Stocking Up For Opening Day

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STROUDSBURG – Volunteers braved the cold spring weather helping stock a creek in Monroe County just a few weeks out from the start of trout season.

McMichael’s Creek in Stroudsburg is now home for thousands of new trout. On Monday, the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission spent the early afternoon stocking this creek in the cold after already cancelling the event once due to Mother Nature.

Big trout are being stocked in Monroe County’s creeks and streams as the Fish and Boat Commission gears up for opening day. But this trout stocking at McMichael’s Creek - like many others - was put on hold earlier this month since Mother Nature wouldn’t cooperate.

"We had to delay the first time because right now where we're standing was under two feet of snow, there was seven foot of ice on the banks, so there was no way we could park the truck,” said Waterways Conservation Officer Eric Weredyk.

Now the weather may still be cold, but the creeks are mostly thawed to a balmy 35 degrees. It's weather longtime volunteer Bruce Cramer of Stroudsburg says he doesn’t mind.

"I do like to come around and help them stock. Sometimes it's 70 degrees, other times this is typical, it's not much different from what it usually is,” said Cramer.

Bucket by bucket, volunteers are sending out about 3,000 fish swimming into this creek – float stocking to help spread the wealth for anglers when the time comes.

Fishermen won't be able to try their luck to catch any of these trout in McMichael's Creek for at least another couple of weeks, but fishermen are already gearing up for the season.

"Business has really been picking up, getting a lot of new gear in, stocking up for trout season. People have been coming in droves getting their fishing license," said Dunkelberger’s Sporting Goods Fishing Coordinator Ryan Catton.

At Dunkelberger’s Sporting Goods in Stroudsburg, employees are stocking bait, lures and more for anxious anglers.

They say the cold weather has many customers itching to get outside and lure in a trophy catch or two. While others stocking say they’ll be patient and wait for warmer weather.

"It'll eventually work its way out and we'll have nice weather. I'd rather fish in May and June than I would in April anyway,” said Cramer.

More trout will be tossed into McMichael’s Creek tomorrow in Stroud Township.

Conservation Officers say they’ll be stocking up to four to five times a week right up until opening day – only a few weeks away on April 12.