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SW Regional Reports
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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 (mirsmith@pa.gov), Southwest Region Education Specialist, using information provided by Waterways Conservation Officers, Area Fisheries Managers and other PFBC staff.

Fishing and Boating Report – April 16, 2014

Allegheny County

The first stop for PFBC “Angler Thank You” staff in Allegheny County on the opening day of trout season was Deer Lakes. Here, the team encountered the Harris family from Butler. When asked about their success, Mr. Harris proudly pulled up a 21-inch nice Rainbow Trout that his youngest daughter Alyssa had just caught.

When Alyssa’s Dad re-baited her line, he suggested she try another color but Alyssa's answer was an emphatic, “NO, I want yellow again.” So Dad put a nice ball of yellow paste bait on her hook and Alyssa stared to enthusiastically fish again.

The team moved on to the next group of anglers where the discussion soon went to Alyssa's great catch. The more experienced anglers were a bit jealous, but at the same time were excited for Alyssa. Just then they heard Alyssa yell, “I have a fish on!” Alyssa’s second catch could have been the twin of the first Rainbow Trout!

Both pictures show older sister Kali, Alyssa, and dad Michael Harris.

Harris family

Harris family

Cayden and Dad
On Sunday, while few anglers were catching fish on Big Sewickley Creek, young Cayden Kappy had his limit of trout within an hour. Fishing with his dad Casey, the duo netted five nice fish at the green bridge between 1 and 2 p.m.

Bull Creek and Deer Creek have been stocked.  There are plenty of trout out there!  Hot baits over the last few days have been waxworms and mealworms.  Anglers are advised to “go lite” with their gear.  Smaller and lighter is better at this time of year.

The Allegheny River is high.  With the current weather conditions, it is not expected to come down for a while.  Anglers fishing the river have had little success.

Boaters are reminded to abide by the mandatory cold weather PFD regulation at this time of year on applicable boats.  All other boaters are encouraged to wear their PFDs.  Current water temperatures are in the 50’s.  

Beaver County

Good sized crowds were out for the 2014 trout opener in the county.  Many anglers caught their limits of trout from all of the districts Approved Trout Waters

Some anglers fishing Brady’s Run Lake on the opening day practiced catch and release and caught over 30 trout near the dam. 

Several Golden Rainbow Trout were observed on stringers at Raccoon Lake.  Many anglers reported the bite slowed down later in the morning but still managed to catch trout by changing tactics and baits.

Many trout on the opener were caught on butter worms.  They seemed to work when all other baits failed.

The Beaver River is starting to heat up. Several Walleye and Muskellunge were landed and released near the Townsend Dam in New Brighton.  Jerkbaits and shiners were working really well. 

The North Fork of the Little Beaver Creek received the in-season allotment of trout this week.  Many stocking volunteers commented on the large size of the rainbow and brown trout that were put into the creek.

Greene County and Southern Washington County

Opening Day of trout season started off slow for most anglers in the area.

Heavy fog made it difficult for some near Lake Wilma to see their lines and bobbers. After the fog burned off, anglers had great results at Lake Wilma on butter worms and minnows.

Area waters near Ryerson Station State Park had overall good catch rates as the waters receded from recent rains on the second day of the season.

Enlow Fork had reports of paste baits as the go-to for great success.

Templeton Fork had similar reports of paste baits and some even using spinners.

Browns Creek had mixed results between the weekend’s anglers. Most anglers were reporting minnows had the most bites, but paste baits had the most catch rate.

Northern Somerset County

Karlee and Dad
Karlee Lepley, age 7, and her father, Justin Lepley, were fishing Laurel Hill Lake on the opening day of trout.  Karlee proudly shows off their stringer.

Golden rainbow trout
Other anglers fishing Laurel Hill Lake display their catches, including a nice Golden Rainbow Trout

Jeremy with brown trout
Jeremy Griffith of Stoystown caught a 24-inch Brown Trout from Beaver Dam Creek on April 14. It was caught on pink glitter bait.

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Fishing and Boating Report – April 9, 2014
Allegheny County

Alyssa and Dad with her catch

Six year-old Alyssa Balluch proudly displays her “real fishing license” after two weeks of asking for one.  Alyssa was fishing with her Dad at North Park Lake and caught a trout while Waterway Conservation Office Michael Johnson was taking her photo.  Voluntary Youth Fishing Licenses may be purchased online through The Outdoor Shop or at any of the more than 900 licensing agents across Pennsylvania.

Alyssa fishing with her license displayed

Armstrong County

Muskellunge fishing is picking up on the Allegheny River. Some fish over 40 inches have been reported from Pool 8. The general consensus is that most fish caught in the last two to three years have been over 40 inches with 50-inch fish becoming common.

Fishing activity at Crooked Creek Lake has been minimal due to the high water level and strong flows at the outflow.

Northern Somerset County

Ice is finally off of the Quemahoning Reservoir.  One angler recently released a 29-inch brown trout.   A few northern pike have been caught.   The “green bridge” is still closed due to the need to pave it.  It should be open by the middle of the month.  Fingerling rainbow trout were stocked April 3, 2014.

Lake Somerset is still drawn down.  Anglers are beginning to appear but they are not catching much yet.

Anglers are catching large numbers of adult trout at Laurel Hill Lake.  This lake is regulated as an Approved Trout Water Open to Year-Round Fishing.   All trout need to be released unharmed until 8:00 a.m. on the opening day of trout season.  Be sure to come out and participate on the Mentor Youth Fishing Day scheduled for May 10.  It will be an awesome opportunity to fish for trout!

Anglers are catching some nice trout in both of the Delayed Harvest Artificial Lures Only (DHALO) sections of Laurel Hill Creek.  One angler reported doing well on hare’s ear nymphs.

Northern Westmoreland County

Keystone Lake, Twin Lakes, and Mammoth Lake have been getting their share of fishing pressure. Nice trout have been caught and released as well as good size panfish.

Anglers are catching nice crappie on Keystone Lake and the Upper Twin Lake. They are still on the bottom due to the late ice thaw this year. It is going to be awhile before the water has time to warm up.

Indian Creek and Loyalhanna Creek’s Delayed Harvest Artificial Lures Only (DHALO) areas are being heavily used this year due to the “cabin fever.”  Most anglers are finding success.  Remember that these areas are for artificial lures only. Specific rules and regulations can be found in the Summary Guide provided with your license or on the website.

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Fishing and Boating Report – April 2, 2014
Armstrong County and Indiana County

Fly anglers have been successful using egg patterns on Buffalo Creek's Delayed Harvest Artificial Lures Only (DHALO) area. Spin fishermen with neutral-buoyant minnow plugs are doing well also.

Keystone Lake is now ice free.

Hemlock Lake in Indiana County is stiil iced over.

Western Allegheny County

Area trout waters continue to be stocked.  Delayed Harvest Artificial Lures Only (DHALO) sections of Pine Creek and Deer Creek are yielding nice Brown Trout that were recently stocked.

Anglers are reporting little action on the Ohio River, with Smallmouth Bass and Freshwater Drum being the primary catches.

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