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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 – October 22, 2014
Crawford County

Fishing is slow. A couple of Walleye have been caught in Woodcock Lake and also below Woodcock Dam.

Reminders: Drawdown of both Woodcock Lake and Canadohta Lake will begin soon.  Also, all boats moored at PFBC accesses must be removed by Dec. 1st.

Erie County

Lake Erie
Steelhead shore anglers are doing well when wave conditions permit off the mouth of Walnut Creek, Trout Run, and Godfrey Run. Remember that between the hours of 10pm and 5am, you must stay fifty yards away from the mouth of Trout Run and Godfrey Runs.

Western Erie Tributaries
Steelhead stream anglers are having great success on lower Walnut Creek. Recent rains have allowed Steelhead to move further upstream than State Route 5.  They’ve also moved into Upper Elk Creek and anglers are doing well. Large numbers of Steelhead have also moved upstream of the nursery waters on Crooked Creek.

Recent enforcement actions have resulted in many prosecutions. The most common violation is snagging/foul hooking. Other violations include a lot of litter and over limit violations. Daily saturation patrols with both uniformed and plain cloths officers have been very successful.

Venango County

Allegheny River
The USGS depth gage in Franklin reflects a current water level of +/- 5’-00”, up about 2’-0” from last reporting date. Water temperature has dropped to 52°, down 10-12° from the last report. Smallmouth action has been high in holes in the lower reaches of slow moving eddies, on the swift water side of local islands, and along the foot of the larger rock formations extending along the shoreline. Baits of choice have been spinners, tubes, and jigs. Walleye harvests continue to be reported. Jigs were reported as the most effective bait of choice. Catfish hookups have continued however, given the recent jump in water level, this target may have just become more elusive.

Allegheny River Navigation Hazard: Watercraft operators should be aware that the ice control device spanning the river upstream of the State Street (Veteran’s) Bridge in Oil City will soon be in place. Boaters are urged to use caution when operating in this area. Although stretching across the entire width of the river, a navigation channel/slot exists for the use of recreational watercraft traffic.

French Creek
The USGS depth gage in Utica reflects a current water level of 4’-04”, up about 2‘-0” since the last report. Recreational boat traffic (canoes/kayaks) will experience good flow conditions at this level. Bass and Walleye continue to be the most common hook-ups, with the occasional tease of a muskellunge. Jigs were reported as the most effective bait of choice.

Oil Creek
The USGS depth gage in Rouseville reflects a current water level of +/- 2’-09”, which is up 0’-08” since the last report.

Angling activity has diminished throughout much of the stream’s lower sections, however pockets of trout anglers continue throughout Oil Creek State Park and the Drake Well area. Additionally, the Delayed Harvest Artificial Lures Section was stocked with adult trout on Wednesday, October 1, 2014.

MANDATORY PFD (LIFE-JACKET) WEAR EFFECTIVE AS OF NOVEMBER 1, 2014
Cold Water KillsSigns like the one shown here have been posted at numerous high traffic launches throughout the Commonwealth as visual reminders that, during the period of November 1st through April 30th, ALL BOATERS are required to wear a life jacket at all times while on watercraft less than 16’ in length or ANY canoe or kayak.

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Fishing and Boating Report – October 15, 2014
Venango County

Little Sandy Creek
The Venango Technology Center Natural Resources class helped install some stream structures with the Oil Creek Trout Unlimited chapter and the Venango County Conservation District. This was part of the Trout in the Classroom program the class is involved in. 

Trout in the Classroom stream improvement project
Venango Technology Center students work on the nearly completed Trout in the Classroom stream improvement project on Little Sandy Creek

Forest County

Allegheny River
Walleye and Northern Pike fishing is picking up. The Sand and Gravel Pool near Tionesta has been productive from the shore and from boat.

Tionesta Outflow
Anglers have reported catching trout and are reminded that they must possess a current trout and salmon permit to fish in the Tionesta Outflow regardless of fishing for, or keeping trout.

The Marienville Rod and Gun Club will be stocking adult trout in Spring Creek and Maple Creek the week of 10/13/14. Anglers are reminded that the daily limit for trout is currently 3 per day, and the minimum size limit is 7 inches.

Hunters are reminded that if they utilize a boat, they must comply with all boating regulations in addition to all hunting regulations. A life jacket must be on board for each hunter/boater and must be worn at all times in canoes, kayaks and all boats less than 16 feet in length from November 1st to April 30th each year.

Erie County

Trout Run
Three new interpretive panels were recently put up at Avonia Beach next to Trout Run. Thanks to the Fairview Township Supervisors for allowing staff from the PFBC to display information and pictures on the panels about Steelhead Trout, Brown Trout, Walleye, Perch, and Smallmouth Bass.

Species interpretive panels
Lake Erie fish species interpretive panels erected at Avonia Beach near Trout Run

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 – October 8, 2014
Butler County

Lake Arthur
The lake was sampled for Young-Of-Year (YOY) Walleye the night of September 24, 2014.  Six electrofishing runs yielded a total of 58 YOY Walleye for a catch rate of 0.48 fish per minute; double last year’s catch. These fish should reach legal size in 3 years.

