Harwood Lake is a 34-acre man-made lake located north of Franklinville in east central Cattaraugus County. It was built in 1965 for flood control as a part of the Ischua Creek Watershed Protection District by impounding Carpenter Brook. Harwood Lake has a maximum depth of 14 feet. The 1.1 mile of shoreline is undeveloped and consists of mowed fields, scrub and some wooded areas.
Harwood Lake is open for fishing year round (including ice fishing) and fishing access is unlimited. Shoreline fishing is allowed around the entire lake. New York State route 98 runs along the western shore and there is a DEC parking area. There is a hand launch for cartop boats and canoes, but no place to launch a trailered boat. Boats are limited to the use of electric motors only.
Harwood Lake is stocked annually with yearling brook trout and two-year-old brown trout. Surplus hatchery breeders are stocked in the fall in most years. The trout fishery is essentially a put and take fishery, as there is little holdover of trout. Ice fishing for trout is legal as there is no closed season. Harwood Lake is a popular spot in the spring if local streams are high and turbid with snow melt or April showers.
Largemouth bass have a moderate population with average growth rates. There are fair numbers of bass in the 10-14 inch size range, but do not expect to catch your trophy bass here. Fish habitat is found in the form of moderate weed beds around the inlet and on both the east and west shores. Bass anglers have success with spinner baits, surface plugs, plastic worms, crank baits as well as live crayfish or worms.
Yellow perch and brown bullhead are both very abundant in Harwood Lake. Less numerous are bluegill and pumpkinseed. Kids will be kept busy with a bobber and worm, but do not expect large fish of any of these species.