Today marks the traditional opening day of trout season—and fishing license sales are up by more than 20 percent, according to the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission.
John Arway, executive director of the commission, said 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 in a statement.
“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.”
The commission expects opening day to be very busy because the warmer weather has caused a significant jump in license sales.
In Allegheny County, trout have been stocked at North Park Lake, Pine Creek, Turtle Creek, Montour Run, West Deer Lake, Middle Deer Lake, Lower Deer Lake, Long Run, Flaugherty Run, Deer Creek, Bull Creek, Big Sewickley Creek.
The commission estimates 53,000 more anglers have bought licenses this year compared 2011.
“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.”
The commission has teamed up with the Pittsburgh Pirates for a special promotion this season. During 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 Saturday games. Visit the Pirates website at pirates.com for a seating chart.
Fans can complete an order form on the commission website and mail it to the Pirates office or fax it to 412-325-4410. Phone orders cannot be accepted. For more details, the online form can be found by clicking here.
The commission'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.
Each 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.