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SE Region Reports

REGION COUNTIES -- Berks, Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Lancaster, Lehigh, Montgomery, Northampton, Philadelphia, Schuylkill (County Guide)

January 19, 2017

Can’t wait for some warm weather and the opening of the Early Trout Season? Then consider attending what is said to be one of the largest Fly Fishing Shows in the U.S. on January 27-29 at the Garden State Exhibit Convention Center, Somerset, New Jersey. The show provides opportunities to attend classes, see presentations, view exhibits, and see what 100s of vendors have to offer and get a jump on getting all you’re got to have gear while making the spring thaw seem not quite so far away. For more information you can visit the website at
The International Fly Fishing Film Festival will be held on January 27 starting at 6:30PM, at the Garden State Exhibit Center in Somerset, New Jersey, you can more information on the web at and in Lancaster Pa on Saturday March 4th starting at 6PM at the Lancaster County Convention Center.  You can get more information on the website at  
Berks County
Ice fishing has commenced on Lake Ontelaunee. Take a look at where Peter’s Creek flows into the lake. There is a mix of open water and ice, and precautions need to be taken with ice safety. Bass fishing is pretty good (try some plastic worms and jigs, allowing them to fall before working them).  The crappie fishing is also starting to pick up.
Kaercher Creek Dam was stocked in December and there was a quick ice-over after the stocking, so there are plenty of opportunities to catch trout.
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:


January 11, 2017

Remember: From November 1 through April 30, 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.
People who wear a personal flotation device when exposed to cold water have potentially life-saving advantages such as insulation from the cold and buoyancy for those who are unable to tread water including the reduced risk of aspiration of water.  
Southern Bucks County
Anglers are still pulling trout from Lake Luxembourg and Levittown Lake using a variety of lures and baits, including spinners and worms.  Construction equipment remains in place at the PFBC Yardley Access to build a new bird habitat on an island in the Delaware River; however, the access is still open to public boating and fishing during lulls in construction. 
Southern Chester County
With the variable temperatures lately, there will be many opportunities to get out and catch fish. If you do not have fishing equipment, you can borrow it from Hibernia County Park. In conjunction with the Pennsylvania Fish & Boat Commission and the park, the park has been selected as a designated fishing equipment loaner site. The park has a number of Pennsylvania Fish & Boat trained fishing instructors as well, to help you decide where to go and what to use to help you. The park has two bodies of water; one is the West Branch of Brandywine Creek, a Stocked Trout Water, which winds its way through rapids and boulders in the upper part of the park into wider, deeper and slower pools in the center of the park. The second is Chambers Lake, a roughly 90 acre warm water impoundment that holds catfish, sunfish, crappie, musky, pickerel, and Largemouth and Smallmouth Bass. Right now both bodies of water are free of ice. You can call 610-383-3812 for more information on the fishing equipment loaner program.
Time is running out to sign up for a Basic Boating Course that will be held on Saturday, January 21 at Hibernia County Park Mansion at 1 Park Road in Coatesville, from 7:30AM to 5PM. Boating Safety Education Certificates are required for all operators of personal watercraft, regardless of age, and for boat operators born after January 1, 1982 that operate motorboats of more than 25 horsepower. This free PA Fish & Boat Commission (PFBC) course is designed to help boaters make better informed decisions on the water. Instructors will provide course materials and information via a classroom setting to help you reduce the risk of injury and conflict on the water. Those who successfully complete the course may obtain this certificate, which is good for a lifetime (fees apply). A minimum of eight hours of classroom instruction is required to pass the course. Participants should bring a lunch and snacks. There will be a few other classes in Chester County in February. There will be a one day class on the 11th, at Springton Park Ranger Station, and two, 2 day classes on the 15 and 16 (also at Springton Manor) and the 22 and 23 at Hibernia. The two day courses are late afternoon courses. Pre-registration is required at  You can also get more information on the web at
The final version of this year’s trout stocking schedule is being developed and approved and will be available on our webpage once completed. Specific stockings for the entire state or for just your local area are available online at ; just select your county and the date range that you want to see.
The White Clay Flyfishers host guest speakers and provide educational classes for both fly tying and fishing. Meetings are held at 7 PM on the 3rd Tuesday of each month, so the next meeting will be on January 17. Meetings are held at the London Tract Baptist Meetinghouse at the intersection of Sharpless and London Tract Roads, Landenberg, PA. 19350, next to the White Clay Park Office.  The Club is always looking for new members. For more information check out the website at
One of the most productive ways to catch fish is through the ice. Anglers are lost each year due to going through thin ice. Be careful, be safe. The ice thickness on all of the lakes around Southern Chester County and most others in Pennsylvania are not monitored, so do a little homework before deciding to go out there. There are a number of factors to consider when deciding if ice is thick enough to be safe. Clear ice is stronger than slush ice, or white ice, also called snow ice. The thickness of the ice on a body of water can vary from one spot to another, so check ice thickness starting from a safe location on shore, and then every 50 feet or so as you go out. Ice can be suddenly thinner in an area yards away from thick, safe clear ice because of an underwater spring, decaying vegetation, large schools of fish, currents, snow, temperature, etc.  Seek an experienced ice angler who knows that specific body of water for a first-time trip. Wear a float coat; it will keep you warm while fishing and if you do go through the ice it will keep you afloat. Ice awls are another good idea. These can be used to pull yourself from the ice if you should go through. Guidelines for ice thickness according to the PFBC website, and remember these are only basic, can be found here: . Almost every year people go through the ice at Struble Reservoir. The reservoir has many areas with stumps near the surface and decaying vegetation and springs that can make it dangerous if you are not familiar with it. Ice fishing is also permitted at Marsh Creek Reservoir, but it is not permitted at Chambers Lake or Octoraro Reservoir. There is a lot of information available on the web about ice fishing safety and it is important to read and learn about ice safety before going out. Good Luck!
Southeast Montgomery/West Philadelphia Counties
With the cold weather, fishing and boating activity remains slow in the district. On warmer days, dedicated anglers are catching bass using lures, and carp using a variety of natural baits.

