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Shenango River Lake

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General Information

Description - Shenango River Lake is part of the flood control system operated by the US Army Corps of Engineers for the Beaver and Upper Ohio Rivers. Situated within the suburban Shenango Valley, the lake provides an array of outdoor opportunities including picnicking, camping, nature photography, warm water fishing, boating (six boat ramps available), water sports, canoeing the Shenango River and the Pymatuning Creek and hiking an interpretive trail.

Attractions - Shenango River Dam is a concrete gravity dam with an uncontrolled center spillway. The roadway crossing the top of the dam, over the spillway is nearly 68 feet above the stream bed. The dam has a top length of 720 feet with a base width of 66 feet. The project was authorized by the Flood Control Act of 1938 and began full operation in February 1967. Shenango River Lake is part of the flood control system operated by the Corps of Engineers for the Beaver and Upper Ohio Rivers.

Recreation - Situated within the suburban Shenango Valley, Shenango River Lake provides an attractive setting for your enjoyment. Visitors may choose to spend their day picnicking, camping or enjoying nature's beauty at one of the many recreation or access areas located on the project.

Many fishing enthusiasts are attracted to the waters of Shenango River Lake for the bass, walleye, muskellunge and variety of panfish that inhabit the lake. In addition, thousands of anglers are drawn to the dam's outflow area to fish for trout which are stocked annually by the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission during the spring. Boating is among the most popular and varied of recreational activities at Shenango River Lake and six boat launch ramps are provided. Areas are provided on the lake for unlimited horsepower operation and water skiing as well as areas designated for 10hp motors only and minimum wake operation.

For those visitors who prefer to canoe, both the Shenango River, upstream of the lake and Pymatuning Creek offer excellent canoeing opportunities, beautiful scenery and a chance to observe nature.

Campers visiting Shenango River Lake will enjoy the spacious and modern facilities available at the Shenango Recreation Area campground. Hot showers, flush toilets and a sanitary disposal station are provided, as well as 330 campsites, many of which are equipped with electric hookups.

The Seth Myers and Coonie Trails which are one-half mile, self-guided, interpretive nature trails, invite visitors not only to experience the beauty of Shenango River Lake but at the same time to learn about its varied habitats and the relationships between plants, animals and man.

Hunting and trapping are permitted on project lands with the exception of developed recreation areas, wildlife propagation areas and posted areas. All federal, state, and local laws governing these activities apply on project lands and waters.

Reservations for campsites at four Pittsburgh District lakes -- Youghiogheny River Lake, Berlin Lake, Tionesta Lake and Shenango River Lake -- can be made by contacting the National Recreation Reservation Service (NRRS), an interagency one-stop service enter for recreation reservations, toll-free at 1-877-444-6777, from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. April 1 through Labor Day. Campsites at the remaining Pittsburgh District projects not in the NRRS program are still available on a first-come, first-serve basis.

Climate - Pennsylvania generally has a moist climate with cold winters and warm summers. The Shenango River Lake area has cold winter months with temperatures averaging around 24 to 28 degrees Fahrenheit (-4 to -2 degrees Celsius). The area's average summer temperatures range around 68 to 72 degrees Fahrenheit (20 to 22 Celsius).

Location - The dam is located on the Shenango River about 0.8 mile above Sharpsville, PA. It is about 33 miles above its confluence with the Mahoning River near New Castle, PA where it forms the Beaver River. The reservoir is located in Mercer County, PA and Trumbull County, OH.

Current Conditions & Trip Reports

Trip Reports:
Add your own trip Report! Newly re-released feature. One of the most popular features on Wildernet, trip reports allow you to share your experiences with others. This is an invaluable resource for determining what to expect on your outdoor adventure, so please participate! To prevent spamming, you must be a registered user of Wildernet in order to submit a trip report

Filed By: YFJ
Number of People Encountered: 0-10 ppl
Recommend to a Friend: Highly
Report: The fishing was slow due to a recent storm moving through the area, but we caught a few. We came to fish, but the highlights of our day was observing a pair of osprey readying their nest and a pair of Canada geese swimming with eight little ones. We had a great day at the lake.

Filed By: Bill L.
Number of People Encountered: 11-25 ppl
Recommend to a Friend: Neutral
Report: The lake is very beautiful with abundant wildlife all around. It is a great place to spend a lazy afternoon on the boat with the family. The lake has no limit on horsepower so the skiing and tubing are great. The public boat launch facilities are first class. Do yourself a favor a purchase a topographical map of the lake (The Walmart in Hermitage has them) before you launch your boat so you are aware of the changing water depths. I busted a prop by going from 14' to 3' of water in a few yards. This 3' depth was near the center of the lake. FYI: The best restaurant is the Hickory Grille, 2 miles south in Hermitage off Rt-18. They have the best Sunday Brunch in Western, PA. I hope you have a good time on the lake.

More Information

Contact Information:
Shenango River Lake, 2442 Kelly Road , Hermitage, PA, 16150-9703, Phone: 724-962-7746

Additional Information:
Pennsylvania Lakes and Reservoirs - Pennsylvania boasts as having more flowing water than any other state in the "lower 48." Whether you're looking for limestone streams, famous for trout fishing or whitewater rapids for an afternoon thrill ride, this state can fulfill that desire. The keystone state offers over 2,500 lakes and 300 streams. Ricketts Glen State Park is famous for its 30 waterfalls, the highest being a 94 foot tumble. In addition, Pennsylvania is home to the Allegheny National Forest known for its lush hardwoods, rich wildlife and a 12,000 acre lake considered ideal for catching trophy walleye, pike and muskellunge.
Pittsburgh Area - Pittsburgh is one of the greatest steel-making centers of the world. The area is host to the confluence of the Allegheny and Monongahela Rivers creating the Ohio River.

Shenango River Lake - Official agency website


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