Outdoors notebook / Lake Arthur opens new area

For many years, Lake Arthur's Game Propagation Area, about half of Swamp Run Bay east of the Route 528 bridge, has provided a place for nature to run its course without human impact. A recent change in its dimensions has opened up new areas for anglers.

Now limited to the back of the finger in the lake's easternmost point, near Chestnut Ridge Road and marked with "Keep Out" buoys and signs, the restricted area still gives wildlife a human-free zone in the 16,725-acre Moraine State Park 40 miles north of Pittsburgh. The newly opened area gives anglers a quiet, shallow bay that has not been fished.

"This area is full of old stumps and root systems which wreak havoc on angler's lines," said Fish and Boat northwest regional education specialist Chad Foster, in a written statement. "Try using a high test line, and get those fish landed quickly before they can retreat to the roots or else you will lose many of those battles."

The new fishing area is an easy motor from launches at Route 528 and Mount Zion Baptist Church. Anglers have reported "fantastic fishing," said Foster, with big channel catfish and crappies taking minnows under bobbers.

Game administration

Bryan J. Burhans, a Montgomery County native with 25 years of conservation experience, has been tapped as the state Game Commission's new deputy executive director of administration. Burhans works under executive director Matt Hough supervising bureau directors and other staff, assisting in planning and coordinating the activities of the agency's wildlife management program.

Doe tags

Wildlife Management Areas 1B, 2G, 2H and 4C have sold out of antlerless deer tags for the 2014-15 seasons. Plenty of tags remain in most of the areas surrounding Pittsburgh including 1A, 2A, 2B and 2D, but just 5,329 remain of 32,671 allocated in 2C (parts of Westmoreland, Indiana, Cambria, Blair, Bedford, Somerset and Fayette counties). See a full listing at www.pgc.state.pa.us.

Tournament winner

A 7.48-pound largemouth contributed to a three-fish total of 12.3 pounds that put A.J. Vargo of Harmarville in first place July 26 at the 2014 PA Bass Federation Nation Western Regional tournament at Youghiogheny River Lake.

Family fishing

A free Family Fishing program 4-7 p.m. Aug. 10 at Lake Wilhelm, Goddard State Park, will include gear, knots, casting and fishing. Equipment and bait provided, no license necessary. Register at www.fishandboat.com. Details, 814-683-5126.

Fishing contest

The Indianola Rod & Gun Club will hold a fishing contest Aug. 15-16 on the Allegheny River from the 62nd Street Bridge in Sharpsburg to the No. 4 Lock and Dam in Natrona. $20 registration due by Aug. 13. Details, 412-767-5025.

Youth .22 shoot

At the Bull Creek Rod & Gun Club's annual Youth Rifle tournament, kids 8 to 16 compete in age brackets for trophies. Entry fee $5, kids use their own .22s and the club provides ammunition. Sign up 10 a.m. Aug. 10 at the Tarentum club. Competition is 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Details, www.bullcreek.org.

Ladies league shooting

Women learn basic shooting skills and get self-defense tips and more at the Irwin Sportsmen's Association's Ladies League. Meets 6:30 p.m. first and third Tuesdays. Guns and ammo provided. $5, 724-864-2488, www.irwinsportsmen.com.

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