January 4, 2017

Creeks, rivers and lakes throughout the Southeast Region are still open water for fishing & boating. Weather forecasts indicate that it will be colder this coming weekend. The rain showers this week have raised the streams and rivers. Did you know that you can find stream gauge information available on the USGS website at
With seasonably mild air temperatures, paddlesport enthusiasts have been seen out and about. Remember: From November 1st through April 30th life jacket wear is mandatory 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.
Chester County
The White Clay Fly-Tying Club will meet at 6PM on Thursday, January 12th at the London Tract Meeting House in the White Clay Creek Preserve, located at the intersection of Sharpless & London Tract roads, Landenberg PA 19350, next to White Clay State Park Office. With the cold weather upon us, many of us are looking for a place to go or some activity to hold us over until we can wet a line again and this is the perfect thing. Fly tying materials are provided for those who do not yet have their own. Several flies are usually demonstrated and club members are happy to show you how it's done, as well as spin a few stories about the last huge one that got away. Club mailing address is P.O. Box 762, Landenberg, PA 19350 for more information. Parking for club is behind the White Clay State Park Office.
The West Caln Sportsmen’s Club will have its next meeting on January 11th. The club owns 40 acres of property along Telegraph Road which includes a large clubhouse, an indoor and outdoor pistol range, rifle range, archery range and fish nursery located at Hibernia County Park. Meetings are held starting at 7:30 PM on the 2nd Wednesday of each month. Meetings are held at the West Caln Sportsmen’s Club at 1271 Telegraph Road, Coatesville, PA. 19320. The Club is always looking for new members. For more information you can send an email to or check out the website at

 DeCEMBER 28, 2016

Bucks County
Delaware River: Walleye are hitting jigs and creature baits in deep water near structure. Some early winter rains have raised the water levels to the point where most of the river is accessible by boat again. The cold water, although still shallow, should not be underestimated by wading anglers. Use care, even when familiar with water conditions, as the cold water carries a much greater threat to wading anglers! 
Nockamixon Lake: Use caution when heading out on the new ice for ice-fishing. Black and White Crappies are already in winter schools, and are converging around the submerged timber areas. Nockamixon Lake is under our Big Bass Regulations so please abide by these when ice fishing here. 
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:




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