Outdoors Notebook: Year-round fishing at Raccoon

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The 101-acre impoundment at Raccoon Creek State Park will be removed from the list of Early Season Trout-Stocked Waters and will be regulated under the Approved Trout Waters Open to Year-Round Fishing program. The new regs permit fishing from 8 a.m. on the opening day of the statewide trout season April 13 through Sept. 2 (inland size and creel limits apply) and Jan. 1-Feb. 28 and Sept. 3-Dec. 31 (extended season size and creel limits apply).

Under the program, waters are open to fishing March 1 through opening day of trout season on a catch-and-release basis. Traverse Creek, which feeds and drains the lake, will stay in the Approved Trout Stocked Waters program and will be closed to fishing March 1 through 8 a.m. on the opening day of trout season.

Fly tying demos

Some of the region's best tiers will show how it's done during a series of free fly tying demonstrations at the International Angler shop in Robinson. The demos start at 10 a.m. on the following Saturdays: Jan. 19 Compara and sparkle dun, Bruce Cox; Jan. 26 bonefish flies, Franklyn Gorell; Feb. 2 early Pennsylvania hatches, Tony Ripepi; Feb. 9 large mayfly nymphs, Kieran Frye; Feb. 16 parachute flies, Gordon Chesney; Feb. 23 bass bugs, Doug Pollock; and March 2 muskie flies, Mike Kelly. Details: 412-788-8088.

Ice fishing

This weekend's warm air put the kibosh on ice fishing throughout most of the region, but a hard top can still be found on some waters, particularly in northern and mountainous parts of the state. For the record, 4 inches of ice will support 200 pounds or one person, a 5-inch minimum is recommended for one snowmobile, and ice should be 7 inches thick to support a small group or 1,500 pounds. Remember that ice tends to thin near protruding objects, and avoid walking on ice over moving water, including submerged springs. On solid ice, dangle safety ice picks around your neck, tie a rope to a secure point on shore and extend it to the spot where you are fishing.

If the thermometer cooperates, the state Fish and Boat Commission and Goddard State Park will hold a Family Ice Fishing Program at Lake Wilhelm in Crawford County, 1-5 p.m. Jan. 26. Register at www.fishandboat.com.

Commission meetings

The board of the state Fish and Boat Commission will gather Jan. 23-24 in Harrisburg for its first meeting of the year. Commissioners are expected to add to the list of wild trout streams.

At the Jan. 27-29 meeting of the state Game Commission in Harrisburg, the board will welcome new member Charles E. Fox and is expected to give preliminary approval to hunting and trapping seasons and bag limits for 2013-14.



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