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

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

Fishing and Boating Report – August 27, 2014
Crawford County

Conneaut Lake
The navigation buoys will be pulled for the season the week after Labor Day. All laws are still in affect even if the buoys are no longer there.

The boat traffic has started slowing down. After Labor Day anglers will have fewer skiers to deal with. In the fall, many locals say the Bluegills they catch are huge.

Pymatuning Reservoir
The fishing this summer has been really slow but with the cooler temperatures of fall weather coming, the fishing should pick up.  

Venango County

Allegheny River
The USGS depth gage in Franklin reflects a current water level of +/- 4’-01”, given 4.5” of rain in August to date. At present, the Allegheny River is just over 1’-0” above normal pool.  The water temperature is hovering at 73°Fahrenheit, which is a marked rebound from a low of 60° Fahrenheit during the week of August 16th. Smallmouth Bass hookups continue; catches were reported on artificial lures and crank baits. Walleye harvests continue due to cooler water temperatures. Catfish anglers have begun to return to their favorite haunts, due to river levels stabilizing during the week of August 23rd.  The new moon phase begins August 25th. During this phase many catfish anglers report the highest number of hook-ups at sunset on any combination of cut bait, chubs or live bait.

French Creek

The USGS depth gage in Utica reflects a current water level of 3’-0”, up about 2 inches since last report.  Recreational boating traffic (canoes/kayaks) tends to experience difficulty at this level due to low flows, so plan accordingly. 

Due to stabilizing water levels, angling activity continues. Bass and Walleye are the species of choice.

Oil Creek

The USGS depth gage in Rouseville reflects a current water level of +/- 2’-09”, which is down from a monthly high of 4’-06” on August 22nd.  Kayak traffic continues and recreational boat traffic is reminded of the ice control dam located adjacent SR 1007 within Oil Creek State Park (41.49129 N X 79.68545 W). Smallmouth Bass continue to be targeted around Rouseville and near Oil Creek’s confluence with the Allegheny River. 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.

Twomile Run Reservoir (Justus Lake)

Crappie were reported being caught throughout August. 

Additionally, remember that Twomile Run Reservoir/Justus Lake is governed under BIG BASS regulations.

ADDITIONAL TROUT ACTION OPPORTUNITIES
Anglers hungry for trout are encouraged to try their luck in:

  1. The dam area of Justus Lake (Twomile Run Reservoir) at around 20’-25’ depths.
  2. Twomile Run (Upper). This stream stays slightly cooler due to the bottom release occurring from Justus Lake (Twomile Run Reservoir).
  3. Dennison Run, a classified ‘wilderness trout waters’ located within the Kennerdell Tract of Clear Creek State Forest-- Clinton/Victory Township.
  4. Hemlock and Porcupine Creek(s) in President Township.
  5. Pithole Creek located in Allegheny and Cornplanter Township(s). 

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 http://fishandboat.com/registration.htm.” 

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Fishing and Boating Report – August 20, 2014
Erie County – West

Lake Erie & Presque Isle Bay
When wave conditions allow, boat anglers are having success for Walleye as well as Yellow Perch in deep waters in the lake off Gull Point, Walnut and Elk creeks.  Shoreline anglers in the bay are also doing well on panfish and bass.

Over the past summer months there have been several boat accidents on the lake.  Please take the time to ensure your mechanical equipment is in good working order. Also be sure that all safety equipment is up to date and in good working order and keep a close eye on changing weather conditions.

Western Erie Tributaries
Shore anglers are still having some limited success with catfish in the lower stretches of Elk and Walnut creeks.  Additionally, it has been reported that shore anglers are having some success with steelhead at the mouth of Walnut Creek in the early morning hours.

Erie County – East

Anglers are reporting some panfish being taken at Eaton Reservoir, Lake LeBoeuf, and Lake Pleasant. The bait of choice is still grubs and minnows.

Lake Erie
Anglers out of the North East Marina are reporting good Walleye action in 115 feet of water 55 to 65 feet down with 10 colors of lead core, using plugs, spoons and worm harnesses. Smallmouth Bass are still being taken from the W’s to East Ave. in 25 to 35 feet of water. Perch are being caught in 55 to 60 feet of water west of Freeport beach, Red Roof, W’s and 55 to 65 off the Point.  Angles are still catching panfish and bass off of the North & South piers.

Note: Shades Beach Marina is closed while construction is underway to improve the Marina.

Lake Erie Temperature is 70°
Edinboro Lake Temperature is 74°
For current Lake Erie conditions call the North East Marina at 814-725-8244.

Crawford County

French Creek
French Creek continues to be the hotspot around Crawford County! Walleyes are being caught from above Meadville to Cochranton, as well as Smallmouth Bass. Shiners are the bait of choice for Walleyes and bass.  Crawfish lures and jointed stickbaits seem to attract fish as well.

Mercer County

Buhl Lake
Largemouth Bass and Bluegill seem to be hitting on a worm under a float.  They are small in size so please handle with care and return them to the water. 

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 http://fishandboat.com/registration.htm.” 

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Fishing and Boating Report – August 12, 2014
Warren County

Kinzua Tail Race
On August 4th Michael Petrush from Warren, PA accidently caught a 42” Paddlefish while reeling in at the Kinzua tail waters. He said the stretch of water from Kinzua Dam to Warren is a ‘world class’ fishery. He fishes a lot and encourages potential new anglers to get into fishing. He suggests fishing a minnow on a hook on the bottom of the tail race area.  Michael says he’s amazed at the variety of fish he catches using this simple method.

Butler County

Lake Arthur
There has been more reports of good fishing in the old propagation area (Swamp Run finger).  For crappie, a minnow trailed behind a bobber has been a successful combination.

Lake Oneida / Thorn Run Reservoir
Fishing has been slow at these impoundments, however as fall approaches the Channel Cat fishing will improve.  Shiners off of the bottom in the early evening have been a very profitable offering in the past.  (Please note:  These impoundments are closed after dusk and before sunrise).

Crawford County

Woodcock Creek Lake
Anglers are reporting a few Walleye, Musky, and Smallmouth Bass being caught. Leeches are working best for the Walleye.

Woodcock Creek (dam outflow)
Anglers are reporting a lot of Bowfins, some Bluegills, a few smaller Walleye and Musky being caught near the outflow.

Canadohta Lake
Anglers are reporting some Largemouth Bass, a few Walleye, and Musky being caught.

French Creek float by Chad Foster
On a recent kayak fishing trip, I floated 8 miles of French Creek.  I caught and released one Chain Pickerel, three Smallmouth Bass, and one sub legal Walleye.  All fish were caught on a crawfish imitation lure or jointed stick bait.  Most fish seemed to hold in the deeper sections and faster moving water.  If the rains aren’t too bad during the beginning of this week, the weekend looks very good for fishing.

Chad with Smallmouth Bass
Chad Foster caught this nice 17.5 inch Smallmouth Bass on French Creek in Crawford County

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 http://fishandboat.com/registration.htm.” 

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