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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 – May 20, 2015
Philadelphia County

Try blood worms, clams and bunker for Striped Bass in the Delaware River. If you are fishing on the New Jersey side of the river, or launch your boat on the Jersey side of the river, please be advised that there is still a closed season for Striped Bass in New Jersey until June 1 downstream of Calhoun St. Bridge. Please read the New Jersey regulations for the Delaware River here for more information: http://www.eregulations.com/newjersey/fishing/freshwater/delaware-river/

Please remember that River Herring are not legal to use for bait in the Delaware River

Important information for anglers fishing around the Fairmount Dam on the Schuylkill River from last week’s report about American Shad, Hickory Shad and River Herring. American Shad regulations on the Schuylkill River are as follows - American Shad is catch and release in the Schuylkill River from I-95 upstream including all tributaries. See regulations here: www.fishinpa.com.

Eastern Schuylkill County

The Little Schuylkill has been excellent for trout fishing despite low water levels.  The section upstream of Tamaqua was stocked on May 18 and has seen very little pressure.  Those anglers fishing it have done well with mealworms and butterworms.  Spinners and small jerkbaits have also done well throughout the river.  Water levels are very low making the upper section nearly impossible to kayak.  The Delayed Harvest Artificial Lures Only Area of the Little Schuylkill River was also stocked with trout on May 18 and has seen only a few fishermen throughout the days.  Anglers have been catching fish on small jigs as well as wooly buggers.

Tuscarora Lake has been good for panfish recently, especially bluegills.  Many anglers are reporting catching bass, and some can be seen on their beds.  Anglers should be reminded these fish on their redds/beds should not be targeted during the closed bass season, and if caught then released immediately.

Locust Lake continues to hold a significant amount of trout, but they seem to have moved out into deeper water.  Green Sunfish and Bluegills have appeared near the shoreline and are the most likely fish to be caught if fishing from land.  Trolling with small flatfish or spinners through the deeper sections of the lake has been successful for trout.

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Fishing and Boating Report – May 13, 2015
Delaware County

Trout stocking has wrapped up in Delaware County.  The fishing has been awesome and the fish have been equally as nice.  We had some great stocking assistants to help with the trout, and the water warmed up enough to keep the fish active. 

The Striped Bass runs are still active in the Delaware River.  Three anglers in a boat were inspected recently, and they each had their limit.  Great to see!  Shoreline fishing has been slow behind the airport.  Striped Bass are still moving up and down, but the numbers don't seem to be what they were in previous years.  Remember the new size limits for this year along the Delaware River. There is a 21-25 inch slot limit with a two (2) fish limit from April 1 to May 31. Read more about the changes here: http://fishandboat.com/news/2015pr/striper-changes.htm

Tight lines!

Montgomery County

Stony Creek and Kepner Creek in the Norristown Farm Park are still holding plenty of trout. Skippack Creek is also still holding trout. Water temperatures are slowing rising with the water levels slowly declining.  Montgomery County needs some good rain to raise water levels and help keep the water temperature down.

Fishing on the Schuylkill River around the Art Museum/Fairmount Dam is heating up with arrival of the Hickory Shad and Herring. As of the writing of this report, the American Shad are just beginning to show up at the fish ladder.  Remember that Hickory Shad and River Herring have a CLOSED Season. Do not be in possession of River Herring when fishing on the Schuylkill River and/or Delaware River

Striped Bass are also back and have new regulations for 2015. Between April 1 and May 31, the slot limit is 21-25 inches; therefore, any Striped Bass less than 21 inches and /or over 25 inches must be released unharmed. The creel limit is set at (2) stripers per day.  From June 1 through December 31, the minimum size is 28 inches and the creel limit is one (1).  The full regulations for seasons, sizes and creel limits on the Delaware River and across PA can be found here: http://www.fishinpa.com/

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Fishing and Boating Report – May 12, 2015
Lancaster County

The month of May in Lancaster County provides ample opportunities for adults to introduce youth to the enjoyment found in fishing, or more succinctly in catching fish.  A listing of youth derbies is illustrated below.  For adults unduly wary of assisting a child, refer to the language of the law as follows:

An adult who assists a child (12 years of age and under) by casting or retrieving a fishing line or fishing rod is not required to possess a valid fishing license provided that the child remains within arms’ reach of the assisting adult and is actively involved in the fishing activity.  An adult may assist a child by baiting hooks, removing fish from the line, netting fish, preparing the fishing rod for use and untangling the line without possessing a valid fishing license.  An adult is required to possess a fishing license with trout stamp   http://fishandboat.com/fishpub/summary/permits.html if they intend to set the hook for the child. (Refer to page 8 of the 2015 Pennsylvania Summary of Fishing Regulations and Laws)

Fishing Derbies/Fishing Rodeos:

