The polar vortex that locked much of America in the freezer earlier this year forced a postponement of Pennsylvania's first Mentored Youth Fishing Day. It was finally held on 41 designated lakes May 10, weeks after the opening of trout season. Harrisburg was bullish on the program, although participation was tepid and some anglers, particularly at North Park Lake and Twin Lakes, loudly explained to Fish and Boat employees that they were not aware the lakes would be closed to non-participants during the event.
The agency is planning for better results at the second Mentored Youth Fishing Day, scheduled for Labor Day (Sept. 1), on 17 lakes enrolled in the Panfish Enhancement program. In Southwest Pennsylvania designated waters include:
* Somerset County: High Point Lake, Quemahoning Reservoir.
* Washington County: Cross Creek Lake.
* Westmoreland County: Upper and Lower Twin Lakes, Northmoreland Lake.
"We chose the Panfish Enhancement lakes because these waters have been managed to produce a large number of fish, so kids should catch a lot of sunfish, crappies and perch, which makes the day fun," said John Arway, executive director of the state Fish and Boat Commission, in a written statement. "As an added incentive, we're also removing the minimum size limits, which are either 7 or 9 inches, depending on the species, for participants in the Mentored Youth Fishing Day."
To participate, youth anglers must obtain a free PFBC-issued permit or a voluntary youth fishing license ($2.70), and be accompanied by a licensed adult angler age 16 or older. About 2,400 kids have registered for a free Mentored Youth Fishing Day permit, and another 1,600 have purchased a voluntary youth fishing license.
The cost of a one-day adult resident license (normally $11.70) and one-day adult nonresident license ($26.70), valid on Labor Day, will be reduced from to $2.70.
Learning from its rocky May experience, PFBC announced that Labor Day one-day licenses can be used anywhere in the state with or without a kid in tow, and the 17 designated lakes will be open to all anglers on Labor Day. Those not mentoring a kid will be subject to normal size limits.
The Allegheny Northwoods Ruffed Grouse Society Fun Shoot and BBQ will be held Aug. 2 at Castlewood Rod and Gun Club, New Castle. Includes 100 sporting clays. $65 registration, $75 day of event. For details call, 814-226-5574 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Pymatuning kids event
The annual Pymatuning Lake Association Kids Free Fishing Derby will be held Aug. 2-3 at the Espyville Boat Launch. Children 2-15 must register in person accompanied by an adult. Participants get a "starter bucket," including fishing gear and coupons for local businesses, and a free lunch. Call, 724-927-9122.
First Published July 25, 2014 1:00 AM