Poconos Coal

Cherry Valley National Wildlife Refuge may soon be opened up to fishing

"I love the stream here. The way the water flows and the sound of it," said Wildlife Refuge Specialist Colin Osborn.

Cherry Creek flows through the Cherry Valley National Wildlife Refuge. While its three and a half miles of trails target nature enthusiasts, the creek has sat on the sidelines.

Osborn says the natural playing field is set to expand.

"Primary focus for fishing will be brook trout. Also brown trout which are non-native but stocked. A popular sport fish," he said.

The refuge is one of four the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is proposing be opened up to fishing.

It is part of the Trump administration's effort to increase public access on federal land. Osborn expects to get the OK next month.

"We want to limit the impact and not overstress the resources but still provide quality experience for anglers," he said.

To do that, barbed hooks and live bait won't be allowed. Only three permits per day will be issued for the catch and release site.

A public-private partnership turned the one-time golf course into a 194-acre animal safe haven in 2017.

Congressman Matt Cartwright, a big part of that conservation cause, supports the change and said limited hunting and fishing can help wildlife and land management.

"Provides a really great recreation opportunity for those folks and a way to get them out and see where the refuge is," Osborn said.

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