DATE ORGANIZATION PARTICIPANTS WATER BODY COMMENT
5/16 Paradise Sportsman’s Association
Paradisesportsmansassn.com
12 & Under Londonland Run Belmont & Quarry Road
[Click On Pdf]
5/16 Silver Hill Trout Association 15 And Under Rock Run 9:00 A.M -1:00
Oaklyn Drive,
Bowmansville
5/23 Conoy Township Ages 15 & Under Conoy Creek 8:30 – Noon @ Conoy Park East
5/24 Manheim Sportsmens Association
Manheimsportsmansassoc.org/Index.html
Manheimsportsmansassoc.org/Fish-Derby.html
Ages 5-15 Chiques Creek 1:00 – 4:00 @ Manheim Memorial Park
6/7 Lititz Sportsman’s Association
Lititzsportsmen.com/Index.html

Warwicktownship.org/Parks-Recreation/Pages/Riparian-Park

Disabled Persons (Of All Ages) Lititz  Run 10:00 A.M. – 2:30 P.M. Warwick Twp. Riparian Park – Sr 772
6/7 Friends Of Fishing Creek
Http://Friendsoffishingcreek.com
Ages 5 – 12 Limited To 60 Participants Fishing Creek **See Below
**The Friends of Fishing Creek Kids Fishing Derby is scheduled for children ages 5 to 12 for Saturday, June 6, 2015 from 9 a.m. until noon at Valley Lea Riding Club on Furniss Road in Drumore Township. Event is FREE but pre-registration is required as we have a limit of 60 children. Please call 717-284-7078 to register. A liability waiver must be signed the day of the event and children must be accompanied by a parent or guardian. You must bring your own equipment and the event is rain or shine.

Organizations planning “derbies” or “rodeos”are reminded that a Special Activity Permit [link] is required for these types of events  with application to be submitted sixty days in advance as per below, moreover;   It is unlawful to conduct a fishing derby as defined in this section on Commonwealth waters without first obtaining a special activity permit from the Commission except that this requirement does not apply to fishing derbies to be held on privately owned lakes or ponds that are not open to the public. [Permits are required to be submitted at least 60 days before the date of the proposed derby- refer to website, fishandboat.com for permit application – NOTE: there is no fee for a Special Activity Permit].

Fishing Derby (as defined in PA Title 30 Fish and Boat Code): An organized event involving 10 or more participants conducted for children under the age of 16, senior citizens (as defined in section 2701), anglers with disabilities, special populations or other group when the principal purpose is education or enjoyment rather than competition among anglers.

As to the particulars relating to fishing rodeos, reference PA Title 30; section 3509(b) Obstructing Migration of Fish: 
Fish rodeos – After giving written notice to the Commission, an organized fishing or sportsmen’s club that has been in existence for a period of one year or more may obstruct the passage of fish for a period not exceeding 48 hours for the purpose of conducting fish rodeos the primary objective of which is to encourage fishing by children. Such obstructions shall not be erected more than twice in one year within a distance of one mile from any similar obstruction on the same stream or body of water. The obstructions shall be at least one-half mile from other such obstructions and shall be erected and designed in such a manner that fish will not normally be injured. [Any person violating any provision of this section commits a summary offense of the first degree]

Plan to enjoy an outing with a child at one or more of these derbies.  As stated by District Officer Schmidt, “These derbies are typically well organized and well attended. The respective sponsoring organizations are to be commended for their efforts in promoting angling amongst today’s youth.”

Popular baits include minnows, worms, salmon eggs, corn, cheese, and the typically successful paste baits in yellow, chartreuse and white.  Verify the usage of any bait restrictions with the sponsoring organization. Make an investment in the future of fishing by considering the purchase of a Voluntary Youth Fishing License for your children. Details are found here: http://www.fishandboat.com/youthlicense.htm

The Walleye bite is on at Safe Harbor, with the walleye season having opened on May 2nd, and extending through December 31, 2015 with a daily creel limit of 6. Walleye are being landed in good numbers, although many just short of the legal minimum size of 15”. Soft plastics and live minnows are reliable bets for landing “Ol Moon Eyes” Anglers fishing from the point at Safe Harbor casting into the Susquehanna River are having similar success, as the walleye migrate upriver to spawn. In a Monday 5/4 a.m. survey of anglers, 4 keepers were landed in a twenty minute span just after 6:00 a.m.

Walleye
Corey Wallace proudly displays his catch, measuring 23”, 19” and 18” respectively from the day’s outing at Safe Harbor – all were landed off the bridge jigging with a minnow

Similar success was met on the opening day from Safe Harbor Water Power Corporation’s Stop-Log Bridge at the Hydro-dam. Early a.m. and evening provide the greater opportunity for a successful walleye outing, Safe Harbor is currently open to anglers from dawn to sunset, consult http://shwpc.com/default.asp for more.

For Walleye anglers interested in learning more about Walleye and the Walleye Fishery on the Susquehanna River, link to http://fishandboat.com/walleye.htm
You can learn about the life history of Walleye here: http://fishandboat.com/pafish/fishhtms/chap23.htm

PPL Pequea Access /York Furnace- The docks at the respective launch ramps were installed on Tuesday 5/5. Two docks were placed into the Pequea Creek, and one into the Susquehanna River.  The docks will similarly be in place at PPL’s York Furnace Access.

