Fish & Boat may lift fishing restrictions on lake at Chapman

Times Observer file photo The Pennsylvania Fish & Boat Commission has proposed lifting fishing restrictions for the lake at Chapman State Park that have been in place since the lake was dewatered in 2017 for repairs to the dam.

The Pennsylvania Fish & Boat Commission has proposed lifting a restriction that has made the lake at Chapman State Park catch-and-release for most species for several years.

The lake was drawn down in 2017 and work on the dam was completed and the park re-opened fully in the late summer of 2019.

Since then, the lake has been catch-and-release only for species other than trout, which were first stocked back in the lake in Dec. 2019.

According to the Commission in the wake of its meeting earlier this week, the work at the dam was required to bring the structure into compliance with Department of Environmental Protection safety standards.

“Following the completion of these repairs and modifications, refill occurred in fall 2018, and the PFBC stocked the lake from 2019 through 2023 with select fish species to establish a high-quality, warm-water and cool-water fishery,” the Commission said in a release.

“Sportfish populations were evaluated from 2022 through 2023 to monitor progress towards development of a high-quality, warm-water and cool-water fishery. Sportfish abundance and population size structure have improved to levels where populations can now sustain harvest.”

If the action is approved at a future meeting, the change would go into effect on Jan. 1, 2025.

Tidioute Allegheny River access

The Commission also voted to approve a lease with Tidioute Borough for public fishing and boating access on the Allegheny River.

“Under the proposed agreement, the PFBC will lease approximately four acres of property to Tidioute Borough for a period of 25 years,” per the Commission. “The Borough, which previously leased the property beginning in 1976, has continued to act as a holdover tenant since the expiration of the initial lease agreement.”

Per the Commission, the borough is “interested in pursuing opportunities to enhance the access site through different grant programs and potential partnership opportunities, which will require a new lease agreement.”

The agreement stipulates that the borough will be responsible for maintenance and operation of the site, which will “remain open for public fishing and boating free of charge.”


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