The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA

March 13, 2013

Bob Garrett's Talking Points: Mentored Youth Trout Day lures 2,000 anglers


For The Daily Item

“Everyone should believe in something; I believe I’ll go fishing.”

-Henry David Thoreau



Nearly 2,000 anglers have signed up for the Pa. Fish and Boat Commission’s Mentored Youth Trout Day that will be held on March 23.

This new program is gauging interest in a pre-season youth-and-mentors-only trout fishing day. It builds on the highly-successful model of introducing young people to the joys of the outdoors through mentored activities.

A dozen central and southeastern lakes are the designated waters for this one-day event. Kids under the age of 16 must register with the Fish and Boat Commission to participate and join with a mentor angler.

March 23 was selected because it’s one week before southeast regional opening day for the trout season for all anglers. According to Laurel Anders who is the Commission’s outreach director, “The waters will be stocked to ensure a plentiful supply of fish to catch for the youth day and also for the regular season that follows.”

Both the youth and mentor anglers will be allowed to keep two trout that are a minimum of 7 inches long.

The waters in the program are: Waynesboro Reservoir, Adams County; Antietam Lake and Scotts Run Lake, Berks County; Levittown Lake, Bucks County; Children’s Lake and Doubling Gap Lake, Cumberland County; Middletown Reservoir, Dauphin County; Muddy Run Recreational Lake, Lancaster County; Lions Lake, Lebanon County; Lehigh Canal, Lehigh County; Green Lake, Montgomery County; and Locust Lake, Schuylkill County.

More information and registration forms are available at: www.takemefishingpa.com.



Caring for Communities: Earth Month

The month of April marks the beginning of Union County bicentennial celebration, the Merrill Linn Conservancy’s silver anniversary and its 10th year of presenting the Caring for Communities family-oriented environmental series.

With all of this to celebrate, it’s not surprising that there will be almost daily activities, including hikes and canoe/kayak trips, that are open to everyone. You and your family are cordially invited to part of the celebration.

The following is just the beginning of the list of activities, but it gives you some taste of what’s available.

On April 2 at 7 p.m. the movie “Black Gold” will be shown at the Campus Theatre in Lewisburg. This movie is about coffee bean growing and the fair-trade movement.

Mark Lawrence the “silver-tonged host” of “On the Mark” on WKOK will be doing an in-depth report on the Conservancy’s work at 9 a.m. on April 4. On April 6 there will be a tour of Ard’s farm and market that’s west of Lewisburg starting at 9:30 a.m. Participants will learn about the cutting-edge erosion control features that are being used on this farm.

At 1 p.m. on the April 6 the folks from Canoe Susquehanna will be leading a float on the upper section of Buffalo Creek from Cowan to Mazeppa. Please pre-register for this trip at www.canoesusquehanna.com or by calling 524-7692.

This is all happening just in the first week of this month-long event. Keep an eye on these “Talking Points” for many more great celebratory events.



Seedlings for Schools

School students across the state are getting help from the Pa. Game Commission again this year in learning about critical role of trees through the Seedlings for Schools program.

“Seedlings for Schools has become a great way to get Pennsylvania’s youth interested or more engaged in doing something beneficial for wildlife and the environment,” said Carl Roe, who is the Commission’s executive director.

This program augments classroom learning by encouraging students to plant a variety of tree seedlings at their homes, on their school’s property or in their communities. Last year seedlings were shipped to 569 schools and more than 100,000 students participated. A whopping 124,375 tree seedlings were planted last year alone. Classes that want to participate have until March 29 to get in their orders. To order seedlings for your school or to have your questions answered, please visit www.pgc.state.pa.us and click on the Seedlings for Schools link. There is no charge to schools and the seedlings are provided by the Commission’s Howard Nursery in Centre County. The seedlings will be delivered at the end of April in bundles of 25.



Geo-caching and potluck

Just a reminder that a program on GPS basics and the hobby of geo-caching will be presented at the Environmental Center at the R.B. Winter State Park tomorrow and again Saturday from 10-11:30 a.m.

The annual volunteer potluck dinner and awards program is March 22 at 6 p.m. You need to pre-register for these events by calling the park staff at 966-1455.



Stocking schedule

The county-by-county trout stocking schedule is posted on the Pa. Fish and Boat Commission’s website: www.fish.state.pa.us.

This year the commission plans to stock about 3.2 million adult trout in 735 streams and 123 lakes that are open for public angling.

By species, this stocking will be about 1.84 million rainbow; 836,000 brown; and 509,000 brook trout, all with an average size of 11 inches in length.

As a bonus, the commission is planning to stock about 8,500 trophy golden rainbow trout that weigh an average of 1.5 pounds and measure at least 14 inches.

A little over half of the trout will be stocked prior to the opening days with the rest going into streams and lakes between the opening days and Memorial Day.

Cooperative nurseries such as the one run by the Union County Sportsmen’s Club will add a total of another 1 million trout to waters close to them.

The 2013 season opens March 30 in 18 southeastern counties including Dauphin and Perry Counties; for the rest of the state the first day is April 13.



Sneak peek

Bryce Snyder, a world-class nature photographer, is again this donating a print that will be available at Trout Unlimited-R.B. Winter Chapter banquet that will be held on March 22. You can get a sneak peek at this print by visiting the Elk Creek Café in Millheim through Sunday.