Pipeline Project Spoils Trout Stocking

BROWNDALE, Pa. -- Some folks who have cast their lines every trout season in parts of Lackawanna, Wayne, and Susquehanna counties will have to find a new fishing hole this year.

It's not just bikers forced to find another spot to get out in the Forest City area this spring. The D&H Rail Trail is still closed for a four-mile stretch as UGI completes a miles-long gas pipeline project. That means anglers will also have to take their tackle boxes to other locations for the upcoming trout season.

Gary Rupp found out his favorite spot along the Lackawanna River won't be stocked this year.

The Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission has canceled stocking because the rail trail is the only way to access the water and it's off limits.

"It's disappointing. It's going to be held up due to the gas line shenanigans going on down there, a two-and-a-half-month delay," said Rupp.

This stretch along the rail trail in the Forest City area has been closed for about a year. The pipeline company working on it has to put in more drainage at different intervals, meaning it's got to stay closed at least two more months.

"Between weather constraints and permitting issues, things got off to a slow start," said Lynn Conrad, Rail Trail Council of NEPA.

Conrad hoped to have the trail open by April.

"It's not a permanent situation. It's going to make the trail better," said Conrad.

No fishing here could mean fewer anglers stopping into Frank's Place in Simpson.

"I usually have people in and out along the river here. It'll be for the better," said Frank Cerminaro.

The rail trail could be open by June. Until then, there are lots of other spots to fish come trout season in a few weeks.