A lake is the landscape's most beautiful and expressive feature. It is earth's eye; looking into which the beholder measures the depth of his own nature. ~Henry David Thoreau


Located a few hundred yards south of Donaldson’s Crossroads lays a unique aquatic treasure…Canonsburg Lake. Now celebrating its 70th year, come and visit, take a boat ride, enjoy some fishing, take a walk along the shore or just sit and relax and take in a beautiful sunset. It’s all here, almost in your backyard.

Now continue on to find out about the past, present and future of this little gem.



The restoration project was initiated by, and is overseen by the Canonsburg Lake Restoration and Improvement Committee, a small group of dedicated citizens, formed in 2000 to bring attention to, and find solutions for, the deteriorating condition of the lake. The group is currently working on implementing items identified in the master site development plan which was completed in 2007, in addition to fund-raising efforts for the local match. The committee operates under the auspices of the Chartiers Creek Watershed Association, a member of the Washington County Watershed Alliance.

The Washington County Watershed Alliance (WCWA) was organized in 1998 to coordinate and enhance the efforts of Washington County’s watershed groups. Tax-deductible donations and grants for the watershed groups and for Alliance projects are deposited in the WCWA accounts. WCWA is a nonprofit (501c-3) organization, incorporated in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and registered with the Pennsylvania Bureau of Charitable Organizations.

The purpose of the Chartiers Creek Watershed Association is to enhance, protect, and develop the ecosystem of the watershed in Washington County by undertaking activities to: 1)study the natural resources of the watershed; 2) develop a program to improve and maintain the water resources of the watershed; 3) promote local interest in natural resource conservation; 4) involve local support to correct problem conditions; and 5) identify federal, state, and local programs (financial, technical, and scientific) that would benefit the watershed.

A second 2014 Mentored Youth Fishing Day

Labor Day, Sept. 1

Posted by Bohn on Monday August 11, 2014 8:45 am

A second 2014 Mentored Youth Fishing Day will be held on Labor Day, Sept. 1, on 17 Panfish Enhancement lakes. To encourage participation on this day, the PFBC has reduced the price of a Labor Day 1-day adult resident and Labor Day 1-day adult non-resident license to just $1 on Labor Day. With issuing agent and transaction fees, the total price for the 1-day adult license is $2.70. (Read more from our press release)

To participate in the Mentored Youth Fishing Day, anglers 16 years of age or older (adult anglers) must possess a valid Pennsylvania Fishing License and be accompanied by a youth (less than 16 years of age) who has obtained a Mentored Youth Fishing Permit or Voluntary Youth Fishing License from the Commission.

  • The Mentored Youth Permit is free, and the Voluntary Youth License is $2.70 ($1.00 cost plus $1.70 in agent/transaction fee).
  • While both the permit and the Voluntary Youth License provide the opportunity for youth to fish on Mentored Youth Fishing Days, the Voluntary Youth License provides an extended return for both Pennsylvania’s youth and the Commission.
  • For each Voluntary Youth License purchased for $2.70, the PFBC receives $5 back in funding as a federal reimbursement. The same applies for each Voluntary Youth License Voucher once it is redeemed. The Commission receives no federal reimbursement for Mentored Youth Fishing Permits.
  • The funds received from the sales of the Voluntary Youth License reimbursement are then dedicated toward investment in youth outreach and education programs—helping to ensure the future of fishing.
  • While both the permit and the Voluntary Youth License provide the opportunity to participate in Mentored Youth Fishing Days, the Commission encourages anglers to purchase either a Voluntary Youth License or a Voluntary Youth License Voucher—for the future of fishing!
  • More information about the Voluntary Youth Fishing License
  • Buy a Voluntary Youth Fishing LicenseInstructions for buying at the Outdoor Shop
  • Buy and redeem Voluntary Youth Fishing License Vouchers – Instructions for ordering, buying and redeeming vouchers

Youth anglers must obtain a Mentored Youth Fishing Permit or Voluntary Youth Fishing License from the Commission and be accompanied by an adult angler in order to participate. Youth permits, voluntary licenses and vouchers are available at GoneFishingPA.com or at any of the more than 900 licensing agents across the state.

Other Commonwealth inland regulations apply.

It is unlawful for adult anglers to fish in waters designated under the Mentored Youth Program without a valid Fishing License and without being accompanied by a youth who has a permit or voluntary license.

Please note that once an individual turns 16, he or she must possess a valid fishing license. The youth permit or voluntary youth license is only valid until the individual turns 16.

Project Update

Posted by Bohn on Tuesday October 29, 2013 9:04 am



Master Site plan- A Master Site Plan has been created with funding from the PA Dept. of Conservation and National Resources.  This plan includes the addition of walking paths, parking, lighting, kiosks, landscaping, foot bridges, and a future park.  Before these recreational improvements can be initiated, and before resources could be placed on improving and restoring the Lake itself, it was important to stabilize Canonsburg Dam which was listed by the DEP as a high-hazard dam and in need of repairs to meet current safety standards.


Canonsburg Dam Stabilization-In 2012, a $2million dollar project to stabilize the dam was overseen by the PA Fish and Boat Commission with a state H2o grant.  Work was completed by Michael Baker, Jr. Inc., an engineering firm selected for the design and oversight of this Lake restoration work. They continue to work on the design and implementation of Phases One and Two.


Phase One Ground Breaking -Canonsburg Lake Restoration-Phase one will include a project to help prevent additional silt and tree debris from entering the Lake.  It is likely that this phase will begin sometime in 2014.  This is an important, critical step in making the Lake more navigable.  As part of this phase, a weir will be installed in the upstream portion of the Lake to create an area so that sediment and debris can be routinely removed from the Lake.   An access road will be constructed to facilitate sediment removal.  A ribbon cutting ceremony to celebrate the initiation of Phase One is planned for 2014.  Dates for this event will be posted on our website (www.savecanonsburglake.org) and on various signs throughout the community.


Phase Two-Canonsburg Lake Improvement-Phase two will involve dredging sediment and removing tree debris, thus increasing the depth of the Lake to be more habitable for fish and more navigable for fishermen and boaters.    As this phase is completed, visitors to the Lake will see noticeable benefits.   In addition to the increased water depth, walking trails along the Lake will be enhanced to observe the peaceful serenity and wildlife along the Lake. This phase will be costly. Donations will dictate the extent of the dredging. Work is scheduled to begin in 2014.

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Canonsburg Lake Restoration &
Improvement Committee

“Save Canonsburg Lake”

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Canonsburg Lake Restoration & Improvement Committee
760 Lakeside Dr
McMurray PA 15317