State's trout stock continues to fall
By Bob Frye
Sunday, April 12, 2009
Ron Bachy can't tell you what he'll be doing from year to year on the third Saturday in February, the second Tuesday in June or the fourth Monday in September.
But the first Saturday after April 11?
That's opening day of Pennsylvania's trout season — it falls on April 18 this year — and Bachy will be fishing, just as he has been every year for more than three decades.Most recently, that's meant being on Blacklegs Creek in Indiana County with his dad, brother and son. Before that, it was Kettle Creek, Loyalhanna Creek or Keystone Lake.
"I'm 40, and we've been fishing opening day since I was 7 or 8 years old," said Bachy, of Turtle Creek and Pitcairn-Monroeville Sportsmen's Club.
"I think the only one we missed was when my brother got married."
Hundreds of thousands of anglers state-wide can share similar tales. Despite the fact there are opportunities to fish year-round, opening day for trout — the most popular, most ardently sought fish in Pennsylvania, according to U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service data — is widely recognized as "the" first day of fishing.
The Fish and Boat Commission was stocking 5.2 million adult fish as recently as 2001, and 4.2 million in 2006. This year it will stock 3.2 million