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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!