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

December 16, 2022


REMINDER: Mandatory Cold Weather Life Jacket Wear is in effect 

Beginning in 2012, the following regulation was established: 

  • a person shall wear a Coast Guard approved personal flotation device (PFD or life jacket) during the cold weather months from November 1st through April 30th while underway or at anchor on boats less than 16 feet in length or any canoe or kayak. 

Find more information on the FAQ page 


2023 Fishing Licenses, Gift Vouchers, and Youth Permits 

You can now purchase your 2023 annual fishing licenses. Consider purchasing a fishing license voucher as a Christmas or holiday gift.   

A great gift for a child in your life is a Mentored Youth Permit, which is free.  Another option is to purchase a Voluntary Youth License which is only $2.90. This is an inexpensive way to give a gift to a child and a gift for future kids' programs provided by the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission. While children under the age of 16 do not need a license, a Voluntary Youth Fishing License or free Mentored Youth Permit is required for special youth fishing opportunities in the coming year. 

Butler County and Lawrence County 

Anglers fishing the Beaver River are catching Smallmouth Bass on stick baits that have a chartreuse colored belly. The best area of the river seems to be the lower part of Lawrence County. 

Anglers are catching a large number of Yellow Perch near the boat launches around Lake Arthur. The best bait seems to be minnows. 


Forest County 

Muskellunge fishing is generally productive at Tionesta Lake throughout the fall and will continue until the lake freezes. Trolling along the shoreline seems to be the most productive method.  

Anglers are catching Muskellunge, Walleye, and Northern Pike at the Tionesta Outflow near the wall and the campground side. Downstream of the wall there is a fishing trail that provides access to the creek. 
Anglers are reminded that they must have a trout permit to fish in Tionesta Creek, from the outflow to the confluence with the Allegheny River. The permit is required at all times, regardless of whether an angler is targeting or keeping trout. 

Walleye fishing has been productive on the Tionesta pool of the Allegheny River. Anglers are catching Walleye and Northern Pike from boats, along the shore near the boat ramp, and at the point of the island.   

Hunters and anglers are reminded that they must have a wearable PFD (life jacket) for each person on board the watercraft. From November 01, 2022, through April 30, 2023, PFDs must be always worn while on board any canoe, kayak, or boat less than 16 feet in length.  

Hunters using motorboats are reminded that they must have all firearms unloaded while the motor is in use. Hunters cannot shoot from a motorized watercraft until the motor is off and all forward movement has stopped. 


Venango County 

Bass and Walleye anglers continue to try their luck on the Allegheny River, and many bass anglers have reported good hook-ups. The greatest concentration of activity is centered within the Oil City pool, extending from the Petroleum Street Bridge downstream through the city’s wastewater treatment plant. 

Fishing activity on French Creek has been light, with occasional activity encountered between the cottage community of Takitezy and the confluence at Franklin. 

Fishing activity has also been light on Oil Creek, yet the occasional angler can still be found within the Keystone Select/Delayed Harvest Artificial Lures Only area (lower). 

Users are reminded that the Petroleum Center vehicle bridge has been closed. Users wanting to access from the Egbert Farm/Park Office side will need to enter from the village of Plumer (SR227). 

East Sandy Creek, Mill Creek (Rockland Township), and Pithole Creek recently had runs of Brown Trout in their lower reaches. The fish had been making their way upstream from the Allegheny River. 

Justus Lake (Twomile Run Reservoir) was stocked with very nice-sized trout in November 

Boaters are reminded that only manually-powered, wind powered, and electric motor watercraft are permitted on Justus Lake. The use of internal combustion engines is PROHIBITED. 


November 2, 2022

Mandatory Cold Weather Life Jacket Wear
Mandatory cold weather life jacket wear will begin 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 1, 2022, through April 30, 2023.

Erie County
Area Steelhead Tributaries
Steelhead fishing has been excellent in all area streams. Anglers are catching multiple Steelhead on every trip, especially after a recent rain. Anglers are using a variety of lures, including blue and silver spoons, egg sacks, single eggs, paste baits, pink worms, and dark-colored wooly buggers.   
Lake Erie
Anglers are catching Yellow Perch in the channel of Lake Erie. The docks are out at Shades Beach and Northeast Marina. The Lake Trout fishing is starting to pick up. Lake Erie can be unpredictable this time of year, so pay close attention to the weather. 

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.