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REGION COUNTIES -- Butler, Clarion, Crawford, Erie, Forest, Lawrence, Mercer, Venango, Warren (County Guide)

January 12, 2022

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Mandatory Cold Weather Life Jacket Wear
Mandatory cold weather life jacket wear began on November 1st.  This means that a person must wear a US Coast Guard approved personal flotation device (PFD or life jacket) while underway or at anchor on boats less than 16 feet in length or any canoe or kayak from November 1st through April 30th.
REMINDER – Once there is ice on the lakes, be sure to check the ice thickness and have safety gear ready before venturing out on the ice.  Ice anglers should be sure to drill test holes as you make your way out on the ice.  It is highly recommended to wear a PFD or a float coat, wear yak-tracks on your boots, and use ice awls while on the ice.  For more information about ice fishing in PA, click here.

Crawford County
Pymatuning Reservoir
When heading out ice fishing, be sure to use caution and monitor the ice conditions as they will vary throughout the lake. A safety checklist for ice anglers can be found here. While ice fishing, please be courteous and pack out all your refuse.
Forest County
Allegheny River
The Allegheny River in Tionesta is accessible by boat at the Sand and Gravel Launch.   Anglers are catching Walleye, Northern Pike, and Muskellunge. Anglers can also fish from shore, near the boat launch and near the fishing pier. Anglers using boats are reminded to check their registration decals. Registration decals expire on March 31st of each year.
Tionesta Outflow
Open water has provided anglers with the opportunity to fish from the wall for Yellow Perch, Walleye, and Muskellunge.  Anglers are reminded that they must have purchased a Trout Permit to fish in the Tionesta Outflow, regardless of fishing for, or keeping trout. Boaters are reminded that boats are prohibited upstream from the county bridge to the outflow.
Tionesta Lake
Tionesta Lake is open and accessible by boat. Anglers continue to be successful trolling for Muskellunge.  The shoreline is also accessible near the marina and the dam.

Warren County
Chapman Lake
The Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission stocked Chapman Lake in December with adult trout. Anglers are reminded that the daily limit is three trout and a current Trout Permit is required to keep trout.
Allegheny River
Anglers have been successful fishing for Walleye and Smallmouth Bass near the United Refining Company. Anglers are reminded that Smallmouth Bass must be at least 15 inches in length to keep and the daily limit is four combined species. 

January 5, 2022

Crawford County
Woodcock Creek Lake
Anglers are catching Smallmouth Bass, panfish, and Walleye.
Woodcock Creek
Anglers are catching Muskellunge, Walleye, and panfish below the dam.
French Creek
Anglers are catching Smallmouth Bass, Walleye, and panfish. Reminder to boaters using the PFBC access to the creek- boats must be properly registered before using any PFBC access. Also, be sure to have all required safety equipment on board prior to the start of your float.
Canadohta Lake
Anglers are catching Muskellunge, Walleye, and panfish. The lake is drawn down for winter.
Sugar Lake
Anglers are catching panfish, Chain Pickerel, Bowfin, and Largemouth Bass.
Tamarack Lake
The lake is open to hunters, boaters, and anglers. A reminder to anglers that the lake is still listed as Catch and Release Only. Anglers are catching Largemouth Bass and panfish from the docks.

Venango County
Allegheny River
Anglers are catching Walleye throughout the Venango County stretches of the Allegheny River, especially between Oil City and Franklin.
French Creek
Anglers are catching Walleye in the Franklin area of French Creek using shiners and jigs.
Oil Creek
Walleye anglers are targeting the stream's lower reaches, particularly between Cherry Run and its confluence with the Allegheny River. 
Justus Lake
Anglers are catching Rainbow Trout, in the 16" range, around the southern boat launch.
Watercraft operators should be aware that the ice control device spanning the Allegheny River, upstream of the State Street (Veteran's) Bridge, in the city of Oil City, is in place.  Boaters are urged to use caution when operating in this area!

Reports compiled by Chad Foster (, NW/SW Region Outreach and Education Coordinator, using information provided by Waterways Conservation Officers, Area Fisheries Managers and other PFBC staff.