Mother Nature put the kibosh to the southeastern trout opener with Friday’s heavy rain. As a result, all local streams and creeks were running high, fast and muddy. Even Leaser Lake was cold and off-colored.
My trout opener travels took me first to the Little Lehigh by the Covered Bridge in Lehigh Parkway off 24th St.. The water there was super fast, high and muddy. In talking to the few remaining anglers there, no trout were caught or seen caught. One angler who traditionally sets up a tent canopy streamside the day before the opener said for the first time he can recall that Lehigh Fish & Game Association stocked a trophy size trout in front of him and his group and no one could get even a nibble.
From there I went to Union Terrace Pond that was stocked the week before for the Mentored Youth Trout opener. While there I witnessed one 10-inch trout caught and released.
In the same area Cedar Creek had about a dozen anglers but no fish were caught in that narrow stream.
On my way to Leaser Lake, a stop was made at the falls on Jordan Creek on Kernsville Road in Orefield. The water coming over the dam was smashing and the noise from the rushing water was loud. Only two anglers were upstream on this otherwise heavily fished spot and they too didn’t get a bite.
Enroute to Leaser Lake, the Jordan Creek at the State Game Lands 205 off Route 100, I saw were six trucks parked on the gravel road near the PGC maintenance building so there was lots of activity there.
On up to Ontelaunee Park and Ontelaunee Creek, the parking lot there had about a dozen vehicles parked and a few anglers could be seen lining the stream where the water wasn’t overly fast or discolored.
Arriving at Leaser Lake, there was a mix of mostly shore anglers and a few boats and a canoe fishing the deeper waters off the shore line. I spoke to a half dozen anglers and one said he caught two largemouth bass and a perch but no trout. Another angler said he saw two musky caught and released by boat anglers, but again, no trout. A couple anglers believe the muskies ate many of the trout but since the lake was just stocked on Friday that was very doubtful.
Fortunately, Mike Kauffman, PF&BC fisheries biologist was at Leaser taking a fish survey and he too registered no trout from anglers there. He did say they stocked 2,500 trout in the lake and when asked about in-season and fall stockings, he said there would be none. The reasons were that the 2,500 stocked was a total that would normally be stocked pre and in season. “Fifteen hundred would normally be stocked pre season and another 1,000 inseason. We want the 4-inch fish we planted to grow and need that stock to build the Leaser fishery,” Kaufman noted. As for a possible fall stocking for the ice fishing season, there would be none he said, for the same reason.
While the Lehigh River from Canal Park in Northampton was stocked Saturday morning, no fish were caught said Willie Marx from Willie’s Bait & Tackle in Cementon. “The river is up two feet and ripping and muddy,” said Marx.
Perhaps the upcoming week may be more productive however more rain is forecasted for Tuesday and Thursday when additional stockings are scheduled for the larger local streams.
Nick Hromiak has been an outdoors and automotive writer for over 30 years. He's been published in numerous national and state-wide outdoor magazines and newspapers.