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Map highlighting counties in the Southeast RegionREGION COUNTIES -- Berks, Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Lancaster, Lehigh, Montgomery, Northampton, Philadelphia, Schuylkill (County Guide)

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

Fishing and Boating Report – March 25, 2015
N. Berks County / W. Schuylkill County

This Saturday is the Mentored Youth Fishing Day in the 18 southern counties including Schuylkill and Berks.  Approved Trout Waters not under special regulation are open to fishing to permitted youth 15 and younger and their properly licensed mentors allowing them each to catch two trout.  All other waters that are not approved trout waters are open to fishing but closed to the taking of trout. 

Another reminder, as the area lakes are opening up after the long winter, that we are in the mandatory personal flotation device (PFD) wear period.  All persons on all boats less than 16 feet in length and all canoes and kayaks are required to be wearing an approved PFD (life jacket) at all times while on the water.

E. Berks County

Sacony Creek (Berks County) received its preseason stocking of trout on March 17. The sun was shining and the stream conditions were ideal for the arrival of the fish. Bowers Park did receive it full complement of fish and will be open this season for fishing.  Mill Creek (Trib To Sacony Creek) also was stocked from 500 M UPSTRM T 799 (STUMP RD) all the way to where it reaches Sacony Creek. Willow Creek also received its preseason stocking as well.

N. Chester County

Marsh Creek Lake: The lake is finally thawing and making access a little easier. Bass fishing is still a bit slow. The crappie fishing has not been notable to this point, and the general consensus is that the water is still too cold. The best baits have been bright colored jigs, meal worms and live minnows. Marsh Creek Lake is in the Big Bass Program. Bass must be at least 15” to keep.  

French Creek, Pickering Creek, East Brandywine Creek and West Valley Creek are flowing; but are clear, with water temperatures in the low to mid high 30s. The fishing pressure in the Special Regulations Areas has been low depending on the weather and temperature. Lures are not working as well again due to the cold water temps. Fly anglers are doing fair, but fishing with very light lines and using small flies. Egg fly imitations, streamers and small black flies have been producing the best. All of the Approved Trout Streams are nearly stocked and ready for opening day (April 4).

Remember, you may never have bait in your possession in Delayed Harvest Areas. You may not be in possession of fish in the Delayed Harvest Areas Artificial Lures Only Areas until June 15, 2015.

S. Chester County

If you live in the Southern Chester County area and are interested in fly fishing, then consider joining the White Clay Fly Fishers.  Meetings are held at 7 PM on the 3rd Tuesday of each month at the London Tract Meetinghouse 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. Parking for meetings is behind the White Clay State Park Office. The club's mailing address is P.O. Box 762, Landenberg, PA 19350 for membership information. The club teaches fly tying, fly fishing, holds fishing trips, outings, picnics, does stream clean ups, has a library of over 100 fly fishing books and dvds that you can borrow and gives presentations on fly fishing by special guests at the end of the monthly meetings.

Two anglers in a boat caught a few nice crappies around 10 – 11 inches long at Chambers Lake. They were fishing near the bottom with fathead minnows in thirty feet of water in the center of the dam. They put a small weight above the fathead and let it sink to the bottom and then reeled it up about a foot and then would occasionally lift the rod tip a foot or so then let the fathead fall back as they lowered the rod tip, sort of a slow modified jigging. Good luck!

The West Branch Brandywine Creek, Section 3, has been stocked with trout, including some nice trophy Golden Rainbow Trout. The stocking points were at the Drive at Freedom Circle at 40-00'56.2" North and 75-50'09.1" West, the Hatfield Road Bridge at 40-00'54.4" North and 75-50'38.3" West , Rim Trail RR Bed Stop #1 at 40-01'02.3" North and 75-50'42.3" West, Rim Trail RR Bed Stop #2 at 40-01'13.4" North and 75-50'49.3" West, the Rim Trail Bridge at 40-01'18.6" North and 75-50'50.5" West, below the Wagontown Road Bridge at 40-01'19.0" North and 75-50'50.5" West, above Wagontown Road Bridge at 40-01'19.8" North and 75-50'51.6" West, park side RR bed trail (gators used to stock) at 40-01'19.7" North and 75-50'50.4" West, The Wall at 40-01'32.0" North and 75-50'39.5" West, the old dam and picnic area above old dam (fish stocked both directions on gators) at 40-01'41.2" North and 75-50'17.9" West, and downstream of the Cedar Knoll Bridge. Thanks to everyone that took the time to come out to help make the Regional Opening Day a success. PFBC would also like to thank Hibernia Park Staff who helped with the gators to really spread those beauties around and to Forest Campbell for his continued coordinating of the stockings.

