(WJET/WFXP/YourErie.com) — Fishing isn’t just fishing — it’s time outdoors, and many fishermen connect with not just nature but also other fishermen. Mentored Youth Trout Day offers an opportunity for the youngest anglers to connect with nature and their favorite adult angler.

The annual trout fishing day offered by the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission is Saturday, March 25. Anglers 15 years and younger can have the first cast at freshly stocked trout in waters throughout Pennsylvania, with a licensed adult angler.

“Mentored youth day is a fantastic opportunity to introduce youngsters to Pennsylvania’s proud trout fishing traditions while teaching them skills they can carry with them for a lifetime,” said Robert B.J. Small, PFBC president and District 6 commissioner. “On this special day, kids get to enjoy the water a week before the busy statewide opening day of trout season. We hope that mentors give these young anglers the attention they need to become successful, ethical anglers, and contribute to the future of conservation.”

Young anglers must first get a Mentored Youth fishing permit, which is free, and be accompanied by a licensed adult angler with a trout stamp. The youth fishing permit can be purchased anywhere fishing licenses are sold, or online. Mentors can fish but must release any fish they catch.

“Adult mentors should be focused entirely on helping kids to fish, with such things as baiting a hook, helping to cast, and hopefully, helping to safely remove a few trout from the line, when needed,” Small said. “Remember, this day is for the young anglers. The most effective mentoring experience happens when just one adult accompanies each youth angler. Fishing with young children or an inexperienced youth angler can be extremely rewarding. Most importantly, mentors and youths should have fun and make some great memories that will keep the kids wanting to return to the water year after year.”

A voluntary youth fishing license also is available for $2.97. Funds raised through that voluntary license results in a federal reimbursement of about $5 per license to the Fish and Boat Commission for youth outreach and education programs.