Trout season delayed in Pennsylvania due to COVID-19

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HARVEYS LAKE, LUZERNE COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU-TV) — Trout season is quickly approaching for fishermen and women across Pennsylvania, but it too has been affected by the coronavirus outbreak. Opening day for the state is now April 18th.

With all the sports that are canceled due to the pandemic, one thing you can do is go out and fish. Harveys Lake in Luzerne County was stocked on Wednesday, but even still, there have been some changes in procedure for this upcoming season.

“We’re taking the preseason and the in-season stockings and combining the so that we can ensure that we get the fish in the water so that the anglers can enjoy them come the opening day. Another thing that we’re gonna be doing is we’re doing a single statewide opening day. In the past, we’ve had an early opener in the southern portion of the state. To try and dissuade some travel in between regions,” said John Cummings, Waterways Conservation Officer, Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission

While you are still able to fish, volunteering is something the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission is eliminating in the short-term.

“In the past, we’ve had a volunteer group that comes out and assists us with our stocking program. This year, unfortunately, we’re gonna have to ask that they stay home and do not come out to our stockings. What we’re gonna do as an agency is we’ve got some of our office staff and our other staff that isn’t typically out here, they’re gonna be coming out to assist us, and we’re not allowing volunteers to come out and assist us this year with our stocking program,” said Cummings.

The commission has the necessary adjustments in all areas to ensure the safety of fishers and officers.

“We’ve actually eliminated the display requirement for fishing licenses. But, we’ve gone a step further with all the concerns right now and we’re saying so you don’t feel like you have to go out and purchase a physical license, if you go out and purchase it on your device or on your phone or whatever, you don’t even have to print it out. As long as you have it there and you can show me a PDF file or some image of your license, that would be sufficient.”

It’s hard to dissuade people from coming out and fishing on a nice day, but there are certain measures you can take to make it a little more safe.

“Fishing, generally, is a sport that doesn’t involve much proximity, it’s something that you already have some distance with. So, we’re not dissuading people to come out and fish they can use their own judgement for that,” said Cummings.

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