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

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

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” 

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Fishing and Boating Report – August 6, 2014
Clarion County

Piney Dam
Bass are being caught in the area from Mill Creek upstream to Blyson Run. Channel cats are being caught at night.

Upper Clarion River
Bass continue to be caught from Cook Forest downstream to Mill Creek. Trout are still being caught in the Gravel Lick & Blyson Run areas. 

All boaters using the Gravel Lick Access Area are reminded that this access area is owned by the PA Fish & Boat Commission. All boats, including canoes & kayaks, must be registered to use this facility.  

Kahle Lake
Nice Bass continue to be caught on soft plastics, crank baits and top water lures. Some nice Crappies are being taken in the early morning hours.

All boaters using Kahle Lake are reminded that this lake is owned by the PA Fish & Boat Commission. All boats, including canoes & kayaks, must be registered to use this facility.

Allegheny River
Nice Walleyes are being caught in the Foxburg Pool. Nice Bass continue to be reported around the islands in the Parker area. Channel Cats are being taken at night.

All boaters using the Parker & Brady’s Bend Access Areas are reminded that these access areas are owned or controlled by the PA Fish & Boat Commission. All boats, including canoes & kayaks, must be registered to use these facilities.

Redbank Creek
Trout and Bass are still being caught at the dam in New Bethlehem. Bass are being caught from Mayport to below the dam in New Bethlehem. Some nice Walleyes have been reported around the St Charles & Lawsonham areas.

Beaver Creek Ponds Project
Nice Bass, some panfish and a few catfish & channel cats are being reported.

Erie County—East

Anglers are reporting some pan fish 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 105 feet of water 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 action has picked up, 53 to 55 feet of water west of Freeport beach. Angles are still catching pan fish and Bass off of the North & South Piers.

FYI: Construction is underway to improve the Shades Beach Marina.  
Lake Erie Temperature 73°; Edinboro Lake Temperature 76° 
For current Lake Erie conditions call the North East Marina at 814-725-8244.

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

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Fishing and Boating Report – July 30, 2014
Butler County

Lake Arthur
The wildlife propagation area in Swamp Run has been opened substantially for boating and fishing.  The new restricted area is located at the back end of the finger, and is marked with “Keep out” buoys and floating orange markers.  Since opening in the last couple of weeks, anglers have reported fantastic fishing.  Large Channel Cats and crappie are hitting minnows trailed behind bobbers the moment they hit the water!  This area is full of old stumps and root systems which wreak havoc on angler’s lines.  Try using a high test line, and get those fish landed quickly before they can retreat to the roots or else you will lose many of those battles.  Nice catches of day time walleye have been observed off of Nealey’s Point on the North Shore.  Anglers are making very slow trolls or wind drifting over the drop-off with a worm harness.  Various colors of crank baits have also been successful.

Thorn Run Reservoir
Only have an hour or two to wet a line?  Try the upper end of Thorn Run Reservoir at Love Road Bridge.  Late afternoon and early evening catches of bass have been reported.  Worms and minnows are favored.

Venango County

Allegheny River
The USGS water level gage in Franklin reads +/- 4’-03” and water temperature has dropped from 77° to 67° due to all the rain on July 27th and 28th. Smallmouth bass hookups continue.  Local hotspots have been near the Walnut Islands, Oil City pool, and Witherup Island with successes reported on tube baits. Catfishing continues to be curtailed due to elevated water levels. Walleye harvests are being reported.  Hot spots include the mouth of Stewart Run, Reno rapids, the mouth of Twomile Run, Foster Islands, and the Mill Creek eddy. Tube baits also provided success as well as crank baits and jigs within the more vegetated areas. The water temperature drop should provide continued success.

French Creek
Angling activity continues to increase. Heavier pressure areas have been around the old Amalie refinery, Sugarcreek Station, and Utica. Suckers have gathered in good numbers at the mouth of Sugar Creek just above its confluence with French Creek.  Although generally a spring target species, some have begun taking advantage of this immediate opportunity.  Many sucker anglers typically use “real”, not artificial, bait… worms, dough, et cetera. Suckers are bottom feeders, so use sinkers to get your bait down.  Also, suckers generally tend to be good fighters. Have tackle worthy of the job. Many recommend 6-8# test. Although many anglers choose to use harvested suckers as bait, others prefer them as a meal. Pickled, pressured cooked, or ground into patties are three of the top reported preparations.

The USGS water level gage in Utica reflects a current of 2’-10”. Low water levels like this can cause problems for canoes and kayaks but recent rains may improve these conditions. 

Kahle Lake
Bass harvests using soft artificial baits have been reported. Remember, Kahle Lake is governed under BIG BASS regulations.

Two Mile Run Reservoir (Justus Lake)
Remember, Two mile Run Reservoir/Justus Lake is governed under BIG BASS regulations.

Many anglers/boaters have provided positive feedback on the new boat ramp located in the Park Office and Crosby swim area.  Larger (18’) boat owners report no difficulties in launching/retrieving at this location.

Mercer County

Shenango Lake
Water levels are up with all the rainfall we have had.  The Shenango River is at flood stage, and the Reservoir is slowly rising. Fishing is starting to pick up with the cooler nights. Catfish are being caught throughout the reservoir.

Shenango River
Trout are still being caught in the outflow. Fish the deeper holes for success during the day. Remember a trout/salmon stamp is required to fish there year round.

The summer is quickly slipping away.  There are only a couple of weeks before its back to school for some.  Take this time and get out on the water to enjoy the rest summer. Enjoy the rest of your summer!

Lake Wilhelm
Walleye and crappie are being caught at the outlet end of the lake. Bass catches are also being reported all over the lake.

Conneaut Lake
Bass are being caught.

Boating traffic is lower than normal due to weather.

French Creek
Weather has had a lot to do with the low traffic on the creek. Once it gets to a good flow, mother-nature steps in with three days of rain.

Erie County

Elk & Walnut Creeks
Shore anglers are still having some success with catfish in the lower stretches of Elk & Walnut Creeks.  High water conditions have limited fishing.

Lake Erie & Presque Isle Bay
Shore anglers are having limited success of yellow perch and some very nice bass.  Boat anglers are doing well with walleye and perch in the deep water off Walnut and Gull Point.

Boating enforcement patrols have discovered a lot of boat safety equipment violations and three Boating Under the Influence operators have been charged.  We continue to see a lot of fishing license violations.

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