Mammoth Lake is a 25 acre (10 ha) lake in Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania. This man made lake is contained entirely within a county park. Located a short drive from some large towns and interstate highway, the park is quite easy to find. The lake itself is very accessible since the majority of the shoreline is cut grass bordered by a paved walkway. There is also a fairly large handicapped fishing dock constructed of wood.
Located at the edge of the Laurel Highlands, Mammoth Lake is situated among gently rolling hills and pastures. The park that houses the lake receives pretty heavy use throughout the day. The walking trail is particularly popular. Mammoth Lake also gets a lot of fishing pressure. Especially when considering its size.
Mammoth Lake is a rather shallow body of water with a lot of aquatic vegetation. The average depth of the lake is just 3 feet (91 cm). The deepest spot appears to be around 7 feet. The Pennsylvania Fish Commission manages the lake as a fishery. They have taken some steps to alleviate the growth of vegetation in recent years. Though weeds are still common and by summer they cover at least a third of the lake.
Fish species in Mammoth Lake
Mammoth Lake is home to a variety of warmwater fish species such as largemouth bass, bluegill, pumpkinseed, black crappie, white crappie, yellow perch, carp, brown bullhead, yellow bullhead, and white suckers.
The lake is also stocked with rainbow trout four times a year. Small rock bass can be found in the creek just below the overflow though I don’t think there are any living in the lake itself.
This bass is typical for Mammoth
The most prominent species is the lake is certainly bluegill, though they are almost all on the small side. Larger crappie can be found in Mammoth Lake along with largemouth bass up to 10 pounds. Perch aren’t too numerous though they are of average size.
I have fished Mammoth Lake a few times over the years. I have mainly caught largemouth bass of small to average size along with hatchery trout. Many years ago I did hook a very large carp in this lake. Though I wasn’t set up for carp and after a long fight I lost the fish.
Fishing in Mammoth Lake
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Fishing at Mammoth Lake is rarely done in solitude. This lake is fished by a lot of people throughout the year. This is a popular lake for trout fishing, bass fishing and just fishing in general.
That may be one reason why the fishing here usually seems to be so mediocre. It is quite possible to have a multi-fish day on this lake. Though hooking up with anything of significant size would be rare.
Another small Mammoth Lake bass
There are some larger bass here, though they are often experienced and tucked back in thick weed growth. Weedless top water lures like the Scum Frog can work. But I usually do best on things like Finesse Swimbaits rigged on a weedless jig head like a Z-Man Texas Eye Jighead.
For trout a simple slip sinker rig with Powerbait Trout Bait on a salmon egg hook would probably be most effective. Though I prefer an active approach so I normally throw lures like the Original Floating Rapala instead. Of course trout fishing is only viable in cooler weather. This lake is shallow and it warms quickly. Trout cannot survive the summers here. Lure fishing can also be a hassle with all the weeds.
Ice fishing is perhaps one of the most effective ways to fish this lake for crappie and trout stocked in the fall, though the heavy weed growth seems to delay the formation of ice. There are times where nearby lakes have as much as 6 to 8 inches of ice while Mammoth is only capped over with thin ice or even slush. Be careful if you do venture out on the ice here.
Mammoth Lake fishing regulations
Mammoth Lake is classified a “Stocked Trout Water” by the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission. That means this lake is closed to fishing from late February until opening day for trout in April.
Otherwise Mammoth Lake falls under general inland fishing regulations for Pennsylvania. You can fish with up to three rods, with no limit on the number of hooks per rod. Fishing can be done with traditional angling methods using bait, lures, and flies.
Mammoth Lake park is open from 9:00 AM until dusk every day. Non motorized and registered canoes and kayaks up to 16 feet in length are allowed on the lake from May 1 to October 31 according to the park rules.
To the best of my knowledge, this is accurate as of the time of writing. Of course regulations are subject to change. For current regulations be sure to check the Pennsylvania Fish Commission website.
Mammoth Lake fishing at a glance
|Fish species present:||Rainbow trout, largemouth bass, bluegill, pumpkinseed, black crappie, white crappie, yellow perch, carp, brown bullhead, yellow bullhead, white sucker, rock bass.|
|Closest tackle shops:||Red's Bait Shop, Scott's Bait Shop, PA Fly Co.|
|Recommend line:||4-8 pound monofilament. 20-30lb braid.|
|Recommended bait / lures:||Original Floating Rapala, finesse swimbait, Scum Frog, Powerbait Trout Bait.|
|Recommended flies:||Muddler minnow, bead head woolly bugger, elk hair caddis.|
|Nearby hotels:||Hampton Inn & Suites Pittsburgh New Stanton|