LAKE WALLENPAUPACK, PA — The Pocono Mountains Visitors Bureau held a press conference at the Lake Wallenpaupack Visitors Center on Thursday, May 23 to talk about the many outdoor attractions that the Pocono Mountains and Lake Wallenpaupack area have to offer.
Harold Luther from the sports outfitter Cabela’s announced a nationwide fishing contest that will include Lake Wallenpaupack. This is the third year for the Fishing for Millions Contest, which began May 4 and runs until July 7. As of May 23, none of the tagged fish from Lake Wallenpaupack had been caught. The $1 million fish award is now down to $100,000. Luther said, “I don’t know about you, but catching a fish worth $100,000 is still a good day of fishing.” Every tagged fish is worth a prize, which includes a Ranger boat, a Chevy Silverado, Cabela’s shopping sprees and gift cards and sunglasses. You must pre-register and be at least 18 years old. If you catch a tagged fish, take a picture of it, remove the tag from the fish (and release it if it’s not in season or you’re over the limit), then go to www.cabelas.com , and register your fish and Cabelas will contact you to let you know what your tag is worth.
Bob Plumb of the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission and local officer on Lake Wallenpaupack was there in uniform wearing a life jacket. “We want to help promote safety on Lake Wallenpaupack,” he said. “We’re trying to encourage people to wear their life jackets; that’s why we’re wearing our life jackets here today.” He stated that an average of 80% of Pennsylvania boating fatalities involved people who were not wearing a life jacket.
New regulations that started last year require mandatory wear of life jackets for all boaters of all ages on boats under 16 feet in the months from November through April 30. But Plumb said they encourage all boaters to wear one even in the warmer months. Youth, ages 12 and under, must wear life jackets on all boats 20 feet and under. Lake Wallenpaupack is the busiest lake in the state with regard to boating traffic. “We want people to have a good recreation time, to get out and get away from your humdrum days,” he said. “We don’t want to see you having a bad time by losing a loved one by not wearing a life jacket.” For more information, visit www.safeboating  campaign.com.
Andrew Fedor, also from the PA Fish and Boat Commission, said that the Pocono Visitors Bureau and PPL Wallenpaupack Environmental Learning Center offer programs to loan fishing equipment like rods and tackle boxes. Take Me Fishing Week, an initiative to promote family fishing and boating, will be held from June 1 through June 9, sponsored by the Recreational Fishing and Boating Foundation. Visit www.takemefishing.org .
Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of the Pocono Mountains Visitors Bureau Staci Barkalow spoke about the many recreational and outdoor activities that the area boasts, and announced the return of the IndyCar race to the Pocono Raceway on July 7 and a performance by Kellie Pickler at the Sherman Theatre in Stroudsburg on June 1. She said, “We want you to take your bucket list and get out and go hiking and biking, zip lining and parasailing.”