Check Southwest Pennsylvania trout stocking schedules at the Post-Gazette Rod & Gun Club blog at http://www.post-gazette.com/sports/outdoors. Full schedules at www.fish.state.pa.us.
A chance of rain predicted throughout the region today could impact waters for the statewide opening of trout season Saturday. If creeks are substantially high or cloudy, many anglers are expected to descend on trout-stocked lakes. With ice having recently melted, overall lake temperatures could still be cooler than their tributaries — trout are likely to favor waters of 52 to 56 degrees. The state Fish and Boat Commission stocks lakes and streams with about 3.2 million adult trout. Angling clubs and other groups stock additional trout, and about 10,000 miles of wild trout waters have been documented in the state.
Lake Erie and tributaries (Erie County): Despite recent blue skies, the long winter has left some ice still covering parts of the lake. Small perch were caught in Presque Isle Bay; good numbers of jumbos were caught elsewhere. Surf fishing remains impractical, but steelhead were caught in small tributaries feeding the big tribs. Catches of a few chromers were reported on lower Elk Creek, which has generally fished poorly.
Allegheny River (Armstrong County): Fish and Boat reports good muskie fishing — most caught in the past three years have been 40 inches or bigger with 50-plus inchers not uncommon.
North Park Lake (Allegheny County): Based on the success of preseason anglers on this Approved Trout Waters Open To Year-Round Fishing lake, a robust opening day is expected.
Montour Run (Allegheny County): Browns and rainbows were stocked by the state April 8. Good flow, barring heavy rain today good fishing is expected Saturday.
Flaugherty Run (Allegheny County): The creek’s only state stocking of brown trout occurred April 8.
Turtle Creek (Allegheny County): The state stocked browns and rainbows April 8.
Twin Lakes (Westmoreland County): Cloudy water last weekend kept the catch-and-release productivity down, but some trout were caught on paste baits, Trout Magnets or jigs with twister tails. Jeff Coles of Greensburg released five trout April 6.
Mammoth Lake (Westmoreland County): Windy conditions made fishing difficult early in the week, but some trout were released including one 20-incher. Paste baits were effective on this Approved Trout Waters Open To Year-Round Fishing lake. On April 9, using Trout Magnets and Real Stix Minnows, Doug Leichliter of Greensburg released five trout in 30 minutes including a 3.75-pound rainbow, finishing with 15 released that day — earlier in the month he released 23 in one afternoon-evening session.
Keystone Lake (Westmoreland County): A lot of trout were released by Approved Trout Water Open to Year-Round Fishing anglers. Big crappies were found in deep waters.
Loyalhanna Creek (Westmoreland County): The U.S. Geological Survey April 10 showed high water dropping to seasonally normal levels. With the exception of last week’s high-water event, good fishing was reported for several weeks on the Delayed Harvest Artificial Lures Only section.
Laurel Hill Creek (Westmoreland County): Hare’s Ear nymphs were hot in both Delayed Harvest Artificial Lures Only sections.
Indian Creek (Westmoreland County): Good fishing was reported in the Delayed Harvest Artificial Lures Only section, while the lower beat was stocked by the state April 9 with brook and brown trout.
Cross Creek Lake (Washington County): Following a good ice fishing season, crappies were recently caught in shallow coves, although water temperatures need to rise to 50-52 degrees to trigger the crappie spawn. Small to medium-size fathead minnows, red tube jigs, Trout Magnets and pressed baits were hot. Bluegills went for maggot-tipped jigs. At Cross Creek, crappies must be 9 inches with a 20-fish creel limit.
Dutch Fork Lake (Washington County): Problems stemming from dam rehabilitation remain.
Canonsburg Lake (Washington County): Favorable conditions could make the impoundment a hot spot for opening day trout.
Aunt Clara Fork, Kings Creek (Washington County): Good water levels reported, excellent opening day conditions predicted.
Millers Run (Washington County): Good flow, a lot of trout in the creek.
Quemahoning Reservoir (Somerset County): A 29-inch brown trout was released. Fingerling rainbows were stocked by the state April 3.
Laurel Hill Lake (Somerset County): Large numbers of trout were released by Approved Trout Water Open to Year-Round Fishing anglers. Excellent conditions expected for opening day.
Report your catch and submit your fish photos at firstname.lastname@example.org. Include angler’s name, age (for children), place of residence, species, size, body of water, date of catch, phone number (not for publication) and optional details.