1. Pymatuning Reservoir and State Park
Pymatuning Reservoir and State Park is the biggest state park in Pennsylvania at 21,122 acres. The 17,088-acre reservoir is the biggest body of water in the state as well, created as a flood control along the Shenango River. Common species of fish include walleye, musky, carp, crappie, perch, bluegill, and largemouth and smallmouth bass. The lake is mostly flat-bottomed and tops out around 35 feet in depth. A 20-horsepower restriction is applied.
2. Conneaut Lake
Conneaut Lake is the largest natural, glacial lake in the state at 928 acres, and it is the only body of water with a state-record fish in Crawford County. In fact, it has two records with the largest white bass (3 lbs., 15.7 oz.) and muskellunge (54 lbs., 3 oz.). A variety of underwater structures, depth and species make Conneaut Lake one of the finest fisheries in the state. There is no restriction on horsepower. The average depth is 19 feet with a maximum of 60 feet in the east side Oakland Beach area.
3. Crystal Lake
Crystal Lake and Dollar Lake are located on the south side of Route 322 east of Hartstown. Both are glacial lakes in the Pymatuning Shenango watershed. They provide excellent fishing opportunities for panfish and bass and are one of few local areas where the warhead sunfish subspecies is common. Crystal Lake is the larger at 1,722 feet by 1,213 feet. The maximum depth of Crystal Lake is 23 feet.
4. Tamarack Lake
Tamarack is a 562-acre reservoir located three miles southeast of Meadville. It is unusual in the fact that it has two dams, one at each end of its elongated body. Maximum depth is only about 13 feet. Fish species include largemouth bass, bluegill, bullhead and channel catfish, carp, yellow perch, musky, black crappie and walleye. Boats are restricted to electric motors or manpower. Due to great structure, high levels of vegetation and steady depth, Tamarack was once considered the finest musky lake in the state. It has seven access points for launching.
5. Woodcock Creek Lake
At 333 acres, Woodcock is not only a flood control structure for French Creek, has a a dense population of musky, walleye, largemouth bass, yellow perch, crappie, bluegill and bullhead catfish. A 10-horsepower limit is in effect on the lake due to its small width. The average depth is around 15 feet with a maximum of 44 feet near the dam at the west end.
6. Sugar Lake
One of the smallest lakes in the county, Sugar Lake is a natural body of water located in the southeast with an area of 90 acres. The fish in Sugar Lake can be fairly large because of the 40-inch minimum size limit on muskellunge and a catch-and-release time period for muskellunge, northern pike and pickerel from April 1 to May 31. It also supports good populations of bluegill, yellow perch and black crappie. The largemouth bass population is strong as well, with catches as good or better than other natural lakes in northwest Pennsylvania. Yellow and brown bullhead catfish and bowfin are also native to Sugar Lake.
7. Canadohta Lake
Canadohta is the second-largest natural lake in Pennsylvania with an area of 168 acres. This spring-fed glacial lake is less popular for many anglers due to the proximity of Pymatuning and Conneaut lakes. However, it does have a nice number of sport fish, including bluegill, perch, walleye, northern pike, musky, and largemouth and smallmouth bass. The average depth is 26 feet while the maximum is around 50 feet. There is one public launch maintained by the state Fish and Boat Commission. There is a 10-horsepower limit.
8. French Creek
French Creek has 89 different species of fish, 28 different species of mussels and is even home to endangered species such as the Eastern Madtom Catfish. These are the reasons it is renowned as one of the most ecologically-diverse streams in the state. The stream runs through the county and on to Franklin where it joins the Allegheny River. Some of the sport fish anglers target are smallmouth and rock bass, walleye, trout, and channel and bullhead catfish.
9. Clear Lake
Clear Lake is a man-made reservoir located in the northeast corner of the county on the northern border of the town of Spartansburg. Although small and low on traffic, it is a nice fishery for northern pike.
10. Conneaut Marsh
Conneaut Lake outlet flows out of the south end of Conneaut Lake and into Conneaut Marsh, or Geneva Swamp, and is often overlooked despite holding many species found in the lake.
11. Woodcock Creek
Woodcock Creek also holds all the same fish as its lake, flowing out of Woodcock Dam and down into French Creek. It is also stocked with trout more than once per year and does not get heavy traffic during the early months of trout season.
12. Conneaut Creek
Conneaut Creek is one of the area’s most popular trout streams due to early stocking and it provides anglers with a fun and challenging experience in the woods along the railroad tracks in Dicksonburg and down through the outskirts of Conneautville.
13. Oil Creek
Oil Creek holds a special place in the hearts of local trout fishermen, not only for its abundance and variety of bug hatches, but also for its ability to hold stocked trout over to grow to a larger size.
1. Pymatuning Reservoir and State Park