Raystown Lake – A Central Pennsylvania Fishing Destination

Raystown Lake in Huntingdon County was completed in 1973 by the Army Corps of Engineers by building a large dam on the Raystown Branch of the Juniata River. The resulting lake is 28 miles long and comprises 8,300 surface acres, making it the largest lake the exists entirely with the borders of Pennsylvania. The deepest spot in Raystown Lake is about 190 feet deep in an area near the dam. The primary purposes for creating Raystown Lake were flood control, electric generation, and recreation.

Just about every fish that swims in Pennsylvania lives in Raystown Lake. Largemouth and smallmouth bass both grow to trophy size in Raystown, and numerous bass tournaments are held there each year. Striped bass were stocked in Raystown in the early 1970s and soon grew to amazing size, making them one of the biggest angling draws to Lake Raystown. Muskellunge are another big-game fish that inhabit Raystown. Perch, crappies, and other panfish get big there as well. Lake trout are an often overlooked fishery in Raystown Lake by many anglers.

While there is ample public access to Raystown Lake along its full length, most of the lake shoreline is rugged and undeveloped. Therefore, most fishing on Raystown is done by boat, and numerous boat launches are available. Snyders Run is closer to the dam and can be reached off US 22 near Huntingdon. Other boat launches and public access area are located along PA 26, including Seven Points near Hesston, Aitch and James Creek near Marklesburg, Tatman Run near Entriken, and Shy Beaver near Cherrytown.