If you’re planning to go trout fishing on area streams, it may pay to check the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission’s stocking list to be sure your water got its fish.
That’s been an issue this spring.
The unseasonably warm weather and low water conditions have forced the agency to reschedule some stockings already.
In some cases, it’s only been a matter of a few extra days until a stream got its fish. Whiteley Creek in Greene County was to be stocked on April 26, for example. It didn’t get fish until April 29.
Other waters have had to wait longer. A number of Washington County streams – Mingo Creek, Millers Run, Little Chartiers Creek and Pike Run – all got fish about 10 days later than expected this month.
Some Somerset County streams have been affected, too.
“This is the earliest I can remember this happening,” said Tom Crist, manager of the commission’s southwest region office in Somerset. “It’s just way too early in the year for this to be happening.”
The problem is low, warm water, he said.
Waterways conservation officers check the temperature and conditions of a stream before fish arrive. If the water temperature is significantly high, hatchery officials – they make the final call – can decide not to stock fish.
That’s to prevent dumping fish into a stream only to see them die, Crist said.
In places – such as Allegheny County – conditions have at times been iffy, but hatchery officials have gone ahead with stocking, Crist said. He’s hoping the weather of the last few days, and what’s forecast ahead, will improve things sufficiently all over.
“Hopefully with theses cooler temperatures and some of this rain, that will help,” Crist said.
You can find the trout stocking schedule here.