BELLEFONTE, Pa. (WTAJ) — Tuesday marked the first time in history Pennsylvania trout season started 2 weeks earlier than usual. The season normally begins on the second Saturday in April. Due to possible overcrowding during the pandemic, it was moved to the first Tuesday in April.
The Bald Eagle Creek, in Bellefonte had quite a few visitors on the new opening day.
Father, Rick Woomer took his 3 sons out after being stuck inside for weeks. Woomer is considered an essential worker but took vacation time to get his three sons out of the house. Woomer says “my preference would have been that they had done the youth fishing this weekend before they opened it up to everyone else but we fish all year long so its all the same to us.”
Lots of folks along the stream were glad to get out, but say it was surprising that they began the season. Andrew Shiels from the Pennsylvania Fish & Boat Commission says they started the season early to avoid traffic. He says”you can fish safely if you do it correctly and if you follow the guidelines and spread out, there are opportunities to get outside, enjoy the fresh air and enjoy the spring weather and maybe address some of those pent up feelings that people are having..as long as you do it safely.”
Shiels says this is most likely a one-time occasion due to circumstances of the pandemic. He recommends buying your license online and remembering to social distance.
The PA Fish & Boat Commission will have its officers on patrol guiding people in taking precautions.