Plenty of trout, plenty of space
Sure, it's a small sample size.
But from what I've seen on two northeastern Pennsylvania trout streams over the last month, nobody can complain that the Pennsylvania Fish & Boat Commission doesn't stock enough trout for anglers.
At least not in these two instances.
On April 18 I stopped by the Big Wapwallopen Creek in Luzerne County to see how the fishing was when the commission conducted the first of two in-season stockings. At several popular spots in the suburban area of Mountain Top, handfuls of anglers lined the banks.
And they were all catching fish. There were plenty for everybody.
That included my friend's 12-year-old son, who ventured upstream a ways with his father and found a hole that had been stocked but was devoid of anglers.
It seemed that everybody was catching plenty of fish at the bridge 100 yards below that they didn't bother to take a walk upstream and fish some of the other areas where buckets of trout were dumped.
Needless to say, my friend's son had plenty of action and, just as important, plenty of space to fish.
A week later, on April 24, my father and I took a drive up to Wyoming County for the in-season stocking on Mehoopany Creek. Three stocking trucks arrived at the meeting place in Forkston that day, and the cars of eager anglers filled just about every pull-off along the road. One truck went downstream, another headed above Forkston and the third drove along the North Branch.
With three trucks all heading in different directions, the volume of anglers at the meeting area dispersed. We took the North Branch and at each stop about a dozen cars followed the truck, anglers helped carry buckets and climbed back in their vehicles for the next spot.
The routine repeated itself until the truck made it's final stop in Colley Township. After a dozen or so buckets of trout were spread throughout the stream, my father and I fished for a bit. We caught and released almost 20 trout and saw six other anglers the entire time. Most of them left after an hour or so, and we decided to check out the rest of the stream that had already been stocked.
To our amazement, some of the stocking spots had a dozen anglers, others four or five. And they were all catching fish.
Not one person complained that there were no trout to catch. There were plenty of fish and there was plenty of space.
It's the way trout fishing should be, and the Fish & Boat Commission – at least on these two streams in northeastern Pennsylvania – did a good job of providing anglers an enjoyable day on the water.