Pennsylvania Fishing Report – April 1, 2021

West Marine

Northwest Region

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2021 Fishing License went on sale December 1st. Click here to purchase

REMINDER: Mandatory Cold Weather Life Jacket Wear began on November 1, 2020 and runs through April 30, 2021 for anyone on boats less than 16 feet and in all canoes and kayaks.  Learn more here…

Mercer County

Shenango Reservoir

The water levels are still below normal for this time of year. Anglers are still venturing out and catching panfish. A reminder that Shenango Reservoir is now designated as a Panfish Enhancement Lake. Crappie must be nine inches to harvest and the creel limit is 20 crappies.

Shenango River

The Shenango fish consumption advisory is still in effect until further notice.

Trout Stocked Waters

Trout Stocked Streams throughout the state are now closed for the stocking of Trout in preparation for the opening day on April 3rd. Impoundments will continue to be open on a catch and release basis for trout.

Northeastern Region

Reminder: The PFBC does not monitor ice thickness.  Ice thickness and conditions can vary greatly across the lake. Use caution as you head out onto the ice. A life jacket and a set of ice awls can be extremely important if you fall through the ice.
Remember – SAFETY FIRST:

Columbia and Southern Luzerne County

All of the districts Stocked Trout Waters Open To Year-Round Fishing are producing trout.  Those waters include: FEW Reservoir, Lehigh River, Lily Lake, Lake Irene and Briar Creek Lake.  Anglers are reminded that, although open for fishing, the creel limit for trout remains zero until the opening day of trout season.

The annual Mentored Youth Day was another success, with most anglers enjoying a beautiful day and even those who did not find success, enjoyed a day on the water.

The Susquehanna River has been running high, and fishing pressure has been light.  FEW Reservoir is giving up some pre-spawn crappies, as is Lily Lake.

Boaters are reminded of the Mandatory PFD Wear Period in effect through April 30th.  For more information, check the website.

Lackawanna County

Nathan Buchinski
Nathan Buchinski, age 13 of Dickson City fished with his Dad on the 2021 Mentored Youth Day at Lackawanna Lake.  Nathan found things to be a bit slow until he switched to live minnows and landed these two beautiful trout in short order.  Nathan is pictured with Sgt. Walt Buckman of the Northeast Region.

Wayne County

Anglers have been catching trout out of the Catch and Release Fly-Fishing Only section of Dyberry Creek in Wayne County. Visit the NE Region Trout Waters (page 29) and Special Regulations sections (page 21) of the 2021 PA Fishing Summary to learn more about this and other year-round special regulation trout fishing opportunities.

Northcentral Region

Centre County

Spring Creek

Currently, the water temperature is in the low 40’s. The creek is currently in great shape. Blue-winged olives are making an appearance on warmer days and some anglers are taking advantage of this. The dry fly fishing has been great recently. When nymphing, try something with a hot spot. The bright colors are often enough to trigger a take in cold conditions. Hot spot sow bugs are a great option to try right now. With warm weather on the horizon, be on the lookout for grannoms in the coming weeks!

Tioga County

Hills Creek Lake

Spring is here, and the ice is now out on the lakes throughout Tioga county. Anglers have been finding some nice Yellow Perch throughout the lake. It is currently a great time to get out your fishing gear and ensure everything is ready to go. Increasing water temperatures in the coming weeks will have some fish moving up shallow in preparation for the spawn.

Clearfield County

Mentored Youth Day Chest Creek
A successful Mentored Youth Day on Chest Creek! Bob Thomas and his grandkids had a great experience fishing on the MYD this year. Great job!

Southeastern Region

Reminder: Mandatory cold weather personal flotation device wear remains in effect.  Visit our website at for more details.

Lancaster County

The trout stocking on Friday, March 26th of Meetinghouse Creek, Bowery Run, Stewart Run and the West Branch Little Conestoga Creek concluded Southern Lancaster County’s pre-season stocking runs.  Trout anglers have ample opportunities to put a trout dinner on the plate while fishing this Saturday’s April 3rd Opener on any one of the *11 Stocked Trout Waters and Muddy Run Lake.  In-season stocking will begin in earnest the week of 4/5 with the stocking of Big Beaver and Little Beaver Creek.  The East Branch Octoraro Creek, with a section that falls within Lancaster County, will be stocked on Friday, April 9th.

