The Conestogo Lake Conservation Area & The Conestogo River:
Fishing is available below the dam on the Conestogo Lake Conservation Area & The Conestogo River. This area has a large pool just below the dam wingwalls. It has a deep rocky bottom that gradually becomes shallow and narrows into a series of fast water runs and smaller deep pools. Large rocks are also scattered along the river course. The water levels in the river fluctuate frequently during early spring and summer due to flood control operations. When water levels are high, proper bait presentation is virtually impossible.
Brown Trout have been stocked since 2003, resulting in this area becoming a destination. The waters of the Conestogo are ideal for trout from the season opener on the 4th Saturday in April through to the middle of July. The cold water release from the bottom draw dam make the river suitable trout habitat for about 15 km downstream of the dam. A wide variety of fishing techniques are successful including various fly patterns, small spinners, plugs and live baits.
Anglers can access the trout fishery at the lower Conservation Area, Glen Allan, Macton Bridge and Hwy #86 Bridge just outside Wallenstein. These access locations have been developed in partnership with local landowners, Friends of the Grand River, MNR- Guelph District and the GRCA.
SMALLMOUTH BASS can be found in rock eddies and deeper pools that fast water flows into. Baits to use are worms, minnows, spinners, jigs, and small shallow running crank baits that imitate crayfish or insects. Don’t forget to try some top water baits or even a live frog.
PIKE are the number one species in the river. Excellent catches are frequent in the spring, but catch and release must be practiced to sustain excellent fishing in the future. These fish are found mostly in the large pool at the dam but some show up in deep pools further down the river. Baits to use are dead minnow rigs or live minnows, silver spoons and minnow imitating baits.
Access to The Conestogo Lake Conservation Area & The Conestogo River:
The GRCA owns 2266 hectares (5600 acres) at Consetogo Lake which includes the 735 ha (1816 acre) lake. Fishing is popular on the lake and in the river below the dam. There is easy access to the water and a double ramp concrete boat launch. Power boating is permitted. Boat and canoe rentals are available. The Conservation Area is open from the last Friday in April until the middle of October.
Fish Species in The Conestogo Lake Conservation Area & The Conestogo River:
Brown Trout, Pike, Smallmouth Bass, Perch, Walleye and Carp.
Fishing Season – The Conestogo Lake Conservation Area & The Conestogo River:
Please see the Provincial Fishing Regulations.
Conestogo Lake Records:
- Pike – 41 inches; catch & release
- Smallmouth Bass – 21 inches, 5 pounds; catch & release
- Yellow Perch – 15 inches; catch & keep
- Largemouth Bass – N/A
- Walleye – N/A
Anglers will find good trout water from the dam all the way to Hawksville. Also look for pike and walleye in this section in pools near the end of riffles.
The fishing improves from Hawksville through St. Jacobs to the Grand River for warm-water species. Here you can find pike, walleye and smallmouth bass. Some of the best smallmouth holes in the entire Grand River watershed are located in the last 2 miles of the Conestogo River.
At the major access points of the Conestogo River, signs will be up asking you to release the walleye you catch to allow this fishery to develop into a sustainable one.
Other Local Angling Opportunities
Local Fish Species
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