Pennsylvania provides plenty of fishing opportunities throughout the spring
It’s never been a better time to get outdoors and fish.
Trout fishing in Pennsylvania is both a popular and an old tradition that entire families can enjoy.
Trout live in coldwater streams where, in the right setting, native brook trout can reproduce naturally and thrive on aquatic insects and larvae. Pennsylvania’s state forests are the perfect setting for these tumbling headwater and wilderness trout streams.
Our state parks and forests also have high-quality waterways and Approved Trout Waters where brook, brown and rainbow trout are stocked.
With 85,000 miles of rivers and streams—and thousands of lakes and ponds in Pennsylvania—there are plenty of opportunities to grab a rod and head out to a fishin’ spot in nearly every part of the state this spring.
Fishing is a sport that’s easy to get into—especially at a state park.
Many parks have fishing tackle loaner programs where those interested can borrow fishing rods, reels and an equipped tackle box to try fishing while at the park. DCNR has partnered with the Pennsylvania Fish & Boat Commission (PFBC) and the American Sportfishing Association on the loaner program—which is perfect for first-time anglers.
State parks have plenty of lakes and ponds for kids and first-timers to try out the sport. Many access points are also ADA accessible.
DCNR’s Calendar of Events lists upcoming fishing programs for adults and children that are available to state park visitors.
A youngster holds up a brown trout.
Some programs include making fishing lures, family fishing programs, fishing skills for kids, and fish-for-free days. The Get Outdoors PA program also offers fishing events.
Those fishing on DCNR lands must follow PFBC rules and regulations. Some waterways have special regulations, so it is important to be familiar with the seasons, sizes and creel limits before fishing at a location. These can be found at the Fish & Boat Commission website.
All anglers 16 years and older must have and display a valid Pa. fishing license to fish in state’s waterways. Fishing licenses and boat registration fees (including launch permit fees required for canoes and kayaks) help protect and preserve the commonwealth’s water resources and enhance the sport of fishing.
Pennsylvania is always looking to improve the tremendous resource it has in its waterways. In addition to other state agencies for whom water quality is an important aspect—in particular, the Fish & Boat Commission and the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP)—DCNR also plays a large role in assuring that the state’s water is protected as a precious resource.
You can help to preserve our natural resources and fishing at our waterways for future generations by following these tips:
- Know and follow fishing regulations
- Know and follow boating regulations, including canoes and kayaks
- Dispose of fishing line properly
- Avoid sensitive areas and do not pick or trample native plants and wildflowers
- Do not discard live bait at the fishing site
- Use lead-free tackle
- Do not drive through streams or riparian areas
- Dispose of trash properly
- Leave what you find
Since state forests and parks have both coldwater and warmwater streams and lakes, chances are if you want to go fishing, you’ll find what you need on DCNR lands.
You can find more information about fishing in state forests and state parks, or visit the Pa. Fish & Boat Commission.
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