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NW Regional Reports
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Map highlighting counties in the Northwest RegionREGION COUNTIES -- Butler, Clarion, Crawford, Erie, Forest, Lawrence, Mercer, Venango, Warren (County Guide)

Reports compiled by Chad Foster (chfoster@pa.gov), Northwest Regional Education Specialist, using information provided by Waterways Conservation Officers, Area Fisheries Managers and other PFBC staff.

Fishing and Boating Report – April 1, 2015
Butler County

Most impoundments still have crusty skim ice and have been inaccessible to boat, shore, or ice anglers.  With warmer weather and open waters expected, boaters are reminded that they must wear a life jacket (personal floatation device) on all boats under 16 feet in length and all canoes and kayaks until May 1st.  Although the air temperature may be warm, water temperatures will remain cold and hazardous, affecting one’s ability to swim or tread water.  Cold water shock is a major factor in boating fatalities.  A life jacket greatly increases your chance for survival in cold water.  Have fun and be safe this spring!

Clarion County

Piney Dam
Brookfield Power is the owner of Piney Dam. Beginning on April 1st 2015 thru October 31, 2016 Brookfield Power will draw down the level of Piney Dam to a level approximately 5 feet below normal pool to conduct repairs to the dam. These repairs will consist of the complete rebuild of the 14 discharge gates of the dam.  Brookfield Power acknowledges the drawdown during this period will affect the docks and recreation boating on Piney Dam. They have also indicated the drawdown may also affect our PFBC boat launch at the Mill Creek Access Area.  They will be placing notices in the local newspapers to alert the public of the repairs and impacts to Piney Dam. They also plan on placing signage at the Toby boat launch and the Mill Creek Access Area to alert the boaters and anglers as to the impacts of the drawdown.

Kahle Lake
Ice fishing reports continue to be hit and miss. Some anglers are reporting catching panfish during the day. Several anglers have reported catching crappies after dark by placing a lantern next to the hole and jigging with minnows. Anglers are reminded that Kahle Lake is governed under Big Bass Regulations.

Allegheny River
The entire river is clear of ice. The majority of the shoreline is still covered in most locations with large chunks of compacted shore ice. No angling has been observed due to high water conditions there.
NOTE: The PFBC’s Parker Access Area is currently closed until further notice by order of the Parker Police. The access closure is due to the accumulation of ice in the parking area and on the shoreline there.

Piney Creek Delayed Harvest Artificial Lures Only Area
The DHALO Area was stocked on March 20th. Anglers have been doing well on the project waters. One angler reported catching over 40 trout during a three hour outing. Anglers are reminded that only artificial lures maybe used in the project waters. The use or possession of bait is prohibited.

Area Trout Stockings
East Sandy Creek (Clarion Co) and Bear & Silver Creeks (Butler Co) - will be stocked on 4/13. Meet the stocking truck at 11:30 am at the Bruin Bowling Alley on State Route 268 in Bruin.

Mill Creek & Cather’s Run – will be stocked on 4/14. Meet the stocking truck at 10:45 am at the Leeper Red & White store located at the intersection of SR 36 & SR 66 in Leeper.

Toms Run – Will be stocked on 4/15. Meet the stocking truck at 11:30 am Cooks Forest State Park Office located on State Route 36 in Cooksburg.

Crawford County

Linesville Open House
Viewing tankThe Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission will hold their annual spring Open House at the Linesville State Fish Hatchery on Saturday April 4, 2015, from 11:00 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. This event is free to the public and is a great event to bring your family to. For more information on this event, visit http://fishandboat.com/
LinesvilleOpenHouse.htm

Linesville State Fish Hatchery viewing tank is being filled with native fish species from Pymatuning Sanctuary Lake. Bring your family to the Open House on Saturday April 4th, 2015 from 11am – 3:30pm.

