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NW Regional Reports
Map highlighting counties in the Northwest RegionREGION COUNTIES -- Butler, Clarion, Crawford, Erie, Forest, Lawrence, Mercer, Venango, Warren (County Guide)

Reports compiled by Chad Foster (, Northwest Regional Education Specialist, using information provided by Waterways Conservation Officers, Area Fisheries Managers and other PFBC staff.

Fishing and Boating Report – October 15, 2014
Venango County

Little Sandy Creek
The Venango Technology Center Natural Resources class helped install some stream structures with the Oil Creek Trout Unlimited chapter and the Venango County Conservation District. This was part of the Trout in the Classroom program the class is involved in. 

Trout in the Classroom stream improvement project
Venango Technology Center students work on the nearly completed Trout in the Classroom stream improvement project on Little Sandy Creek

Forest County

Allegheny River
Walleye and Northern Pike fishing is picking up. The Sand and Gravel Pool near Tionesta has been productive from the shore and from boat.

Tionesta Outflow
Anglers have reported catching trout and are reminded that they must possess a current trout and salmon permit to fish in the Tionesta Outflow regardless of fishing for, or keeping trout.

The Marienville Rod and Gun Club will be stocking adult trout in Spring Creek and Maple Creek the week of 10/13/14. Anglers are reminded that the daily limit for trout is currently 3 per day, and the minimum size limit is 7 inches.

Hunters are reminded that if they utilize a boat, they must comply with all boating regulations in addition to all hunting regulations. A life jacket must be on board for each hunter/boater and must be worn at all times in canoes, kayaks and all boats less than 16 feet in length from November 1st to April 30th each year.

Erie County

Trout Run
Three new interpretive panels were recently put up at Avonia Beach next to Trout Run. Thanks to the Fairview Township Supervisors for allowing staff from the PFBC to display information and pictures on the panels about Steelhead Trout, Brown Trout, Walleye, Perch, and Smallmouth Bass.

Species interpretive panels
Lake Erie fish species interpretive panels erected at Avonia Beach near Trout Run

Note: All unpowered boats (canoes, kayaks, stand-up paddleboards, rowboats, etc.) launching or retrieving at PFBC access areas and DCNR state parks or forests must have a current boat registration (issued by any state), or PFBC Use Permit, or DCNR Launch or Mooring Permit.  For more information, visit

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Fishing and Boating Report – October 8, 2014
Butler County

Lake Arthur
The lake was sampled for Young-Of-Year (YOY) Walleye the night of September 24, 2014.  Six electrofishing runs yielded a total of 58 YOY Walleye for a catch rate of 0.48 fish per minute; double last year’s catch. These fish should reach legal size in 3 years.

Erie County (central and west)

Lake Erie & Presque Isle Bay
When wave conditions have allowed, boat anglers have had success in deep waters in the lake off Gull Point. Try fishing off of Walnut & Elk Creeks for Walleye as well as Yellow Perch.  Bucket anglers have reported success fishing for Steelhead in the Erie Channel in the early morning hours.

Western Erie Tributaries

Shore anglers are having some success catching Steelhead in the lower stretches of Elk & Walnut Creeks. Low water conditions are keeping most of the Steelhead north of State Route 5 on all the western tributaries. Enforcement details have already resulted in numerous snagging, over limits, and litter violations.

Eastern Erie County

Anglers are reporting that panfish action has picked up at Eaton Reservoir, and trout fishing has picked up at Lake Pleasant. The bait of choice is still grubs and minnows. There are even reports of hold-over trout being taken in the South Branch of French Creek.

Angles are reporting panfish, perch and bass off of the North & South Piers, Port Authority dock and the Public Dock using minnows and wax worms. The heavy rains and temperatures in the mid 50’s have brought a run of steelhead into the Mile streams. Plan your trip around the weather. If there is rain in the forecast, that equals steelhead in the streams.

