Saturday, January 28th, 2023
Saturday, January 28th, 2023

Breaking News for

Sportsmen Since 1967

At last, a mentored youth trout-fishing program!

Tom VeneskyThe Pennsylvania Fish & Boat Commission finally took the step I've been hoping the agency would take.

During the board's quarterly meeting in Pittsburgh on Oct. 2, the board approved a mentored youth program that essentially gives kids — those 16 and under, their own opening day of trout season. The concept is the same as the Pennsylvania Game Commission's mentored youth program, and it makes perfect sense.

Beginning in the spring of 2013, kids will be able to fish the Saturday before the season opener in the southeast on select waters within the 18-county region. The waterways will be stocked with trout ahead of time, and those participating must register for the program and be accompanied by a mentor who has a valid fishing license and trout permit.

Hopefully the program will eventually expand beyond the southeast and across the entire state.

It's a great idea, and I wish it was around when I was a kid. Growing up, there was nothing I loved more that trout fishing. Nothing could keep me away from the banks of my favorite stocked stream on opening day — not weather, illness, homework, nothing at all.


There were a few opening days in my childhood when crowds made it difficult simply to have an opportunity to fish. Those crowds — adults, were so focused on catching stocked trout that sometimes I got bumped out of the way.

It was a disheartening experience, and it's one that I've seen other kids endure today.

The clamor to catch trout can make for an intimidating experience for a child. It shouldn't be that way. They're the future of our sport, and there's only one thing that's going to keep them involved — making fishing fun.

Giving a kid his or her own opening day? It's going to be a blast. 

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