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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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Stocked 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:
Catch and Release Fly Fishing Only
All Tackle Trophy Trout
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.
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.
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: