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SW Regional Reports
Map highlighting counties in the Southwest RegionREGION COUNTIES -- Allegheny, Armstrong, Beaver, Cambria, Fayette, Greene, Indiana, Somerset, Washington, Westmoreland (County Guide)

Reports compiled by Miranda (Mandy) Smith (, Southwest Region Education Specialist, using information provided by Waterways Conservation Officers, Area Fisheries Managers and other PFBC staff.

Fishing and Boating Report – August 24, 2016
Central Allegheny County

Boaters are reminded to give commercial watercraft a wide berth.  Commercial vessels must stay within the navigation channel on the rivers. Average tow boat pushing barges can take ¾ to 1½ miles to come to a stop. If you can’t see the operator, he or she can’t see you. Their blind spot can extend for several hundred feet to the front and sides of the vessel.

Complaints are being received of persons waterskiing, tubing, and wake boarding in such close proximity to barges that when the person being towed needs to be recovered, the distance between the barge and the downed skier is too close to be done safely.

Barges and large commercial craft cannot stop or maneuver around a downed skier.   One barge captain explained that he has recently had close calls.

The Three Rivers are a major commercial waterway, as well as being a great recreational area. We must all work together to make it safe for everyone.

Remember - Don’t assume the large craft can:  See You!  Can Stop!  Can Maneuver Around You!

Please be aware of your surroundings.

Eastern Armstrong County and Indiana County

Yellow Creek Lake anglers are catching Northern Pike and catfish later in the evening.  Anglers have also been seen catching 16-inch and greater length Largemouth Bass in the early mornings.  Catches of Bluegill and Yellow Perch are also being reported on the lake.

Fishing and boating pressure has been very light at Hemlock Lake during August.  This impoundment is a great place for a relaxing day fishing or boating if you are looking to get away from large crowds.

Anglers have been seen with legal size Largemouth Bass at Keystone Lake.

Anglers have also reported catching legal size Muskellunge in the coves.  Boating is becoming tougher each week as the water levels continue to decrease steadily.  Boaters are reminded to use extreme caution while navigating the lake, and to stay clear of the posted danger buoys.

Anglers are catching legal size Muskellunge at the Mahoning Creek Lake Atwood Launch outside of Dayton.  Anglers are catching plenty of sunfish and Yellow Perch as well.

Southern Somerset County

An American Eel was reportedly caught and released on Brush Creek recently.
Anglers are catching nice sized Largemouth Bass and panfish on High Point Lake.

Somerset Lake anglers are catching Channel Catfish and Common Carp. Some crappie and bass are also being caught.

The Youghiogheny River tail race (Section 1) will get its last in-season trout stocking on September 2, 2016 at 10:30 am - Just in time for the Labor Day weekend.

Washington County

Recent localized heavy rains have made anglers change tactics in order to catch fish. Fishing for panfish at most Washington County waterways has been difficult due to muddy water from rains.

At Canonsburg Lake anglers have been catching bullhead catfish with occasional large catfish being brought to shore. The best baits for Channel Catfish have been dough balls and chicken livers.

Some waters, such as the Monongahela River, have not been as affected by heavy rain.

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Fishing and Boating Report – August 17, 2016
Northern Somerset County

Somerset Lake anglers are doing well at night for Channel Catfish.

Anglers are reporting some nice Walleyes while trolling the Quemahoning Reservoir.  One 37-inch Northern Pike was caught and released.

Smallmouth Bass fishing at Youghiogheny River Lake has been steady over the past few weeks.

There are plenty of trout to go after in the deep, cold water in the local streams.

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Fishing and Boating Report – August 10, 2016
Western Allegheny County

The evening Walleye bite on the Ohio River is hot. Anglers are reporting productive results with small, 2 to 3-inch, hard and soft plastic minnow baits after the sun sets and the recreational boating traffic dies down.  

Catfish are hitting up near the Kilbuck Access on chicken livers and small Bluegills.   

The PFBC Kilbuck access is a great place to access the Ohio River below the Emsworth Dam.  It is really convenient to many boaters and anglers, as it is just off of I- 79 and Ohio River Blvd (Route 65).  Boaters are reminded to have all the required safety equipment and either a valid registration for powered boats or a PFBC Launch Permit for unpowered boats.  

Central Allegheny County

The lack of rain may not be good for some; however, it has made boating on the Three Rivers (Pittsburgh) Great!  There is very little debris in the water which makes navigating very easy.  Make sure to get out on the water as we have a few more weekends left to enjoy all that the Three Rivers and the Point has to offer. 

And don’t forget that even if you don’t have access to a powerboat, kayak rentals are available right next door to PNC Park (Under the 6th St Bridge on the Allegheny River).

So get out there and enjoy yourself, and as always, please wear your life jacket….

W. Armstrong County

Anglers have reported catching legal size walleye on the Allegheny River near Cowashannok Access. Anglers are also picking up some Black Crappie near the swimming area in Crooked Creek Lake.

Washington County

Anglers fishing Cross Creek Lake have been catching nice sized panfish using live bait under a float.  Bass fishing at Cross Creek Lake has been slow, but is expected to pick up as the weather cools. Fishing for catfish on the Monongahela River has been exceptional at night with chicken livers being the bait of choice.  There have been many people enjoying boating on the Monongahela River with the nice weather and water conditions despite local heavy rain.

Fayette County

Anglers are picking up Smallmouth bass, drum and catfish in the Youghiogheny River from Ohiopyle to Boston.

Eastern Allegheny County


Heavy weed cover encompasses much of Lower and Middle Deer Lakes.  However, anglers are still finding success on bluegills and bass by fishing the edges.  Lower, Middle and Upper (West) Deer Lakes are classified as Big Bass Waters so additional regulations apply.

Allegheny River anglers are reporting catches of catfish and Smallmouth Bass near the Deer Creek Access Area.  With daily high temperatures in the 80’s and the water low and clear, most action has been at or around dusk.


Be cautious when boating at this time of year due to low water.  Gravel and sand bars move on the river from year to year, so going slow and keeping a sharp eye out is the best course of action.  With rain forecasted each day this week, keep a sharp eye out for debris as the water rises.

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Related topics
Regional Reports
PA's Best Fishing Waters
Photo Archive
Fixed crest dams on the Ohio, Monongahela and Allegheny rivers
Ohio River Forecast - NWS
PA Real-Time Streamflow - USGS
Trout Fishing in Ohiopyle State Park
VisitPA—Laurel Highlands
VisitPA—Pittsburgh & Its Countryside
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