The PA Fish & Boat Commission Board proposes trout season and ice fishing changes
At their recent quarterly meeting, the Pennsylvania Fish & Boat Commission recently proposed a few changes that will be good news to anglers.
First off, there will be no fishing license price increase for 2022. The PFBC said that because of revenue generated by an increase in license sales in 2020 and 2021, a price increase is not currently needed.
A resident fishing license will remain at $22.97 and a Trout Permit will remain at $9.97. The PFBC adds that a fishing license fees have remained the same since 2005.
In other business, it was proposed that the opening of the 2022 trout season will again be a single statewide opening day as it was this year. For 2022, trout season will begin the first Saturday in April. The Mentored Youth Trout Fishing Day will begin the Saturday before the statewide opener.
“Through a wealth of public input, including angler surveys presenting opening day options, it became clear that our agency and most Pennsylvania anglers value and prefer a single opening day of trout season moving forward,” said Tim Schaeffer, PFB Executive Director.
As for pre-season trout stockings, that has in the past been set for March 1, in 2022 it will start two weeks earlier on the first Monday in February.
The PFBC Board also voted to adopt amended regulations pertaining to authorized devices for ice fishing. The new amendment will allow for legal use of devices such as the JawJacker, Automatic Fisherman, Easy Set Hooksetter, Sure Shot Hooksetter and Bro Craft Ice Fishing Tip-Up while ice fishing. The argument for allowing such devices is that the fish are nearly always hooked in the lip. As such, fish do not get the chance to swallow the bait, allowing anglers to return non-targeted and undersized fish to the water unharmed.
Under these changes, the PFBC says anglers must still be active participants in fishing, be nearby their equipment and land the fish as quickly as possible.
The new regulations will go in effect upon publication in the Pennsylvania Bulletin.
Southwick Associates, a marking research and economics company who does surveys specializing in the hunting, shooting, sportfishing and other outdoor recreation markets, is reporting that ammunition demand will remain strong well into 2021.
In April 2021, Southwick Associates surveyed more than 1,800 ammunition consumers as part of its quarterly HunterSurvey/ShooterSurvey tracking study. In 2020, four out of five consumers encountered out of stock issues while trying to purchase ammunition, while three-quarters encountered out of stock situations so far in 2021. Of these respondents, 79% reported either fully or partially reducing their target shooting and hunting outings as a result of depleted ammunition shelves.
Nearly two-thirds of ammunition consumers report their current ammunition inventory was lower than they would prefer. When asked why they desire more ammunition, key reasons included:
* Uncertainty about future ammunition supplies (72%). This is especially true among consumers 45+ years of age.
* Uncertainty about future restrictions on ammunition purchases (70%).
* Uncertainty about future economic conditions (54%).
* Increased shooting and hunting activity (26%). This was more common among the 25-34 year-old consumers.
"At some point, demand will certainly soften,” reports Rob Southwick, President of Southwick Associates. “However, frenzied purchasing and empty shelves often fuels further increases in demand. We do not see demand softening in the near future.”
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Nick Hromiak has been an outdoors and automotive writer for over 30 years. He's been published in numerous national and state-wide outdoor magazines and newspapers.