Lakes, Reservoirs and Warmwater Fishing
The Quemahoning Reservoir, located in Conemaugh, Jenner and Quemahoning Townships in Somerset County as well as Hinckston Run Reservoir, Wilmore Reservoir, and South Fork and Border Dams were publicly acquired in 2000 thanks to the efforts initiated by SCRIP and local sportsmen and conservation organizations. The Quemahoning is the largest of the reservoirs with 899 acres of water surface and 12 miles of shoreline. The Quemahoning is owned and operated by the Cambria Somerset Authority and the fishery is managed by the PFBC. The angling opportunities at the reservoir are both diverse and challenging. The reservoir is home to largemouth and smallmouth bass, walleye, pike, trout, carp and a variety of panfish. The reservoir is managed under the PFBC Big Bass and Panfish Enhancement Regulations. Fishing can be done from the shoreline as well as from non-gasoline powered boats. The primary boat launch is located at the family recreation park area and there are several car-top boat launches and parking lots scattered around the lake.
The reservoir has benefited from the water quality improvements implemented in the Quemahoning Creek watershed that have significantly reduced the AMD pollution entering the reservoir, which has increased the recreational angling opportunities. In addition, through the sponsorship of the Somerset Conservation District, the PFBC’s Bureau of Habitat Management Lake Division has been able to build and place numerous habitat enhancement structures in the reservoir with the assistance of local sportsmen volunteers. The combination of these two initiatives is already paying dividends in terms of the quantity and quality of the fishery available.
In addition to fishing, other recreational opportunities at the reservoir include kayaking and boating, hunting, hiking trails, mountain biking and swimming. Campsites, pavilions and sanitary facilities are also available at the Quemahoning Family Recreational Park. Information on rates and fees for the use of these facilities can be obtained by calling 814-233-9512 or 814-629-9744. Additional information can also be obtained on the web at www.cambriasomersetwater.com.
Located in Munster, Portage and Summerhill Townships in Cambria County, Wilmore Reservoir encompasses 195 acres. Angling for a variety of warmwater species is available from the shoreline as well as from non-gasoline powered boats. There is a boat launch and a handicapped accessible fishing pier as well as picnic tables, pavilions and restrooms. The reservoir is owned and operated by the Cambria Somerset Authority and the fishery is managed by the PFBC. Additional information is available at www.cambriasomersetwater.com.
Hinckston Run Reservoir
Hinckston Run Reservoir, located in Middle and East Taylor Townships in Cambria County, encompasses an area of 104 acres. The reservoir is owned and operated by the Cambria Somerset Authority and the fishery is managed by the PFBC. Angling for a variety of warmwater species is available along the shoreline and by non-gasoline powered boats. There is a trailer boat launch, picnic tables and pavilions available for use as well. The reservoir has also benefited from the placement of fish habitat structures through the efforts of the Cambria County Conservation District, PFBS and local volunteers. Additional information is available at www.cambraisomersetwater.com.
Lake Rowena is both a cold water and warm water fishery. The lake is readily accessible, located in Ebensburg off Route 22 on Lake View Road. Boats with electric motors are permitted. Even though the reservoir’s maximum depth is about 15 feet, fish holdover all year long. The lake falls under the Fish and Boat Commission’s extended trout regulations, so it is open year round to fishing except from April 1 to opening day of trout season. The lake has a handicapped accessible dock and is a perfect lake to bring the family and kids to picnic on a Sunday afternoon.
Lake Rowena is home to a variety of fish including rainbow, brown and brook trout, panfish, largemouth, smallmouth and rock bass, pickerel, crappier and other species of panfish. The PFBC stocks the lake in the spring with rainbow trout, some of which top 20 inches in length.
Beaverdam Run Reservoir
Beaverdam Run Reservoir, located off of Route 869 in Summerhill Township, was opened to fishing in 2000 through the cooperation of Highland Sewer and Water Authority when local conservationists made arrangements to police the area and obtained a small grant through the Kiski Basin Initiative to provide access. The stream below the reservoir also holds fish. The Reservoir holds bass and panfish, and Beaverdam Run holds trout. The reservoir is also stocked by the PFBC.
Elton Sportsmen’s Dam
Elton Sportsmen’s Dam is a three acre impoundment on Little Paint Creek just off of Route 160 near Elton in Adams Township. Built in the 1950’s by The Elton Sportsmen’s Club, it lies on Berwind Corp., property. It survived the 1977 flood but was silted in by a wash out of the railroad bed upstream along with a small dam that breached above it on the gold course. This dam held even though it was flooded over. Now the PA Fish and Boat Commission, under a lease agreement with the Berwind Corporation, manages the Elton Sportsmen’s Dam. The Sportsmen’s club maintains the parking lot and policies the area. It is listed as a coldwater stocked trout fishery.
These two impoundments are owned by Ebensburg Borough and are open to public fishing. Located on Howell’s Run in the headwaters just northeast of Ebensburg in Cambria Township, these two impoundments are sources for the borough’s drinking water and are classified as warm water fisheries.
All the fishing is shoreline only -- Fishing from the dams, wading, boating and ice fishing are prohibited. Panfish, perch and largemouth bass are mostly caught here. Accesses to the smaller 10 acre impoundment can be obtained by traveling to the Borough public swimming pool. It lies just west of the parking lot. Access is limited on the 80 acre reservoir because most of the west and east shorelines have no road frontage. The larger reservoir is north and upstream of the smaller older one and can be accessed behind the CamTran Bus Terminal along US Route 219 on the north end of town, just past the Cambria County Fairgrounds. You must walk in to get to the water. The Borough owns some surrounding property, but some access is across private property so get landowner permission first. Tanner Street (T-454) comes very close to the back end of this dam. Because of the undeveloped access both reservoirs get limited use. Ebensburg Borough has these reservoirs enrolled in the Cooperative Management Program with the PA Fish and Boat Commission along with Lake Rowena. All the impoundments are patrolled.
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