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PFBC changes regulations along Bald Eagle Creek

HARRISBURG – In Centre County, the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission Board of Commissioners last week approved the publication of a notice of proposed rulemaking to amend fishing regulations along Bald Eagle Creek. Under the proposal, Section 03 of Bald Eagle Creek would be managed under an experimental Miscellaneous Special Regulation designed to enhance stocked trout management. This regulation will be identical to the current Delayed Harvest Artificial Lures Only (58 Pa. Code §65.6) regulation; however, all tackle types will be permitted. As such, the regulation allows for year-round angling with all tackle types and harvest of up to three trout per day at least nine inches in length from June 15 through Labor Day, with no harvest permitted the remainder of the year. The regulation is designed to provide for an extended period of catch and release angling with all tackle types for stocked trout; then, as stream conditions become less favorable for trout survival due to decreased flow and elevated water temperatures, harvest is permitted under a reduced creel limit. The objectives are to reduce fishing mortality during the catch and release period, maintain high trout population densities to provide for high angler catch rates, recycle stocked trout to optimize their recreational benefit, provide high-quality angling opportunity for stocked trout in the absence of tackle restrictions, and evaluate the use of bait in a delayed harvest regulatory setting. If approved on final rulemaking at a future meeting, the amendment will go into effect on January 1, 2021.

In other action, Commissioners approved the designation of five stream sections to the list of Class A wild trout streams. The board also approved the addition of 73 new waters to the Commission’s list of wild trout streams. These additions will go into effect upon the publication of a second notice in the Pennsylvania Bulletin. A list of waters proposed for wild trout stream and Class A Wild Trout Stream designation can be found on the PFBC website.

Related to trout fishing, the Commission reminds anglers to take summer weather conditions into consideration when enjoying local waterways. In many cases during very hot and dry conditions, trout will seek out the closest source of cold water to provide thermal relief. This often results in many trout congregating at the mouths of cool-water tributaries or spring seeps. The Commission asks anglers to consider that while crowded and thermally stressed trout in a pool of water may look like an easy target, these fish are typically in poor condition and difficult to catch. Anglers should avoid fishing for trout during these conditions, as it can have lasting impacts on the population.

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