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Fishing: One opening day is right call

We have enjoyed the warmth of spring already, a good week before the vernal equinox, and then a dip back into cooler temperatures.

But the sight of trout being tossed into area streams gives us hope that, yes, the back-breaking winter of 2020-21 is over.

We look each year for the stocking schedules. It’s become an annual rite of spring for many fishermen and draws us outdoors, signaling an end to the winter hibernation.

This year it’s more than just the trout stocking that is underway. The campgrounds at an additional 16 state parks will be opened early for anglers who want to stay overnight on Friday, April 2 to be there bright and early for the new statewide trout opener the following day.

Yes, trout season for some will begin a few weeks earlier this year, on April 3.

Of course, our region is blessed with some great fishing options such as the Little Juniata River, Canoe Creek, Prince Gallitzin and Raystown Lake and many others.

The state Fish and Boat Commission decided over the winter to have a statewide consolidated season for all counties with opening day on the same day.

The decision was made in consultation with the governor’s office, the state Department of Health and the state Department of Conservation and Natural Resources in an effort to preserve the benefits of fishing while addressing public health concerns during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

We believe they made the right decision, particularly after the winter that just was. Who isn’t itching to get outside and do something fun and relaxing, such as fishing for trout?

Spring began at 5:37 a.m. Saturday, but now the countdown is on, taking us to 8 a.m. April 3 — until the next great season in Pennsylvania begins.

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