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NE Region reports

REGION COUNTIES -- Bradford, Carbon, Columbia, Lackawanna, Luzerne, Monroe, Pike, Sullivan, Susquehanna, Wayne, Wyoming (County Guide)


January 18, 2017

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://www.fishandboat.com/Boat/WaterandIceSafety
 
Remember: From November 1st through April 30th there is mandatory wear for life jackets from on boats less than 16 feet in length and all canoes and kayaks. Wearing your life jacket is the best way to prevent a boating fatality and we recommend you wear one all year, not just during the mandatory wear period.
 
Southern Luzerne & Southern Columbia Counties
 
Colder temperatures last week had anglers finding anywhere from 4” to 8” of ice across the district.  The recent warm up though could deteriorate the ice quickly though, so make sure to use caution when venturing out on the ice.  That said, most ice fishing activity seems to be focused on FEW Reservoir and Lily Lake with anglers having success with panfish on both.  If we get more cold weather though and good ice is able to develop expect the activity to pick up on The Ice Lakes in Rice Township and Nuangola Lake.
 
One final note, the last report incorrectly listed February 04, 2017 as a date for a Basic Boating Course at Nescopeck State Park.  That was incorrect; the correct date is March 04, 2017.  February 04, 2017 is actually the date, of DCNR’s Winterfest.  The Fish and Boat Commission will be on hand, doing ice safety/ice fishing instruction and demonstration.  For those uninitiated to the sport of hard water fishing, come on out, and give it a try.
 
Northern Columbia & Northern Luzerne Counties
Area ice fishermen have been having some success targeting panfish. Evening seems to be the best time to catch fish prowling for a meal with some anglers doing their best after the sun has set and well into the night. Grubs, of all kinds, used to sweeten an ice jig are the best go to lure. If fishing after the sun goes down you should consider glow in the dark jigs to better get the attention of the fish you are targeting.
 
Harveys Lake is still without fishable ice but other lakes are ready to go. Remember if you are fishing Lake Jean in Rickett's Glen State Park that the Catch and Release regulations applies to all fish and will be in place for the next few years. We need to give this great fishery a chance to recover following the dewatering that took place to make necessary repairs to the dam and control tower.

january 11, 2017 

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://www.fishandboat.com/Boat/WaterandIceSafety
 
Remember: From November 1st through April 30th there is mandatory wear for life jackets from on boats less than 16 feet in length and all canoes and kayaks. Wearing your life jacket is the best way to prevent a boating fatality and we recommend you wear one all year, not just during the mandatory wear period.
 
Southern Luzerne & Southern Colombia Counties
 
There is a PA Basic Boating Class, scheduled to be held at Nescopeck State Park, February 04, 2017.  The class starts at 8:00am, and pre-registration is required; See the website for more information.
 
With the recent cold spell that has come through, angling and boating on the Susquehanna River and other open water has been non- existent. 
 
This cold spell has started to get local anglers ready for ice fishing.  Ice anglers that have ventured out are reporting success targeting crappies and perch at Francis E. Walter Reservoir.  Most success has been found jigging wax worms with a small ice jig.  There has not been fishable ice across most of the region otherwise.  However, with this past weeks frigid temperatures, expect that to change.
 
Anglers are urged to review the ice safety information available on the website, and to ensure they have appropriate safety equipment at all times.  Remember, ice conditions are not monitored!  It is your responsibility to protect yourself.
 
It is certainly not too early to begin thinking about trout season.  Preliminary stocking schedules for the district are being reviewed, and will be available in the near future.
 
                       
Norther Pike & Southern Wayne Counties
 
Many of the lakes and ponds in the district are covered with ice.  This means that ice fishing is starting to get underway here in the Northeast.  Of those fishermen I have talked to and checked the pan fish and pickerel seem to be what is being caught the most.  Please be sure to check the ice thickness before venturing out onto the lakes.  Some places are good with six inches or more but some are only at two to three with open water in some cases.  It is suggested that you wear some type of a PFD or float coat for your safety.  As always have fun but come home.
 
Southern Wayne, Pike & Northern Monroe Counties
 
The recent cold snap has created ice thick enough to fish on smaller, shallower ponds and impoundments throughout the district and anglers are having good success catching perch, crappie and bluegills using a variety of natural baits.
 
Monroe County
 
The amount of ice anglers are increasing with every cold night with temperatures dipping into the single digits. So far action has been rather slow though with catches being very light.
 
Activity at Francis Walter Dam has been increasing, especially on the weekends. Be careful at this location because water levels fluctuate underneath the ice.
 
Western Bradford and Sullivan County
 
Despite recent rainfall, snow melt and fluctuating river levels the walleye activity has been picking up on the North Branch of the Susquehanna River.  Anglers fishing from boat are reporting swim baits are particularly effective.
 
Wyoming County
 
Fluctuating weather conditions have made a challenge for ice fishermen this winter.  Area lakes have frozen for a second time this year, but weather forecasters claim the next couple weeks will be above normal temperatures.  There have been a few ice fishermen out over the past few days and all those that have ventured out have found some success.
 
Don’t take unnecessary chances if the weather forecasts prove true and conditions become unsafe.  Rain, added to warm temperatures can melt existing ice, and there has yet to be a fish worth the risk of falling through the ice. 
 
There has been a lot of ice floating down the Susquehanna River, but  expect that to clear quickly in warmer temperatures and winter fishermen may find opportunities there.
 
Carbon County
Ice anglers fishing Mauch Chunk Lake near the vicinity of Boat Launch B have reported catching bass, pickerel and perch.  One angler reported catching a seventeen inch Largemouth Bass and a fifteen inch perch.  The bass was taken by using a tip-up and the perch was caught while jigging.  As with most waterways, the ice conditions are not monitored at Mauch Chunk Lake. 
 
Before venturing out on to the ice make sure to check the ice conditions.  The ice may not be the same thickness all over.  Avoid dark, honeycombed or porous ice areas and areas with multiple pressure cracks, brush, logs or docks.  Always take a partner along and let others know where you are going and when you will return. Know how to dress for the cold and wear a personal flotation vest or have a throwable personal flotation device (seat cushion) in case of an emergency.  It is also a good practice to carry a set of ice awls to pull yourself up onto the ice in the event you fall through.
 
The water level at Beltzville Lake still remains low with open water on most of the lake.
Little to no fishing activity is occurring on the Lehigh River or the other streams in the district.  As we are now in the 2017 fishing season, please be sure (anglers 16 years of age or older) to have your valid 2017 PA Fishing License and trout /salmon permit (if required).
 
 

Reports compiled by Allan Schreffler (alschreffl@pa.gov), Regional Education Specialist, using information provided by Waterways Conservation Officers, Area Fisheries Managers and other PFBC staff.