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Conestoga River Smallmouth near Lancaster

Joined:
5/11 23:26
From Lincoln University, PA
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Hey guys just signed up yesterday. Does anyone have any info on smallmouth fishing the Conestoga River near the Lancaster area? Me and my fiancée would like to do some wading but aren’t sure where to go. Appreciate the help!

Posted on: 5/12 8:48


Re: Conestoga River Smallmouth near Lancaster

Joined:
2013/8/5 23:08
From Lancaster
Posts: 311
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Hey I'll PM you with some info on spots but the Conestoga can be hit or miss and the water often runs high and muddy this time of year.

I've taken my wife to the nearby tributary of Mill creek and she's loved it. It's loaded with smallmouth, bluegill, rock bass, sunfish, and carp, perfect for wading this time of year and easy access.

Posted on: 5/12 10:12


Re: Conestoga River Smallmouth near Lancaster

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2013/8/5 23:08
From Lancaster
Posts: 311
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I'll actually just post some access points on here that may benefit anyone wishing to try the Conestoga river or Mill Creek. Here are some general areas that you can put into google maps.


Upper Conestoga River:

1. There is a parking area on Turtle Hill Rd in West Earl Township but it is also a starting point for kayakers and tubers.

2. West Earl Community park in Brownstown, (intersection of quarry and state street.

3. Perelman park near Landis valley rd.


Middle Conestoga River:

1. Conestoga Greenway trail

2. Lancaster County Park

3. DF Buchmiller County Park


Lower Conestoga River:

1. Safe Harbor park

2. Safe Harbor Nature Preserve


Mill Creek:

Park and Kurtz Mill covered bridge and fish downstream for miles through Lancaster County Park.


Posted on: 5/12 10:39


Re: Conestoga River Smallmouth near Lancaster

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2006/11/10 8:32
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Mill Ck's SMB population can provide good fishing in appropriate habitat stretches upstream to about Witmer Rd. Or perhaps RT 340. Above there is uncertain on my part, as over a decade ago there were no SMB present, but then that area and a stretch about 10 miles long or so upstream from there received one or two stockings of fingerling SMB and I am not aware of whether or not they were successful

Posted on: 5/12 18:29


Re: Conestoga River Smallmouth near Lancaster

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2006/11/10 8:32
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Another option is Pequea Ck, which has smallmouths in the better habitat stretches from Strasburg/Ronks to the river. There may be SMB upstream from there as well because just as on Mill Ck, PFBC surveys identified the area where SMB disappeared heading from the mouth upstream on Pequea (and Mill) and then fingerling SMB were stocked above those points for a number of miles with the hopes of establishing reproducing populations.

Cocalico Ck also has some decent SMB in the lower 8 miles, but numbers do not appear to be particularly high.

Chiques is another local warmwater stream, but it was not very good for SMB.

Finally, with respect to the Conestoga, I recommend concentrating on the better habitat areas between the confluence of Muddy Ck (between Hinkletown and Martindale ) and the mouth. As the gradient declines in a downstream direction below Lancaster the areas of better habitat are farther and farther apart, and are fairly short, making them even more difficult to find. The stretches that I have located in the past were less than 300 yds long.

All of the waters mentioned in this thread have habitat problems related to sedimentation, so finding rock or cobble habitat and a little bit of gradient is the most challenging aspect of fishing these streams for SMB.

As a final note, Mill Ck has had more miles of habitat work done along it than any stream of which I am aware in Pa. The work starts near Monterey Rd, close to Bird-in-Hand, and continues upstream.


Posted on: 5/13 9:08

Edited by Mike on 2018/5/13 9:24:01
Edited by Mike on 2018/5/13 9:28:40


Re: Conestoga River Smallmouth near Lancaster

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Walleye: While you are at it, you may also wish to search for the Walleye fishing spots in the Conestoga. They are often nice size fish and can be found in appropriate habitats from the mouth upstream to well above Lancaster. They, along with channel cats, apparently utilize the fishway at the Lancaster Waterworks Dam, which is a short distance downstream from RT 30.

