The Great Outdoors: Anglers Report Favorable Results

lake-1938962_1280Despite the lack of snow across the region, there are still plenty of things to do.

Anglers are doing well on the Allegheny River in Forest County, according to the Pa. Fish & Boat Commission.

Those seeking walleyes and muskies are doing well in the vicinity of the Sand and Gravel Launch.  A 13-pound walleye was recently caught near there, and that’s just an amazing fish!

At the Tionesta Dam outflow, anglers are catching perch, walleye, and musky.  Don’t forget, anglers need to have a trout permit to fish in the outflow, whether they are fishing for or keeping trout.

As for ice fishing, be very careful.  There is ice on some ponds and lakes, but the odds are high that there isn’t enough.  Four inches is recommended for people to travel on ice. It’s also a good idea to wear a personal flotation device, carry ice awls, and have a partner in case something does happen.  The Fish & Boat Commission does not monitor ice thickness, so it is up to you to make sure it’s safe.

For those still boating, and we certainly have had the conditions to be out there, wearing a PFD is the law.

“Life jackets are the most important piece of safety equipment on a boat,” says Ryan Walt, PFBC Boating and Watercraft Safety Manager.

“According to Pennsylvania’s boating accident reports, almost 80 percent of all boating fatalities happen to boaters not wearing a life jacket. A disproportionate number of the fatalities occur during the months of November through April. During these cold weather months, boaters are especially at risk due to the water temperature and the risk of sudden cold water immersion.”

When a person is unexpectedly plunged into cold water below 70 degrees, the body’s first response is usually an involuntary gasp.   Without a life jacket, a victim may inhale while under water and drown without coming back to the surface.   If an individual does make it back to the surface, his ability to swim is usually restricted because of a shortness of breath or hyperventilation.

Individuals who plan to fish, boat or hunt from a boat this fall or winter are encouraged to follow these cold water survival safety tips:

  • Always wear a life jacket, even when not required. Many models also offer insulation from cold air. Read the life jacket’s approval label to be sure it’s appropriate for your boating activity.
  • Never boat alone.
  • Leave a float plan with family or friends, and know the waters you plan to boat.
  • Bring a fully charged cell phone with you in case of emergency.
  • Wear clothing that still insulates when wet, such as fleece, polypropylene or other synthetics.
  • If you are about to fall into cold water, cover your mouth and nose with your hands. This will reduce the likelihood of inhaling water.
  • If possible, stay with the boat. Get back into or climb on top of the boat.
  • While in cold water, do not remove your clothing.
  • If you can’t get out of the water, get into the Heat Escape Lessening Posture (HELP). In this position, individuals bring their knees to their chest and hug them with their arms.
  • Once out of the water, remove wet clothes and warm up as soon as possible.
  • Seek medical attention when necessary. Some effects of exposure to cold temperatures can be delayed.


“The Great Outdoors,” sponsored by the Pennsylvania Great Outdoors, is a weekly blog by’s Scott Shindledecker. Plan your next outdoor adventure at or call (814) 849-5197 for more information.

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