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Conestoga River Lancaster County

Joined:
2006/9/9 17:18
From lancaster county
Posts: 6435
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This river I little experience with but I plan on floating it in the water trail area this year a few times and fishing the upper end by foot.

My questions have nothing to do with spots to fish, Ill find them on my own.

My questions have to do with Shad and other fish species.

The historical stockings of the Conestoga River on the PFBC website are as follows:

Conestoga River - CONF SWAMP CK AND E BR CONSTG to CONFLUENCE WITH COCALICO CK. In this area they have stocked 483,991 Shad Fry from 2003 - 2008

It is obvious that the PFBC is stocking these fish for the Susquehanna River. However the Rockhill Dam was removed to allow fish passage. I found this quote from a link:

Quote:
To enhance and regulate the flow of water, many small dams were constructed. This impeded the passage of such anadromous fish as the shad to move upstream and inland to spawn, thus ending a rich fishery. Furthermore, each of the reservoirs created collected thick deposits of sediments after deforestation' Recently, these dams were demolished (e.g. Rock Hill dam), which allowed not only the return of the shad but also the bayward movement of the so-called "legacy-sediments" and associated toxic substances and nutrients.


The 3 questions I have about this are....

The Rockhill dam has to be low in the River basin. The past pictures I have seen of it show it in a wooded area. The stocking of these shad are taking place up my way on the River. I know or at least think i do, that there is a dam at Waterworks in Lancaster.

So....
are the shad migrating back up the Conestoga and if so, how far? Does the Dam at Waterworks in anyway effect the migration downstream? I will be targeting Bass in the River this year but getting into the shad would be nice also.

Also
Conestoga River - COCALICO CK CONF to LANC WATERWORKS DAM

has been stocked with 1,832,350 fish, between Tiger Muskie and Shad Fry from 1991 to 2009.

How have the muskie been fairing in this River? Are they in good numbers and size?

Mostly I will be targeting SM Bass....
The article I posted a bit ago about Capital City fishing discussed that the lower reaches of the Conestoga River have had better electro fishing results than the lower Susquehanna River. Both in size and numbers.

I want to know....

How long ago was this?
Is it still the same way?
Can I get any biologist reports on the Conestoga River?

I hope Mike K replies to this....he was mentioned and probably has a wealth of knowledge on the subject.

Thanks!

Posted on: 2011/3/26 23:33
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Re: Conestoga River Lancaster County

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2008/5/29 15:28
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I'm not sure about the dam at the waterworks in Lancaster but, the one at Stoltzfus Quarry in Talmage. Well, between Talmage and Oregon is pretty much an impassable object. This would be just down stream from where the Cocalico hits the Stoga. Just down stream from that dam I have had pretty good SM, Red Eye and even Walleye (although rare). I think that the Stoltzfus dam is still there, I may be mistaken,

Posted on: 2011/3/27 7:37
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Re: Conestoga River Lancaster County

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2009/9/9 13:21
From North Central PA
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How is the wading on the C'toga? I've always fished Mill Creek (where I can actually see the bottom of the creek). The C'toga always looks so muddy. I've been afraid to venture very far because I've had this fear of falling into a bedrock crack over my head (again). Yeah, it happened on the Loyalsock.. got my foot wedged into a bedrock/shale crack up to my knee (cause I slipped into it) and couldn't get free without some help.

Posted on: 2011/3/27 16:08
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Re: Conestoga River Lancaster County

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Shad: It is unknown whether or not American shad are returning to the Conestoga. Waterworks dam should not inhibit the downstream migration of juvenile shad. The fish successfully pass over much larger dams on the Schuylkill.

Tiger Muskellunge stockings have done quite well in the Conestoga. I know of good numbers below the waterworks dam in spring and other catches occurring near the Lancaster sewage treatment plant. I am sure that there are a number of locations where they can be found, but those are the two of which I am aware.

There are no biologist reports on the river.

The electrofishing surveys were done in the early 2000's. I don't know if the populations are the same as they were at that time. The smallmouths and walleye were certainly larger than those we had been seeing in the lower Susquehanna at that time.

Posted on: 2011/3/27 20:12


Re: Conestoga River Lancaster County

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From lancaster county
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Awesome!

Perhaps Ill be hunting those Muskie also. In the next few years I plan on fishing the entire thing. Keep you updated on my experiences.

Posted on: 2011/3/27 20:24
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Re: Conestoga River Lancaster County

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2008/8/24 20:26
From Mount Joy, PA
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I grew up in Lancaster City (Sixth Ward to be exact) and spent many of my youthful summers at the Lancaster County Pool. The pool is in the Lancaster County Park which borders a good portion of the Conestoga River south of the city. I am also familiar with Engleside where the sewage treatment plant is as well as the "Water works" along Route 23. My childhood (and somewhat to this day) impression of the river is that it was/is a nasty concoction of a lot of different 'stuff' (runoff, trash, etc.).

