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Rising in the mountains about five miles east of State College and flowing in a northerly direction to its terminus in Milesburg, Spring Creek is arguably one of the finest wild trout stream in Pennsylvania. Surveys conducted by the Pennsylvania Fish & Boat Commission have consistently shown Spring Creek to be one of the most densely populated wild brown trout stream in the Keystone State.
Spring Creek has suffered greatly, and conversely, benefited greatly from its ill fortune of being located in the most densely populated, fastest growing area of rural Centre County. Numerous pollution incidents, including municipal sewage, gasoline spills, and chemical contaminants over the course of its history decimated not only its myriad hatches, but also its trout. When the stream was removed from the PA Fish & Boat Commission stocked program due to chemical pollution and was later managed under a catch and release regulation, the trout population rebounded quickly. When municipal sewage was subjected to tertiary treatment, the most durable aquatic insects reappeared in profusion. Spring Creek, in a remarkable display of its resiliency and quality, once again became the favorite stream of thousands of anglers each year.
The venues most favored by anglers are the Benner Springs stretch (accessible off PA Route 150 near the I-99 interchange at Dale Summit/Shiloh Road), Fisherman's Paradise, the first specially regulated trout stream in the US, and Pennsylvania Fish & Boat Commission water below the Paradise (both accessible off PA Route 150 near Bellefonte).
Secondary roads parallel Spring Creek over much of its length, providing easy access. The wading - except at Fisherman's Paradise where wading is forbidden - is relatively easy due to the gravel and cobble streambed. No-kill regulations apply along the full length of Spring Creek.
Regulations & Licenses:
All Pennsylvania Fish & Boat Regulations apply. To review Pennsylvania fishing and boating regulations, visit www.fishandboat.com and click on “Regulations & Laws” on the left side of the page.
All motorboats must be registered. Registrations are renewed on a two-year cycle and expire on March 31 of the second year. Registrations are valid on issuance from the Commission’s Licensing and Registration Section. Registration forms may be obtained from the Fish & Boat Commission’s web site, regional offices, Licensing and Registration Section, most county treasurers, certified issuing agents and from many marine dealers.
Owners of unpowered boats (canoes, kayaks, rowboats, etc.) can launch their boats at Commission lakes and access areas or Pennsylvania state parks if their boats display a Commission launch permit, boat registration, or PA State Parks launch permit or mooring permit. Pennsylvania State Parks recognizes Commission boat registrations and launch permits. The Commission does NOT recognize launch permits from other states.
Spring Creek - Catch and Release All-Tackle - 16.5 mile; From SR 3010 (Boalsburg Road) bridge at Oak Hall upstream of Hanson Quarry (formerly HRI/Neidig Bros. Quarry) to the mouth with the exception of the specially regulated area at Fisherman's Paradise and the Exhibition Area in Bellefonte.
Spring Creek (Fisherman's Paradise) - Catch and Release Fly-Fishing Only - 1.0 mile; From a point adjacent to the Stackhouse School Pistol Range downstream to lower boundary of Bellefonte State Fish Hatchery.
Information courtesy of Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources.
Check out our State College Fishing Guide for more information.