If you’re coming to Erie to fish for steelhead make sure you have the required permits. A Trout/Salmon stamp & Lake Erie permit are required to catch and keep steelhead and trout.

The stream temperature is 62°. Edinboro Lake temperature is 62°. Lake Erie Temperature is 63°. Call ahead for current Lake Erie conditions. Call the North East Marina at 814-725-8244.

Timothy Sabella caught this Walleye September 28, 2014 on the Allegheny River north of Tidioute, PA using a crank bait. The fish was 31" long and weighed 12.5 pounds.

James Landon caught this steelhead on October 5, 2014 at the PFBC Walnut Creek Access Area using a white sucker spawn under a float. The fish was 26" long and weighed 7 pounds.

Mercer County

Shenango Reservoir
On Sept 25, 2014 Area One biologists electrofished the lake for Young-Of-Year (YOY) Walleye.  In two hours of effort, 60 YOY were collected for a catch rate of 0.5 YOY Walleye per minute; just under the long range average.  Also noted were a few adult Walleye, some pike, bass and many small White Bass.

Boating traffic has been down. Fall is a beautiful time to go boating on the reservoir. The lake levels are still up but slowly receding. Use caution when boating around the sandbars and shoals that are just under the water’s surface.

Crappie are starting to pick up around the reservoir. Anglers report that they are thickening up for the winter. A large number of fillet sized Bluegills are being caught as well. Catfish and Largemouth Bass fishing is also progressing very well.

Shenango River
Water levels on the river are up and down. Boaters using the Shenango River Water Trail can still enjoy the trail with the changing foliage. Make use of the new boat launch in the Village of Hamburg. The Shenango River Watchers have done an outstanding job providing access to the river at this location. The river will be stocked with trout below the Shenango Reservoir outflow.

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.  The fall creel limit is 3 fish.

Enjoy the last days of nice weather, and as always, make sure your safety equipment is serviceable to prevent a relaxing day on the water from turning into a disaster. 

Venango County

Allegheny River
The USGS depth gage in Franklin reflects a current water level of +/- 3’-08”.  Through August 2014 we have received in excess of 8.9” above normal precipitation. Currently the Allegheny River is just over 0’-06”above normal pool. The water temperature is hovering between 62-64° Fahrenheit.

Smallmouth Bass hookups continue, primarily in the Oil City pool.  The majority of catches reported were caught using artificial lures and plastics. Walleye harvests continue in the Reno Rapids. Minnow-type stick baits have had the highest catch rates. Catfish are being reported in both the Oil City and Rockmere pools.

French Creek
The USGS depth gage in Utica reflects a current water level of 2’-01”, down about 1‘-0” since last report. Recreational boating traffic (canoes/kayaks) will experience difficulty at this level. Bass and Walleye are the species of choice.

Oil Creek
The USGS depth gage in Rouseville reflects a current water level of +/- 2’-01”, which is down 0’-08” since last report.

Smallmouth Bass continue to be targeted around Rouseville. Walleye are being targeted near Oil City below the White Bridge (Upper Seneca Street). Trout fishing remains viable, due to the summer’s high precipitation and cool temperatures. 

Oil Creek State Park is a popular local destination for many trout fishing enthusiasts, and the Delayed Harvest Artificial Lures Section was stocked with adult trout on October 1, 2014.

Twomile Run Reservoir (Justus Lake) 
Crappie were reported as having been caught during both August and September 2014.

Additionally, remember, Twomile Run Reservoir/Justus Lake is governed under Big Bass regulations.