Now that I'm somewhat more educated on waterways/aquatic life, I should look at it a bit more to see if my childhood perceptions are accurate. I used to see a lot of the 'locals' swimming under the railroad bridge by the Water Works as well as in the County Park stretches. I wonder if they know there are man eatin' Muskies in there?!?!?!

One thing that really sticks in my mind is that amount of burn hazel along the river...

Posted on: 2011/3/27 21:09


Re: Conestoga River Lancaster County

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2009/5/18 17:57
From Toona
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I fished the Conestoga one time in 2003. Some friends and I stayed at Outdoor World, I t hink thats the name of the Camp Ground. I ended up having one of my best weekend Smallie fishing ever. I also landed the largest one I've ever caught to this day. It was 22" and weighed about 5lbs. At the time it was awesome because I had just started fishing for Bass with the fly rod.

Posted on: 2011/3/28 9:37
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Re: Conestoga River Lancaster County

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2008/12/12 11:31
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This sounds like one I lookinto ,as this year I want to add more warmwater to fishin lists

wet

Posted on: 2011/3/28 13:32


Re: Conestoga River Lancaster County

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Posts: 6120
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I fished the Conestoga in the area around the Route 23 bridge (New Holland Pike) when I was a kid. We caught some smallmouth and some carp. Yes, the burn hazel (nettles) were brutal. I caught a carp on a mulberry one time.

There used to be a dam above the Route 23 bridge. Don't know if it's still there or not. But we used to ice skate in the impounded section behind that dam.

I've done some canoeing on the Conestoga too, and it's pretty nice. When I was a kid it was called Conestoga Creek but they changed the name at some point to Conestoga River.

Posted on: 2011/3/29 9:33


Re: Conestoga River Lancaster County

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2010/11/2 21:16
From Maytown, PA
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"that there is a dam at Waterworks in Lancaster."
The dam is very low and has a fish ladder/ramp installed. several years ago shad could be seen bunching up there.

"There used to be a dam above the Route 23 bridge" dam near the old paper mills is gone

" the one at Stoltzfus Quarry in Talmage"
As far as I know the dam is still in place and is a high one if I remember right,

The rock hill dam is very low in the river basin and was removed many years ago. iI is only a few miles from the confluence with the Susquehanna river.

Posted on: 2011/4/1 22:15


Re: Conestoga River Lancaster County

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Quote:

Mike wrote:
Shad: It is unknown whether or not American shad are returning to the Conestoga.


Is it known if there was a shad run up the Conestoga historically?

How about other similar size tribs to the Susquehanna?

In the Delaware watershed, which tributaries do shad run up?


Posted on: 2011/4/1 23:07


Re: Conestoga River Lancaster County

Joined:
2009/12/9 17:10
From lancaster
Posts: 167
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I fish this river at least three times a week from now till october. I have caught a number if smalmouth bass. Never have seen a muskie or shad. I have heard of one guy catching one closer to safe harbor. I wet wade this alot and also take my toons out on it. Most of the area I hit is right about the 23 bridge all the way to safe harbor. The upper end of the river is just ok at best.

The dam is still at the stone quarry but the fishing below it is ok and also the dam at waterworks is still there too. If any of you guys want to take a toon trip down the river(I have two of them) let me know cause I would be more than happy to show you some great fishing holes. We can also wet wade it

Posted on: 2011/4/4 11:32
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Re: Conestoga River Lancaster County

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How is the carp population in the Conestoga?

Posted on: 2011/4/4 18:49


Re: Conestoga River Lancaster County

Joined:
2006/9/9 22:43
From Delaware Co.
Posts: 3450
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Quote:

pennsadventures wrote:
I fish this river at least three times a week from now till october. I have caught a number if smalmouth bass. Never have seen a muskie or shad. I have heard of one guy catching one closer to safe harbor. I wet wade this alot and also take my toons out on it. Most of the area I hit is right about the 23 bridge all the way to safe harbor. The upper end of the river is just ok at best.

The dam is still at the stone quarry but the fishing below it is ok and also the dam at waterworks is still there too. If any of you guys want to take a toon trip down the river(I have two of them) let me know cause I would be more than happy to show you some great fishing holes. We can also wet wade it


If you can do a Friday I would be game for a float .

Posted on: 2011/4/4 19:36
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Re: Conestoga River Lancaster County

Joined:
2009/12/9 17:10
From lancaster
Posts: 167
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When ever is good with me. I was out tonight and struck out. I hit the safe harbor and didn't have a hit. The water temp was only 44 degrees. Once it hits the 55 mark its going to be 50 fish days. It would be nice to meet some of you guys out there

Posted on: 2011/4/4 22:25
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