Catch some trouts…with your mobile!

Some states in the US are graced by a particularly rich natural heritage of wild waters. Pennsylvania is one of them: 86,000 miles of streams and rivers, 4,000 inland lakes and ponds covering 160,000 acres. And a fair share of Lake Erie too, a whooping 470,000 acres of it. There are fans of Pennsylvania who love its indoors attraction too, wagering for example. If you are one of them, follow this link to read more about Pennsylvania casinos and the possibilities to play there. But if fishing and boating are your thing, there are some good news. And technology can give you a hand to snatch a welcome breath of fresh air, nature and sport all in the same package.

The Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission unexpectedly opened the 2020 trout fishing season statewide at 8 a.m. on April 7th, two weeks earlier than usual. The decision flies in the face of the current situation, i.e. the stay-at-home order announced by governor Tom Wolf  on April 1st for all 67 Pennsylvania counties. The explanation offered by the FBC is that they want to discourage concentrated gatherings of people that may have occurred on the traditional opening day. Outdoors activities are not prohibited by the PA stay-at-home order, provided that adequate social distancing is observed. Now the same goes for fishing and boating. Tim Schaeffer, the Commission’s executive director, declared: “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. The trout we have been stocking have had time to spread out, and so should you.”

And here is where mobile technology can help. If you visit the website of the PA government, you will find they have a page dedicated specifically to mobile apps. Among them, there  is the official app from the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission: FishBoatPA, designed to offer all lovers of boating and fishing all the information and services they need. The app is available on both the AppStore and Google Play. Here is the list of what it contains:

  • Access to fishing and boating regulations.
  • Near Me mapping feature for locating boating access points, stocked trout streams and lakes, and where to purchase fishing licenses.
  • Trout stocking information.
  • Fish identification tool.
  • Trophy Case for logging and sharing your catches with friends.

The mapping feature is the joker in this case. Anglers and boaters are required to keep a distance of at least six feet from others. The Commission specifically recommends: “if another angler is in an area you intended to fish, move on to another spot.” Definitely, you want to have a mapping tool on your mobile, to be able to respect this condition and enjoy the day out.

Can you go fishing and boating in Pennsylvania if you are not a resident? The Commission has a diplomatic answer to this: “Non-resident Pennsylvania fishing license holders should comply with the CDC Travel Advisory urging residents in several states, including New York and New Jersey, to refrain from non-essential domestic travel”. Buying non-resident licences online, on the website of the Commission, appears to be still possible.

Photograph by Jplenio