Erie County

Lake Erie
2015 Lake Erie Yellow Perch and Walleye Creel Limits

The Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission had enacted new adaptive management regulations for Lake Erie yellow perch and walleye in 2012. This regulatory flexibility gave fisheries managers the ability to change daily harvest limits prior to the onset of the summer boat fishing season on Lake Erie.  Lake wide harvest quotas are established each March though consensus by the Lake Erie Committee which may necessitate changes in harvest regulations in individual jurisdictions.   Adaptive fishing regulations are based on the most recent fishery assessment results and can be better aligned with the current status of the Yellow Perch and Walleye stocks. 

The Lake Erie Yellow Perch Total Allowable Catch (TAC) allotted to Pennsylvania on March 24, 2015 by the Lake Erie Committee was 663,826 pounds, a 22% decrease from 2014, but above the long-term average of 533,325 pounds.   This total is derived from an allocation of 606,186 pounds in Yellow Perch Management Unit (YPMU) 3 and 57,640 pounds in YPMU 4 allotted by the Lake Erie Committee.  The perch population has declined significantly from record levels seen in 2006 and 2010 but exploitation remains relatively low in Pennsylvania waters of Lake Erie and perch fishing should remain good.  The creel limits for Pennsylvania’s Lake Erie Yellow Perch sport fishery will be maintained at 30 perch /day for 2015.

Based on a 2015 abundance estimate of 24 million age-2+ Walleye by the Lake Erie Walleye Task Group, the Walleye population is relatively unchanged from 2014, but is 49% below average in the quota management zone.  The Walleye population in the non-quota management zone (Eastern Basin, including PA waters) is stable and near long-term abundance levels.  As a result, creel limits for Pennsylvania’s Lake Erie walleye sport fishery will remain at 6 Walleye/day for 2015.
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Fishing and Boating Report – March 25, 2015
Erie County

Walnut, Elk, Crooked Creeks & Upper Gravel Pit
The ice has moved out of the tributaries and the water levels are coming down nicely.  In some areas there is still a lot of shore ice.  Anglers are catching some Steelhead at the mouth of Trout Run, Lower Walnut & Elk Creeks.

Lake Erie / Presque Isle Bay
Off East Avenue some very nice Brown Trout have been caught through the ice but that will be over very soon. Try casting your favorites lures from the break walls at the launch ramp and you might have the same luck. Presque Isle Bay is loaded with bait fish and Steelhead so, after the ice disappears, get out either by boat or cast from shore and try your luck.

Crawford County

Pymatuning Reservoir
The Linesville Spillway is starting to heat up for spring spawn Walleyes. A few have been caught but as the water warms up the bite will also. The spillway area has also seen some very nice slab crappies being caught.

Remember COLD WEATHER WEAR is in effect for boats less than 16 feet and all canoes and kayaks – anglers must wear their PFD through April 30th.

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Fishing and Boating Report – March 18, 2015
Venango County

Trout Stocking 2015
Despite less than ideal conditions, trout stocking began on March 6th.  Individuals wishing to attend are urged to reference the 2015 TROUT STOCKING SCHEDULE link found on the agency’s home page, at fishandboat.com, in order to verify the appropriate date and time of your favorite Venango County stream(s).

Allegheny River
The river has frozen over in many spots throughout the county. Shore/anchor ice is UNSAFE!  Occasional Walleye harvests continue to be reported throughout the Oil City area.

Justus Lake (Twomile Run Reservoir)
Catches have been reported as slow.

Kahle Lake
Catches have been reported as slow. Anglers are reminded that KAHLE LAKE is governed under Big Bass Regulations.

French Creek 
French Creek remains generally iced over in many areas throughout the county. Shore/anchor ice is UNSAFE!

Oil Creek
Both Delayed Harvest Artificial Lure Only sections have been stocked.  In the Drake Well area there is free flowing open water with little to no shore ice. Petroleum Center was still all ice as of 03/10/2015. Shore/anchor ice is UNSAFE!

Long range forecast
Average daytime and nighttime temperatures are expected to be generally at or slightly below normal throughout the end of March 2015. 

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