Trout Stocking in the Poconos

STROUD TOWNSHIP, Pa. -- It's a day anglers in the Poconos look forward to -- trout stocking.

Ron Gouger has helped fill McMichaels Creek near Stroudsburg for the past 70 years.

"You get some exercise, fresh air. You get to be with the fish and see what is going on," said Gouger.

Two winter storms delayed the annual stock in Monroe County.

"The snow makes it very difficult for us to get into some areas. We were supposed to stock last Wednesday, but you know, the snow," said Eric Weredyk, Waterways Conservation Officer.

"It's a little bit warmer right now. We can just dump them in, and it's nice," said Bill Huber, Whitehall.

Thousands of fish will be stocked in preparation for next month's trout season opener.

More than two dozen volunteers stop at different spots along the creek to set the trout loose.

Some spots along the creek are not accessible to the state truck, so volunteers load the trout into buckets and bring it all down by pickup truck.

"Oh well, it's a little bit of work, but we have a lot of volunteers. If you see most of the guys here are my age or older, which we'd like to get a little younger guys, but it is what it is," said Huber.

Joe Smith from Scranton says he will leave the heavy lifting to the pros and just came to watch.

"Oh, I'm just following the crowd, you know. I'm a follower, like a sheep," said Smith.

The Fish and Boat Commission will continue stocking trout all spring long and volunteers are always welcome to help.

Trout fishing is scheduled to open in southeastern Pennsylvania, March 31 and statewide on April 14.