Mingo Creek is a small, low gradient stream in Western Pennsylvania. It rises in Nottingham Township and empties into the Monongahela River in the borough of New Eagle. The entire stream is about 10 miles (16 km) in length. Mingo Creek is stocked with trout by the Pennsylvania Fish Commission every year. For most anglers the stocked trout are the main draw. But the stream also holds a number of native species.
Mingo Creek flows through Mingo Creek County Park. Most angling takes place within the limits of the park where the land is open to the public. That is also where the trout are stocked. But fish can of course be found throughout the stream.
Like many area streams and rivers, Mingo Creek is threatened by the environmental impacts of agriculture and industrial practices. In 2020, the CNX corporation agreed to pay $180,000 for restoration of Mingo Creek after the company released soil, sediment, and sediment-laden water from its well pad sites into local streams several times throughout 2017 and 2018.
Fish species in Mingo Creek
Mingo Creek is stocked with several hundred rainbow trout and brown trout each spring. This stocking is done within Mingo County Park. Although it is not officially announced, brook trout are also occasionally stocked. The introduced trout join native species such as creek chubs which can be found throughout the stream.
A typical Mingo Creek brown trout
Depending on the weather and water levels, the trout stocked into Mingo Creek can hang around until later summer or even autumn. But the vast majority of trout are usually gone by the time summer rolls around. The native fish can be found year round.
For most of its length, Mingo Creek is a relatively small and shallow stream. The riffles may hold some native species like northern hogsuckers or perhaps darters. But for the most part both the stocked trout and other fish likes chubs can be found in the deeper holes and under overhanging tree roots. Some other fish may also come into the end of the stream from the river.
Fishing in Mingo Creek
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As stated above, most of the fishing in Mingo Creek takes place within Mingo County Park. It’s common to see people in the park with fishing poles throughout April. As the year progresses it becomes less common. By June you can sometimes be the only angler in the park though the space is popular among others.
Brook trout occasionally end up in Mingo Creek
Rainbow and brown trout are the main species people target. Popular holes are located under the two covered bridges in the park. A hole below a walking bridge also receives a good amount of pressure. Not long ago the deeper holes were few and far between. In recent years things like jack dams have been built in the park to create more fish holding habitat. These are usual holding spots for stocked trout. But don’t be afraid to get off the beaten path. A few of the most consistent holding spots for trout in the stream are away from the roads and trails.
Good lures for trout in Mingo Creek include perch colored Floating Rapalas in size 3 or 5, Joe’s Flies spinners, and trout worms in pink or brown. Natural and prepared baits like red worms and Chunky Cheese Gulp! Trout Bait also work very well.
This isn’t exactly a classic fly fishing stream by any stretch of the imagination. But classic nymph patterns like the hare’s ear and pheasant tail can work well in the right situations. So can small streamers like Muddler Minnows. Don’t count on much of a dry fly bite.
Mingo Creek is a good stream for microfishing throughout its length. It’s relatively small and accessible. It is also clear and somewhat shallow throughout, except when the occasional thunderstorm comes through. That makes it easy to spot and target micro species in the water.
While you may be the only trout angler in the park in June, you will almost certainly be the only person microfishing on the entire length of the stream no matter when you hit the water. Chubs are common. You may also run into shiners, suckers or some of the colorful darter species that are native to western Pennsylvania.
Mingo Creek fishing regulations
Mingo Creek is classified as a stocked trout water by the PA fish commission. That means it is closed to fishing from late February until the opening day of trout season in early April. Other species of fish in Mingo Creek fall under general regulations. But angling of any kind is not allowed in Mingo Creek during the closure in the run up to trout season.
Fishing in Mingo Creek can be done with traditional angling methods using bait, lures and flies. Anglers are permitted to keep five trout over seven inches during regular trout season. The limit is lowered to three trout during the extended season later in the year.
This is accurate as of the time of writing to the best of my knowledge. Of course regulations are subject to change. For current regulations be sure to check the Pennsylvania Fish Commission website.
Mingo Creek fishing at a glance
|Fish species present:||Rainbow trout, brown trout, brook trout, common carp, creek chub, striped shiner|
|Closest tackle shops:||Johnson's Sporting Goods, Angler's Emporium, Shadlure Tackle|
|Recommended line:||2-4 lb monofilament / 2-4x leader|
|Recommended bait / lures:||Original Floating Rapala, Spearhead Ryuki, red worms|
|Recommended flies:||Copper John, San Juan Worm, green weenie|
|Nearby hotels:||Best Western Bentleyville|