The Native Fish Coalition of Pennsylvania is urging the Fish and Boat Commission to end the stocking of nonnative trout species and is asking anglers to support an online petition to the Commission on this issue.
Pennsylvania is home to 113 native species and is rich in limestone deposits and springs creating nearly ideal conditions for coldwater species, including the brook trout, Pennsylvania’s official state fish.
The brook trout is one of only two trout, salmon, or charr that are native to the state, along with lake trout, and are said to occupy over 4,000 miles of rivers and streams.
Wild native brook trout populations have been seriously compromised, or lost, from most lakes, ponds, rivers, and large streams in Pennsylvania.
With the exception of Big Spring, most of the fabled limestone creeks such as Letort and Falling Springs are now all but devoid of wild native brook trout.
In many cases, the introduction of nonnative trout, mostly browns, has compromised the native trout. Nonnative rainbows are an issue in some waters as well, and now pose a threat to the wild native brook trout in Big Spring.
Stocking also poses a threat to wild native fish in Pennsylvania with the Fish and Boat Commission stocking nearly 3.2 million trout in 2020 alone. Another 1.25 million were stocked by private parties, most of which were stocked in public waterways.
For more information on this issue, visit the Native Fish Coalition of PA’s online petition webpage.