The Beaver Creek Section 2, SR30 to the mouth, Buck Run Section 2, Compass Road to Route 372, and Pocopson Creek Section 2, Red Lion Road to mouth will be stocked with trout on Wednesday April 1st . We will meet the stocking truck at 11:30 AM across from the Sadsburyville Post Office. Please consider coming out to assist us in making this a great opening day.

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Fishing and Boating Report – March 18, 2015
Southern Chester County

Please remember check the 2015 Summary Guide for Approved Trout Waters.  Approved Trout Waters are closed to fishing from March 1st to April 4th at 8:00 a.m.

PocopsonBeaver Creek and Buck Run will be stocked on Wednesday, April 1st. You can meet the stocking truck across from the Sadsburyville Post Office at 11:30 AM, make sure to get out and help!  If you have not yet taken a kid on a stocking, put it on your list of things that you have to do this year.

The West Caln Sportsmen will be stocking the West Branch of the Brandywine Creek on Saturday, March 28th.  They will be at their Trout Nursery located on Sugarmens Road, right across from the Lions Head entrance to Hibernia County Park. The stocking is expected to run from about 6 AM till about noon. Stocking schedules will be available during the stocking. Take some time and come on out and help them get ready for the opening of the Regional Opening day, which this year is April 4th at 8 AM.

The White Clay Fly-Tying Club will meet at 6 PM on Thursday, March 19th at the London Tract Meeting House in the White Clay Creek Preserve.  It is located at the intersection of Sharpless & London Tract roads, Landenberg PA 19350, next to White Clay State Park Office.  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.

Delaware County

The stocking trucks have started to roll into the district for preseason trout stocking season.  As with past practice, the Fly Fishing Only section of Ridley Creek got the first load of fish of the year.  I don't think our friends from the Delco Manning Chapter of Trout Unlimited could have imagined having to drill a hole through 5 inches of ice and bucket the fish through the hole just to get them in the stream!  Thanks to Ed and the guys for showing up and helping out.  

The streams in the northern part of the county were stocked on the Friday after the last big snow storm of the year!   Thanks to help from the Sporting Gentleman, the Game Commission, Bill Spring, Phil Ewaka and his grandson, Jake, new friends Alex and Les, and some other brave souls who helped stock Upper Darby, Little Darby and Ithan Creeks.  The air temperatures were steady at 20 degrees all day, but the clear skies and lots of sunshine made for a perfect stocking day.  We put some monster trout in the water and we are guaranteed to surprise many of anglers on opening day with these fish.  Thanks again to everyone that came out and helped!

The snow and ice has finally cleared out of the Delaware River.  Striped Bass season is right around the corner, but don't launch your boats just yet.  At last check, the river temperatures were 7 degrees below last year at the same time, and almost 10 degrees below that of the same time in 2013.  Let's hope for a whole lot of warm weather to get the stripers on the move.  Until then hold off on making any river plans.

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://fishandboat.com/safety.htm

Changes to Striped Bass Regulations
Anglers should be aware of several changes to striped bass regulations in the Delaware River and Delaware Estuary which will take effect March 1 in order to meet requirements of the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission (ASMFC). The changes apply only to the Pennsylvania side of the river and estuary. The regulation changes include a new creel limit and new slot limits Information about those changes can be found in the Commission’s recent News Release.

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Fishing and Boating Report – March 11, 2015
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://fishandboat.com/safety.htm

Changes to Striped Bass Regulations
Anglers should be aware of several changes to striped bass regulations in the Delaware River and Delaware Estuary which will take effect March 1 in order to meet requirements of the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission (ASMFC). The changes apply only to the Pennsylvania side of the river and estuary. The regulation changes include a new creel limit and new slot limits Information about those changes can be found in the Commission’s recent News Release.

S. Berks County

Seems like this weather doesn’t know when to quit, but it’s finally starting to warm up. There have been a few stocking changes because of frozen creeks and snow, check our website for the latest info. The Tulpehocken Creek in the Womelsdorf area (section 4) is rescheduled for stocking on March 10, meeting 12:15pm at Risser’s restaurant parking lot. A quick cure for cabin fever is to come on out and stock some trout! Remember that all regional approved trout waters (listed in the Fishing Summary Book) are closed to fishing until April 4, with the exception of Regional Mentored Youth Trout Day on March 28.

The Tulpehocken Creek Delayed Harvest Artificial Lures Only area (below Blue Marsh Lake) will be stocked March 11, and we are meeting 12:15pm at the Blue Marsh Lake Park Office. This special regulations area is open to year round fishing, no bait permitted, and all fish must be released. It’s a fantastic creek, great for fly fishing or casting a spinner. Ice fishing continues on local lakes, but be extra careful now that we are into March.

Spring is on the way, so good luck!

N. Chester County

Marsh Creek and Struble Lake - Depending on the day or time of day, the lakes are fishing well. However, due to the extreme low temps, fishing has also been hit or miss. A couple of weekends ago the fishing improved dramatically when the temperatures spiked with plenty of large Bluegills and Yellow Perch being caught on minnows and mealworms. Some anglers have been successful using jigs in chartreuse and red.

