The Susquehanna is one of North America’s most famous river systems. The river provides refuge for a wide range of fish and wildlife. The Susquehanna is the longest east coast river and the 6th longest in the USA. Along its lower stretch, a reservoir is formed by the Conowingo Dam.
In its upper reaches, anglers fish for American shad, hickory shad, river herring, brook trout, and others. Along the main river, anglers target smallmouth bass, walleye, musky, catfish and other species. Below the dam, anglers catch shad, striped bass, largemouth bass, and northern snakeheads.
North Branch Susquehanna River
The river’s north branch originates from Otsego Lake in Cooperstown, New York. As it travels thru through dairy country, the Susquehanna receives water from several smaller rivers and creeks before merging with the west branch at Northumberland, Pennsylvania, just above Sunbury.
According to Pennsylvania Fish & Boat Commission, 936 miles of wild brook trout streams exist within the North Branch Susquehanna River basin. Further downstream, anglers also fish smallmouth bass and other species of freshwater fish.
Northumberland to Maryland
From Northumberland to the Pennsylvania – Maryland border the river includes a mix of islands rocky outcrops, deep pools and sections of gravel bottom. The river is up a mile wide in some areas, especially near Harrisburg.
Anglers fishing this section of the river usually find smallmouth bass to be the dominate species. This section of the river is also occupied by rock bass, bluegill sunfish, walleye, channel and flathead catfish, musky, chain pickerel, and other species.
Tidal Susquehanna River
Just south of the Maryland-Pennsylvania border, water exiting the Conowingo Dam meets the tidal portion of the river. Below the dam, striped bass, white perch, channel catfish, and other species are common. Along Maryland’s western shoreline, the river accessed by visiting Susquehanna State Park or the City of Havre De Grace.
Near Havre De Grace, the Susquehanna merges with the Chesapeake Bay along the Susquehanna Flats. The flats area is dominated by countless acres of submerged aquatic grasses. In early spring, this unique habitat becomes a major spawning ground and nursery for striped bass and other species.
Each spring, the lower Susquehanna River and Susquehanna Flats experience an incredible volume of fishing activity. Striped bass and shad attract the attention of anglers during the early season. As the season progresses, largemouth bass, northern snakeheads, and other fish dominate catches.