Anglin' for Allegheny County
Protecting our County's Fish Population
A Bounty in our CountyWhile the official start of spring may be March 20th, for many western Pennsylvania Anglers, spring won’t truly begin until the opening day of trout season on April 13th. Allegheny County boasts eight trout-stocked streams and four trout-stocked lakes for anglers to explore. While the spring fishing season ‘starts’ with the opening of trout weekend, fishing in Allegheny County and the region is hot year-round -- including through the ice! This of course includes the three rivers, with abundant opportunities for smallmouth bass, walleye, catfish, and even the elusive muskellunge.
A mud sill in Indiana Township's Emmerling Park provides habitat for local fish population.
Trout Stocked Waters in Allegheny County
- Big Sewickley Creek
- Bull Creek
- Deer Creek
- Flaugherty Run
- Long Run
- Mountour Run
- Pine Creek
- Turtle Creek
- Lower Deer Lake
- Middle Deer Lake
- Upper Deer Lake
- North Park Lake
Our Polluted PastFishing opportunities were not always so widespread in the region. Resource extraction, development and industrial pollution exacted a devastating toll on our area waters just a few generations ago. In fact, as recently as 1967, only four different species of fish were collected at the Braddock Lock and Dam on the Monongahela River during periodic sampling efforts by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the PA Fish and Boat Commission. In 1985 this number had risen to nineteen different species and in 2010 a total of 32 different fish species were collected. Not strictly a Monongahela River phenomenon, as development ethics and environmental laws have changed over the last 50 years, western PA waters generally saw increases in abundance and diversity of fish.
Where We are TodayHowever, there are still issues (FIXABLE issues!) that impair water quality and decrease fishing opportunities throughout western PA. Sedimentation damages spawning habitat by filling nooks and crannies of clean gravel where so many forage and game fish lay their eggs. Sedimentation can suffocate developing eggs. These spaces are also crucial for fish food – aquatic insects and crayfish that make them home. Stormwater runoff from developed surfaces carry a dizzying array of various pollutants – hydrocarbons, fertilizers, pesticides, trash – that enter surface waters and degrade water quality that prevents robust fish populations. Respecting waterways by planting riparian buffers and carrying out responsible stormwater management helps reduce these detriments.
Not Without YouHere’s where you come in.
All across Allegheny County, watersheds groups, municipalities, and non-profits are working hard to reclaim and improve water quality – which leads to more productive fisheries for generations to come. They’re always seeking enthusiastic volunteers – and more bodies means more awareness, more work, more progress – and more fishing!
Check out the Allegheny Watershed Alliance's EnviroEvents Calendar for an event close to home. If you want go the extra mile, there are lots of opportunities for regular volunteering or watershed group membership throughout the county. Remember, you have direct influence on the quality of your fishin’ holes – your participation is important and makes a difference!