Last weekend marked the first official sign of spring for outdoorsmen in the area — the annual beginning of trout stocking in Southeastern Pennsylvania waters.
Trout fishing season in Pennsylvania kicks off 8 a.m. Saturday, March 30, two full weeks ahead of the statewide opener.
Last Friday, Lehigh County Waterways Conservation Officer Lee Creyer of the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission, along with help from volunteers and fellow Northampton County WCO Jeff Sabo, began stocking Lehigh County waterways, including the Hokendauqua Creek and Lake Muhlenberg, among other places. Sabo lent a special assist with his stocking truck when Creyer's vehicle experienced some "opening day jitters."
This is the second-last year that Lehigh County will receive trout from the Bellefonte Trout Hatchery, which has been targeted for closure by the PFBC as part of a money-saving agenda that will see that facility fully shut down by the end of 2014 unless a groundswell of public and legislative support can save it.
The PFBC is scheduled to stock roughly 3.2 million adult trout in a total of 735 streams and 123 lakes that are open for public fishing throughout the Commonwealth. The PFCB will stock approximately 1.84 million rainbow trout; 836,000 brown trout and 509,000 brook trout with an average length of 11 inches.
For a complete list of trout stockings, go online to: http://pfbc.state.pa.us/pfbc_webgis/TroutStockingDetails.aspx .
L.V. Sportsman Show: After a two-day run this past weekend at the Allentown Fairgrounds Agri-Plex, promoter Dennis Brozey announced the show will return for a three day run Feb. 27-March 1, 2014.
Brozey is hoping to add more outfitters from Canada and the western U.S. for next year. Many local sportsmen's groups manned booths and many of the seminars were conducted by local experts.
Fox Environmental Center loads up on fish: The Gertrude B. Fox Environmental Center at Illick's Mill, 100 Illick's Mill Road in Bethlehem is hosting "Wild About Trout and Mad for Shad — Brooks, Rainbows, Browns, Herrings and Bugs: The connection between clean water, the art of fishing, healthy fish and the food they love," beginning Thursday and running through Aug. 25.
A special fly-tying demonstration will take place 3-5 p.m. this Thursday and the following Thursday as Roger Ratushney of the Delaware River Shad Fishermen's Association will teach how to tie shad darts and shad flies.
Tom Gyory, a member of both the DRSFA and the Lehigh River Stocking Association, will discuss Monocacy Creek hatches and how to match flies to the hatch 3-5 p.m. the next two Fridays.
Sam Vigorita of Main Line Fly Tyers will do a similar seminar 1-3 p.m. the next two Saturdays and Sundays.
The Gertrude B. Fox Environmental Center is open 12 noon-5 p.m .Thursday through Sunday. The display that runs through August will include "Skippy the Shad" and "Thomas the Trout," along with education displays. Angling books and gifts will be available for sale.
Cabela's Spring Great Outdoors Days: Cabela's is celebrating spring, trout season and the May spring gobbler season with its Spring Great Outdoors Days March 14-24 that will feature free seminars, demonstrations and exhibitions.
Cabela's in Hamburg is taking advantage of a recent report from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service that says that participants in hunting and fishing are once again on the rise with a special weekend of seminars March 16-17.
On Saturday, March 16, the store is offering a 10 a.m. seminar in trout fishing tactics, followed by an 11 a.m. seminar on Eastern Turkey Hunting Tactics with Nate Hosie if HeadHunters TV. Hosie will follow that up with a noon seminar on filming your hunt, and the seminars conclude with "Long Distance Shooting: Ask the Experts," with world champion shooter Bill Goad and custom rifle maker Mark Banser at 1 p.m.
The seminars repeat, except for filming your hunt, at the same times on Sunday, March 17. Goad will speak on beyond the basics of reloading on Sunday.
For more information about Cabela's Spring Great Outdoor Days and other events please visit http://www.cabelas.com/hamburg or call 610-929-7000.
L.V. Audubon program Friday evening: "Vernal Pools and Their Significance for Our Amphibian and Reptile Species" will be conducted by Andy Curtis 7 p.m. Friday at Pool Wildlife Sanctuary on the grounds of Wildlands Conservancy, 3701 Orchid Place, Emmaus.
The presentation is part of a free series of lectures by Lehigh Valley Audubon Society. For more information, go online to the LVAS website at http://www.lehigh.edu/lvas or the group's Facebook page at Lehigh Valley Audubon Society on Facebook.