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Map highlighting counties in the Southeast RegionREGION COUNTIES -- Berks, Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Lancaster, Lehigh, Montgomery, Northampton, Philadelphia, Schuylkill (County Guide)

Reports compiled by Andrew Desko (adesko@pa.gov), Southeast Region Education Specialist, using information provided by Waterways Conservation Officers, Area Fisheries Managers and other PFBC staff.

Fishing and Boating Report – February 25, 2015
Changes to Striped Bass Regulations
Anglers should be aware of several changes to striped bass regulations in the Delaware River and Delaware Estuary which will take effect March 1 in order to meet requirements of the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission (ASMFC). The changes apply only to the Pennsylvania side of the river and estuary. The regulation changes include a new creel limit and new slot limits  Information about those changes can be found in the Commission’s recent News Release.

Reminder: The PFBC does not monitor ice thickness.  Ice thickness and conditions can vary greatly across the lake. Use caution as you head out onto the ice. A life jacket and a set of ice awls can be extremely important if you fall though the ice. Remember SAFETY FIRST: http://fishandboat.com/safety.htm

S. Berks County

Plenty of anglers have been hitting the hard water, and catching some nice fish.
The frigid temperatures has not stopped bass, trout, Muskellunge, Northern Pike, crappie, catfish, and panfish from striking a variety of baits and lures sent down ice holes.

The top area has been Lake Ontelaunee, in the Peter’s Creek arm, which always attracts a big crowd. Just remember if you’re going to venture out on the ice be safe and know the proper thickness. Ice may not be the same thickness all over so use caution, and try to stay away from stickups like brush, plants, or logs as the ice will be less thick near debris.  Remember to always let someone know where you are going ice fishing and how long you plan on being gone. 

Give Kaercher Creek Lake in Hamburg a try if you prefer a smaller lake, and a good shot at picking up a nice bass or big Rainbow Trout.

Fish the upper coves at Blue Marsh Lake for a chance at hooking into a trophy Muskellunge.

Jigging is the most popular method of fishing, but setting out a line of tip ups baited with large minnows usually catches big fish. No need to spend the day cutting holes, usually just varying the depth of baits and lures is all it takes to get on fish.

Bundle up the kids and take them along, and you’ll be surprised how much fun they’ll have.

Hard to believe that trout stocking is just around the corner, and spring is on the way.

Good luck!

S. Chester County

The Little Cocalico Creek, Muddy Creek, Rock Run will be stocked with trout on Tuesday March 17th at 11:30. The meeting place is the Cloister Shopping Center at the intersection of Route 322 and Route 272. We could really use some help, please consider helping us stock and bring a youngster, they will have a great time!

The White Clay Creek East Branch, Section 3 from the White Clay Creek Preserve Boundary to the mouth and the White Clay Creek Middle Branch Section 2 from the T364 Bridge at Good Hope Road to Guernsey Rd will be stocked with Trout on Monday March 10. The truck will meet us at the Avondale Post Office at noon. We could really use some more help. Please consider coming out and lending a hand. Thanks.

The Middle Branch White Clay Creek Delayed Harvest Artificial Lures Only (DHALO) section was stocked with trout on Tuesday, February 24. Thank you to all the individuals who came out to help and special thanks to the White Clay Fly Fishers for their help. The stocked section is a 1.7 mile stretch that runs from Good Hope Road at 39 45' 43.7" North, 75 47' 03.9" West to the confluence with the East Branch White Clay in the White Clay Creek Preserve at 39 44' 57.7" North, 75 46' 10.4" West. Due to the frigid temperatures and ice, it was not possible to float stock. We stocked the only two points of open water we could find with about half the fish at each location. The points that were stocked are Good Hope Road at 39 45' 43.7" North, 75 47' 03.9" West, and the Iron Bridge on London Tract in the center of the section at 39 45' 16.2" North, 75 46' 51.6" West. The Bridge on Sharpless Road at 39 45' 01.9" North, 75 46' 16.3" West would be the lower limit of the stocked area. Two maps of the DCNR White Clay Creek Preserve are available, regular and large print at http://www.dcnr.state.pa.us/stateparks/parks/
whiteclaycreek/whiteclaycreek_maps.aspx

