Pennsylvania Invites Anglers to Combine Fishing and Camping for an Unforgettable Trout Season

FishingImage via Pixabay

HARRISBURG, PA — With the trout season upon us, Cindy Adams Dunn, Secretary of the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR), has extended a warm invitation to anglers across the state to consider Pennsylvania’s state parks for their overnight fishing expeditions. The call aims to merge the thrill of fishing with the serenity of camping, offering an enriched outdoor experience amidst Pennsylvania’s picturesque landscapes.

“State parks are great places for fishing and camping throughout the year, which makes them perfect places to do both for the start of trout season,” Dunn explained, highlighting the dual appeal of these locations for enthusiasts looking to immerse themselves in nature. The initiative is not only about promoting the joys of fishing but also about encouraging Pennsylvanians to explore the natural beauty their state parks offer, whether they’re casting lines, setting up tents, or simply breathing in the fresh air.

This initiative is supported by Governor Josh Shapiro’s 2024-25 budget proposal, which earmarks $8.5 million for trail building and an additional $5 million to expand the Pennsylvania Outdoor Corps program. These investments underscore a commitment to enhancing the state’s natural resources and making them more accessible to the public.

Pennsylvania boasts over 86,000 miles of rivers and streams, along with numerous lakes and ponds, making it a haven for freshwater fishing. The state’s extensive network of more than 100 state parks and 20 state forests provides ample opportunities for angling, provided that visitors hold the appropriate fishing license.

Tim Schaeffer, Executive Director of the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission (PFBC), pointed out, “More than 70 state parks are being stocked with trout this season and many offer camping opportunities to make your fishing adventures even more memorable.” This strategic stocking ensures vibrant fishing prospects, enhancing the overall experience for anglers.

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For those planning their fishing and camping trips, reservations for campsites and other lodging options at state parks can be made online or by phone, with availability on a first-come, first-served basis. However, potential visitors are advised to check individual park listings for specific details on camping options like cabins, yurts, lodges, etc., as some may already be booked.

It’s important to note that fishing in Pennsylvania requires a valid fishing license, details of which can be found on the PFBC’s website. Additionally, during the colder months from November 1 through April 30, the state enforces a life jacket mandate for individuals aboard boats 16 feet or shorter, including canoes and kayaks, enhancing safety for all waterborne adventurers.

In a bid to make fishing more accessible, especially to novices or those revisiting a childhood pastime, select state parks offer loaner fishing equipment through a collaborative effort between the PFBC, the American Sportfishing Association, and DCNR. This program democratizes access to fishing, enabling more Pennsylvanians to engage with the outdoors without the barrier of owning specialized gear.

As trout season unfolds, Pennsylvania’s state parks stand ready to provide a backdrop for memorable fishing adventures, encapsulating the essence of what it means to connect with nature. Through initiatives like these, the DCNR continues to ensure that the state’s natural treasures are accessible and enjoyed by all, fostering a deeper appreciation for the great outdoors among Pennsylvanians.

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