As for Muskies, the long running stocking program in the Lancaster portion of the Conestoga River was terminated a few years ago due to limited and deteriorating interest in comparison to the past and an apparent lack of catches. Additionally, there is a very good population in the near-by Susquehanna from Bainbridge to Falmouth and a developing one in the Marietta/Accomac area from downstream movement that should fulfill the local desire for a Muskellunge fishery.

Posted on: 5/13 11:38


Re: Conestoga River Smallmouth near Lancaster

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2006/11/2 8:50
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A long time ago I used to park at the Route 23 (New Holland Pike) bridge, at a pulloff on the northeast side, and walk down a trail to the creek and catch some smallmouth there.

For those familiar with this area, do you know when the dam that was upstream from the bridge, next to the old papermill, was taken out?

Posted on: 5/13 12:57


Re: Conestoga River Smallmouth near Lancaster

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2007/6/19 21:49
From Lancaster County
Posts: 955
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Quote:

troutbert wrote:
A long time ago I used to park at the Route 23 (New Holland Pike) bridge, at a pulloff on the northeast side, and walk down a trail to the creek and catch some smallmouth there.

For those familiar with this area, do you know when the dam that was upstream from the bridge, next to the old papermill, was taken out?


Late 90's, I believe.

Posted on: 5/13 19:23


Re: Conestoga River Smallmouth near Lancaster

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2015/6/27 21:05
From SEPA
Posts: 484
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Great info, guys. I have driven over the river many times, including yesterday, and it's been on my list to try this summer. Reminds me of a smaller Skuke?

Posted on: 5/14 9:31
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Re: Conestoga River Smallmouth near Lancaster

Joined:
2013/8/5 23:08
From Lancaster
Posts: 311
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Quote:
Great info, guys. I have driven over the river many times, including yesterday, and it's been on my list to try this summer. Reminds me of a smaller Skuke?


I would t equate it to the skuke, it’s bordered mostly by farmland And has a fairly low gradient. Lists of weedbeds and vegetation.

As noted in previous posts, take a look at a satalitt map and pick out narrow areas of the river the have a lot of rock and structures. It’s pretty much devoid of fish in between these points.

Give it a shot! It can be fun and rewarding at times.

Posted on: 5/14 17:26


Re: Conestoga River Smallmouth near Lancaster

Joined:
2015/6/27 21:05
From SEPA
Posts: 484
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Quote:

HopBack wrote:
Quote:
Great info, guys. I have driven over the river many times, including yesterday, and it's been on my list to try this summer. Reminds me of a smaller Skuke?


I would t equate it to the skuke, it’s bordered mostly by farmland And has a fairly low gradient. Lists of weedbeds and vegetation.

As noted in previous posts, take a look at a satalitt map and pick out narrow areas of the river the have a lot of rock and structures. It’s pretty much devoid of fish in between these points.

Give it a shot! It can be fun and rewarding at times.


Thanks and good advice!

Posted on: 5/14 18:46
_________________
sickdaysfishing.blogspot.com


Re: Conestoga River Smallmouth near Lancaster

Joined:
2013/8/5 23:08
From Lancaster
Posts: 311
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Omg my previous post was horrible. You probably thought I was drunk when I wrote it!

Posted on: 5/14 19:34


Re: Conestoga River Smallmouth near Lancaster

Joined:
5/11 23:26
From Lincoln University, PA
Posts: 2
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Thanks for all the help guys! I just moved to Eastern PA about a year ago so finding creeks on my own has been a bit of a challenge. I’ll have to check out mill creek and some of the others. Thanks again!

Posted on: 5/15 13:09


Re: Conestoga River Smallmouth near Lancaster

Joined:
2013/12/8 21:26
From Granville
Posts: 892
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Quote:

HopBack wrote:
Omg my previous post was horrible. You probably thought I was drunk when I wrote it!


Don't try to make up for it now Brian. You probably were. Lol

Posted on: 5/16 14:49


Re: Conestoga River Smallmouth near Lancaster

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2006/11/10 8:32
Posts: 850
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If you want to see some comparative warmwater fish abundance data from SE Pa warmwater streams, including some in York and Lanc Co's, go to the Area 6 biologist report archives on the PFBC web site.

Posted on: 5/17 8:21






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