Anglers eager to hit the streams, 6 feet apart


WILLIAMSPORT, LYCOMING COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU-TV) An unexpected announcement by the state has fisherman in the region ecstatic. Pennsylvania opened trout season early, as a way to discourage a concentration of people gathering on the traditional opening day.

It typically doesn’t start in this part of the state until the Saturday closest to April 15th.
Some fishermen tell me this is perfect timing.

“Well i think it’s a wonderful thing,” said Charles Knowlden, president of Trout Unlimited.

Tuesday morning, the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission, along with other state officials, opened the statewide 2020 trout season.

“The streams seem to be in pretty good shape and a lot of the stocking has been done so fishing should be good,” Knowlden told us.

But, it comes with a catch. Anglers and boaters must abide by social distancing guidelines provided by the CDC and Governor Tom Wolf’s ‘stay at home’ order regarding COVID-19. Something that could raise a challenge for many in the area.

Knowlden informed us that, “there are some places that are really easily accessible and you’ll find more crowding there especially at the beginning of the season.”

Knowlden, president of the Susquehanna Chapter of Trout Unlimited, tells Eyewitness News he encourages everyone to social distance, and if possible, only go trout fishing with one friend at a time.

“Those of us that are in the over 70 age range that might have some other health conditions, quite a lot of fisherman are in that category and they need to be able to go out there without having the fear of being contaminated,” he said.

After spending countless hours in January and February tying flies…

“I’ve been able to do that a little bit longer this year and I probably have a couple years supply of flies tied up now and I’m anxious to get out. It’s great just being out in nature. I might not catch as many fish but I enjoy being out there.”

Knowlden also says he’s anxious to get out to Pine Creek and go trout fishing with his son, hopefully as early as next Monday. And DCNR is encouraging people to fish and conduct other outdoor recreation within 15 minutes of their homes.

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