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Monday, April 02, 2007

Pennsylvania's Wild Trout

This is brought to you from the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission...

Pennsylvania’s trout anglers have high catch rates and high release rates, according to two surveys released last year by the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission and Penn State University. The studies found that most trout caught in the state were released by anglers, in turn extending and improving fishing opportunities for other anglers.
Anglers fishing stocked trout streams in the spring caught, on average, slightly more than one trout per hour fished; 63.1% of those fish were subsequently released. During the course of the legal fishing season on wild trout waters, average catch rates varied from around one fish every two hours for brook and brown trout on large streams to nearly two brook trout per hour on small streams. An amazing 92.7% of wild trout were released.
The PFBC collected angler data through on-the-water interviews and creel surveys. Penn State processed and analyzed the data as well as using an economic model to determine the fiscal benefits associated with Pennsylvania trout fishing. The studies were conducted independently of each other. Data collection for wild trout fishing was collected through the spring and summer of 2004. The stocked trout study focused on stocked streams during the opening weekend of the season and eight subsequent weeks in 2005. Fall and winter fishing for stocked trout and fishing in trout-stocked lakes were not examined in this effort. Pennsylvania stocks about 20% of its adult trout into lakes each year.
An estimated total of 80,098 angler trips were made on Pennsylvania’s wild trout streams during the regular trout season in 2004. By stream size, 57.5% of the angler trips were made on large streams and 42.5% of the angler trips were made on small streams. Over the course of the survey period angler effort averaged 239 angler hours per mile on large streams and 44 hours per mile on small streams.
PFBC sampling work indicates there are approximately 600,000 legal-size wild trout in Pennsylvania waters. Anglers caught an estimated total of 343,240 trout on wild trout streams and released 92.7%. Only about 25,000 trout were harvested on all wild trout streams during the 2004 survey period. Anglers harvested a very small number (9 per mile) of the legal size trout available on wild trout streams (221 per mile).
Both the complete wild trout fishery use study and the entire study on the spring stocked trout fishery use are available on the PFBC’s web site at www.fishandboat.com.