Add 146 PA Streams to the Class-A Wild Trout and Wild Trout Streams Lists

by | Mar 16, 2017 | 7 comments

A slate of 146 streams are proposed to be added to the Pennsylvania Class A Wild Trout Waters and Wild Trout Streams lists, but they need your help.

Surprisingly, streams that have trout populations meeting the Class A requirement are not automatically designated as such. And on April 24th the PFBC will vote on whether to add each of these streams to the Class A Wild Trout and Wild Trout Streams lists.

Streams on the Class A list receive special protection against the influences of development and industry. That’s not only good for trout and fishermen, but good for clean water and public health too.

The PFBC provides a period for public comment, and that deadline is almost here. Before March 20, 2017, please take five minutes to fill out the online form for comment on proposals and ask the PFBC to include these 146 streams into the Pennsylvania Class A Wild Trout Waters and Wild Trout Streams list.

*** Follow this link to the online form for public comment. ***

Case in Point

What Bill Anderson and the Little Juniata River Association have done for their own river serves as a prime example of what Class A distinction can lead to. I asked Bill how important the Class A distinction can be for a watershed, and here’s some of what he told me:

The capability to identify wild, self sustaining trout populations as a vehicle for attaining additional protection has been vital to our efforts to protect and improve the Little Juniata as a premiere brown trout fishery.


In 2006 we pointed PFBC to two of our Little J tributaries, Kettle Creek and Sandy Run. As a result of electroshocking surveys conducted in the fall of 2006, both streams were relisted as having Class A wild trout populations. The result was that (on the recommendation of PFBC) both streams received upgraded “Designated Use” by PADEP to “High Quality Cold Water” thus they were protected when developers sought to build 1500 houses on steep slopes in the Kettle Creek water shed and similarly protected from a 100 acre parking lot which would have drained into the Sandy Run wetlands.

Cheers, Bill! The Little Juniata River continues to improve due to the efforts of Bill Anderson and many others who have sought to gain the Class A Wild Trout designation for the Little J and its tributaries.

There are success stories like this all over the state.

Please take the time to encourage the PFBC to add these 146 streams to the Class-A Wild Trout and Wild Trout Streams Lists.

Here are links to each proposal:

(Use these titles as the “Title of Notice” on the online comment forms)

Proposed Changes to List of Class A Wild Trout Waters April 2017

Classification of Wild Trout Streams Proposed Additions, Revisions, and Removals April 2017

This two-page fact sheet from Trout Unlimited provides an excellent explanation of what is at stake, why it matters and what you can do.

Click to enlarge

Click to enlarge

If you’ve ever smiled while releasing a wild trout, please take five minutes to fill out the online form.

*** Follow this link to the online form for comment. ***

Thank you. Together we’ll continue to protect and improve the waters that we all love so much.

Enjoy the day.
Domenick Swentosky

Share This Article . . .

Since 2014 and 600 articles deep
Troutbitten is a free resource for all anglers
Your support is greatly appreciated

– Explore These Post Tags –

Domenick Swentosky

Central Pennsylvania

Hi. I’m a father of two young boys, a husband, author, fly fishing guide and a musician. I fish for wild brown trout in the cool limestone waters of Central Pennsylvania year round. This is my home, and I love it. Friends. Family. And the river.

More from this Category

Angler Types in Profile: The Old Expert

Angler Types in Profile: The Old Expert

Backed comfortably into a corner and sitting contently beside a crackling fireplace is the old expert. For sixty of his seventy-plus years, roaming the woods and water, he has fished for trout — fifty of those years with a fly rod, and thirty more dedicated to sharing his vast, accumulated knowledge.

The old expert helped shape an industry, but he remembers a time when there was no fly fishing industry — no fly shops or umbrella companies in a niche market, a time when a breathable raincoat meant unzipping at the collar and loosening the drawstrings of a yellow vinyl hood.

The old expert reminisces about flies purchased through a mail order catalog. Some were also selected from a cedar box, separated into four-inch-square bins inside a gas station that sold a handful of wet flies and two dries — one dark, one light, both #10 . . .

