Weather conditions varied among regions and fisheries through mid-December. Ice angling was just beginning on a couple of fisheries in the northern corners of the state as of Dec. 19. For ice-fishing safety tips, go to www.fishandboat.com. Winter trout stockings were in progress during December in a limited number of fisheries across the state. For a schedule, visit www.fishandboat.com. Boaters are reminded that life jackets are mandatory when on watercraft less than 16 feet in length and on all canoes and kayaks through April 30.
Lake Erie tributaries, Walnut Creek access area, Presque Isle Bay (Erie County) — Most of the creeks had edge ice as of Dec. 19. The mouth of Walnut Creek had a little open water and a few people were catching steelhead. In open water earlier in the month, an angler caught a 9-pound- plus brown trout that measured 28 inches and had a 15½-inch girth on a fly at the Walnut Creek stop sign hole. Anglers are reminded that the building and restrooms at the access area are now closed until April 5. The bay lacked fishable ice as of Dec. 19.
Piney Dam (Clarion County) — As of Dec. 11, anglers were reporting nice numbers of perch and walleyes.
Upper Clarion River (Clarion County) — Smallmouth bass and walleyes were reported between the Mill Creek Access area and the Gravel Lick bridge in early December.
Beaver Creek Ponds (Clarion County) — Bass and panfish were reported in open water through early December in this series of small ponds.
Kahle Lake (Clarion County) — Numbers of panfish and crappies were reported through early December.
Allegheny River (Clarion County) — Nice walleyes and bass along with a few muskies and northern pike were reported in early December.
French Creek (Crawford County) — A few walleyes were reported in early December, although fishing was generally slow.
Canadohta Lake, and Woodcock Creek Lake (Crawford County) — Drawdowns were being performed at these two lakes in early December. Canadohta is a natural lake.
Allegheny River (Forest County) — Shore anglers and boaters were catching nice walleyes near Tionesta through early December.
Lake Arthur (Butler County) — Appalachian Trails reported that ice anglers were catching northern pike up to 30 inches, numbers of largemouth bass, including a 5-pounder, crappies, bluegills and the occasional perch through Dec. 19. Bass on this Big Bass Program reservoir were hitting shiners. Anglers were also fishing fathead minnows. Earlier in the month, in open water, numbers of catfish were reported on crawlers or large minnows off of the bottom.