Family Fun Fishing Year Long Event
Mark Pisko, Waterways Conservation Officer, Berks and Schuylkill counties, drives the boat while Rich Kauffman, Pennsylvania Fish & Boat Commissioner for District 8, stocks trout into Sweet Arrow Lake, to the delight of anglers watching from shore. LISA PRICE/SPECIAL TO THE TIMES NEWS
If ever there was a place to land a lunker, Sweet Arrow Lake is the sweet spot. The lake has already been stocked several times this spring, and it’ll be stocked again for the May 5 kick-off to Family Fun Fishing.
You must pre-register and there’s not much time left to get a price break; entries must be postmarked by April 15. Individual entries are $15 and include a $5 food voucher and 1 tagged fish prize/chance; a household/family entry is $30 and includes one $10 food voucher and 2 tagged fish prizes/chances.
Registrations received from April 15 to May 5 will be $25 individual and $45 household/family. The first 150 registrants aged 3-12 will each receive a gift. All family members may fish but all persons 16 years of age and older must have a PA fishing license.
Top prizes include $1,000, $750, $500 and $250 cash; and an Innovative Reel Technologies 300 Model Spinning Reel made in Pine Grove ($750 value). These prizes will be tag number specific. You must be registered to claim prizes for tagged fish; there will also be 46 tagged fish worth $100 each stocked.
You’ll have a chance to catch a big one – 100 trout averaging 20 inches long plus 2,000 trout averaging 14-inches long will be stocked.
Organizer Craig Morgan, retired, headed the Schuylkill County Conservation District, loves events that bring people to the park, including people from other counties. Last year, about one-fifth of the registrations were from other counties; the park was busy with people fishing from shore and from boats.
‘Best family fishing yearlong event in area - Lots of families get together and enjoy not only fishing but park amenities as well,” Morgan said. “One of main objectives of event was to discover Sweet Arrow Lake County park and it worked.”
“People come from all over to fish and enjoy the park, with every surrounding county and further represented,” he added. “We even have registrations from state of Maryland.”
Morgan said that the amount of prize money and other prizes revitalized the event 2 years ago, and that the addition of “lunker” trout is a huge draw.
“We committed to stocking 100 lunkers this year and asked registrants to donate to add more lunkers,” Morgan said. “Enough donated to add another 50 lunkers to the stocking and we also stocked 50 for kids mentoring day (in March).
Friends of Schuylkill Parks and Recreation and the Schuylkill County Sportsmen Association handle the food duties. Retired PA Fish and Boat Commission officer Gary Slutter is in charge of the food. Bob Evanchalk and Lamar Butler tag the fish, with Dave Haubenstein leading the stocking crew. A&A Bait shop, adjacent to the park, is an important supporter of the event as the businesses distributes the tagged fish prizes.