Coronavirus delays start of Pennsylvania trout fishing season

Mark Abrams
April 01, 2020 - 2:39 pm

PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — The coronavirus outbreak is delaying the start of Pennsylvania’s trout fishing season.

Saturday would have been the opening day for trout fishing, but COVID-19 put the brakes on that.

“Normally, we have an early opener in southeastern Pennsylvania. This year, we’ve pushed that back two weeks to coincide with the statewide opening day,” said Tim Schaeffer, executive director of the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission. “We did that for a number of reasons, but primarily for the health and safety for the anglers and our staff.”

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This year, staff have more time to stock trout in the creeks, streams and lakes. Volunteers are prohibited from helping this year because of the pandemic.

Schaeffer said social distancing must be a priority for all when they go out this year.

“Fishing is a permitted outdoor recreation activity, even within the stay-at-home counties that the governor has ordered,” he noted. “We really ask anglers to step up and do the right thing during these unprecedented times. No fish, no trout is worth getting someone sick. 

“We think it’s great that people can get out and enjoy themselves, but we ask them to please use some common sense, do so safely, and respect the space of the anglers around you.”

Schaeffer said his team embraced social distancing with some help from a fishing rod.

“One of our staff came up with the really clever idea of stretching your arm out with a fishing rod out, and if you can spin that around in a circle that gives you that 6-foot distance that everybody is recommending,” he added.

The season now starts on April 18.