|S. Berks County
With the May 2nd stocking of the Tulpehocken Creek (Marion Township Rod and Gun Club to Charming Forge) and (Red Covered bridge near Penn State to Reading), trout fishing has been great! Mild weather and warmer stream temperatures have really turned on the fish, and many anglers reported good catches on wax worms, corn, and spinners. Hard to believe, but the last stocking in southern Berks is May 10 with Hay Creek and Scott's Run Lake.
Blue Marsh Lake continues to be good with bass, striper, and crappie hook ups.
If you are after crappie, fish downed trees and other types of structure using small minnows and jigs. Boating activity on the lake has really started to pick up, and no doubt will greatly increase for the upcoming holiday. Now is the time to check your boats safety equipment and mechanical condition. If you are new to boating, practice trailering and launching on less active days during the week. Boating safety starts before you get on the water, do not forget to read over your PA Boating Handbook.
The US Coast Guard Auxilliary will be conducting vessel safety checks at the Dry Brooks Boat Ramp at Blue Marsh Lake on the dates indicated on their schedule.
N. Chester County
While on patrol at Marsh Creek Lake Sunday morning, WCO Bonney observed 16 year old Dan Cornelius of Glenmoore, catch and land a large musky on a bass spinner bait on the west side of the lake after only 15 minutes of fishing.
Nice job Dan!
He is pictured with his brother Nate.
S. Chester County
Anglers showed off some very nice size crappies, 12 to 13 inches while WCOs patrolled Octoraro Reservoir. Most of them caught from a boat, fishing with a fathead for bait, fished 5 to 6 feet below a bobber while working the shoreline features, fallen trees and structure.
The Sporting Gentleman is offering a Fly Fishing Film Tour, this Friday, May 10, limited tickets are available, call 610-565-6140 for more information.
Photographer Mike Shull sent us some pictures showing the efforts local sportsmen & future sportsmen gave to stocking the Hammer Creek on March 22. If you haven’t seen float stocking before, the trout are carried in the modified blue drum so that trout can be planted in different locations along the stream. Photo Credits Mike Shull.
Photographer Dave Landis sent in the picture of a raptor that was caught in fishing line and perished along the Middle Creek. It is a teachable moment that as anglers and conservationists, we make every effort to remove our fishing line from tree branches and stream banks. It was an unfortunate end for this noble bird. Discarded fishing line has been the end for many of our living aquatic resources. Photo Credit Dave Landis.
The month of May into June in Lancaster County provides ample opportunities for adults to introduce youth to the enjoyment found in fishing, or more succinctly in “catching fish”. A listing of youth derbies is illustrated below. For adults unduly wary of assisting a child, refer to the language of the law at the link provided: http://fishandboat.com/fishpub/summaryad/z05requirements_law.pdf
Fishing Derbies/Fishing Rodeos
Organizations planning derbies or rodeos are reminded that a Special Activities Permit is required for these types of events as per below. It is unlawful to conduct a fishing derby as defined in this section on Commonwealth waters without first obtaining a special activities permit from the Commission except that this requirement does not apply to fishing derbies to be held on privately owned lakes or ponds that are not open to the public. [Permits are required to be submitted at least 60 days before the date of the proposed derby-refer to website, fishandboat.com for permit application – NOTE: there is no fee for a special activities permit.
Fishing Derby definition (as defined in PA Title 30 Fish and Boat Code): An organized event involving 10 or more participants conducted for children under the age of 16, senior citizens (as defined in section 2701), anglers with disabilities, special populations or other group where the principal purpose is education or enjoyment, rather than competition among anglers.
As to the particulars relating to fishing rodeos, reference PA Title 30; section 3509 (b) Obstructing Migration of Fish:
Fish Rodeos – After giving written notice to the Commission, an organized fishing or sportsmen’s club that has been in existence for a period of one year or more may obstruct the passage of fish for a period not exceeding 48 hours for conducting fish rodeos; the primary objective of which is to encourage fishing by children. Such obstructions shall not be erected more than twice in one year within a distance of one mile from any similar obstruction on the same stream or body of water. The obstructions shall be at least one-half mile from other such obstructions and shall be erected and designed in such a manner that fish will not normally be injured. [Persons violating any provision of this section commit a summary offense of the first degree.]
Popular baits for these events include minnows, worms, salmon eggs, corn, cheese, and the typical bait pastes in yellow, chartreuse and white. Check with the sponsor of the event for bait restrictions they may have in place.
Plan to enjoy an outing with a child at one or more of these derbies. As stated by District WCO Schmidt, “These derbies are typically well organized and well attended; the respective sponsoring organizations are to be commended for their efforts in promoting angling amongst today’s youth.”
The catch & release fly fishing only section by the Co-op Nursery has been fishing well with large amounts of black caddis coming off throughout the day. No sulphers spotted as of this report. The other Fly Fishing Only section from Wild Cherry Lane downstream was stocked with trout yesterday so that will provide ample opportunity for fly anglers.
All approved trout water sections of the Little Lehigh were stocked this week as well. Many fish throughout being caught on minnows, and rainbow trout on paste baits. Jordan Creek also has many trout left from last week’s stocking from the community gardens all the way downstream to the confluence with the Little Lehigh.
Leaser Lake continues to provide excellent opportunities for kayaks and canoes. Many people just out paddling and enjoying the warmer weather. Boat launches are still closed to trailers until water level comes all the way up. We have another 7 feet to go. People can, and have been carrying small boats to the water and are still catching the trout that were stocked in the lake.
S. Montgomery County / W. Philadelphia County
Stony Creek and Kepner Creek in the Norristown Farm Park are still holding plenty of trout. Skippack Creek is also still holding trout. Water temperatures are slowing rising with the water levels slowly declining. Montgomery County needs some good rain to raise water levels and help keep the water temperature down.
Fishing on the Schuylkill River around the Art Museum/Fairmount Dam is heating up with arrival of American Shad. The shad have been observed in the Flat Rock Fish Ladder in Gladwyne, swimming upstream towards Norristown. We are awaiting confirmation of shad in the Fish Ladder at Norristown. Remember that river herring are in a CLOSED Season; do not be in possession of river herring when fishing on the Schuylkill River and/or Delaware River. In addition, there is a 20 in. to 26 in. slot limit on Stripers, 2 stripers per day limit until the end of May. Beginning June 1, the size limit goes up to 28 inches minimum/2 stripers per day. The smallmouth bass and largemouth bass are catch & release only until June 15.
The water levels at Minsi Lake have been lowered temporarily so that repairs can be made to the spillway this summer. We have a press release providing some more information on the topic here: http://www.fishandboat.com/newsreleases/2013press/minsi-lowered.htm
W. Schuylkill County / N. Berks County
In the last report in discussing private ponds, included were employees of a landowner or lessee in the classification of persons able to fish without a license in these waters. That is incorrect. This has been changed. Employees or servants of a landowner are NOT permitted to fish in these waters without a license.
On May 5, a Family Fun Fishing Event sponsored by the Friends of Sweet Arrow Lake County Park was held at Sweet Arrow Lake in Schuylkill County. This was a first time event for the County and over 700 people were registered. While the early morning weather was somewhat cool and the fishing a little slower than hoped, everyone enjoyed the event and it was a great opportunity for families to enjoy some quality time together fishing and opened some eyes to the facilities available at this county run park.
As the air and water temperatures are rising, so is the success of local trout anglers. Anglers have reported success on all variety of lures and baits.
Trout stocking in the district will conclude for this season on May 7 with the final stocking of Mahantango Creek. A big thank you to all the persons who helped throughout the season, especially those who assisted with float stocking on the various area streams.