Fishing – Reel Em’ In
The waters of Columbia and Montour counties offer abundant places for fishing enthusiasts to enjoy throughout the entire year. The natural scenic beauty of our area offers an array of experiences for all to enjoy. Outdoor enthusiasts can enjoy fishing at one of our many locations where hiking, canoeing, hunting and camping are offered to create an outdoor experience for the new breed of wilderness aficionados, or “eco-tourists.”
Open Fishing Waters in Columbia & Montour Counties
PPL Montour Preserve, Montour County – in Danville is host to the 165-acre Lake Chillisquaque. Lake Chillisquaque, named for a Native American word meaning “song of the wild goose,” is a 165-acre reservoir built on the middle branch of Chillisquaque Creek by PPL in 1972 as a backup cooling water supply for the Montour power plant. The lake is a prime fishing location. Over the years, the Pennsylvania Fish & Boat Commission has stocked Lake Chillisquaque with northern pike, largemouth bass, channel and bullhead catfish, bluegill, yellow perch, walleye, crappie and tiger muskellunge. Evergreens, cement blocks, tire reefs and wooden and PVC devices were placed in the lake to enhance fish habitat.
The most effective live baits for Lake Chillisquaque seem to be minnows, night crawlers and crawdads. Artificial bait favorites among anglers and fish include jigs, buzz baits, rapalas/rebels, crankbaits and rubber worms. Gasoline-powered boats are prohibited. Fishing and boating access to Lake Chillisquaque is available 24 hours a day, year-round. Fishing maps are available at the preserve office or the Visitors Center.
Mahoning Creek and Mauses Creek, Montour County – Located outside Danville in Montour County, these two “watering holes” are locals’ favorites and offer approved trout waters.
Briar Creek Lake Park, Columbia County – This Columbia County owned park between Orangeville and Berwick on PA Route 93 offers excellent fishing and recreational opportunities. Developed and maintained by the Columbia County Commissioners and the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission, Briar Creek Lake Park includes a 50 acre lake, picnic area and the restored Fowlersville Covered Bridge which was moved to the park in 1986. The lake is included in the Fish Commission’s late winter, extended trout fishing program. Other species found in the lake include bass, muskellunge, pan fish, pickerel and walleye.
The Susquehanna River – The 16th largest River and the largest river lying entirely in the U.S that drains into the Atlantic Ocean. Species: Bass, Muskellunge, Northern Pike, Walleye, Panfish, Catfish, Carp and other game and non-game species. Along with fishing, the Susquehanna River is a very popular destination for various boating, kayaking and canoeing activities. River Access Points within Columbia & Montour Counties include:
- RM 158 – Berwick Test Tract Park (Paved Ramp)
From Route 11 in Berwick, turn left onto Warren Street; then right onto Ruhmels Lane. Park on left. River right.
- RM 156 – Mifflinville (Primitive Ramp)
From I-80 proceed North 1 mile on Route 11. Turn right at light toward Mifflinville. CrossMarket Street Bridge. Left after bridge to 1st Street. Left into park. Proceed on road thatbends left and descends steeply to river. River left.
- RM 154 – Columbia Park (Primitive Ramp)
From I-80 proceed South on Route 11, take first left on Low Street. Turn left onto 4th Street. Proceed one mile to Columbia Park. River right.
- RM 150 – Espy Park (Primitive Ramp)
From intersection of Route 487 S & Route 11, take Route 11 North 1.9 miles. Turn right at light onto Central Road. Travel 0.3 miles to stop sign. Turn left then quickly right onto an unnamed street for 1 block to Espy park. River right.
- RM 149 – PFBC Bloomsburg (Surfaced Ramp)
From Route 11 South, turn onto Route 487 South. Turn left just before the East Bloom Bridge onto Airport Road. Travel 0.5 miles to river access. River right.
- RM 148 – Bloomsburg Town Park (Primitive Ramp)
From Route 11 South, turn South until Route 487. Turn right just before the East Bloom Bridge onto Fort McClure Blvd. Travel 0.5 miles to river access on left. River right.
- RM 146 – Indian Head Campground (Primitive – Surfaced Ramp)
Off Route 11, take the ramp for Route 42 towards Catawissa for 0.9 miles. Just after fire station, turn left onto Train Street. Travel 0.1 miles, crossing railroad tracks. Follow Reading Street (bares to the right) for 0.2 miles. Entrance to campground is on the left at stop sign. River right.
- RM 138 – PFBC Danville (Surfaced Ramp)
From Route 11 South (Walnut Street in Danville), turn left at light near old train station (Railroad Street). Travel 0.3 miles then turn left on East Market Street (becomes River Drive). Travel 1.2 miles to river access on right. River right.
- RM 136 – Danville Borough Montgomery Park (Primitive Ramp)
From Route 11 South, turn left at Montgomery House Museum into Danville’s Historic Downtown (Mill Street). Travel 0.3 miles until stop Sign. Turn left onto East Front Street for 2 blocks to Ferry Street. Turn right. 1 block to river access on right.
Big and Little Fishing Creeks, Columbia County – considered by locals to be some of the best trout streams in the state. Other fishing areas include the Susquehanna River, Roaring Creek, Hemlock Creek and other tributaries of the Susquehanna River where enthusiasts can find stocked and wild trout, smallmouth bass plus many other varieties.
Ricketts Glenn State Park is perhaps one of the most scenic and well known areas in the state. The park is located 30 miles north of Bloomsburg on Route 487. A variety of recreational opportunities await you at Ricketts Glen. Choose from fishing, boating, swimming, family or group camping, cabins, winter sports, bridle trails, hiking, environmental education, hunting and the waterfalls of the Glens Natural Area. Non-powered and registered electric powered boats are permitted on the 245 acre Lake Jean. Canoes and row boats may be rented during the summer season. A beach area is available for swimming from Memorial Day weekend to Labor Day. Lake Jean offers anglers warm water game fish and pan fish. Several creeks also harbor trout. Mountain Springs Lake, a 40 acre lake owned by the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission, adjoins the east end of the park.
Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission regulations apply to all waterways in the two county area. Please visit their website for exact fishing regulations.
For more detailed fishing information, view our virtual brochure rack. Our Outdoor Recreation Brochure is full of detailed information including maps, GPS locations and more! Or call us at 1-800-847-4810 to request your free copy to be mailed to you!