HICKORY RUN STATE PARK -- Statewide trout fishing season opens Saturday and anglers are already busy preparing. Dozens of volunteers gathered to help stock Hickory Run State Park in Carbon County with trout Thursday.
“We couldn’t do it without them,” said Tim Schaeffer, Executive Director of the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission.
Ron Gouger has been helping stock fish every year for the past 64 years since he was 1years old.
He smiled, “Everybody enjoys it. You get the exercise.”
He and the other volunteers stocked several Hickory Run State Park streams and a lake with fish.
Schaeffer noted, “Each year we stock about 3.2 million trout in the waters of Pennsylvania. We stock over 525,000 fish in state parks and state forests alone.”
The Fish and Boat Commission has a new way for anglers to support stocking and fish protection efforts. It’s a voluntary permit program that allows you to donate to help certain types of fish.
“We’ve got musky, wild trout, bass, and habitat permits. They’re essentially a donation to the agency for folks to invest in their favorite programs. They’re not required to fish,” Schaeffer.
Gouger liked the idea.
“It goes back into the people building and enjoying the outdoors.”
There’s also a Fish and Boat Commission app to help you enjoy the outdoors: FishBoatPA.
“It tells you where the trout are stocked close to you, where you can find public access points, how you buy a fishing license," Schaeffer said.
You can learn more about the app, read about the voluntary license program, and see all of the fish stocking locations at the Fish and Boat Commission website.