The Steel City Oasis

By: Jacob Tumminello, Communications Intern 

Although Pittsburgh created its legacy primarily in the steel industry, those familiar with the drastic improvement in the quality of its waters will tell you that the rivers are home to a wide variety of large and small fish. Pittsburghers are often unaware of the quality fishing available in the area. Throughout the years anglers have taken advantage of the many popular fishing spots, allowing for enjoyable recreational outings and a great fishing experience.

The rivers of Pittsburgh experienced a dramatic decrease in pollution following cleanup efforts after the steel mills closed and now provide a stable ecosystem for freshwater life. For almost 50 years cleanup and conservation efforts have restored the waterways, allowing fish populations to stabilize enough for residents to fish the water either recreationally or to consume what they catch.

Venture Outdoors and the TriAnglers program take full advantage of the rivers by dedicating efforts toward providing an enjoyable break from the day’s monotony to relax and catch some fish and to provide participants with important information about the waterways and ecosystems.

Pittsburgh’s rivers contain upwards of 70 different species of fish. Regularly caught species include bass, catfish, sauger, carp, walleyes, and crappies. Some of the more exotic fish found in the rivers include musky, gar, and even paddlefish. Of the many species of fish in Pittsburgh’s rivers only some are safe to consume, and many have limitations on catch and release. It’s important to review information from the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission about requirements for particular species of fish.

Pittsburgh also offers many convenient locations for catching plenty of fish. There are many accessible fishing points along the three rivers. Although some may increase their chances of catching fish while boating, others will be pleased to know there are many places where fishing from land is a viable option.

TriAnglers is typically stationed on the North Shore underneath the Roberto Clemente Bridge. The riverfront offers plenty of space for participants to fish the Allegheny with ease. Our TriAnglers regularly report catching catfish, walleye, and various types of bass and carp.

Across the river from TriAnglers anglers can try their luck at the Point where the three rivers conjoin. This one location provides access to various fish inhabiting any of the three rivers and comes with a spectacular view of the city.

Another popular access point along the Allegheny River is the Highland Park Dam located downstream from the Highland Park Bridge. Walleyes are regularly caught along the dam, and anglers also report great fishing around the pylons of the actual bridge.

Although the Monongahela remains a bit murkier than the Allegheny, anglers can still find fishing spots with some effort. Nine Mile Run is a stream running through the Pittsburgh city limits that was restored after the focus on steel mills left it heavily polluted. Though some areas should still be avoided, after parking in designated area off Lancaster Avenue, a trail leads to where the run meets the river.

There are countless other fishing spots within the city of Pittsburgh, and even more in the surrounding areas. The city’s efforts to revive its waterways have created an ideal fishing environment for beginners and professionals for many years to come. Those who are unsure of where to start can seek free assistance from our knowledgeable Trip Leaders during TriAnglers lunch time fishing every Wednesday from 11:30 AM to 1 PM. Be sure to contact Venture Outdoors by phone or online, and happy fishing!

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  • The Nature Treasure Hunt is Here – Join Now!

    March 20, 2018

    By: Josh Doty of Foto-Foraging

    Spring is here. If you have been hiding from the snow and cold temperatures, it is now time to venture outdoors again. There is so much to see, even if you only have a chance to go to your local park or even your own backyard.

    The Nature Treasure Hunt

    The Nature Treasure Hunt is a quest to explore, discover, document, learn and share (Instagram #naturetreasurehunt, #ventureoutdoors) nature with others. It is a year-long activity that will provide exercise, fresh air, strong family/friend bonding moments, opportunities to discover and learn,

     » Read more about: The Nature Treasure Hunt is Here – Join Now!  »

  • Winter Tree ID

    March 13, 2018

    By: Iris Marzolf

    My favorite Venture Outdoors program I’ve attended thus far is the Winter Tree ID hike in January at Frick Park.

    It was an educational hike, so participants got a two-for-one deal—exercising while learning how to identify trees without leaves. Winter tree identification is a lot easier and more engaging than one would think. My opinion of trees in winter is generally negative; they look like dull brown skeletons. They’re all the same. Ugly.

    BUT ACTUALLY trees are like people; certain types look the same, and they all have unique characteristics depending on how they grew up.

     » Read more about: Winter Tree ID  »

  • Youth Mental Health First Aid

    March 6, 2018

    By: Maggie Zangara

    On November 20, 2017, I had the opportunity to participate in an interesting training hosted by Venture Outdoors. The name of the training was Youth Mental Health First Aid, and it took place at Venture Outdoors through the Allegheny County Department of Human Services. A fun fact is that Lady GaGa, who is a first aider herself and an advocate of the program, has set a goal of getting 150,000 people trained this year.

    Youth Mental Health First Aid ActivityThe intent of the training was to teach family members, teachers, school staff, health and human services workers and other caring citizens how to help adolescents who are experiencing a mental health crisis.

     » Read more about: Youth Mental Health First Aid  »

  • Rachel Carson Trails

    February 27, 2018

    By: Amy Nelson, Rachel Carson Trails Conservancy, Member and Volunteer 

    In 2015, three friends and I did the Rachel Carson Trail Challenge  for the first time. We were avid road runners, bored with the monotony of pavement.  A 34-mile trek through the woods seemed like a great way to mix things up. Cut to the day of the event. Twenty miles into it, we experienced a torrential downpour which caused mud slides on some of the steepest hills. Mother Nature can be cruel.  By the time the last five miles rolled around our spirits were broken and we prayed for it to be over.

     » Read more about: Rachel Carson Trails  »

  • Leaving No Trace

    February 20, 2018

    By: Sara Cardamone

    At the Annual Volunteer Meeting, I had the opportunity to attend the Leave No Trace breakout session. Led by Joel Johnston, the interactive gathering was focused on educating participants on what Leave No Trace is truly about. Here are some of the things that I learned!

    Leave No Trace was launched when attendance at parks started to increase, so much so that it was taking a toll on the environment. The mission of the organization is to “protect the outdoors by teaching and inspiring people to enjoy it responsibly”. This comes in the form of seven principles that one should keep in mind when enjoying the outdoors.

     » Read more about: Leaving No Trace  »

Kayak Pittsburgh

Sunset Paddle

Thank you for another great season!
We’ll see you on the water in 2018!


Featured Outing


About Boating Safely
Saturday, March 24
9 AM – 5 PM

Join Venture Outdoors and members of the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary for About Boating Safely. This course gives participants the knowledge needed to obtain a boat license or safety certification in Pennsylvania.