Note: All unpowered boats (canoes, kayaks, stand-up paddleboards, rowboats, etc.) launching or retrieving at PFBC access areas and DCNR state parks or forests must have a current boat registration (issued by any state), or PFBC Use Permit, or DCNR Launch or Mooring Permit.  For more information, visit

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Fishing and Boating Report – October 1, 2014
Crawford County

French Creek
A fishing success story received from Steven T. Wesling via PFBC website:
I’m 32 years old and have inherited my Grandpap and Grandma’s cottage located on the Route 322 side of French Creek, right up from Cochranton Bridge. Cochranton, PA is my 2nd home (I live in Canonsburg, PA--grew up in south hills of PGH). I’ve been fishing French Creek since I could hold a rod. My Grandpap “Never got a Muskie” and I’ve “Never got a Muskie”--until this weekend. I just bought a Scanoe from Field and Stream in Washington, PA and a trolling motor earlier this month. I passed my Boater Safety Course…etc.

On Friday, September 19th a WCO engaged me downstream of Shaw’s Landing PFBC because I didn’t have the stickers on my red canoe yet. I was trolling around Shaw’s landing with my 8 year old son and 6 year old daughter.  I knew from just passing the Boater Safety course online that I had to keep my temporary registration on the boat with me. The WCO couldn’t have been nicer when I told him I had the temporary on me in the boat. He was really nice to the kids as well.

During the fishing trip I got what felt to be a snag and lost my huge Muskie spinner my Grandpap bought me probably 20 some years ago…I almost started crying.

On September 27th  (about 5 p.m.) I trolled right up through the same spot where I lost my Grandpap’s lure the previous week--right at the mansion above Shaws Landing on the Route 285 side. You can see Town Hall road in the back of the photo.

I landed this monster Muskie fishing with my Dad. My Dad had to net it 3 times before we actually took possession of the fish. When I tried to measure it, it was thrashing in the canoe pretty good--I had him taped about 43-45 inches or so.
I can’t make this stuff up. September 27th is my Grandpap and Grandma’s anniversary. They’ve both been in heaven for some time now but I know my Grandpap finally got to see a Muskie. I’m happy to say, we released it safely back into the beautiful waters of French Creek.

Fish caught by, and photo taken by: Steven T. Wesling

Butler County

Lake Arthur
Reports have been heard of bass being caught along shoreline overhangs using rubber worms off the bottom. Most of the old propagation area is now open to fishing.  Anglers are reporting nice catches of crappie and catfish. Strong line is recommended. The area is littered with old stumps, and the fish are tangling many lines.

Boating reminder: November begins the cold water boating regulations for life jackets. Be sure you are wearing a life jacket on all boats under 16 feet in length and on all canoes and kayaks. This regulation remains in effect through April of each year.

Crawford County

Fisheries biologists out of Linesville State Fish Hatchery report that they caught a total of 551 Young-Of-Year (YOY) walleye for a catch rate of 0.92 fish per minute. That’s the best since 2009 (1.4) and the 2nd best since 2000. These fish should be of legal sized by age 3, and should help provide anglers with good walleye fishing for years to come. A couple of bowfin were also seen in PA waters. Ohio staff were working the north end and reported seeing “many” bowfin.

Forest County

Musky anglers have been productive trolling on Tionesta Lake and also on the Allegheny River, Sand and Gravel pool.

Walleye fishing should become more productive in the Allegheny River in the Sand and Gravel pool. Walleye anglers are successful from boat or shore. The shore fishing on Lighthouse Island in Tionesta is walk in only. Anglers can park their vehicle in the Lighthouse parking lot.

The Marienville Rod and Gun Club will be stocking Maple and Spring Creek at the beginning of October with adult trout.

Fall foliage is almost at peak which makes for a great float by canoe or kayak on the Allegheny River or the Clarion River. Tionesta Creek from Kellettville to Nebraska Bridge is also a scenic fall float. Please remember to have a Coast Guard approved wearable personal flotation device on board for each person and also carry a sound producing device.

Note: All unpowered boats (canoes, kayaks, stand-up paddleboards, rowboats, etc.) launching or retrieving at PFBC access areas and DCNR state parks or forests must have a current boat registration (issued by any state), or PFBC Use Permit, or DCNR Launch or Mooring Permit.  For more information, visit

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