Richard Philips and his son Max decided to give ice fishing a try at Marsh Creek one last time this season.  Their effort paid off as they landed this 45 inch musky after a 35 minute fight on a tip up. They used a leader that was only 6lb test fluorocarbon, which could have snapped at any time. After six attempts Richard finally got a good hold and landed this beauty!  It was just a great day on the ice for this happy family, congratulations on the great catch!

Musky

The trout stockings were to begin on February 19; however, due to the extreme record low temps and up to eight inches of ice covering our streams, four of the first five stockings had to be rescheduled. The East Brandywine Delayed Harvest Artificial Lures Only section was stocked on February 24 and has seen very little activity. Hopefully this week’s warmer temps will allow us to begin stocking trout on the East Brandywine & French Creek approved trout water sections.

S. Chester County

Camping out on the night before the Opening Day of Trout Season here in Southeast Pennsylvania used to be a great tradition for both individuals and families. It was a good way for a family or friends to work together to set up camp, share a good meal and then sit around a warm campfire and tell stories of past opening days, and that monster 35 inch Tiger Trout that got away just as you reached for him, and what you were going to fish with in the morning to catch your next trophy trout. In the last few years; however, it has been getting more and more difficult to find any property where the landowner is willing to give permission to camp, or to fish at all in some instances. If you are looking for a place to camp where you will be welcome to do so the night before the opening of the trout season, then you might want to consider Hibernia County Park. The West Branch Brandywine Creek as it winds its scenic way through a large portion of the park and is very heavily stocked with trout. It has the heaviest stocking designation, by both the West Caln Sportsmen's Club and the Pennsylvania Fish & Boat Commission. Camping is available at the park in two camping areas: a lake view, 19 site camp at 40*01'53.6" North and 75*51'06.0" West, and a 20 site camp at 40*01'50.0" North and 75*50'41.5" West. Hibernia Park does take reservations and I suggest that you make them if you are planning on camping because of the limited number of sites. The park describes the sites as primitive. The campsites have restrooms, but no shower or dish washing facilities. The park is well patrolled by helpful and knowledgeable Rangers. If you would like a map of the park or for additional information on Chambers Lake or Hibernia County Park, or camping in the Park, you can find the park office at 40*01'50.4" north and 75*50'29.1" West, or they can be reached at 610-383-3812. If you do not have a fishing rod or tackle, no problem, you can borrow a fishing rod, reel and tackle box through the Pennsylvania Fish & Boat Commissions rod & tackle loaner program at the park from 8:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., April through November.

S. Montgomery County / W. Philadelphia County

All approved trout waters are closed to fishing until April 4, 2015.Stocking of the trout begins Tuesday, March 31 on the Skippack Creek. Skippack Creek will receive its big preseason stocking on Monday, March 31 with three trucks full of trout. The meeting place is at the office complex ¼ miles north of Rt.422 & Rt.29 interchange at 1:00 p.m.

We are stocking the Stony Creek and Kepner Creek in Norristown Farm Park area on Wednesday, April 1. The meeting place is the Norristown Zoo at 2:00pm. Shake off those winter blues, and help carry a bucket full of gorgeous trout to the streams of Montgomery County. Check the main page of our website for stocking lists with meeting places and times.  

In Philly, March usually means the Walleyes will start getting hungry and active. Anglers below the Fairmount Dam on the Schuylkill River should be on the lookout for Walleye towards the end of March.

Last, but not least, there are new Striped Bass regulations that go into effect for the Delaware River and Delaware Estuaries in 2015. The Limit is (1) Striped Bass per day at a 28-inch minimum length. There is also a new slot limit of 21-25 inches from April 1 – May 31. See the press release here:  http://fishandboat.com/news/2015pr/striper-changes.htm

E. Schuylkill County

Ice and snow continues to cover the lakes and streams causing trout stocking problems.  Several stockings have been postponed due to the ice, so anyone looking to help stock should check for updates prior to arriving on the scheduled day.  Cold Run will not be stocked and has been removed from the approved trout waters list due to the landowner posting their property.  Streams should start to open up by the middle of the month while the lakes appear to have enough ice to last out the month of March. 

Tuscarora Lake remains a good destination for ice anglers due to the variety of fish in the lake.  Yellow Perch and Chain Pickerel are being caught with the most consistency with a few bass and trout hitting off and on. 

The Schuylkill River has seen a few ice anglers catching Bluegills, Yellow Perch and Chain Pickerel.  The cove near the boat club and just off the south shoreline have been the hot spots lately.

Locust Lake continues to have a very thick layer of ice and may not have open water for the Mentored Youth Day or the Regional Opening Day of Trout.  There are several trout streams within a few miles of Locust Lake State Park if this happens to be the case.

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