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PA's Fishing & Boating Access Strategy
Completed access improvements - Sharpsburg, Allegheny County; Shades Beach, Erie County; Lock 57, Beaver County
Pennsylvania's Fishing and Boating Access Strategy (Strategy) provides the Pennsylvania Fish & Boat Commission (PFBC), the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation & Natural Resources (DCNR), and many important partners, such as local governments and conservation organizations with the necessary tools to make sound decisions on the discovery and selection of priority access points, acquisitions of key properties, and the design and development of new or improvements to existing facilities, and on the identification and allocation of financial resources for fishing and boating access.

For this Strategy, public fishing and boating access is defined as follows:

  • Boating access provides access to waterways for powered and/or unpowered boats with some level of facilities including parking. Boating access is typically at a designated point of entry along a waterway. Fishing can also occur at these sites; however, the primary purpose is boating.
  • Walk-in fishing access provides a way for anglers to reach the waterway and walk for some distance along the stream bank or in the stream bed. These types of access areas are typically linear with few amenities and do not have boat launch ramps.

Planning Process
A partnership between PFBC and DCNR was formed to provide a strategy to increase public fishing and boating access opportunities to Pennsylvania's 85,000 miles of rivers and streams, 3,956 lakes, reservoirs and ponds, and 470,400 acres of Lake Erie. The PFBC and DCNR, with support from the Pennsylvania Environmental Council (PEC), undertook a one year planning process in preparing a state-wide public access strategy to enhance fishing, boating and other water-oriented recreational opportunities in Pennsylvania.

Some examples of key questions that were asked to identify major components of this Strategy:

  • Are current fishing and boating access points adequate to meet public demand?
  • What funding sources are available for acquisition, development and maintenance ofaccess?
  • Where are current fishing and boating access points in relationship to population centers, fishing license purchasers, and boat registrants?
  • What are the criteria for identifying good walk-in fishing and boating access sites?
  • Why are private landowners increasingly "posting" their property and eliminating access for the public?
  • Where do people live and where do they want access?
Pennsylvania's Fishing & Boating Access Strategy
NOTE — due to large file sizes chapters 3 & 4 are also split into multiple files. File size is listed if it is over 1 Megabyte (Mb) .

Executive Summary
Includes table of contents

Pennsylvania Access Strategy Map Usage
The PDF maps featured in this Strategy include the ability to toggle GIS layers that make the map. This document explains how to access that additional information.

Chapter 1
Purpose, Introduction, and Background

Chapter 2
The Planning Process

Chapter 3 (23 Mb)
Strategies for Investing in Access

Narrative+tables 1-3,
Maps 2-5 (4.1 Mb)
Maps 6-9 (5.5 Mb)
Maps 10-12 (4.6 Mb)
Maps 13-16 (4.8 Mb)
Maps 17-20 (4.0 Mb)

Chapter 4
Review Process for Improving Access in HUC 8 Water
Part A—Narrative thru Map 45 (28 Mb)
Part B—Maps 46-73 (17 Mb)

Narrative + Table 4 + Map 21 (1.2 Mb)
Map 22: Chautauqua-Conneaut Watershed
Map 23: Lower Susquehanna-Swatara Watershed (1.6 Mb)
Map 24: Upper Juniata Watershed (1.1 Mb)
Map 25: Schuylkill Watershed (1.3 Mb)
Map 26: Sinnemahoning Watershed (1.0 Mb)
Map 27: Lehigh Watershed (1.2 Mb)
Map 28: Upper Susquehanna-Lackawanna Watershed (1.7 Mb)
Map 29: Lower Susquehanna Watershed (1.2 Mb)
Map 30: Middle Delaware-Mongaup-Brodhead Watershed (1.0 Mb)
Map 31: Middle Allegheny-Tionesta Watershed (1.5 Mb)
Map 32: French Watershed (1.0 Mb)
Map 33: Upper Susquehanna-Tunkhannock Watershed (1.1 Mb)
Map 34: Lower Allegheny Watershed
Map 35: Lower West Branch Susquehanna Watershed (1.2 Mb)
Map 36: Youghioheny Watershed (1.1 Mb)
Map 37: Lower Juniata Watershed (1.4 Mb)
Map 38: Lower Susquehanna Penns Watershed (1.6 Mb)
Map 39: Lackawaxen Watershed
Map 40: Middle Allegheny-Redbank (1.4 Mb)
Map 41: Conemaugh Watershed (1.2 Mb)
Map 42: Middle Delaware-Musconetcong Watershed
Map 43: Clarion Watershed (1.3 Mb)
Map 44: Connoquenessing Watershed (1.0 Mb)
Map 45: Shenango Watershed (1.0 Mb)
Map 46: Pine Watershed
Map 47 Upper Ohio Watershed (1.2 Mb)
Map 48: Upper West Branch Susquehanna Watershed (1.3 Mb)
Map 49: Lower Monongahela Watershed (1.2 Mb)
Map 50: Upper Allegheny Watershed (1.2 Mb)
Map 51: Lower Delaware Watershed
Map 52: Kiskiminetas Watershed
Map 53: Raystown Watershed (1.2 Mb)
Map 54: Upper Delaware Watershed
Map 55: Crosswicks-Neshaminy Watershed
Map 56: Middle West Branch Susquehanna Watershed
Map 57: Conococheague-Opequon Watershed
Map 58: Bald Eagle Watershed
Map 59: Upper Susquehanna Watershed
Map 60: Tioga Watershed
Map 61: North Branch Potomac Watershed
Map 62: Brandywine-Christina Watershed
Map 63: Beaver Watershed
Map 64: Mahoning Watershed
Map 65: Cacapon- Town Watershed
Map 66: Cheat Watershed
Map 67: Monocacy Watershed
Map 68: Owego-Wappasening Watershed
Map 69: Conewango Watershed
Map 70: Upper Genesee Watershed
Map 71: Upper Ohio-Wheeling Watershed
Map 72: Chester-Sassafras Watershed
Map 73: Chemung Watershed

Chapter 5

Chapter 6

Appendix A Regional Stakeholder Meetings
Appendix B Intergovernmental Agreement
Appendix C Water Trail Statement of Purpose
Appendix D HUC 8 Watersheds Criteria Results by Raw Scores
Appendix E DCNR and Coldwater Heritage Partnership Plans
Appendix F PA Water Trails Report
Appendix G Pine Creek Canoe Access Areas

Related topics
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County Guide (access areas mapped)
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