Satisfaction and Success

Satisfaction and Success

For most of us, feeling satisfied with a fishing trip comes from a bit of success. And we measure that success in big trout landed or high numbers to the net. But are those stats really our best gauge? Probably not. Instead, I suggest finding satisfaction in fishing well, knowing that you improved your technique and you took steps toward being a better angler. Then, on the best days, in the process of refining your skills, trout will come to hand frequently. That’s fishing hard . . .

The Inefficiency of Inexperience

The Inefficiency of Inexperience

The way you move on the water, the way you carry gear and how you adapt, has a big impact on your experience out there. Yes, we all enjoy the scenery and solitude. We love the sites and sounds of a river. But when that novelty dulls a bit, the process of solving problems and seeing the results of our solutions is what keeps us in the game for a lifetime . . .

Play It As It Lies

Play It As It Lies

The shifts and evolutions that a river succumbs to is captivating to watch. It’s a slow motion reel in your mind, spanning twenty years of fishing around the same small island. Until one day, after the flood waters recede, you walk down the trail to find the whole island gone.

I want an experience as close to what nature intended as possible on this twenty-first century planet. And messing with a river’s placement of things just isn’t for me.

It’s the river’s decision.

Keep it wild . . .

How to Hold a Trout

How to Hold a Trout

You can’t stop fishermen from holding their trout. All of the Keep ‘Em Wet campaigns and the Ketchum Release tools will not stop anglers from reaching into the water and lifting their prize. It’s a desire to complete the act, to finish the catch, an instinct to hold the creature that we set out to capture.

And why wouldn’t we want to hold a wild trout — to touch the majesty of Mother Nature — to feel a fleeting, darting, irrefutably gorgeous animal and admire it, and to look upon that which eludes us so often and for so long? No, you’re not going to stop fishermen from holding their trout.

Instead, let’s spread the word about how to safely handle trout without harming them. What follows is a real world, riverside understanding of how to hold a trout, all from a fisherman who’s held a few trout, large and small . . .

The River Doesn’t Owe You Anything

The River Doesn’t Owe You Anything

The river doesn’t owe you anything.

It’s been here for millennia. It has bent and grown, widened and shaped the surrounding mountains and carved the bedrock beneath. It will outlast you and everyone who carries your name hereafter. The river is a rolling time machine, carrying a history of the earth, the evolution of life, and yes, even the stories of fishermen . . .

What do you think?

Be part of the Troutbitten community of ideas.
Be helpful. And be nice.


  1. I’ll probably take some heat for this. Class A designated streams are a great idea. It improves trout reproduction in many streams. But, sometimes, I think that designation is just a reason to stock less trout. Many waters thrive as Class A, but in many of those so designated waters, fish get no larger than a few inches long even though they are self-sustaining. All-in-all I think it’s a good plan.

    • Thanks for the input, Bruce. To me, it’s OK if those fish only get a few inches long. If that’s what the river naturally supports, then I’d rather see wild fish a few inches long than see trout stocked on top of them.

      But … I’ve seen small streams where the wild population really thrived once the stocking ended. In places that used to hold only a few small wild fish among the stocked ones, the wild fish now grow much larger and there’s a greater abundance once the stocking ended.

      I should note, though, that Class A Wild Trout designation does not always mean that stocking will end.

      Stocked or wild, though, is a secondary issue. More importantly, the Class A designation is a vital tool for the protections it can afford the river itself, as Bill Anderson explains above.

      • Many years ago, when I lived in New Jersey, I was fishing a small trout stream when i met another fisherman who loved close by, We got to talking and, when he realized that I was an ethical fly fisherman, he let me in on his secret. There was a bridge not far from where I was fishing, and that was the cutoff point of the state stocking program. In other words, they never stocked above the bridge. And that, he told me, is where the good fishing begins.

        I spent many a wonderful summer evening fishing the unstocked part of that little stream. Needless to say, it had many more fish, more quality fish, and healthier fish than the state stocked stretch. I also never ran into anyone there, except for my new friend.

  2. I agree, Domenick. I should clarify that I’m speaking only of streams that won’t produce trout year around.

  3. One stream I think would do really great without stocked fish is Yellow Creek.


Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recent Articles

Domenick Swentosky

Central Pennsylvania

Hi. I’m a father of two young boys, a husband, author, fly fishing guide and a musician. I fish for wild brown trout in the cool limestone waters of Central Pennsylvania year round. This is my home, and I love it. Friends. Family. And the river.

Pin It on Pinterest