To get to the Middle Branch White Clay Creek DHALO section, take Route 41 to just south of Avondale and turn south on Penn Green Road. Follow Penn Green Road to Good Hope Road and turn right on Good Hope. Go past Bank Road and Crestwood Road and you will come to the top of the DHALO section of the Middle Branch White Clay. Limited Parking is available on either side of the bridge. More parking is available in the lot near the Iron Bridge at London Tract in the center of the section. For more information on The White Clay Creek Preserve, you can call the park office at 610-274-2900. The park office is located at 39 44' 48.1" North, 75 46' 27.2" West. The nature center is located at39 44' 46.4" North and 75 46' 29.6" West.
Click here for regulations for this section: Delayed Harvest Artificial Lures Only Be mindful of these regulations if you decide to go fishing there. Open to year round fishing, no closed season. A current fishing license with a trout stamp is required when fishing in a Delayed Harvest Artificial Lures Only area at all times. Fishing hours according to the 17 PA Code, Subpart B, State Parks, states
(a) General. Except as otherwise provided in subsections (b)--(g), as otherwise provided in this chapter, and as otherwise posted, State Parks are open to the public daily only from sunrise until sunset.

If you wish to see the complete DCNR 17 PA Code, Subpart B, State parks, you can find it at http://www.dcnr.state.pa.us/ucmprd1/
groups/public/documents/document/d_001192.pdf

The DCNR's White Clay Creek Preserve http://www.dcnr.state.pa.us/stateparks/parks/whiteclaycreek.aspx

Delaware County

Most of the Fly Fishing Only stretch at Ridley Creek is iced over with an occasional angler fishing at the falls. 

Don’t forget about the Mentored Fishing Day on March 28.  If you plan on participating, keep in mind that the main branch of Chester Creek (section 4) and lower Ridley Creek (city of Chester) will NOT be stocked with trout until March 30. 

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Fishing and Boating Report – February 23, 2015
The Fly Fishing Show returns to the Lancaster County Convention Center on Saturday, February 28 from 9:00 a.m. - 5:30 p.m. and Sunday, March 1 from 9:00 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.  Scouts under 16 in uniform are admitted free of charge.

The International Fly Fishing Film Festival returns with the show this year, and it will be screened on Saturday, February 28.

For show & film festival ticket purchase information and complete event information, click on the following link http://flyfishingshow.com/lancaster-pa.

The show is well attended and well presented, including casting demonstrations as well as fly tying with notables Bob Clouser, Joe Humphreys and Lefty Kreh.

The local Donegal Chapter of Trout Unlimited will have an informational exhibit.

The PFBC will have an exhibit with many of our popular and informative complimentary publications.  Additionally, PA Fishing Licenses will be available for purchase.  The Lancaster County District Officer will be staffing the exhibit on Sunday, and will be available to highlight local trout fishing opportunities, specifically on the county’s two Special Regulation Catch and Release Fly-Fishing Only waters – West Branch Octoraro Creek and the Donegal Creek. 

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Fishing and Boating Report – February 18, 2015
Reminder: The PFBC does not monitor ice thickness.  Ice thickness and conditions can vary greatly across the lake. Use caution as you head out onto the ice. A life jacket and a set of ice awls can be extremely important if you fall though the ice. Remember SAFETY FIRST: http://fishandboat.com/safety.htm

Winter is dragging on and along with the snow some bitter temperatures as well. I’m not sure about you but I can't wait to wet a line, a line that doesn't freeze to my hand. It won't be long now, stocking is right around the corner and the early trout opener is right after that. In the meantime a trip to the Greater Philadelphia Outdoor Show in Oaks, Thursday February 26th to Sunday March 1st might be the answer to what to do in the meantime. There will be presentations on anything that has to do with the outdoors, a trout fishing pond, a 5000 gallon aquarium, a rock wall, archery range, as well as vendors that will have all the newest and greatest of outdoor gear, including boats and fishing equipment.  The physical address for the show is 100 Station Avenue, Oaks, PA 19456. For more information go to http://www.sportshows.com/philadelphia/index.html or for directions to the show go to http://www.sportshows.com/philadelphia/directions.html .

On Sunday February 22, 2015, The Delaware River Shad Fishermen’s Association will host a Fishing Flea Market. The show, which will have both hunting and fishing items, will be held at the Sewyco Fire Company Social Hall from 8am until 1pm. The physical address for the hall is 3621 Old Philadelphia Pike, Bethlehem, PA 18015. For more information call 610-691-8518 or visit the webpage at http://drsfa.org/

The Calvary Outdoors Expo & Sportsman Show will be held on Saturday March 7th from 10am until 5pm at the Calvary Church, 820 Route 113, Souderton, PA 18964. There will be over 100 vendors with the latest and greatest of fishing equipment, fishing workshops including a casting competition and critter show for the kids and a fishing simulator too. For more information you can go to the website at www.calvaryexpo.com .

