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REGION COUNTIES -- Bradford, Carbon, Columbia, Lackawanna, Luzerne, Monroe, Pike, Sullivan, Susquehanna, Wayne, Wyoming (County Guide

2019 Pennsylvania Fishing Licenses are now on sale!  Buy fishing licenses and gift vouchers at more than 650 agents across the state or online at:

Boaters are reminded that the mandatory PFD wear season is upon us.  All persons in a boat less than 16 feet, or any size canoe or kayak, is now required to wear a flotation device regardless of age from Nov. 1 until April 30 next year.

Wyoming and Luzerne Counties

Most area ponds have a skim of ice here or there but nothing to speak of in terms of fishable ice yet, with the current artic chill that could change.  If this cold weather continues, we could see good ice before Christmas.

While you are waiting to get out onto the ice why not give stream trout fishing a try.  Area Stocked Trout Waters still have plenty of hungry trout ready to give you a run.  If you get out on the streams after trout remember that you should bring along some petroleum jelly to help keep the ice from clogging your eyes.  Simply apply it to your guides before you start fishing and they will help shed water that would otherwise stick to the cold metal and freeze causing your line to hang up.  Harveys Creek, Bowman's Creek and Pine Creek all have healthy flows right now and surely have plenty of trout hiding out along the banks and eddies.

Northern Pike and Southern Wayne Counties

With the weather still being wet and now turning cold, there is not much to report on.  The lakes and ponds in the area have started to form skim ice but not of any thickness to support ice fishing. Lake Wallenpaupack is still open and there are still a few brave boaters venturing out before the freeze-up.  The wearing of your PFD's is not only a requirement for certain vessels, but it should be a no-brainer for any who would venture out this time of year. Cold water kills.

Lackawanna County

Lackawanna Lake is beginning to freeze over. The area from Kennedy Creek to the 407 bridge is still open water.  The remaining parts of the lake are covered with ice. The lake is not safe for ice fishing.

Most of the other area private and public lakes have frozen over but are not safe as of December 7th.  Remember the water company reservoirs are not open to ice fishing.



Carbon County

With the deer season underway and with most of the stocked trout waters, including the Lehigh River, flowing higher than normal little to no fishing activity has been occurring in the district. 

However, boat anglers fishing Beltzville Lake in recent weeks have been reporting good success catching Striped Bass using a variety of lures and live bait.  Boaters are reminded that although the Slow No Wake buoys have been removed for the season that the regulations pertaining to Slow No Wake are still in effect and enforced.  Maps of Beltzville Lake are posted at each boat launch indicating the Slow No Wake areas.

Boat anglers fishing Mauch Chunk Lake have been reporting doing well catching panfish off the area of boat launch A, and the swimming area.  Anglers have also reported good success catching pickerel and bass in the area of boat launch B.  However, most bass are less than the minimum size of fifteen inches.  Mauch Chunk Lake is governed by the Big Bass Program Special Regulations.

With ice fishing season beginning soon, now is a good time to check your ice fishing equipment, replacing new fishing line, checking your ice auger, etc.  By preparing now you will have that head start when the ice fishing season begins.  Remember, if you are required to possess a valid PA Fishing License (anglers 16 years of age or older) don't forget to purchase your new 2019 Fishing License.

Since Christmas is just around the corner and if you are unsure of a gift to purchase consider purchasing a fishing license voucher as a Christmas gift for that person which can be redeemed later at an Issuing Agent for the fishing license and or trout stamp.  

Southern Luzerne & Columbia Counties

It's that time of year, when most have foregone fishing and boating in favor of deer hunting.   Those that do not hunt seem to be in a transition phase, eagerly awaiting that first ice or spring's trout season. That truly is a shame, since some great trout fishing is happening right now.

The few anglers that have been out are having luck on the Lehigh River, as well as Fishing Creek.  The Nescopeck is also handing over some dandy trout, mostly in the DHALO section.

FEW Reservoir is down at winter pool levels, and unfortunately, the crappie bite turned off as quickly as it turned on last month. Lily Lake, Lake Irena and Briar Creek Lake have all received fall stockings and have received very little fishing pressure.  There has been little to no activity on the Susquehanna River as well.

Some of the impoundments and lakes had some skim ice.  This only served to increase our anticipation, as it too, left quick as it arrived.  Fear not, with any kind of luck we will have some hard water soon. 

Those venturing out in boats are again reminded of the Mandatory PFD Wear Period.

Smallmouth and walleye can still be caught in the river right now, all that is required is patience and fortitude.  As the firearms deer season draws closer to an end, there should be more anglers out and enjoying success soon, ice or not.

Pike & Wayne Counties

Tobyhanna Lake and Promised Land Lower Lake were stocked with beautiful two-year-old brook trout the beginning of November, and anglers continue to have great success catching them using a variety of artificial and natural baits.



Reports compiled by Allan Schreffler (, Northeast Region Education Specialist, using information provided by Waterways Conservation Officers, Area Fisheries Managers and other PFBC staff.