Spring is finally here! At least that's what the calendar is saying, but my experience working outdoors tells me another story all together. Either way, we have seasonal spring activities to look forward to: Easter egg hunts, spring wildflowers, the annual Pennypack Creek Clean-up and (my personal favorite) the opening day of trout season. Saturday, March 29, 2014, is the opening day of trout season for 18 southeastern Pennsylvania counties, while the rest of the state will open April 12.
|Stocking trout...rather unceremoniously|
Across the state all Approved Trout Water streams and lakes have been stocked with farm raised trout. Around Philadelphia we will be fishing for two introduced species: rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss), native to the Pacific basin (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rainbow_trout), and brown trout (Salmo trutta), native to Eurasia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brown_trout). The waterways around Philadelphia are not appropriate for Pennsylvania’s state fish, the brook trout (Salvelinus fontinalis) (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brook_trout), due to high water temperatures, unsuitable pH, and competition from non-native fish.
|A newly released trout in Pennypack Creek|
The section of the Pennypack Creek that runs through the Pennypack Preserve is not public land, so the state Fish and Boat Commission (http://www.fish.state.pa.us/fact_fast_trout.htm) does not stock the creek within the preserve. Instead, the Trust must rely on volunteers to maintain a fishable trout population.
|Members of Trout Unlimited's Southeastern Montgomery County Chapter|
Twice a year Trout Unlimited (TU) Chapter #468 releases 400-500 trout into Pennypack Creek; their most recent release was during the week of March 16. These fish were purchased with private donations and TU membership dues, so please release all trout you catch within the preserve.
Submitted by Gary Snyder