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Using a Thermometer to Put’em Back ALIVE! from Jack

Updated: Aug 16, 2022

I visited Fisherman’s Paradise on Spring Creek near Bellefonte, PA last month and saw this PA Fish and Boat Commission poster there. It shows how using a stream thermometer can help you to make some important decisions about fishing for trout (should I fish or not, take a photo, use a light or heavier line, fish for bass instead, etc.). The bottom line is that trout need a break when the water temperature exceeds 67F.

Fisherman’s Paradise is a regulated catch and release water year-round so the goal there is to always release the fish in good condition. Many anglers choose to put fish back at the other streams they fish too regardless of the regulations in effect. This is another PA Fish and Boat Commission poster with advice for anglers who want to put’em back alive:

Good catch and release techniques and using a thermometer can improve the odds of fish surviving when we put them back at our favorite trout streams, including Pine Creek here close to home. It has a Delayed Harvest Artificial Lures Only (DHALO) section where any trout caught must be released from the day after Labor Day each year until June 15. The daily creel limit then is zero.

This short video about "Taking the Stream Temperature" shows how to do that in water less than knee deep where you can hold the thermometer in your hand. When the water is deeper but still wadeable, the thermometer should go down about half way to the bottom. Some anglers use a chain-link lanyard to attach the thermometer to a lower pocket of their fishing vest. That way, they can just drop it in the water and it will sink toward the bottom without getting lost. You can buy a good quality thermometer comparable to the one used in the video for under twenty dollars. It’s important to carry a good thermometer and use it. Trout need a break when the water temperature exceeds 67 F. Warmer water is stressful and can be lethal even with proper catch and release.

Pine Creek DHALO Fishing Holes

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Thanks Jack! Always helpful!

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