New Castle News

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April 14, 2014

Photo Gallery, Story: Crowds of anglers still turned out for opening day of trout season

NEW CASTLE — Saturday morning marked the beginning of the Pennsylvania trout season.

Locally, many anglers took to the county’s rivers and streams, eager to get started.

The Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission stocked lakes and streams with 3.2 million adult brook, brown and rainbow trout. The state also boasts more than 10,000 miles of wild trout waters.

Area fishing spots in New Castle, New Wilmington and beyond were crowded with fishermen and women.

Those marking the day welcomed the warmer weather, but the week’s previous weather conditions provided a challenge in stream and river conditions.

Many blamed recent heavy rains for higher-than-normal water levels, faster currents and murky water.

“(Fishing) is a little slow,” Bill Fox of New Wilmington said. “The creeks are high and muddy. If we don’t get any fish today, though, we’ll get ’em this week.”

Joining Fox was his 12-year-old grandson, Shane. The pair usually celebrates the start of trout season together.

Water conditions also were hampering the number of fish caught along Neshannock Creek.

Tammy Thompson and her son, David, took to the riverbanks in what would be the first of many stops they had planned for the day.

“The water is pretty rough,” Thompson said. “We’re gonna try a few different spots. The weather is better than last year, though. Last year, it was rainy and miserable.”

While tricky water conditions were an issue for seasoned fishermen, the same couldn’t be said along Big Run.

A designated children’s section of the stream saw many first-time fishers finding great success.

Five-year-old Jeremiah Webber of Laurel caught two fish he designated a “boy and girl” before 9 a.m., and downstream, Katrina DeCarmine, 9, of Sharpsville was on to her seventh fish.

“This is a nice children’s-only area,” said Mary Long, who was joining DeCarmine for the day. “This is awesome that this is just for kids. This is Katrina’s first time trout fishing.”

While anglers may have been concerned about high waters, the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources was more worried about brush fires. State officials said that the wildfire danger ranged from high to very high across much of the commonwealth Saturday, and was urging anglers to be careful with their campfires.

For many, the day was more about spending time with family than amassing a day of catches.

“We just gotta be out for the first day,” Thompson said. “This is just really nice family time.”

(The Asssociated Press contributed to this story.)

 

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