Brief Guide to Mentored Youth Trout Fishing in Pennsylvania
March 23, 2016 by Don Manning
It is challenging to get kids involved in the outdoors. Computers, tablets and video games consume our lives. Although these devices are now needed for many tasks in life, experiencing the outdoors is just as critical. Mentored youth trout fishing in Pennsylvania provides an opportunity each spring for kids to have their own opening trout day.
The mentored youth trout fishing program in Pennsylvania provides opportunities to get kids out trout fishing with low pressure and fully stocked streams and lakes. Reduced fishing pressure and kids only programs are perhaps the best ways to increase the number of young anglers. Mentored youth trout fishing in Pennsylvania is a program that checks all the boxes and one you do not want to miss if you have youngster.
The program started in 2013 on 12 select waterways in the state; however, the response and feedback from Pennsylvania anglers prompted the PA Fish and Boat Commission to expand the program to include all approved trout stocked waters. The expansion substantially increases the number of waters open to the program and ultimately provides more youth trout fishing opportunities.
Who Can Participate in These Youth Trout Fishing Days?
Anglers under the age of 16, with an accompanying adult mentor (over 16 years old), can participate in mentored youth trout fishing in Pennsylvania. The youth angler must have either a mentored youth fishing permit, which is free, or have purchased a voluntary youth fishing license, which costs $2.90 and can be obtained online or at any license retailer. All mentors, those adults fishing with kids, must have a valid fishing license with trout stamp. Adult mentors are allowed to fish also, but no trout may be kept and all trout caught shall be immediately released alive. Youth trout anglers are allowed to keep two trout of at least 7 inches.
Mentored Youth Trout Fishing Days
Mentored youth trout fishing days are Saturday, March 23, 2019 on approved trout waters in the regional 18 southeastern counties. A second mentored youth trout fishing day will also occur on Saturday, April 6, 2019 for the remaining counties on approved trout waters. Fishing can begin at 8am.
Why You Should Participate in Mentored Youth Trout Fishing Days
Besides the benefit of being the first to fish streams and lakes that have already been stocked with trout, it is also a great time to get a kid started with fishing. Pressure on these waterways is often less than the traditional opening days of trout. This reason alone allows for more room to fish and less people upset if you continuously get tangled in the trees. It also aids in helping to teach your kids how to trout fish with less pressure from other anglers.
In addition, purchasing a voluntary youth license provides a mechanism to fund more youth fishing outreach and educational programs. For each license purchased, the PA Fish and Boat Commission receives $5 back in federal funds, which are devoted to youth angling programs across the state. Your kids feel like a real angler with their own license and you have helped keep youth fishing strong in the state.
To wrap up, remember youth trout fishing days are for the kids to experience the joy of fishing while strengthening the bonds between friends and family. Keep your angler in mind; prepare for the weather, have your tackle and youth fishing gear ready and functional and know when to call it a day. Our sport relies almost entirely on anglers to pass along the traditions and experience to conserve the resources. Getting a child involved early will ensure that our great sport will continue to be a pastime for life.