Fishing Restrictions Lifted
Inside the Outdoors, May 12,

Even though tis was announced back in September, a lot of anglers seem to be staying clear from Somerset Lake in Somerset County. What once was an alleged rumor is fact. Fishing regulations have been lifted from that body of water. That means one may catch any fish and keep it, according to the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission (PFBC).

I heard about this tidbit of information recently only because a fellow angler tipped me off to the fact.

So both of us went up to the lake to investigate. This is also fact. The crappies were hitting, and I took most of them home.

And even though the lake is in the midst of a drawdown, the rain raised the level quite a bit.

But most anglers present all said the same thing. The waters were still too cold and I couldn’t catch one bluegill. That’s rare in a lake such as this. If they weren’t hitting waxworms, that, to me, was proof in the pudding.

According to the PFBC, “There is a temporary lift as to seasons, sizes and creel limits.”

“We ought to have the lake fully drained by next year,” stated the PFBC. That means we fishers have a lot of work to do. As my buddy shared with me, “This lake is a lot bigger than I thought.” He was spot on when he made that statement. Besides crappies, the 252-acre warmwater lake holds largemouth bass, walleye, channel catfish, sunfish, perch, muskellunge and tiger muskellunge.

That only means one thing. If fish are to be hauled out, we need more anglers other than the scrimpy amount of rod toting sportsmen and women sighted when we got there. A matter of fact, with all the fishing stuff that I have that isn’t for sale, I think I possess a bait to catch every fish there.

“We have temporarily lifted the regulations in order to reduce the number of fish in the lake in advance of a complete drawdown of the lake and a fish salvage,” said Jason Detar, Chief of the PFBC Division of Fisheries Management. “We want anglers to fish the water and make good use of as many fish as they can.”

Here’s the good part. The temporary regulations will remain in place until further notice by the PFBC.

Somerset Lake is considered to be high-hazard and unsafe. It’s completion date for public usage is set for spring of 2019.

- Paul J. Volkmann
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