Shenango River Lake

Shenango River ★★★★★ 5 3 reviews
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Aerial view of the Shenango River Lake and Dam

If you’ve ever thought about fishing for some Pennsylvania fish, the Shenango River Lake is the one. This lake is perfect for fishing enthusiasts and tourists, and we’ll let you know why.

Located in Mercer County, PA, and a reservoir established on the Shenango River, inside the Shenango River Valley, the lake encompasses Western Pennsylvania and Northeastern Ohio. It is almost always teeming with visitors of different kinds, who, if not for the fish, are there because of the camping opportunities at the 300 surrounding campsites—notably the Clark Picnic Ground.

Read more to find out everything about fishing for quality crappie and other activities at Shenango Lake.

Fishing at Shenango River Lake

One of the main perks of fishing at the Shenango River Lake is the sheer amount of fish and species diversity you can hope to encounter. It will be perfect for you, whether you’re part of a group of experienced anglers or an individual fisherman who’s only just getting into their new hobby.

You can organize your fishing trip to add to your camping or take a boat and go over Shenango Lake, throwing your bait and waiting for the best catch. And if you’re wondering which species of fish you’re most likely to catch, we’ve outlined that for you.

Top Targeted Fish Species

Angler holding a largemouth bass and fishing rod
Northern Bass
Smallmouth Bass

Smallmouth Bass

STRIPED BASS - Anglers holding fish at Shenango River Lake

Striped bass

Rainbow Trout - Old picture of the Erie Extension Canal

Rainbow Trout

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Types of Fish at Shenango River Lake

The following list offers you a glimpse of what species you could hope to catch on your fishing tour at the Shenango River Lake:

Of course, the fingerlings don’t count as separate species. Still, they’re worth emphasizing since much of the catch falls under this category. They, along with some smaller species, like the bluegill, the muskie, the northern pike, and the smallmouth bass, are proper panfish.

We can also mention the largemouth bass, the yellow perch, the flathead catfish, the white crappie, and the black crappie. They’re compact enough to fit inside a frying pan, making them the perfect meal to serve as a reward after a fun day of outdoor fishing.

The rest of the fish species like the largemouth bass, the channel catfish, the white bass, the walleye, and the white crappie are known for their abundance at this location. We also mustn’t forget their record-breaking size!

When to go Fishing?

The best fishing times at Shenango River Lake in PA are around two, three, and four in the early hours and two, three, and four in the afternoon. Wait for a light breeze, guaranteeing a good catch of various species in these lakes, including northern pike, yellow perch, channel catfish, walleye, largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, muskie, bluegill, and others.

While the density of different species varies depending on the seasons, the lakes region is open year-round. All you need to do is find a good map of the place and enjoy exploring the aquatic surface area!

Pennsylvania and Shenango River Lake Fishing Regulations

Regarding particular Shenango River Lake fishing regulations, the same ones that apply are those that count for the entirety of PA. Luckily, for most anglers, these mainly include the compulsory ownership of a Pennsylvania fishing license. So long as you have one, you can go fishing at Shenango River Lake or any other fishing place in Pennsylvania!

Shenango River Lake Reviews

Beautiful lake!

Shenango River
Lovely lake, good for fishing, picnics and some swimming. Have not fished here so can't comment on the results. Love this lake!
- Dave Regn

Nice place to go fishing

Shenango River
For the family, we went swimming, had a picnic, just relaxed, maybe caught a few fish. But overall lots of good times and close by. Great place to spend the day fishing.
- Jerry Moore

Absolutely Blessed Fishing Trip

Shenango River
Thus lake is highly underrated! The fishing and beautiful landscape are unbelievable. Especially the fishing, we caught so many species.
- Jay and Tom
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About Shenango River Lake

The Shenango River Lake is one of the several in the Pittsburgh area created due to Ronald Regan’s 1938 Flood Control Acts to prevent flooding. The Shenango Dam started construction in 1963 and was finalized in 1965 by the United States Army Corps of Engineers.

It is 720 feet long and 68 feet high at its crest, housing the reservoir, which boasts a standard capacity of 29.920 acre-feet and a maximum capacity of 351.000 acre-feet. The reservoir is between several cities, namely Sharon, Greenville, Mercer, and Hermitage, PA, falling under Mercer County, PA.

The Shenango River Lake is also the home of sections of the Erie Extension Canal— notably Lock Number 10, Sharpsville. The Erie Extension Canal played a part in the Pennsylvania Canal transport system in the 19th century. As such, this is a fantastic chance for history buffs.

Some of the project property’s well-preserved remains offer insight into the staggering economic development in which this endeavor played a crucial role in Northwestern Pennsylvania.

Aside from the Shenango recreation area in PA and the army corps, the real treasure of the Shenango River Lake is the multitude of fishing opportunities, which we will focus on now.

Shenango River Map

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Recreation and Other Activities at Shenango River Lake

Aside from offering plenty of good opportunities for catching fish to the most enthusiastic anglers, the Shenango recreation area is also ideal for other activities. The lake boasts breathtaking scenery, and it’s also legal to swim in it! Other than that, the two most well-known activities are boating and camping.


Are you tired of going after channel catfish and smallmouth bass? You can still relish the lake by going boating! Just visit the boat ramp on the coast, and get yourself a nice boat. It’ll be a cruise you’ll never forget!


Finally, considering the 300 camping grounds surrounding Shenango River Lake, it makes sense that camping is also a crazily popular recreation option. The Clark Picnic Ground, for example, is known for its beauty.

There are also many other campsites north of the lake, where you’ll find modern and well-equipped tents with electric hookups and even flush toilets! As you’ll be able to see for yourself, both the Clark Picnic Ground and the others are mesmerizing and highly relaxing.


Shenango River Lake in PA is undoubtedly one of the best locations for catching various fish: crappie, muskie, walleye—you name it. Feel free to go there and check for yourself; there’s no other lake like it!

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