Blue Rock Access – The boaters dock to facilitate launch/retrieval operations at Blue Rock has been installed as of Monday, 5/4.  Anglers are advised that this is a boat dock, and should yield to incoming and launching boats at all times.

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Fishing and Boating Report – May 6, 2015
S. Chester County

The White Clay Creek East Branch Section 2, the White Clay Creek East Branch Section 3, the White Clay Creek Section 1, & the Pocopson Creek Section 2, will be stocked on Tuesday May 12, 2015 at 12:00pm. The meeting location is the Avondale Post Office. Hope to see you there for the last stocking of the Southern Chester County District for this year.

The West Branch Brandywine Creek Section 3 was just stocked on May 5. Thanks to everyone that took the time to come out to help and the County Park Rangers for stocking from the UTVs.

Anglers are already catching 14 inch crappies at Octoraro Reservoir. If you are looking for some great fishing opportunities while trying to get away from the crowds of trout anglers, then try Octoraro Reservoir in Southern Chester and Lancaster County. Octoraro Reservoir is easy to find. Simply get on Route 1 in Southern Chester County and get off on the Route 472 Exit. Turn West on Route 472 West and you will go over the Route 472 Bridge and at the top of the next hill you will turn left on to Spruce Grove Road. You will go about a mile and at the bottom of the hill you will see the lake and the Fishing Headquarters on your left. The physical address for the Fishing Headquarters is 212 Spruce Grove Road, Kirkwood, PA. 17536, phone 717-529-2488.

Octoraro Reservoir is about 669 acres in size and is about 29 feet deep at its deepest. It is the property of the Chester Water Authority for the purpose of providing drinking water. Use of a boat at the reservoir is at your own risk as the reservoir is not a flood control lake. This means that sudden storms can cause sudden rapid rises in water depth so all boats are required to leave the lake in the event of a storm and as always a United States Coast Guard Approved Wearable Personal Flotation Device is required for each person on board. Remember that life jackets must be worn at all times between November 1 and April 30, children 12 and under must also wear a properly sized life jacket at all times while underway. Boats can be rented from Captain Jim at the Fishing Headquarters, with paddles or electric motors for an additional charge or you can bring your own boat. If you bring your own boat there is a $4.50 boat launching fee. Boats can be stored at the launch as well, contact Captain Jim for more information.

You can catch catfish, (10 pounders are common). There are White & Channel Catfish & Brown Bullheads), Common Carp, (huge carp and lots of them) Largemouth and Smallmouth Bass (one was weighed in at 5 lbs.), yellow perch and sunfish. White & Black Crappies at the lake have been found up to 15 3/4 inches long. These are usually caught from mid-April to early-June, by fishing with small fathead minnows around the trees and structure that have fallen around the lakes shorelines.

Walleye and some Northern Pike are also being caught. There is a good forage base in the lake of Spotfin and Spottail Shiner, Gizzard Shad and Golden Shiners. Most of the fish population is through natural reproduction at this time and has been for years. The PA Fish & Boat Commission has not stocked the lake since the mid 1980's as the populations in the lake have been able to maintain themselves since that time.

The boat ramp area also has a picnic area available for your use, picnic tables, barbecue grills and an area large enough to play outdoor games. There are also a few hiking trails available to walkers and hikers around the area. A small portion of the reservoir is restricted and may not be entered. A map is available from the Fishing Headquarters that shows these areas. There are also areas that are Restricted Waterfowl Nesting Areas, also shown on the map.

The Fishing Headquarters and Captain Jim are available with lots of friendly free advice on the best bait to use and spot to fish and boating safety information. The Fishing Headquarters also sells fishing rods and reels, bait, terminal tackle, snacks, PFD's, and fishing licenses as well. All of Pennsylvania's fishing and boating laws are in effect at the Reservoir and are enforced. Boat launching is permitted from the Fishing Headquarters only. Drugs, alcohol, camping, campfires, dogs, horses, firearms and littering are prohibited. The Chester Water Authority reserves the right to close access to the Reservoir.

Hours for boating on the Reservoir are sunrise to sunset in April, August, September and October, and 6 a.m. until 8 p.m. during May, June & July. Call 717-529-2488 for more detailed information.

Remember that fish are a valuable resource and the Chester Water Authority asks you to keep what you need and release the rest. Since all the boats must launch from the Fishing Headquarters and the lake is so large and only allows electric motors you can easily find a quiet spot if you are willing to paddle a little or power up a bit to get away from the boat launch.

Fishing from shore is equally productive for some species. Access from shore is from the Route 472 Bridge, Chester County Side with parking limited to about 15 cars. Between the Spruce Grove Road Bridges there is parking for about 10 cars, and the Fishing Headquarters parking lot can hold well over 50 cars. Shoreline is available to fish from that parking lot and the first bridge on Spruce Grove Road is within easy walking distance from the parking lot. Good Luck!

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