Northwestern Press

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PRESS PHOTO BY NICK HROMIAK A young angler lands a trout on a chilly opening day. This year's season open March 29 in Lehigh and Northampton counties. PRESS PHOTO BY NICK HROMIAK A young angler lands a trout on a chilly opening day. This year's season open March 29 in Lehigh and Northampton counties.

Trout season opens next week in 18 PA counties

Thursday, March 20, 2014 by NICK HROMIAK Special to the Press in Sports

Thanks to a few days of warmer weather, this year's trout opener that kicks off March 29 in 18 southeastern counties, should not have snow covered banks if they get direct sunlight. The remainder of the state has an April 12 opening.

This year, the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission will have stocked 3.2 million trout in 731 streams and 124 lakes (like Leaser in Lehigh County). Of that total, 2.01 million are rainbow trout, 647,000 are brownies and 527,000 are brookies. Plus, the commission will release 8,500 trophy golden rainbows that have an average weight of 1.5 pounds and measure at least 14 inches long.

Of the 3.2 million stocked, about 53 percent are stocked preseason, while 43 percent are stocked in season. The remaining four percent are stocked from October through February as part of the fall/winter stocking program.

Every year before the trout opener, tackle shops face the same problem. Anglers wait until the last night before the opener to buy a license, bait and get fresh line put on their reels. In some cases, they discover their favorite rod has a broken line guide that needs a quick repair job.

The shops are busy selling bait and other gear and selling a license and respooling line takes up a lot of their time. This creates unnecessary standing-room-only lines. So check your gear now in case repairs or spooling is needed. Get it done before the mad rush.

As for the in-season stocking schedule, here are the dates for Lehigh and Northampton counties. Note that not all sections of certain streams get stocked on the same date.

LEHIGH COUNTY

Cedar Creek: 4-24, 5-7

Coplay Creek: 4-25, 5-3

Jordan Creek: 4-3, 4-5, 4-21, 4-29

Leaser Lake: 4-3

Lehigh Canal: 4-17

Little Lehigh: 4-24, 4-30, 5-7, 10-6

Monocacy Creek: 4-16, 5-6

Ontelaunee Creek: 4-25

Swabia Creek: 4-21, 5-3

Trout Creek: 4-24

NORTHAMPTON COUNTY

Bushkill Creek: 4-21, 4-23, 5-14

Hokendauqua Creek: 4-4, 4-22, 5-1

Indian Creek: 4-4

Jacoby Creek: 4-11

Lehigh Canal: 4-15, 5-5

Little Bushkill Creek: 4-23, 5-14

Martins Creek: 4-11

Minsi Lake: 5-12, 10-10

Monocacy Creek: 4-16, 5-6

Saucon Creek: 4-16, 5-6

And with Leaser Lake open for trout fishing, the Leaser Lake Heritage Foundation (LLHF) has finished a lake map that includes lake depths and habitat information that may help you pick a spot to fish.

According to George White, LLHF Chairman, the 24x36 inch map is printed on water-resistant paper with two sides. The one-side features a full color map with two-foot bathometric contours and location of fish habitat structure and overlaid on a 2010 taken color aerial photo of the lake.

Side two includes a trail map for hikers and bikers, fish identification graphics and description pictures of fish habitat structures, park rules and regulations and information on LLHF.

The map is available for $5 by going to www.leaserlakeheritage.org/fishing_map.html.