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Using a stream gage to determine if it's fishable by Jack Kearney

Another great post by Jack. I can attest to the value of using the USGS gages to help me assess whether a body of water is fishable or not. The key in my opinion is gathering enough data which is why I record the USGS gage height and discharge levels of every body of water that I fish upon returning home. What you will find is a range in which the water is fishable and boundaries that if exceeded make it unfishable.

Here's Jack's article regarding the USGS gage for Pine Creek. You can find gages for many bodies of water by doing a Google search as shown below. Sometimes you need to locate the nearest gage as there may not be one in the exact location you want to fish. In the example I'm using Kittaning even though my interest was in Harmarville. Again, having a log of readings will ensure you have gage levels that show whether the water is fishable or not.

It can be disappointing to arrive at a favorite stream only to find the water high and muddy or too low for good fishing. Looking at a stream gage before leaving home is one good way to avoid that experience. Luckily, there is a USGS stream gage for Pine Creek. The gage itself is located where Pine Creek flows under Grant Avenue in Etna. It shows the water level in feet, such as 4.71 ft. So how does knowing the water level at the Etna gage help? The following pictures show the Bottom Hole of the Delayed Harvest section of Pine Creek when the Etna gage is at 4.71 ft. (looks a little low but fishable), 4.97 ft. (good water level, good color, can’t wait to fish it) and 6.50 ft. (maybe stay home and tie some flies instead).

It’s a good idea to look at the USGS stream gage for Pine Creek to learn about the water level there. To do that now, use the link USGS 03049807 Pine Creek at Grant Ave.

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