Beginning Saturday, April 2, anglers will be casting everything from spinners, minnows, worms, PowerBaits, marshmallows even bread, to some of the thousands of trout that have been stocked by the Pennsylvania Fish & Boat Commission for the statewide trout season opener. The season kicks off at 8 a.m. with a creel limit of five and a minimum fish length of seven inches.
After the initial in-season stockings, there will be more trout upcoming. The fleet of white commission stocking trucks will add even more trout to area waters. The stocking schedule for Lehigh County is as follows, but keep in mind not all sections of streams will be stocked on a given day:
4/4: Switzer Creek, Jordan Creek; 4/6: Jordan Creek; 4/9: Jordan Creek; 4/10: Jordan Creek; 4/12: Jordan Creek, Coplay Creek; 4/13: Swabia Creek, Little Lehigh Creek; 4/18: Little Lehigh Creek, Cedar Creek; 4/18: Little Lehigh, Cedar Creek; 4/21: Maiden Creek, Ontelaunee Creek, Pine Creek; 4/22: Coplay Creek, Trout Creek; 4/25: Jordan Creek; 4/28: Jordan Creek; 4/29: Swabia Creek, Little Lehigh Creek, Cedar Creek.
Herb Gottschall, president of Lehigh Fish & Game Association, said the club stocked 64 palomino (golden rainbow) trout in the Little Lehigh and will stock another 60 there on May 1. The trout were donated by Cabela’s in Hamburg. Gottschall also said the association will hold their 100th year anniversary and trout derby on May 7 and 8 on the Little Lehigh. Further details on this will be forthcoming.
Over in Northampton County, the in-season stocking schedule is as follows:
4/4: Monocacy Creek; 4/5: Lehigh Canal; 4/7: Hokendauqua, Indian Creek; 4/11: Lehigh Canal; 4/14: Jacoby Creek, Martins Creek; 4/15: Bushkill Creek, Little Bushkill Creek; 4/19: Hokendauqua Creek; 4/20: Monocacy Creek, Saucon Creek; 4/26: Bushkill Creek; Little Bushkill Creek; 4/28: Minsi Lake; 10/13: Minsi Lake.
For mentored youth under 16, the fish commission stocked a total of 3,100 brown and rainbow trout in a three-tenth of a mile stretch of the upper Jordan Creek within the Trexler Zoo. The area runs from the ford crossing upstream to the small bridge. Again, this is for kids-only until May.
The fish commission will again include in this year’s stocking the Keystone Select Stocked Trout Waters, a program where sections of 24 streams across the state are stocked with large 14-20-inch trout that are managed under Delayed Harvest Artificial Lures Only or Miscellaneous Special Regulations. Under this program, approximately 10,000 large trout will be distributed among these streams at a rate of 175-225 per mile of stream. Veteran anglers may want to seek out these waters for exceptional size trout.
In addition to trout, there have been several reports of shad being caught in the Delaware River. As the old saying goes, when Forsythia start to bloom (which they are) and river water temperature is right, shad start their spawning trip up the Delaware and beyond.
Appearing on the Delaware River Fishing Reports Facebook page, one angler reported catching his first shad on March 20 compared to last year when he caught his first one on March 26. On the 20th, he went two for four in an hour. He caught all of them on John Augustine shad flutter spoons.
So anglers can try for trout in the morning and shad in the afternoon when Delaware River water temperatures rise.
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.