The state started this year's trout season nearly two weeks early on Tuesday in an attempt to reduce concentrations of people from fishing at the same time.
The move is meant as a coronavirus precaution as the number of cases in the state, and Butler County, continues to climb. To further discourage group gatherings, the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission withheld a stocking schedule and list of waters that have been stocked. But Glade Run Lake was stocked for opening day and at least more than 50 people were observed Tuesday morning taking to the water. Over the coming weeks other fishing spots will be stocked.
The announcement provides an exception to the Governor Tom Wolf's April 1 stay-at-home orders for all 67 state counties. The season was supposed to start April 18.
The decision to start trout season early was made by the fish and boat commission in consultation with the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, the Office of the Governor and Pennsylvania Department of Health, according to a press release.
“We have already seen that anglers and boaters across the Commonwealth are willing to adapt their behavior to include social distancing, and we ask everyone to follow their lead while enjoying outdoor activities during this challenging time,” said Tim Schaeffer, executive directors of the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission. “The trout we have been stocking have had time to spread out, and so should you.”
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