As anglers look forward with excitement and enthusiasm to opening day, they should endeavor to be conservation-minded on the lands that they fish.  Carry-out any trash, i.e. bait containers, monofilament, hook packages, etc.  Additionally, the privilege to camp and have a campfire on private property is not an inherent rite of tradition; rather it can only be lawfully done with the landowner’s consent.  Refer to page 9 of the 2021 Pennsylvania Fishing Summary (2nd Column – bottom) for additional property regulations.  Anglers should be conscientious in where they are parking their vehicles, so as not to block the ingress or egress of the landowner, damage the property turf or create a traffic hazard.  Per the PFBC’s Coldwater Unit Manager Tom Greene, approximately 75% of lands trout stocked in the Commonwealth are privately owned. Per District Officer Schmidt, “In that access is wholly contingent with ongoing landowner consent, the conservation-minded angler who seeks to preserve access does so demonstrably in retrieving any litter left behind by those who do not represent the majority trout angler.”  Watershed Associations, Sportsman’s Groups, student and civic groups are encouraged to coordinate a stream/stream-side clean-up at season’s end by contacting Officer Schmidt at

As a courtesy in gearing up for Saturday, anglers are reminded that the requirement to display the fishing license as delineated in Regulation 63.2 was rescinded March 13, 2020. To be clear, the license is no longer required to be displayed, but it is required to be kept on the person.  Suffice it to say that anglers may opt to wear the license, which facilitates a less intrusive & more time efficient law enforcement interaction.

Possession of Fishing License and Verification Of License Purchase.

(a)  Officers designated to check licenses. A person fishing in waters of this Commonwealth or in boundary waters shall show his fishing license upon the request of a waterways conservation officer, deputy waterways conservation officer or other officer authorized to enforce the code or this title under section 903 of the code (relating to delegation of enforcement powers).

(b)  Possession of fishing license. It is unlawful for a person required by Chapter 27 of the code (relating to fishing licenses) to purchase a fishing license to fish in the waters of this Commonwealth or in boundary waters or land unless the person has a valid fishing license certificate and associated permits on his person and shows them upon the request of an officer. A person may elect to display a license certificate, a license button or other device approved by the Executive Director on a hat or outer garment while fishing. If a license button or other device is displayed, the person shall carry the license on his person. An institutional license issued under section 2708 of the code (relating to institutional licenses) may be possessed or maintained by the person fishing or by the person attending the person who is fishing.

(c)  Fishing without a license in possession.

(1)  When a person is apprehended for fishing without a license in his possession and claims that he previously purchased a valid fishing license for that year, the officer apprehending the individual shall give the individual 7 days to produce the original of the license certificate, if the individual provides to the officer’s satisfaction, at the time of apprehension, positive proof of identity and a residence address within this Commonwealth. The original license certificate shall show all required permits and a purchase date and time prior to the date and time of apprehension.

(2)  If it is inconvenient for the individual to produce the certificate in person, the officer may permit the individual to mail the original license certificate to the officer together with a stamped, self-addressed return envelope. If the officer permits the individual to mail the original license certificate to the officer, the officer shall provide the individual with a receipt or other documentation allowing the individual to fish during the period that the original license certificate is not in his possession.

(3)  Upon receipt of the original license certificate, the officer shall examine and verify it and return it to the licensee.

(4)  If the person apprehended fails to send the original license certificate and required permits to the officer within the time allotted, the officer shall institute summary proceedings against the individual in the manner prescribed by law.

Per The 2021 Pennsylvania Summary – Page #4

Possession and Display of Licenses
The license shall be kept about the person while fishing and shown upon the request of any waterways patrolman or other officer designated by the Commission. In addition to showing the license to the officer, the holder thereof shall, upon demand, establish his further identity to the satisfaction of the officer by producing some other positive means of identification.