The Lehigh Valley Sportsman Show will be held on March 6th, 7th & 8th at the Allentown Fairgrounds Ag-Hall, 19th & Liberty Streets in Allentown, PA from 1pm– 8pm on Friday, 10am to 9pm on Saturday & 10am to 5pm on Sunday. Along with all the must have fishing and boating supplies, you will get a chance to talk with guides, taxidermists, saltwater fishing charter operators. For more information, go to the website at www.lehighvallysportsmanshow.com .

The Alburtis Sportsmen's will host a Fishing Flea Market on March 1st from 8am until 2pm at the Alburtis Area Community Center, 220 West 2nd Street, Alburtis, PA. 18011. New and used fishing and hunting items will be featured including vintage and collectibles. Bring your vintage lures and have them appraised for free. For more information, call 610-966-2195.

Chester County

CrappieAndrew McMullen caught this awesome 13.5 inch Crappie at Struble Reservoir along with some other smaller ones. His fishing partner caught some walleyes through the ice as well. Try small fathead minnows fished under a tip-up or bobber approximately one foot off the bottom. Crappie jigs work well for the crappies, work them about a foot off the bottom as well.

The Camp Cadet program will be held at Camp Saginaw in Chester County the week of August 15th. The program that was started in 1991 for 50 boys had 97 participants last year, both boys and girls. The program is a weeklong stay over hosted by local law enforcement that is free to the participants. To apply for the program you must live in Chester County and be between 12 and 14 years of age. The purpose of the program is to promote a positive relationship between law enforcement and the children in our community. The camp brings members from different backgrounds together to form teams and to promote self-esteem and a positive attitude. Part of the program includes fishing classes, a water safety program as well as a smart angler program. The deadline for applications for the camp is May 15th. For more information you can go to the website at http://www.cccampcadet.org.

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Fishing and Boating Report – February 11, 2015
Reminder: The PFBC does not monitor ice thickness.  Ice thickness and conditions can vary greatly across the lake. Use caution as you head out onto the ice. A life jacket and a set of ice awls can be extremely important if you fall though the ice. Remember SAFETY FIRST: http://fishandboat.com/safety.htm

S. Berks County / N. Lancaster County

There were many ice fishing opportunities over the past week for some happy anglers.

Live minnows and small jigs were the preferred bait. Trout are hitting at Kaercher Creek Lake in Hamburg and at Scott’s Run Lake in French Creek State Park. Tip a small jig with a meal worm, wax worm, or minnow to increase your chances at success. Bass and crappie fishing at Lake Ontelaunee has been great, with many bass taken on large minnows. The upper coves at Blue Marsh Lake are another good area for big crappies or a nice striper. Anglers at Middle Creek Lake in Lancaster County were putting some bass and catfish on the ice (remember to fish inside the line of buoys). Remember safety first, wear a float coat or life jacket, a good pair of cleats, and always check the ice conditions before heading out.

Gear up, and good fishing!

N. Chester County

Struble Lake:  The ice fishing has been hot and cold during the past several weeks with the changes in the weather. Bluegills, Crappies and Yellow Perch are being taken on shiners, chubs, flathead minnows and mealworms as well. Fishing pressure is very high on weekends. Parking is not allowed on the grass areas nor at the boat ramp, citations are being issued for parking in those areas.

Marsh Creek Lake: Pressure at Marsh Creek is considerably lighter than at Struble Lake. Panfish are being taken with similar bait as Struble Lake anglers, as well as bright colored jigs.

The creeks are cold and in some cases ice covered with no activity observed. The French Creek C&R Fly Fishing Only area and the Pickering Creek DHALO are scheduled to be stocked on the February 19 with the East Brandywine DHALO to be stocked on the Feb 24, weather permitting. The Schuylkill River is congested with ice flows and generally not safe for boat traffic.

