Harrisburg, PA – With fishing license sales up by more than 20 percent, anglers from across the state are showing that they are ready to fish their favorite spots on April 14, which marks the traditional opening day of trout.
John Arway, executive director of the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission (PFBC), says opening day is a special time that families and kids look forward to every year.
“Opening day is a time-honored tradition for so many families, including grandparents, parents and their children,” Arway said. “I remember lying awake the night before and then getting up early and fishing with my family on opening day. It’s a lot of fun that I now share with my grandkids.”
With this spring’s record warm weather and the significant jump in license sales, the PFBC expects the opening day to be very busy. The 20 percent jump in license sales amounts to about 53,000 more anglers who have bought a license compared to this same time last year.
“Last year we had a cold and wet start to the fishing season,” Arway said. “This year we’ve had significantly warmer weather and anglers everywhere are excited to get out and start the season. And even though the early regional opener was colder than many people would have liked, reports from our field staff indicate that a lot of anglers and their friends and families were still out.”
March 31 marked the regional opening day of trout in 18 southeastern counties.
In a special promotion this season, the PFBC has teamed up with Pittsburgh Pirates baseball. During the baseball season, 2012 fishing license holders are eligible to purchase discounted outfield box tickets and receive a free custom, limited-edition Pirates ball cap with each PNC Park game ticket. The offer is good on any day of baseball, with the exception of opening day and Saturday games.
The promotional offer is good for advance ticket purchases only. Visit the Pirates web site at www.pirates.com  for a seating chart. Fans can complete an order form on the PFBC website and mail it to the Pirates office or fax it to 412.325.4410. Phone orders cannot be accepted. The online form (with more details) can be found at: http://fishandboat.com/promo/2012events/pirates-mag-form.pdf .
In addition to being one of the biggest fishing days of the year, opening day is one of the biggest social events.
“Research shows that when it comes to fishing, anglers like being together with friends just as much as they like catching fish,” Arway added. “It’s great if you catch trout, but the day is really about getting out of the house, enjoying the outdoors and spending quality time with family and friends. If you haven’t done so yet, purchase your license and join us to kick off a new fishing season.”
The PFBC’s "great white fleet" of stocking trucks has been busy since mid-February replenishing Pennsylvania's waterways with a fresh supply of brook, brown and rainbow trout. Every year the PFBC stocks about 3.2 million trout in waterways across the state.
More than 850,000 anglers buy a fishing license each year. A resident fishing license costs $22.70 and a trout-salmon permit is $9.70. A license is required for anyone 16 and older. Licenses can be purchased at sporting goods stores and online at www.fishandboat.com .
To see if your favorite trout stream is being stocked this year, visit the PFBC stocking schedule page.