Erie County (central and west)

Lake Erie & Presque Isle Bay
When wave conditions have allowed, boat anglers have had success in deep waters in the lake off Gull Point. Try fishing off of Walnut & Elk Creeks for Walleye as well as Yellow Perch.  Bucket anglers have reported success fishing for Steelhead in the Erie Channel in the early morning hours.

Western Erie Tributaries

Shore anglers are having some success catching Steelhead in the lower stretches of Elk & Walnut Creeks. Low water conditions are keeping most of the Steelhead north of State Route 5 on all the western tributaries. Enforcement details have already resulted in numerous snagging, over limits, and litter violations.

Eastern Erie County

Anglers are reporting that panfish action has picked up at Eaton Reservoir, and trout fishing has picked up at Lake Pleasant. The bait of choice is still grubs and minnows. There are even reports of hold-over trout being taken in the South Branch of French Creek.

Angles are reporting panfish, perch and bass off of the North & South Piers, Port Authority dock and the Public Dock using minnows and wax worms. The heavy rains and temperatures in the mid 50’s have brought a run of steelhead into the Mile streams. Plan your trip around the weather. If there is rain in the forecast, that equals steelhead in the streams.

If you’re coming to Erie to fish for steelhead make sure you have the required permits. A Trout/Salmon stamp & Lake Erie permit are required to catch and keep steelhead and trout.

The stream temperature is 62°. Edinboro Lake temperature is 62°. Lake Erie Temperature is 63°. Call ahead for current Lake Erie conditions. Call the North East Marina at 814-725-8244.

Walleye
Timothy Sabella caught this Walleye September 28, 2014 on the Allegheny River north of Tidioute, PA using a crank bait. The fish was 31" long and weighed 12.5 pounds.

Steelhead
James Landon caught this steelhead on October 5, 2014 at the PFBC Walnut Creek Access Area using a white sucker spawn under a float. The fish was 26" long and weighed 7 pounds.

Mercer County

Shenango Reservoir
On Sept 25, 2014 Area One biologists electrofished the lake for Young-Of-Year (YOY) Walleye.  In two hours of effort, 60 YOY were collected for a catch rate of 0.5 YOY Walleye per minute; just under the long range average.  Also noted were a few adult Walleye, some pike, bass and many small White Bass.

Boating traffic has been down. Fall is a beautiful time to go boating on the reservoir. The lake levels are still up but slowly receding. Use caution when boating around the sandbars and shoals that are just under the water’s surface.

Crappie are starting to pick up around the reservoir. Anglers report that they are thickening up for the winter. A large number of fillet sized Bluegills are being caught as well. Catfish and Largemouth Bass fishing is also progressing very well.

Shenango River
Water levels on the river are up and down. Boaters using the Shenango River Water Trail can still enjoy the trail with the changing foliage. Make use of the new boat launch in the Village of Hamburg. The Shenango River Watchers have done an outstanding job providing access to the river at this location. The river will be stocked with trout below the Shenango Reservoir outflow.

This area is designated as a year round trout fishery, so a current trout/salmon stamp is required to fish the area from the outflow to the Walnut Street Bridge regardless of species of fish that you are targeting or harvesting.  The fall creel limit is 3 fish.

Enjoy the last days of nice weather, and as always, make sure your safety equipment is serviceable to prevent a relaxing day on the water from turning into a disaster. 

Venango County

Allegheny River
The USGS depth gage in Franklin reflects a current water level of +/- 3’-08”.  Through August 2014 we have received in excess of 8.9” above normal precipitation. Currently the Allegheny River is just over 0’-06”above normal pool. The water temperature is hovering between 62-64° Fahrenheit.

Smallmouth Bass hookups continue, primarily in the Oil City pool.  The majority of catches reported were caught using artificial lures and plastics. Walleye harvests continue in the Reno Rapids. Minnow-type stick baits have had the highest catch rates. Catfish are being reported in both the Oil City and Rockmere pools.

French Creek
The USGS depth gage in Utica reflects a current water level of 2’-01”, down about 1‘-0” since last report. Recreational boating traffic (canoes/kayaks) will experience difficulty at this level. Bass and Walleye are the species of choice.

Oil Creek
The USGS depth gage in Rouseville reflects a current water level of +/- 2’-01”, which is down 0’-08” since last report.

Smallmouth Bass continue to be targeted around Rouseville. Walleye are being targeted near Oil City below the White Bridge (Upper Seneca Street). 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, and the Delayed Harvest Artificial Lures Section was stocked with adult trout on October 1, 2014.

Twomile Run Reservoir (Justus Lake) 
Crappie were reported as having been caught during both August and September 2014.

Additionally, remember, Twomile Run Reservoir/Justus Lake is governed under Big Bass regulations.

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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