WCO Report for Erie and Crawford County 05/01/02: Erie area, PA,
WCO Report Posted: May 01, 2002

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Posted by WCO John Bowser on May 01, 2002 at 10:15:41:

EASTERN-ERIE COUNTY / WCO MARK KERR

Notice:
The restaurant at North East Marina is scheduled to be open for business around mid-May. Additionally, for those who are not already aware, the docks are currently in at the marina.

Regulation Tip:
As of Saturday, May 4th, the trout/salmon permit is no longer required for those anglers fishing Approved Trout Waters; with the exception being when these species are killed and/or reduced to possession.

Regulation Tip:
Please keep in mind that anglers, currently, fishing Lake Erie and its tributaries are permitted to keep and possess only 1 bass which must measure no less than 20".

Pike, Walleye and Musky Opener:
As of Saturday, May 4th, the closed season for these species ends and they are again fair game for anglers.

Sevenmile Creek:
This tributary still hold fair numbers of Steelhead as well as stocked trout (planted by the Wesleyville Conservation Club). When fishing Lake Erie/Tributaries, keep in mind that of the eight (8) trout/salmon permitted in possession, regulations allow for only three (3) to measure 15" or larger.

Union City Reservoir:
Both crappies and blue gill continue to be available to anglers. The largest concentrations appear to be in the far northern shallows.

Eaton Reservoir:
Action on this impoundment continues to improve. Northern Pike as well as Walleye are showing up in greater numbers than in week's prior, the greatest concentrations appear to be in the weedy shallows along the western perimeter.

French Creek-South Branch:
This stream was last stocked on 04-26-02. Float stocking of trout was accomplished in that area from Riley-Siding downstream to the Boy Scout Camp, located off of O'Niel Road.

Lake Pleasant Stocking:
This water area is scheduled for stocking on Saturday, May 4th, at 9:00 AM.

Twentymile Stocking:
This water area is scheduled for its final in-season stocking during the week of 05-04-02.


WESTERN ERIE COUNTY / WCO JOHN BOWSER & DWCO RANDY LEIGHTON
2
Keep Pennsylvania Fishing Sportsmen's Forum - MAY 9TH / 7pm - 9pm
State Representative John Evans has invited members of the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission (PFBC) to give a presentation on the agency's efforts to "Keep Pennsylvania Fishing". PFBC staff will give briefings on trout allocation and stocking in 2002 and beyond, fishing opportunities, and the Fish Fund's need for additional revenue in the future. The program will include a video presentation, and brochures and information papers will be distributed to those in attendance.
Location: Fairview High School, Route 98 South, Fairview, PA

2 KID'S FISHING EVENTS SCHEDULED:
SATURDAY, MAY 4TH -
Elk Valley Sportsmen Club - 1PM TO 3 PM / Girard Boro Pond
&
Northwestern Sportsmen Club - 11AM TO 2 PM (RT 6N / 1 MI. SOUTH OF I-90)
The public is welcome to bring their children to enjoy the fishing experience.

Hot Trout Locations for this Weekend:
Crooked Creek - Fairview Gravel Pit - Lake Pleasant

WALLEYE SHORE FISHERY:
Anglers can start this Saturday to try their luck along the Erie shoreline at night. Remember that these fish are extremely light sensitive and even the moon coming out from behind a cloud will shut them off. In other words, the novice that may head down to the water with a Coleman lantern or flashlight may get pelted with rocks by his fellow anglers.

WALNUT CREEK:
The dredging operation is complete with a record 3500 cubic yards of material being removed from the channel. The West jetty has sand built up to the end on the West side and littorial drift may be a problem as the season goes by. Perch & Bass anglers should be utilizing the channel soon. The docks are in place at this time.

THANKS:
I recently was honored with an award and I would be remiss in not giving much of the credit where it is due to my devoted Deputy Force and some great neighboring officers. A special thanks to DWCO Randy Leighton who handled the report last week and wrote such a nice article about the award that it made me blush (didn't think I could still do that) It was all truly a team effort that included our Region Office Staff in Meadville and I feel fortunate to work with & for this group. Especially nice too was that the Game Commission Officer recipient, Rich Cramer, was also from the Northwest Region assigned to Forest County. Congratulations to Rich too.

WESTERN CRAWFORD COUNTY / WCO JOE RUSSELL
Pymatuning Lake- Another detail was held this last weekend for those of you that were on the and thought that there was a lot of officers around. Believe it or not though out of all the officers around for the last two weeks there have been no short fish cases which corresponds with what fishermen have been telling me that, they are not catching the number of walleye they did last year but the walleye they do catch are large. Most of the fish that we checked over the weekend were in the 16 to 20 inch range with a few over, and some up to 24". Most of the fishermen that were having luck were in boats in 7-10 feet of water and using jig heads with night crawlers. There have been numerous reports to myself, the state park and to the hatchery concerning a foul smell and sometimes a funny taste coming from walleye after they have been filleted or prepared. We believe we have the answer it also happened in 82 or 83. Back in Feb. of this year when we had such unseasonable temps ranging into the high 80's the city of Sharon noticed foul smelling water in the cities drinking water supply. It was test and found that the outflow to Pymatuning and the Shenango River had a large amount of Algae in it and that was the cause. What we are experiencing now is the effects of that algae bloom. When it occurred the small shad ate the algae as a food source and absorbed it into there system, now as the walleye are eating the shad they are absorbing the same thing into there bodies from the shad. I have spoke with the hatchery and they informed me that it was a natural occurrence and it will just take a little time to work out of their systems, possibly a couple of months. It is not harmful to humans and is definitely not a pollution event. It is also only affecting the walleye as best we can tell as we have no reports of any other fish being affected but that would seem to go along with the shad being a major forage fish for the walleye. I have included pictures of the hatchery crew on Pymatuning, thanks to Freeman Johns, taken during a work day checking the nets. I am told they have had a real good year with some very large numbers and sizes of fish. Richter's Sporting goods is having a grand reopening on May 4th with activities and food and drawings all day. They are a license dealer, Grocery store, Bait store, and have all the equipment you could possibly need for a day of fishing or hunting. I know a lot of you told me you missed them over the winter when they burned down so stop and show you support them reopening and thank them for rebuilding. Conneaut Lake- Crappies and Northerns are still hitting on the lake right now in the back waters and the shallows. Live bait (minnies) and Rappalas seem to be the hot ticket so far. Boat traffic is still extremely light due to the weather but then again so has the fishing pressure. Conneaut Creek- We stocked here again on the 25th with 2300 Brook and Brown trout being put in and as of yet I have seen little or no pressure from anglers other than opening day. This is an easily accessible stream and a very good place to take young ones or anyone who might have a little difficulty getting around.

CENTRAL ERIE COUNTY / WCO TOM EDWARDS

PERCH...
Big ones are being taken at the red buoy off of the Public Dock
CRAPPIES... The Stink Hole, Head of the Bay, Misery Bay , & the Lagoons
ROCK BASS ... Starting to hit off of the South Pier
CHANNEL CATFISH ... Misery Bay has recently been giving up some 20"+ ones
BURBOT ... a 38" one was observed caught from the South Pier.
BASS ... are being taken all along the PI Park shoreline.




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