 19:23


Re: Regulations (warmwater and trout) too complicated for newbies?

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I have my doubts on whether over-complicated regs turn off any/many from becoming avid fishermen.

I do think it leads to confusion, though. In some cases, the more conservative types not taking advantage of opportunities which are legal. And in some cases, some taking advantages of opportunities that they're not sure are legal.

The biggest complication I've seen is the issue of non-ATW, non class A, non-special reg streams, i.e. your run of the mill class B or C wild trout stream. And whether you can fish it on a catch and release basis in the extended and off-seasons. This has come up on this forum many times, and the general consensus is yes, you can. But there exists on the fish commission website language that appears contradictory. You can do all the research humanly possible and still come away a unsure of yourself. That's not good.

And, it's clearer when you look deeper, but at first glance determining whether a waterway is indeed an ATW. Some seem to think it's only areas that are stocked. But generally, it's the whole stream, even if only a portion is stocked. UNLESS it crosses a county line. etc. I think this is less of a problem, cause it is all there for us to figure out. But it takes some digging to figure it out. Plenty of people just assume.

There's very little awareness of ATW's open year round. For instance, I've been approached numerous times fishing the Tully below Red Bridge in the off season. One even said he called and turned me in.

Another is a lake vs. the stream above. Ok, you can fish the lake, but not the stream that runs into it. I've ran into a couple of situations where the line between lake and stream is in question. When more water is held back, the lake can extend a mile!

^^One example of this is Tionesta Creek below the Kelletville Bridge. They stock heavily at the bridge, and below it is a very popular spot on the first day. But technically, it's ATW above the bridge and not below. It's still very streamlike there and over a mile till where the water slows for the lake. Does that mean you can fish it pre-season below the bridge? If so, I know it'd shock an awful lot of people who cram in there shoulder to shoulder on the first morning. If someone bounced in there pre-season thinking it's legal to C&R, would they get a citation?

Special regs and marked ATW areas are, I think, self-explanatory and done well. Maybe a small bit of uncertainty over what constitutes bait, vs. artificial, vs. fly. For instance, some use foam rubber on dry flies, and some use latex on, for instance, czech nymphs. Does that constitute a "fly" in an FFO area? But I'm not sure how to solve this other than adding more language, which will tend to make it even more tedious.

Posted on: 12/16 11:15


Re: Regulations (warmwater and trout) too complicated for newbies?

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2012/10/24 19:22
From Landenberg, PA
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Quote:


The biggest complication I've seen is the issue of non-ATW, non class A, non-special reg streams, i.e. your run of the mill class B or C wild trout stream. And whether you can fish it on a catch and release basis in the extended and off-seasons. This has come up on this forum many times, and the general consensus is yes, you can. But there exists on the fish commission website language that appears contradictory. You can do all the research humanly possible and still come away a unsure of yourself. That's not good.



yup. thats stopped me fishing a couple of times - and some of these streams feed into all year round trout lakes, so i'm not sure if i can fish them come ice out or not ????

i guess what we all need to know is - when is XXXX open, and when closed ? give us real dates man....

Posted on: 12/16 13:46



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