Anglers looking to get away from congregated areas should refer to below in scouting a location that allows for a solitary pursuit of their creel limit, please review the chart below:

Float Stocked Sections of Stocked Trout Waters

Stocked Trout Water Section
Big Beaver Creek 3/12 Downstream From 20 Main St. New Providence To 1930 Beaver Valley Pike

Downstream From Concrete Bridge Near To Old Road

Dowstream From Krantz Mill Road Bridge To Refton Road Bridge

Downstream From 92 Refton Road

Downstream From 66 Smithville Road To Downstream Of Smithville Road Bridge

Conowingo -3/15  Downstream From Black Bear Road – Downstream From Swift Road Bridge – Downstream From Goshen Mill Bridge – Downstream From 2108 Robert Fulton Hwy. To Sr 222 Bridge   Downstream From Bridge At Goat Hill Rd. To Sr 222 Bridge
Fishing Creek -3/15 Downstream From Silver Spring Rd. Bridge

Downstream From Drumore Park To Slate Hill Road

Little Beaver Creek Downstream From Wooden Footbridge At 302 Hilltop Road To Children’s Clinic @ Bunker Hill Road
Meetinghouse Creek 3/26 Downstream From Valley Road Upstream Side
West Branch Little Conestoga Creek – 3/26 Downstream From Central Manor Road Bridge To Letort Road Bridge – Downstream From (Letort Road) To Near Owl Bridge Road – Defined Lower Limit
West Branch Octoraro Creek – Section #2


Downstream From Hollow Road Covered Bridge

Downstream From Herr’s Meadow – Fairview Road

Downstream From Pa American Former Pumping Station To Black Rock Road

West Branch Octoraro Creek – Section #3 – Fly Fishing Only – 3/26 Downstream From Upper Limit

Downstream From Wesley Road – Near To Theodore A. Parker Iii Natural Area

Downstream From Street Road Pull-Off

West Branch Octoraro Creek – Section #4 – 3/26 Downstream From 702 Wesley Road To 785 Wesley Road

[Walk-In Only @ 785]


Per District Officer Schmidt; “When local anglers express that they opt to not take advantage of local trout fishing opportunities stating emphatically that it is too crowded they are patently misinformed, in that considerable float stocking is accomplished throughout Southern Lancaster County’s 10 Stocked Trout Waters. Even on the Opening Day, for the angler who is willing to park and walk, you can be guided to water where you can enjoy a solitary fishing experience.”

Safety Reminder for Boating Anglers: “Anglers who may opt to cast a line from a boat on Muddy Run Lake are reminded that **Mandatory PFD Wear regulations remain in effect until 30 April.”

** all boats under 16 feet, and all canoes and kayaks irrespective of length.[ for additional information on fishing and boating regulations]  Water temperatures currently  present for a sudden cold water-immersion event to result in the onset of hypothermia.  As always, BOAT SMART – BOAT SAFE.

[Refer to 2021 Pennsylvania Summary of Fishing Regulations and Laws- page 19]

“On the 2020 Opening Day Weekend multiple citations were issued to anglers in boats that were observed to not be donned in the requisite PFD.”  “Boating anglers are encouraged to regard themselves as boaters first and foremost and anglers as the secondary pursuit.” “I certainly commend the enthusiasm of boating anglers who venture out onto the lake on what is typically a cold morning with water temperatures in the 40s and air temps. not significantly greater but urge them however that safety is overwhelmingly the priority over choice of trout bait.”


Little Beaver Creek:   Little Beaver Creek is posted to restrict Sunday Fishing. This lawful restriction will be enforced under the provisions of section 2104 of the Code.


Big Beaver Creek: No Sunday fishing at 1930 Beaver Valley Pike. At the Lower Limit, the property at 153 Smithville Road remains posted.

West Branch Octoraro Creek – the property at 95 Hollow Road, Quarryville remains posted.

Property on Pumping Station Road which the riparian landowner reports as an ongoing problem area outside of the Spring trout season is subject to being posted.

Stewart Run –The property downstream of Naomi’s Bridge remains posted to restrict fishing in 2021. The landowner has previously reported litter to include bait containers and monofilament.

Parking Advisory at SR 222/Beaver Valley Pike – Anglers will not find safe parking in this proximity. It is advisable to park just south outside of Herr & Leaman and walk adjacent to Big Beaver Creek to the upstream location at 1930 Beaver Valley Pike as well as at the “concrete bridge.”  Anglers parked in a manner that creates a traffic safety hazard are subject to being cited.

Reporting Violations:  Illegal fishing activity can be reported to Southeast Region Headquarters in Elm at 626-0228, Monday – Friday [ 8-4] or at all other times to the non-emergency number of Countywide Communications at 664-1180 – Be certain to inform the Dispatcher that it is a fishing violation and request that it be routed to Officer Schmidt.

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