The banks of local streams and creeks will be lined with anglers come Saturday, April 1, when the regional trout fishing opener kicks off in 18 southeastern counties. The crowds will resemble a celebration of sorts as anglers, many with families young and old, try their luck to catch a few recently stocked trout.
If you have a boat, canoe, kayak or float tube, you may want to join the bank fishermen at Leaser Lake as it too has been stocked and is the only fish species in the lake that can legally be kept.
For little kids, and to avoid the crowds if you want to teach your youngsters the fun of fishing, drift over to Union Terrace Pond in Allentown that was stocked with trout from the Queen City Trout Hatchery for the Mentored Youth Trout Day this past Saturday. In addition, there were some huge palomino trout put in there from Cabela’s in Hamburg.
If you prefer less crowds, the Lehigh River was stocked Saturday by the Lehigh River Stocking Association. They stocked it from the pavilion on Canal Park in Northampton upriver to points up to Bowmanstown. The upper part of the river will receive fish for the traditional trout opener on April 15.
As happens every year, far too many angler’s wait to the last minute to buy a fishing license, check their rods, reels and line only to find maintenance and new line is needed. This makes it doubly tough on shop owners, when in the process of selling bait, lures and gear, have to take valuable selling time to spool new line on reels, do the computer work for licenses and if they can, replace a broken or burred line guide.
If you haven’t checked the Pennsylvania Fish & Boat Commission’s website, the following are the inseason stocking dates for local waters. Keep in mind not all sections of streams are stocked on a given date.
Jordan Creek: 4-3, 4-5, 4-13, 4-19, 4-25
Little Lehigh Creek: 4-18, 4-27, 5-2, 10-16
Ontelaunee Creek: 4-3
Switzer Creek: 4-24
Trout Creek: 4-18
Lehigh Canal: 4-7
Monocacy Creek: 5-9
Bushkill Creek: 4-17, 4-26, 5-17,
Hokendauqua Creek: 4-12, 4-25, 5-2
Indian Creek: 4-12
Jacoby Creek: 4-5
Lehigh Canal: 4-20
Little Bushkill Creek: 4-26, 5-17
Martins Creek: 4-5
Monocacy Creek: 4-19, 5-9
Saucon Creek: 4-19, 5-9
Allegheny Creek: 4-5
Antietam Creek: 4-13, 5-5
Antietam Reservoir: 4-13, 5-5, 11-15
Furnace Creek: 4-19
Hay Creek: 4-5, 5-5
Kaercher Creek Dam: 12-11
Little Swatara Creek: 5-1
Maiden Creek: 4-17
Manatawny Creek: 4-10, 4-27
Mill Creek: 4-4, 4-18, 4-21
Pine Creek: 4-17
Saucony Creek: 4-21
Scotts Run Lake: 4-19, 10-16
Swamp Creek: 4-5
Tulpehocken Creek: 4-4, 4-7, 4-19, 4-24, 10-17
Willow Creek: 4-13
Ontelaunee Creek: 4-17
Swabia Creek: 4-5, 5-1
Perkiomen Creek: 4-25
What is surprising in all of these is that Leaser Lake is only receiving one stocking. In the past it would get a fall stocking in time for ice fishing season. As a comeback lake it seems it would receive more inseason stockings as it’s the only keeper species.
Also, shad have been showing up in the lower Bucks County stretch of the Delaware River. Spoons have been taking most.
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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.