Boat Fishing Boat Fishing


The Laurel Highlands has miles of great PA trout fishing streams, creeks, rivers, and runs.

Fly Fishing on the Yough

One look at our miles and miles of stocked and wild trout waters, pristine lakes, and expansive rivers, and you’ll see why fishermen of all sorts flock to the Laurel Highlands. Other than Alaska, Pennsylvania has ore miles of trout streams than any other state in the country. Somerset County alone has more approved trout streams than any other county in the state.

Whether you prefer to cast your reel from a boat and the shore or you’d rather wade in deep, you’ll find a peaceful spot where the fish are biting. Skilled experts and beginners alike can head out with seasoned guides that are eager to share their tips and tricks. Go on float trips, and learn to fly fish, or cast out in a quiet space on your own or with family and friends. Head to our fee-fishing trout farms where you are guaranteed to catch a fish.

Fly Fishing on the YoughLaurel Highlands Trout Trail

The Laurel Highlands Trout Trail has been compiled to celebrate Pennsylvania's renowned trout streams and highlight the incredible fishing opportunities in the area. A partnership among state parks, Trout Unlimited chapters, cultural and historical attractions, boutique shops, restaurants, and lodging partners has evolved into the amazing 70 mile north/south Laurel Highlands Trout Trail. This top 10 list of the best trout streams in the laurel Highlands was created for fishermen of all levels.

Fishing Tips & Helpful Links

Interactive Fishing Trail Map

This Interactive Fishing Map highlights just some of the streams, lakes, reservoirs, and rivers in the Laurel Highlands in each of our three counties, some general fishing regulations, and fish species information for that stream.

Map Key

Rivers Pin Rivers   Lakes Pin Lakes   Streams & RunsStreams & Runs  Boating Waters Pin DotBoating Waters   Fee Fishing Pin DotFee Fishing

These pins mark the stream as accurately as possible, but are not always the best place to park. If you have more accurate GPS coordinates for parking or water access, please share them with us. If we’re missing one of your favorite fishing spots, let us know and submit the info here.

Fishing Regulations in PA

These regulations are just a brief overview of the regulations mentioned in the interactive map. For more information and specific regulated waters listings, please refer to the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission's website

Stocked Trout Waters: Closed to all fishing including the tacking of minnows from March 1st to 8 a.m. on opening day. Some streams may be added or deleted from the stocked list at the last minute due to water conditions. 

Linn Run State Park FishingStocked Trout Waters Open to Year-Round Fishing: From 8 a.m. opening day of trout season through September 5, commonwealth inland size and creel limits apply. From Jan. 1 through Feb 29. And from Sept 6 through Dec 31, “extended season” size and creel limits apply. These waters are open to fishing from March 1 to opening day of trout season; however, no trout may be taken or possessed on these waters during this 
Permits are required for rivers and streams designated to Stocked Trout Waters Open to Year-Round Fishing. Trout/salmon permit is not required to fish in lakes and ponds that have been designated as Stocked Trout Waters Open to Year-Round Fishing unless the person takes, kills, or possesses, while in the act of fishing, a trout or salmon on or in these waters. 

Delayed Harvest Artificial Lures Only:

  • Open to year round fishing
  • Fishing is permitted on a 24-hour basis
  • Minimum size – 9 inches, caught on or in possession on the waters under these regulations. From the day after Labor Day until June 15, the daily creel limit is zero.

Fly FishingCatch and Release Fly Fishing Only

  • Open to year-round fishing
  • 24 hours
  • No trout may be killed or had in possession
  • Artificial lures only
  • Trout/salmon permit required

All Tackle Trophy Trout

  • Open to year round fishing
  • 24 hours
  • Minimum size – 14 inches, caught on or in possession on the waters under these regulations from 8 a.m. on the opening day of the regular trout season through labor day
  • Daily creel limit is two trout combined species except for the period from the day after labor day to 8am of the first Saturday after April 11 of the following year, when no trout may be killed or had in possession
  • No tackle restrictions

Fish Species in the Laurel Highlands, PA

The Laurel Highlands is home to a wide variety of fish species. You're sure to find a type of fish you love to catch here. For more species information, check out the PA Fish & Boat Commission directory of species.


  • Rainbow Trout - a silver-gray to dark-green fish with a pink lateral stripe and dark spots sprinkled across the top of its body, rainbow trout are commonly found in 50 degree fast water streams.
  • Brook Trout – These dark-green fish with squiggly markings from head to tale and a yellow-orange body have a tailfin that is less forked than most other trout. They are commonly found in small, cold, clean streams as well as ponds and lakes. 
  • Brown Trout – A brown fish with yellow lower sides and dark spots, the brown trout lives in cold or cool streams, rivers and lakes, usually spawning in waters in the low 70s.

Largemouth Bass – a rotund fish with a large upper jaw, and a pale-yellow belly, spawning in 60 degree waters, and found in sluggish waters. 

Fishing Smallmouth Bass – a brownish bronze fish with a lighter belly and broken bar stripes along each side, usually found in rocky rivers or lakes with a heavy current, which spawns in 60 to 70 degree water temperatures.  Spotted and rock bass are other species commonly found in PA. 

Catfish – Bullhead and channel catfish are the most common in the Laurel highlands. Channel catfish usually spawn in temperatures 75 to 85 degrees and can be identified by their deeply forked, sharply pointed tail, with a small separate fin near the tail. Their blue-gray to slate gray color differs from the Bullhead’s yellow-brown or olive brown coloring. Channel catfish are usually found in clear lakes and larger rivers over clean sand, gravel, or rock bottoms. Bullhead catfish prefer cooler 70 degree water and their fin is square-tipped. Bullhead catfish can withstand more polluted waters and usually prefer backwaters and slow currents, but can also live in ponds and reservoirs. 

Crappie – spawn in temperatures under 60 degrees to 70 degrees. White crappie are olive to bright green with yellow hints on the sides, while black crappie are black and white. White crappie have fewer spikes on their dorsal and anal fins than the black crappies. These fish are usually found in lakes, ponds, and sluggish sections of streams and rivers. 

Walleye – long round bodied fish with a forked tail and sharp teeth, found in large lakes and big streams and rivers with relatively cool water that does not exceed 85 degrees. 

Other Common Fish Species:

  • Pumpkinseed – highly colored, smaller sunfish that spawns in late May to early June
  • Muskellunge – One of PA’s fastest growing and largest fish, identified by their duck-like flat snout with sharp teeth and varying colors, and usually spawn in 67 to 72 degree water in clear natural lakes and rivers. The Tiger muskellunge is also common in the area, which can be identified by their strong, slanted, vertical barring on the sides. 
  • Perch– Long bodied, yellow, white, and brown fish that spawn in water temperatures 45-55 degrees
  • Pike – smooth silvery fish with lateral rows of whitish or yellowish bean-shaped spots found in in shallow waters