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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 – May 4, 2016
Butler County

Lake Arthur
Water is still cold (54 degrees) for good fishing.  Some anglers are reporting success with Striped Bass in deeper water.  Other fish species are slow to bite.  Warmer weather will bring an increase in fishing activity.

Harbor Acres Lake
Trout fishing is good at this waterway.  Just about any bait is catching fish but minnows have consistently been the best.  Anglers are reporting nice sized trout in this waterway.

Mercer County

Shenango Reservoir
The water level is normal for this time of year.  Anglers are reporting catches of panfish all around the lake.  If it is your first time venturing out this year, make sure you pick up a license before you fish. Although the mandatory wear is over for this spring, the US Army Corps of Engineers Pittsburgh District Lakes have a year round mandatory wear for all canoes and kayaks and boats under 16 feet in length. Remember your first step in an emergency is to call 9-1-1.

Shenango River
Walleye are out of season but the river is open to trout fishing. This area is designated as a year round trout fishery so a current trout/salmon stamp is required to fish the area from the outflow to the Walnut Street Bridge regardless of species of fish that you are targeting or harvesting.

Neshannock Creek
New for this year, the area of the Delayed Harvest Artificial Lures Only section of the Neshannock Creek in Volant is classified as a Keystone Select Stocked Trout Waters.  This is the only stream with this designation in the Northwest and it is only one of six in the entire state.  Trout two and three years old and measuring 14-20 inches will be stocked in this water which is open to fishing year round. 

Venango County

Allegheny River
The USGS depth gage in Franklin reflects a current water level of +/- 06’-06”.  Water temperature is ranging between 62-68° Fahrenheit, which is 10-14 degrees lower than last year at this time. Smallmouth Bass catch rates continue to be reported with the best success reported on tubes.

French Creek
Fishing activity continues to increase, as weather and water conditions improve.  From Franklin through Utica, anglers have begun reporting sporadic Northern Pike, Smallmouth Bass, and Walleye hook-ups. The USGS depth gage in Utica reflects a current water level of +/-04’-09”. Despite less than ideal weather conditions, canoeists and kayakers are once again being seen along this waterway.

Oil Creek
The USGS depth gage in Rouseville reflects a current water level of +/- 4’-09”. Smallmouth Bass and Walleye are being reported between Oil City and Rynd Farm. The area from Rynd Farm upstream through Drake Well, including the Delayed Harvest Artificial Lure Only section(s), recently received its in-season trout stocking.

Kahle Lake
Given water temperatures, Largemouth Bass reports should be on the upswing soon. Top choices may be crank bait, jigs or a spinner.

Two Mile Run Reservoir (Justus Lake)
Trout harvests are currently at the top of the reported catch list; however, some Bluegill catches were reported.

REGISTRATION OF NON-POWERED WATERCRAFT REQUIRED AT PFBC LAKES/ACCESS AREAS:
With the 2016 boating season beginning, boaters are reminded that non-powered watercraft, which otherwise would not require registration, are required to display either current registration or a launch permit when launching or retrieving at all PFBC lakes and/or access areas.  For a complete listing of regulations pertaining to PFBC properties, please refer to the following link: http://fishandboat.com/fishpub/summary/pfbcproperty.html.

AN ANGLER’S CODE OF ETHICS:
Many local landowners extend anglers the courtesy of recreational fishing opportunities.  Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission signage is routinely placed along stream sections open to public fishing.  When in doubt, stay out.  Ethical anglers DO NOTlitter, camp, build fires, cut trees, block property, or operate any motorized vehicle or ATV on property of another without advanced permission of the landowner.  These unlawful actions will, and do, get ground POSTED!

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Fishing and Boating Report – April 27, 2016
Crawford County

Pymatuning Reservoir
Crappies are being caught by shoreline anglers north of the causeway. Stewart’s Bay was loaded with boats over the weekend targeting crappies and Yellow Perch. Jigs tipped with minnows seem to get the most hits. Bass anglers are beginning to see bass moving into the shallows. Top water bites have become more productive recently.  Walleye anglers drift fishing a jig tipped with a minnow are picking up a few Walleye around the Tuttle Point area.

Erie County

Presque Isle Bay
Smallmouth Bass have begun to move into the bay. Yellow Perch are on their way out of the Bay but still can be caught throughout.  A few Brown Trout have been caught in the Bay.  Once the water warms, the fishing action will pick up.

Mercer County

Lake Wilhelm
Crappies are being caught around the bridge at Shakleyville. Jigs tipped with maggots or minnows seem to catch the most.

Venango County

Allegheny River
Smallmouth Bass and Walleye are being caught throughout the county. Stick baits and crawfish imitations seem to be the most productive baits this time of year.

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Fishing and Boating Report – April 19, 2016
Crawford County

Pymatuning Reservoir
Walleyes are in at the spillway and near the causeway.  With warming water temperatures the crappies should start to spawn and become easier to catch. Jigs tipped with minnows seem to get the most hits.

Public Meeting on Pymatuning Crappie
The Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission will be holding a public meeting on Tuesday April 19, 2016 from 6:30 – 8:00 PM at Conneaut Area Senior High School in Linesville, PA. The PFBC has proposed implementing Panfish Enhancement harvest regulations on Black and White Crappie in Pymatuning Reservoir and wants to hear anglers’ opinions on the proposed change.  Currently, there are no restrictions on the harvest of Crappies in Pymatuning Reservoir.  We are proposing a 9 inch minimum size limit and 20 Crappies per day creel limit.  This would apply to Crappies only.

Western Erie County

Walnut Creek, Elk Creek, Crooked Creek, Upper Gravel Pit
At the time of this writing the western tributaries are all low and clear. Angler pressure and success is on average for all the Western Erie tributaries. Inspection of angler creels have included Steelhead as well as stocked Brown Trout on lower Elk Creek. Shoreline and boat anglers are having success at the Upper Gravel Pit. Recent patrols have shown positive interactions between landowners and anglers. Recent citations were issued for nursery water violations and fishing license violations. The most common warning issued was for failure to display a fishing license.

Walnut Creek Access Area
Dredging operations are expected to begin in late April of the Walnut Creek Channel at the Walnut Creek Access Area. Major construction on the East and West wall of the channel is scheduled to begin in early May.

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