Ice fishing ends; streams flood with rain, snow melt

Heavy flooding did not materialize in most of Pennsylvania,
despite warnings in effect March 12 for western Pennsylvania
rivers, but light rainfall and higher temperatures began melting
snow and ice and was expected to put the final kibosh on ice
angling. The northeast corner of the state was losing ice, too. The
Pennsylvania Fish & Boat Commission continues stocking special
regulations sections of trout streams, which are open to fishing
year-round. Early season trout-stocked lakes will close for two
weeks at the end of March. Opening day for the southeast region is
April 3. For a schedule, visit Walleye
season is closed now until May.


Lake Erie and tributaries – Streams were high and muddy March
12, and, with rain in the forecast, were expected to remain
unfishable for days. Anglers were anticipating small spring
steelhead runs. Conneaut Creek, which runs through Pennsylvania and
Ohio is an especially good late winter-spring steelhead

Eaton Reservoir (Erie County) – Northern pike and panfish were
iced on live bait during “last ice.”

Lake Pleasant (Erie County) – Panfish and recently stocked trout
were reported on this 25-acre natural lake during “last ice.”

Allegheny River (Forest County) – The Tionesta Sand and Gravel
launch was open in mid-March.

Conneaut Lake (Crawford County) – Anglers on the north end iced
numbers of northern pike, 15 to 38 inches, on this 925-acre natural
lake in early March. Three muskies, including a 51-incher, also
were reported. A few anglers caught dandy bluegills.

Canadohta Lake (Crawford County) – A few muskies were iced on
this small natural lake in recent weeks.

Pymatuning Lake (Crawford County) – Nice crappies and walleyes
were iced up until mid-March. Anglers also were targeting walleyes
in the Shenango River below the dam.

Tamarack Lake (Crawford County) – A 48-inch muskie was reported
during “last ice.” This impoundment is considered one of the most
productive muskie fisheries, but for numbers more than sizes.

Woodcock Lake (Crawford County) – “Last ice” yielded a few

Lake Justus (Venango County) – Nice catches of trout were
reported during “last ice.”

Lake Wilhelm (Mercer County) – “Last ice” yielded crappies,
bluegills, bass and some perch to the few anglers who fished until

Neshannock Creek (Mercer County) – The stream was blown out
March 12, forcing Neshannock Creek Fly Shop to postpone its trout
float-stocking a week. For updates, visit A state stocking
was performed in early March.

Lake Arthur (Butler County) – “Last ice” yielded trophy size
catches in early March, including a 5-pound, 2-ounce, 20-inch
largemouth bass caught by Patrick Sarnese, of Butler, and a
2-pound, 2-ounce, 143/4-inch crappie by Kelsey Losser, 10, of
Lindora. Other bass close to 5 pounds, and a few pike were

Lower Hereford Manor Lake (Beaver County) – Anglers iced
recently stocked trout and a 20-inch largemouth bass during “last


Allegheny River – Fairly high walleye pressure from boat and
shore was reported through March 11. One angler limited out on
walleyes up to 25 inches below lock 2.

Monongahela River – The Gray’s Landing lock and dam area was
yielding walleyes around 17 inches and saugers 12 to 14 inches on
minnows and jigs.

Ohio/Beaver rivers – The Ohio’s Dashields and the back channel
dams were yielding average catches of walleyes, and water was
higher as of March 11. The Beaver also was producing walleyes.

Cross Creek Lake (Washington County) – Crappies and bluegills
were iced in early March.

Dunlap Creek Lake (Fayette County) – “Last ice” anglers caught
walleyes, and there was an unconfirmed report of a 10-pounder taken
at the mouth of a cove near the boat ramp. Crappies also were

Yellow Creek Lake (Indiana County) – A few northern pike and
nice numbers of perch, about 10 inches, were reported during “last

Keystone Lake (Armstrong County) – A 46-inch muskie was

Youghiogheny River – The tailrace got moderate pressure for
recently stocked trout in early March.

Pine Creek (Allegheny County) – Bob Stevens, of Bethel Park,
released five trout, and Joe Kayfas, of Gibsonia, released 10 on
the delayed-harvest, artificial-lures-only section March 7. They
fished sucker spawn, Pheasant Tail nymph, and Wiggle nymphs.


Penns Creek (Union County) – Blown-out conditions were reported
along with a few midges, although surface activity was slow in cold
water. Pheasant Tail and Hare’s Ear nymphs, Green Weenies,
bead-head Caddis larva, Stonefly nymphs, orange Glo-Bugs, sucker
spawn and mid-size streamers were reported.

Pine Creek, Little Pine Creek (Lycoming County) – Unlike much of
the state, there wasn’t much rainfall in this area to muddy the
water and flow was good as of March 13. The delayed- harvest
sections were slated for stocking the following week. Hatches
included Blue Quills and Little Black Stoneflies, which were on
schedule for this time of year.

Big Fishing Creek (Columbia County) – Blown-out conditions were
reported March 14, along with a few midges, a few blue-winged
olives and some Early Black Stoneflies. Pheasant Tail nymphs and
streamers were the best bet during fishable conditions, since
surface activity was minimal in recent weeks.


Little Juniata River (Huntingdon County) – Blown-out conditions
were reported March 14. A few midges were reported, but Green and
Olive Caddis larva, Hare’s Ear and Pheasant Tail nymphs, Green
Weenies and other basic nymphs and streamers were the best bet when
fishable conditions allowed.

Spring Creek (Centre County) – Blown-out conditions were
reported March 14, and nymphs and streamers were the best bet
during fishable conditions, although a few midges were


Lake Wallenpaupack (Pike County) – Heavy rainfall turned
remaining ice to slush here and on smaller ponds, where ice angling
holes were getting wider by the hour, as of March 12. Last ice was
yielding some nice catches although angling activity slacked off
considerably even before March 12. One angler iced a 5-pound
catfish, while others reported fat perch, and a few smallmouth and
largemouth bass. The access area by the boat launch was

Lake Shohola (Pike County) – Soft ice made anglers leery in
mid-March, and the waning days of the ice fishing season saw little
action. Anglers reported catching largemouth bass and perch.


Furnace, Wyomissing creeks (Berks County) – Despite snowy banks,
anglers helped stock and then fished these creeks’ special
regulations sections.

Marsh Creek Lake (Chester County) – Crappie fishing was reported
in recent weeks, although the bite was overall slow. Waxworms and
mealworms were the bait of choice. Warmer water is expected to spur
action. It also is expected to get bass moving, but anglers are
advised that targeting bass on spawning beds is unlawful.

Lehigh River – Water was high in early to mid-March.

Saucon, Monocacy creeks (Northampton County) – Above normal
water temperatures in the low to mid-40s in early March brought
trout anglers to the special regulations sections of these popular
waters, where minnow-pattern lures were effect on trout.
Fly-anglers did well on small nymphs (16, 18) and streamers.

Delaware River – A few anglers were targeting smallmouth bass in
recent weeks, but the bite was overall slow. They also were trying
to catch large, pre-spawn walleyes before the end of the season
March 14.

Lake Nockamixon (Bucks County) – Ice was thawed amid heavy
rainfall March 12, and anglers were anticipating bass, striper and
walleye bites. Last ice yielded some bass, but sizes were average.
Panfish were also iced, along with large numbers of catfish.

Lake Towhee (Bucks County) – Last ice yielded pickerel, panfish
and largemouth bass, and water was open as of March 12.

Tulpehocken Creek (Berks County) – Low water was reported March
13, and midges and Blue-Winged Olives were hatching.

Compiled by Deborah Weisberg

Categories: Archive

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