The start of the Regular Opening day of trout season combined with the warmer weather brought many anglers to the approved trout waters in the district. Some streams received more fishing pressure than in previous years of opening days with other streams receiving moderate to normal fishing pressure. Most anglers were observed or reported catching trout. Live minnow, night crawler, spinners and paste baits appeared to work well. A few trout were observed caught by anglers from the district's waterways measuring between 22 - 23 inches.
Although, the streams may have received a good amount of fishing pressure, anglers have reported seeing a number of trout left over from the opening day. With the large volume of anglers along the streams on the opening day, only a few incidents involving littering and parking were reported and investigated. However, even with a few incidents, it only takes one incident to close access to the stream for public fishing as most access areas are on private property. Therefore, anglers are reminded to refrain from littering, blocking roadways, driveways, building, tending open fires, and use good stream side manners which will help to ensure access to public fishing in the future.
Angler pressure was moderate on the Lehigh River from Jim Thorpe to Palmerton area on the opening day. The Lehigh River had received a trout stocking by a local club on the opening day. A few anglers reported doing well near Jim Thorpe, Lehighton and the East Penn boat launch area. Spinners and stick baits appeared to work well.
Beltzville Lake and Mauch Chunk Lake received increased fishing and boating activity since the warmer weather has arrived. Currently, the regulatory buoys (Slow No Wake, Ski Zone, etc.) at Beltzville Lake are not in place. Boaters are reminded that although the buoys are not in place the regulations pertaining to those areas are in effect and enforced. Maps of the lake are posted at each boat launch indicating the special regulations areas.
A basic boating education course will be held at Beltzville State Park EIC Center on May 4th from 9am to 5 pm. This 8 hour course is required by persons who wish to operate a personal watercraft (PWC) and persons who were born January 01, 1982 and after who will be operating a watercraft equipped by an engine 26 horsepower or more. Persons interested in taking this course must pre-register by calling the Beltzville State Park Office at 610-377-0045.
Gary L. Reed of Lehighton proudly displaying a 23" Rainbow Trout he caught at the Lehigh Canal, Lock 7 on the Regular Opening Day of Trout season
Jeffrey Berger of Slatington proudly displaying a 22 1/2" Rainbow Trout he caught at the Lehigh Canal, Lock 7 on the Regular Opening Day of Trout season
Western Bradford and Sullivan County
Anglers targeting trout on the opening day were successful using wax worms and trout magnets at Sunfish Pond.
Hunter Hildebrandt, a first time fisherman, caught this 16” brook trout on the opening day of trout season
Northern Columbia and Luzerne Counties
The weather cooperated for the First Day of Trout Season here in Northeast Pennsylvania, even if the fish did not in some places.
Harveys Lake: Angler reports came in that many anglers at Harveys Lake left with a limit on Saturday. Paste baits, spinners, spoons and live bait seemed to do the trick for many.
Harveys Creek: Success was spotty in the morning. Paste baits, corn, spoons and flies accounted for most of the catch.
Lake Took-A-While: Of all places patrolled Saturday this was perhaps the hardest to find a successful angler. Very few fish were taken. Heavily stained water and colder than normal water temperatures under a blue sky may of had something to do with it.
Pine Creek: Most anglers came away with a couple of fish here. The most popular baits seemed to be corn, paste, and worms.
Huntington Creek: Not many anglers still on the creek in the afternoon but a few still present had a few fish here and there with a couple trophies. There should still be quite a few fish here.
Fishing Creek: Most anglers reported slim to spotty success with the best luck being in the area above and below Benton Dam. The surprise was the lack of success at Camp Lavigne with the exception of the area of the last camp downstream. The walk seemed worth it to those who put in the effort.
Little Fishing Creek: Reports here were very similar to Fishing Creek. Not much going on in most spots but there were a few areas that provided a consistent bite like the bridges on Sereno Hollow Road and the Red House.
West Creek: Devoid of anglers by the afternoon on the first day. The bite had been reported to be slow in the morning.
Overall it was a beautiful day to be out fishing but not such a great day to be catching fish in most areas. All the waters were quite cold for the time of year and that along with the clear blue skies could have had something to do with the slow action. All in all this should mean more trout left in the waters for later days. Check the Commission website for in season stockings and get out to help and fish if you can. Still, it was a great day to be out next to Pennsylvania's waters. There were a lot of people out enjoying the day and the camaraderie that the First Day of Trout Season always brings. In fact, in recent memory this was one of the best turnouts for the opener we have seen in some time.
Open day of trout season has never seen more anglers than this past weekend. Excellent weather coupled with good creek and stream flows was custom made for the trout angling public. Catches were a bit low due to water temperatures being in the mid-forties, but that didn’t stop fishermen from wading right into the Brodhead Creek or McMichael’s Creek. We are expecting reports of more catches once the waters warm up about five more degrees.
S. Luzerne / S. Columbia Co.
With the passing of yet another trout opener, most anglers are enjoying the spring warm up and ample fishing opportunities along the local waterways. Anglers did especially well opening day, along Roaring Creek, Lake Irena and Lake Francis, with many anglers reporting they caught their limit in no time at all.
Anglers were reporting good catches on just about anything they used, from live bait to small spinners and jigs, as well as paste baits and salmon eggs.
That being said, there are still plenty of trout left in the streams, and in season stockings are set to begin.
Anglers are reminded of the Delayed Harvest Artificial Lure only section along the Nescopeck Creek. No bait is permitted to be in possession along this section. Check the summary book, and maps available for more information.
Boaters are reminded of the Mandatory Life Jacket Wear in effect for boats less than sixteen feet, and canoes and kayaks, through April 30th.
Activity on the Susquehanna River is beginning to pick up, and most anglers there are looking forward to the opening day of Walleye, set for May 3rd.
Southern Pike and Northern Monroe Counties
Anglers had good success catching trout using various types of artificial and natural baits while fishing in Bushkill & Saw Creek in Pike County and at Tobyhanna Lake & Tobyhanna Creek in Monroe County.
Boaters are reminded that all persons on watercraft less than 16' and all canoes and kayaks must wear an USCG approved personal flotation device of the appropriate size during the period from November 1st to April 30th.
Plenty of anglers lined the shores of Lake Wilson for the opening day like many other area lakes and streams. Cold water temperatures across the area did not help matters as anglers had to be patient to catch their limits of trout. Anglers in the Lackawanna River seemed to have about the same amount of luck and also needed to practice patience.
The usual hot spots in the South Branch of the Tunkhannock had plenty of people and anglers fared better in the South Branch. Several large fish were taken in the Roaring Brook in Dunmore and Scranton and anglers did well in the Bunker Hill section.
Paste baits worked really well at Lackawanna Lake. There were several very large rainbow trout taken throughout the day the lake.
Sydney Seman, from Lenoxville, was a great help this year during the stockings. Here she is on the stocking truck helping net trout with Brian McKinley from the Benner Springs Hatchery.
Jake Rosler recently helped WCO Walter Buckman stock trout into Merli Sarnoski Lake