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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 15, 2015
Clarion County

Kahle Lake
Several anglers have reported the bite has been slow but have managed to land a few crappies.

Piney Dam
Notice to all anglers & boaters recreating on Piney Dam. Beginning on April 1, 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.

The repairs to each gate will take approximately 6-8 weeks. Brookfield Power acknowledges the drawdown during this period will affect docks and recreation boating on Piney Dam. The drawdown may also affect the Toby & Mill Creek Boat Launches.

Brookfield Power will be placing notices in the local newspapers to alert the public of the repairs and impacts to Piney Dam. They also will be placing signage at the Toby and Mill Creek boat launches to alert the boaters and anglers to the drawdown.

The contact person at Brookfield Power for any questions is Randy Garletts, his phone number is 301-387-6616.

Allegheny River
A few Walleyes and Northern Pike are being reported near the I-80 Bridge, Parker islands, and the mouths of the Clarion River & Redbank Creek. The PFBC’s Parker Access Area has been reopened.

Piney Creek DHALO Area
Anglers continue to do well in the project. Anglers are reminded only artificial lures maybe used in the project and the use or possession of bait is prohibited.

Pre-Season Trout Stockings

4/13 - East Sandy Creek (Clarion Co) and Bear & Silver Creeks (Butler Co) - Meet stocking truck 11:30 a.m. Bruin Bowling Alley State Route 268 in Bruin.
4/14 - Mill Creek & Cather’s Run - Meet stocking truck 10:45 a.m. Leeper Red & White store Int. of SR36 & 66.
4/15 - Toms Run - Meet stocking truck 11:30 a.m. Cook Forest State Park SR 36 Cooksburg.

Notice to anglers fishing Canoe Creek on the opening day. The section of Canoe Creek that runs under the I-80 bridge on Tippecanoe Road was not stocked due to the road closure & construction work that is currently being conducted on the bridges there.  

Venango County

AN ANGLER’S CODE OF ETHICS:
As the 2015 trout season approaches, please keep the following in mind… When afield, practice sound conservation ethics; be mindful that landowners are not required to post against trespass.  Pennsylvania law requires that you, the land user, obtain prior permission of the landowner before engaging in any activity on their property.  Many local landowners extend anglers the courtesy of fishing opportunities on their lands; therefore, you are their guest.  Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission signage is routinely placed along those stream sections open to public fishing.  When in doubt, stay out.

Remember, ethical anglers DO NOT litter.  Additionally, they do not camp, build fires, cut trees, block gates, roadways, or driveways, nor do they operate any motorized vehicle (ATV’s included) on property of another without advanced permission of the landowner.  These unlawful actions will, and do, get ground POSTED!

Allegheny River
Boaters are reminded to always wear a personal flotation device that is serviceable and of the proper size.  Additionally, prepare a float plan and provide it to a reliable someone who will immediately activate emergency services in the event you do not return in the time indicated.

French Creek
Canoeists and kayakers are beginning to traverse this waterway again.  All operators are encouraged to scout ahead as stream conditions have been impacted by previous high water events.

Oil Creek
Smallmouth Bass are again being targeted between Rynd Farm and Oil City.
Walleye anglers have been seen in and around this waterway’s lower reaches.

Trout opener and kids
Here are five (5) kid friendly spots on a handful of Venango County’s Approved Trout Waters…

  1. Justus Lake; Twomile Run County Park—within Oakland Township & Sugarcreek Borough
  2. Oil Creek; Oil Creek State Park to Drake Well along bike trail—within Cornplanter, Cherrytree & Oil Creek Township(s).
  3. East Sandy Creek; SR 322 through Cranberry-Rockland Road (Rails to Trails Bike Path)—in Rockland Twp.
  4. Sandy Creek; Seneca Hills Bible Camp (Old SR 8 @ Pecan)—in Victory Township.
  5. Sugar Creek; SR 427 Bridge through baseball field(s)—in Cooperstown Borough.
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Fishing and Boating Report – April 8, 2015
Clarion County

Piney Dam
Notice to all anglers & boaters recreating on Piney Dam. Beginning on April 1, 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. The repairs to each gate will take approximately 6-8 weeks. Brookfield Power acknowledges the drawdown during this period will affect docks and recreation boating on Piney Dam. The drawdown may also affect the Toby & Mill Creek Boat Launches. Brookfield Power will be placing notices in the local newspapers to alert the public of the repairs and impacts to Piney Dam. They also will be placing signage at the Toby and Mill Creek boat launches to alert the boaters and anglers to the drawdown. Contact person at Brookfield Power for any questions is Randy Garletts. Phone number is (301) 387-6616.

Piney Creek DHALO Area
Anglers continue to do well in the project. Anglers are reminded only artificial lures maybe used in the project and the use or possession of bait is prohibited.

Pre-Season Trout Stockings

4/13 - East Sandy Creek (Clarion Co) and Bear & Silver Creeks (Butler Co) - Meet stocking truck 11:30 am Bruin Bowling Alley State Route 268 in Bruin.

4/14 - Mill Creek & Cather’s Run - Meet stocking truck 10:45 am Leeper Red & White store Int. of SR36 & 66.

4/15 - Toms Run - Meet stocking truck 11:30 am Cook Forest State Park SR 36 Cooksburg.

In-season Trout Stockings

4/22 – Mill & Canoe Creeks and Turkey Run - Meet stocking truck 10:45 am Int. of SR 36 & 66 at Leeper Red & White Store.

4/22 - Redbank Creek - Meet stocking truck 10:30 am Plyler's Buffet & Family Restaurant SR 36 Brookville.

4/30 - Toms Run & Coon Creek - Meet stocking truck 11:30 am Cook Forest State Park SR 36 Cooksburg.

5/7 - Cathers Run & Mill Creek - Meet stocking truck 10:45 am Int. SR 36 & 66 Leeper Red & White Store.

5/13 - Redbank Creek - Meet stocking truck 10:30 am Plyler's Buffet & Family Restaurant SR 36 Brookville.

5/14 – Bear, Silver Creeks & Beaver Creek - Meet stocking truck 10:45am Bruin bowling alley SR268 in Bruin.

5/20 - East Sandy, Piney and Leatherwood Creeks - Meet stocking truck 11:15 am Exit 64 I-80 at Rehobeth Church Road parking lot.

5/22 - Toms Run = Meet stocking truck at 12 pm Cook Forest State Park SR 36 Cooksburg.

Crawford County

French Creek
As of April 2, the Cochranton Bridge will be closed.  You can still boat there but be aware of the construction.

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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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