Fishing Season Open EARLY, Information for Anglers

March 25, 2020

Yesterday, the Governor issued an Executive Order that allows the fishing season to officially begin. This early opening is to promote social distancing by avoiding the large crowds of the traditional Opening Day in April, and further limit the spread of COVID-19.

Per the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP), during this time of social distancing, fishing should be enjoyed as solitary experience or with members of your immediate household, not as a group activity. 

Other important information:

  • Maintain a distance of at least six feet from others, along with good personal hygiene
  • Anglers are encouraged to purchase 2020 fishing licenses, Trout & Salmon Stamp, and Youth Fishing Passport online,
  • DEEP’s Fisheries Division began its 2020 spring stocking of all traditional trout fishing areas in early February. There are also plenty of opportunities to fish for bass, pike, walleye, catfish and carp in areas that are usually closed at this time of year.
  • All of DEEP’s 117 boat launches located throughout the state remain open, although docks will not be in place yet.

All other fishing laws and regulations, including requirements for a fishing license and trout and salmon stamp when needed, and all methods, creel limits and length limits remain in effect.

The Executive Order does not change the regulations for Trout Management Areas that are currently open for catch and release fishing only nor does it change the one fish per day, 16 inch minimum length, currently in effect at Trout Management Lakes.

Click here for more information and frequently asked questions.