WCO Report for Erie and Crawford County 05/15/02: Erie area, PA,
WCO Report Posted: May 15, 2002

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Posted by WCO John Bowser on May 15, 2002 at 07:13:52:


Ok, truth be told... I really don't have one. 'Cause last time I looked
out the window, everything looked like one big puddle. 3+ inches of rain
in less than two days time can really get the water flowing. Be that as it
may, I'll give ya what I got...

Are done!!!! Yep, that's right, all East County stockings are completed
until December.

Given the incredible amount of rain which we recently received, all streams
are running above, at or close to flood stage. So, if you just got to get
out there and fish, I'd try the local lakes/impoundments...
Trout: Hirtzel Pond or Lake pleasant
Crappies: Union City Reservoir
Walleye: Eaton Reservoir
Yellow Perch: Lake Leboeuf (west cove)
Lake Erie (average 29' depth) [Limit: 1 @ no less than 20"]
Siegel Marsh [Limit: 0 (no harvest) until June 15th]
Northern PIke: Eaton Reservoir, if you don't mind tossn' most
of 'em back; however, if you can wait until the waters
subside, just for a change of scenery, I'd try
Brokenstraw Creek (north of the village of Columbus, Warren County).

More and more boats are being seen on the waters; however, the average
water temperature is still only in the 50's. Hypothermia remains a major
factor in falls and/or capsizings and, in addition, the increased water
level makes it difficult to see and navigate those 'strainers'
encountered... So, it's in your body's best interest (it's also the law) to
have on board a properly sized wearable PFD for each person on/in the
Refer to your summary boating handbook for a list of all required safety
equipment necessary for the type of watercraft you use.


Fish for Free Day 2002 - June 1st
Fish For Free Day allows EVERYONE - not just license holders - to fish for species currently in season in Pennsylvania.

Family fishing Event - 6/1/02
10:00 - 2:00 Presque Isle State Park Walk-ins welcome
Call Ed Kissell with questions @ 814-453-2270 S.O.N.S. of Lake Erie

Fishing Tackle Loaner Sites
Presque Isle State Park
Stull Nature Center
Peninsula Drive (Rt 832) Wed-Sun 10 AM-4 PM
Randy Neyer - 814-833-0351

PFBC Basic Boating Course - Erie County
The Boat Store, Rt. 20, Northeast - 6/1/02 - 9:00 AM - Call Ron to reserve a spot @ (814) 725-1304

2002 National Safe Boating Week May 18-24, 2002
Theme: Boat smart from the start. Wear your life jacket.
Message: Life jackets work best when worn.
Why: The main cause of small-boat fatalities is capsizing and falls overboard. The majority of these deaths are preventable if boaters wear personal flotation devices (PFDs). Life jackets today are attractive in appearance and comfortable to wear. When properly fitted, a PFD could prevent a tragedy for both the wearer and the wearer’s family. Life jackets need to be worn by people when boating. Most boaters believe that a life jacket close at hand is all the protection they need in case of emergency. If something happens, such as a capsizing, people think they will save themselves by putting on devices once in the water. Doing so is not easy and requires practice, skill and dexterity. The best precaution is to “Wear Your Life Jacket” before you end up in the water.
The Law: Pennsylvania and Federal law requires all boats to carry a U.S. Coast Guard approved life jacket for each person on board. In Pennsylvania all water skiers, operators and passengers of Personal Watercraft (Jet Skis®, SeaDoos®, WaveRunners®, etc.) and operators of sailboards must wear a life jacket at all times. Pennsylvania regulations also mandate that all children 12 years of age and younger wear a life jacket on most boats while underway.

Western Crawford County / WCO Joe Russell
Pymatuning Lake- The Lake was once again busy this weekend with a large number of tournament fishermen and recreational boaters. Saturday was a nice day if you could stand the wind but fishermen were reporting less than normal catches due to the water temps still only being in the high fifties and the water was still about a foot above normal pool. Some of the bass fishermen did manage to land really nice fish near Meyer’s parking lot just south of the spillway using a variety of tube jigs (seemed to be the preferred bait). The fishermen that did catch walleye were still fishing the bottom and using night crawlers in about 24 feet of water. I am told also that a few feet of difference either up or down from there meant the difference between catching fish and going home without. Drifting a jig head along the bottom or a Carolina rig with a suspended worm was by far the most productive. That was Saturday before the rain hit, now after 2 days of rain and over 3 inches total I have a feeling that the fishing will slow down even more. Muskies were also quite active this weekend with 1 boat informing me that they had caught one while trolling and not trying for them and had 2 others following their boat. Shore fishermen are also still catching Muskies from the shore while trying for Walleyes on the South end of the lake. Don’t forget the dam is still closed and you have to detour around and the Jamestown Livery is now open for business with bait, boat rentals and gas.

Conneaut Lake- This Lake has also been hit by high water with the recent storms and as of today, 5/14/2002 our Fish and Boat Commission access ramp was completely under water. I have heard of no one catching any fish over here and I imagine the water is still pretty cold. If you have had success here lately let me know I’ll share it with other fishermen.

Tragedy was nearly averted yesterday in eastern Crawford County when 5 canoeists decided to take to the high waters and do some white water rafting in their canoes. Four of them made it out without incident but the fifth was not so lucky and was pinned in a strainer until a dive rescue team was able to free him. He was rescued without injury and was extremely lucky, however a lesson should be learned from, Respect The Water. This is not the time of year to be experimenting and if the water doesn’t get you hypothermia could.

Officers have been busy getting the last minute touches to the patrol boats and all should be on the water by the time of this report. Weather has permitted us to play some "catch up" on paperwork & applying wax. Be extra cautious in the cold water conditions & wear your PFD.

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