River History

The Lackawanna River is a 40.8-mile-long (65.7 km) tributary of the Susquehanna River in northeastern Pennsylvania in the United States. It flows through a region of the northern Pocono Mountains that was once a center of anthracite coal mining in the United States. It starts in north Wayne County, Pennsylvania and ends in East Luzerne County, Pennsylvania in Duryea, Pennsylvania. The lower reaches of the river flow through the urbanized areas of Scranton, which grew around its banks in the 19th century as an industrial center. Its name comes from a Lenni Lenape word meaning “stream that forks”.[20]

The river rises in two branches, the West and East branches, along the boundary between Susquehanna and Wayne counties. The branches, each about 12 miles (19 km) long, flow south, closely parallel to each other, and join at the Stillwater Lake reservoir. The combined river flows southwest past Forest City, Carbondale, Mayfield, Jermyn, Archbald, Jessup, Blakely, Olyphant, Dickson City, Throop, Scranton, Taylor, Moosic, Old Forge, and Duryea. It joins the Susquehanna River at the northern boundary of Pittston about 8 miles (13 km) west-southwest of Scranton.

By the mid-20th century, the river was severely polluted from mine drainages in its watershed. The decline of industry in the region, as well as federal, state, and private efforts, have improved the water quality. Still, the Lackawanna River is the largest point source of pollution in the Chesapeake Bay.[21]

The upper reaches of the river are a popular destination for fly fishing of trout. It was designated as an American Heritage River in 1997.

Chapter History

The Lackawanna Valley Chapter was born in the Fall of 2008 with a membership of approximately 150 dedicated sportsmen who joined in the conservation and preservation efforts of this outstanding river and other coldwater fisheries in Northeastern Pennsylvania. But there is work yet to be done. Parts of this river still cannot sustain aquatic life. New development threatens the watershed. What has been reclaimed must now be protected.