S. Chester County

The Orvis Store in Downingtown at 70 Quarry Rd, Downingtown Pa. 19335 will offer a free course Fly-Tying 101 on Saturday, February 21 from 9am until 11am. The course will cover everything that the beginning fly angler will need to know to get started in tying.  Spring is almost here, take advantage of this opportunity to learn the art of fly tying. For more information you can call the store at 610-873-8400 or visit the website at www.orvis.com/downingtown

If you live in Southern Chester County on the south side of 322, consider coming out this year and helping to stock the approved trout waters. The approved waters include Beaver Creek, Buck Run, Brandywine West Branch, Pocopson Creek, Elk & Big Elk Creeks, Octoraro Creek East Branch (in-season only), and four sections of the White Clay Creek (including one Delayed Harvest Artificial Lures Section). We had very little help last year on some of the stockings which made it difficult to distribute the fish as evenly as we would have liked to. We often get the angler who wants to call in and complain that his favorite hole was not stocked well enough, or for reasons of bad weather and proximity to the road and or, for lack of help, it may have to be passed by. The first thing we ask is if they came along to help stock and the usual answer is no.  Stocking is a lot of fun and gives you a chance to give something back to the resource. It is also a great way to spend a day with a kid and to get them off the web and video games for a while. Our stocking list is updated and will give you all the dates, times and meeting locations for any county in Pennsylvania. Thanks in advance for your help.

The Middle Branch White Clay Creek Delayed Harvest Artificial Lures Only (DHALO) section will be stocked with trout on Tuesday, February 24. We will be meeting at noon at Kerr Park. Officer Bonney will be stocking the East Branch Brandywine DHALO first, and we will then lead the truck down to Good Hope Road off of 896 to stock the Middle Branch White Clay Creek DHALO. Anglers can get to this section by taking Route 41 and continue to just south of Avondale and turn right (south) on Penn Green Road. Follow Penn Green Road to Good Hope Road and turn right on Good Hope. Go past Bank Road and Crestwood Road and you will come to the top of the DHALO section at the Good Hope Road Bridge.

If you would like to support our wounded and disabled veterans and service members you can do so through Project Healing Waters which is a nonprofit group of volunteers whose goal is to provide mental and physical rehabilitation to active and veteran military members with disabilities from any military engagement, through the therapeutic healing properties of fly fishing. The group is active in 46 states and provides one on one instruction in all aspects of fly fishing. Volunteers include guides, teachers, and experienced anglers. To donate or volunteer your time you can contact Project Healing Waters Fly Fishing Inc., P.O. Box 695, La Plata, MD 20646. You can also get more information from the web at www.projecthealingwaters.org.

Lancaster County

Yellow Perch

Marc ice fishing

Marc R. of Bear, Delaware landed this Yellow Perch on a spoon at Muddy Run Lake recently. He caught other Yellow Perch and some Black Crappies.  Marc ventured out-of-state to do some hard water fishing in PA. He took advantage of technology to aid his efforts by pulling the fish finder from his boat as he made a day of it at the lake.

Muddy Run Lake revealed a handful of stalwart individuals over the past weekend. All were monitoring their tip-ups hoping to land a few of the lake’s many trout. One recurrent angler was successful in reeling in a 19” trout which was destined for the dinner plate. In past short- lived ice fishing seasons, the lake has yielded Largemouth Bass, Black Crappies, Yellow Perch, and even Common Carp in addition to anglers extended season creel limit of three trout.

Ice fishing enthusiasts who choose to use an inflatable life jacket for safety should note that inflatable devices may not work when the air temperature is at or below freezing. Please note this warning in the manufacturer’s label. The standard vest-type life jackets or a float coat may be a more predictable option.

Anglers are also advised that ice fishing is prohibited on the Octoraro Reservoir per the Chester Water Authority. 

The Lancaster Masonic Lodge No. 43 will host a PFBC guest speaker at their Tuesday, February 17 meeting at the Masonic Center of Lancaster County, 213 West Chestnut Street, Lancaster. Waterways Conservation Officer Schmidt will provide a general presentation of the agency’s trout management plan and key in on the county-specific trout stocking program of Lancaster’s 22 Approved (Stocked) Trout Waters. The presentation will ‘tackle’ local trout fishing opportunities, the PFBC’s revised Mentored Youth program and; moreover, the laws and regulations specific to trout fishing.  In his ongoing proactive efforts to distinguish between fact and ‘fish tales’, an opportunity for questions and answers will be extended. Various PFBC complimentary publications will be made available.  The public is invited to attend free of charge.  Doors open to the public at 7:00 p.m., with a 90 minute program start at 7:30 p.m.

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