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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 – July 30, 2014
Butler County

Lake Arthur
The wildlife propagation area in Swamp Run has been opened substantially for boating and fishing.  The new restricted area is located at the back end of the finger, and is marked with “Keep out” buoys and floating orange markers.  Since opening in the last couple of weeks, anglers have reported fantastic fishing.  Large Channel Cats and crappie are hitting minnows trailed behind bobbers the moment they hit the water!  This area is full of old stumps and root systems which wreak havoc on angler’s lines.  Try using a high test line, and get those fish landed quickly before they can retreat to the roots or else you will lose many of those battles.  Nice catches of day time walleye have been observed off of Nealey’s Point on the North Shore.  Anglers are making very slow trolls or wind drifting over the drop-off with a worm harness.  Various colors of crank baits have also been successful.

Thorn Run Reservoir
Only have an hour or two to wet a line?  Try the upper end of Thorn Run Reservoir at Love Road Bridge.  Late afternoon and early evening catches of bass have been reported.  Worms and minnows are favored.

Venango County

Allegheny River
The USGS water level gage in Franklin reads +/- 4’-03” and water temperature has dropped from 77° to 67° due to all the rain on July 27th and 28th. Smallmouth bass hookups continue.  Local hotspots have been near the Walnut Islands, Oil City pool, and Witherup Island with successes reported on tube baits. Catfishing continues to be curtailed due to elevated water levels. Walleye harvests are being reported.  Hot spots include the mouth of Stewart Run, Reno rapids, the mouth of Twomile Run, Foster Islands, and the Mill Creek eddy. Tube baits also provided success as well as crank baits and jigs within the more vegetated areas. The water temperature drop should provide continued success.

French Creek
Angling activity continues to increase. Heavier pressure areas have been around the old Amalie refinery, Sugarcreek Station, and Utica. Suckers have gathered in good numbers at the mouth of Sugar Creek just above its confluence with French Creek.  Although generally a spring target species, some have begun taking advantage of this immediate opportunity.  Many sucker anglers typically use “real”, not artificial, bait… worms, dough, et cetera. Suckers are bottom feeders, so use sinkers to get your bait down.  Also, suckers generally tend to be good fighters. Have tackle worthy of the job. Many recommend 6-8# test. Although many anglers choose to use harvested suckers as bait, others prefer them as a meal. Pickled, pressured cooked, or ground into patties are three of the top reported preparations.

The USGS water level gage in Utica reflects a current of 2’-10”. Low water levels like this can cause problems for canoes and kayaks but recent rains may improve these conditions. 

Kahle Lake
Bass harvests using soft artificial baits have been reported. Remember, Kahle Lake is governed under BIG BASS regulations.

Two Mile Run Reservoir (Justus Lake)
Remember, Two mile Run Reservoir/Justus Lake is governed under BIG BASS regulations.

Many anglers/boaters have provided positive feedback on the new boat ramp located in the Park Office and Crosby swim area.  Larger (18’) boat owners report no difficulties in launching/retrieving at this location.

Mercer County

Shenango Lake
Water levels are up with all the rainfall we have had.  The Shenango River is at flood stage, and the Reservoir is slowly rising. Fishing is starting to pick up with the cooler nights. Catfish are being caught throughout the reservoir.

Shenango River
Trout are still being caught in the outflow. Fish the deeper holes for success during the day. Remember a trout/salmon stamp is required to fish there year round.

The summer is quickly slipping away.  There are only a couple of weeks before its back to school for some.  Take this time and get out on the water to enjoy the rest summer. Enjoy the rest of your summer!

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Fishing and Boating Report – July 24, 2014
Crawford County

Pymatuning Reservoir
Many anglers have expressed their lack of success this summer fishing for Walleye. This summer has been like previous years. When the water warms up the Walleye fishing slows way down. In years past anglers expected the Walleye to be on the bottom due to the warm water and had success fishing suspended up off the bottom. This might be the ticket to fill coolers again this year.

Remember that riding on the bow of boats is no longer allowed. As an example, a pontoon boat moving at any speed must have all passengers within the passenger carrying compartment area.

Conneaut Lake
This summer the lake has been abuzz with anglers, PWC’s and other recreational boats. Always maintain a proper lookout for other boats and skiers.

Forest County

Allegheny River
The Allegheny River has dropped to just about normal summer levels making canoeing and kayaking more enjoyable.  Also with the river levels dropping the smallmouth bass fishing should pick up.

Salmon Creek
Trout anglers are still having success on Salmon Creek, using dry flies in the evening hours.  Caddis, Lite Cahill, Sulphers should be the most productive in the evening and a Blue Wing Olive in the morning hours.

Tionesta Outflow
The Tionesta Outflow has been productive for musky and catfish anglers.  Musky anglers have been most productive near the outflow using large lures. Catfish anglers have been productive just downstream of the outflow in the evening hours utilizing live bait.

Tionesta Lake
Anglers have been catching yellow perch and crappies on Tionesta Lake, mainly in the upper Slow No Wake Area around the stumps.

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Fishing and Boating Report – July 16, 2014
Venango County

Allegheny River
The USGS depth gage in Franklin reflects a current water level of +/- 4’-08”.  Water temperature is holding steady at +/-73 degrees.  Precipitation totals are +/- 2 inches through July 14th. Smallmouth bass are continuing their active habits.  Local hotspots have been near Walnut Bend, below Rockmere, within the Oil City pool, near Astral, and below Brandon. Successes have come on jerk/crank baits.  Catfishing has remained slow, primarily due to elevated water levels. Walleye are still being targeted in the Reno pool, the mouth of Twomile Run, above the Foster Islands, and in the area around Mill Creek.

French Creek
Due to unusually high water levels over the past 30 days, fishing pressure has been unusually light.

The USGS depth gage in Utica reflects a current water level of 3’-06”, which is a drop of +/- 9 inches since the Fourth of July holiday.  Canoeists and kayakers continue to use this waterway in high numbers, due to elevated river conditions.  All operators are encouraged to scout ahead, as stream conditions have been impacted by previous high water events.

Justus Lake (Two Mile Run Reservoir)
Similar to earlier reports, anglers are reporting trout harvests at depths between 20’-25’ of water.

Sporadic bluegill harvests have been reported, ants and jigs are the baits of choice.
Bass harvests are being reported in the southern end of the lake, between the swim beach and the dam.

Boating pressure has remained moderate in comparison to previous years during the period.  Water levels are good, with only the extreme northern end of the lake experiencing heavy vegetation.

Boaters are reminded of the recently completed boat launch, situated just southward of the swim beach.

Paddlefish
David R. Shupe caught and released this Paddlefish at the Tionesta Dam Outflow on July 9th

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