WCO Report for Erie County 08/07/02: Erie area, PA,
WCO Report Posted: August 07, 2002

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Posted by WCO John Bowser on August 07, 2002 at 08:01:43:

Western Erie County / DWCO Randy Leighton

The past several days the lake has been more conducive to surfing than fishing with waves peaking at 6 feet or more. Not to fear, as there is plenty of summer left for perching and walleye chasing. Last reports indicated good walleye catches off Godfrey Run (halfway between Trout Run and Elk Creek) in 34 to 40 feet of water. Small dipseys 75 to 100 feet back or flatlining 150' back has been successful at these depths. Worm harnesses in a variety of colors have been successful with most anglers sticking to purple, chartreuse, and watermelon.
Perch fishing continues to thrive with schools holding in 50' off the light house, condos, and due north off Walnut Creek. As we round the corner of the summer season anglers and boaters are advised to pay close attention to marine weather reports and official USCG severe weather announcements on marine band channel 16. Most boaters are aware that our weather patterns come from the west and are officially forecast by the NOAA weather service out of Cleveland. Forecasting weather in our area is in fact rocket science and one should never rely of hearsay or second hand information as a reliable source. As Summer blends into the early fall season, wind and wave conditions can change dramatically in a short time placing an inexperienced boater in jeopardy. When in doubt, head for shore.

Crooked Creek Improvement - As it should be:
This past Saturday was a perfect example of what cooperation among a land owner, the PFBC, and local private organizations can accomplish and how all can benefit by working together. A significant bank stabilization project along Crooked Creek was completed in order to help stop erosion of the Knox property along Happy Valley road between Routes 5 and 20. Using a plan formulated by Dave Keller of the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission along with donated materials and labor from local sportsmens clubs, the project was a huge success. A series of log and rock dams were strategically placed along the creek to redirect water flow away from the badly eroding bank on the Knox property. Materials, equipment rental, and refreshments for the volunteers were donated by Albrecht Farms in Waterford, the PA. Steelhead Association, Trout Unlimited, and the PFBC. Labor was donated by members of the PA. Steelhead Association, Trout Unlimited, various participants of the wwwfisherie.com discussion board and a group of young boys from the Perceus House (A local residential treatment facility for troubled youth). In exchange, the land owner enters an agreement with the PFBC to keep this precious area of Crooked Creek open for public angling access. Most important, this project would not have materialized without Dan Pastore's dedication and commitment to the project. Dan spearheaded and directed the entire project donating significant time, equipment, labor, and personal expense to ensure it's successful completion. Dan, along with his website www.fisherie.com, has been a major contributer to the support and promotion of angling in our area and the PFBC. Projects like this one are a highly successful demonstration that landowners, local sportsmans organizations in cooperation with the PFBC can provide significant benefit to each other.

Central Erie County / WCO Tom Edwards

Weather Forecast:
Wednesday: Sunny. High 72F. Winds N at 10 to 15 mph.
Wednesday night: Starlit skies. Low 53F. Winds NE at 5 to 10 mph.
Thursday: Sunny. High near 75F. Winds N at 5 to 10 mph.
Thursday (24 hours): Abundant sunshine. Highs in the mid 70s and lows in the upper 50s.
Friday (24 hours): Plenty of sun. Highs in the low 80s and lows in the low 60s.
Saturday (24 hours): Mostly cloudy. Highs in the mid 80s and lows in the mid 60s.

A comprehensive, independent review of Pennsylvania’s state fish hatchery system finds that the 15 facilities managed by the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission are run efficiently, are well maintained relative to their age, and that wastewater treatment compares favorably to other states. In looking at the future of the state hatchery system, the Report recommends some $81 million in upgrades and improvements over a period of years.

FishPro Consulting Engineers & Scientists, the Springfield, Illinois firm that conducted the review of the state-owned hatcheries, reported those and other findings to the House Game and Fisheries Committee at a briefing held July 31. FishPro is one of the nation’s leading experts on issues relating to aquaculture planning and design engineering and the application of aquaculture technology. The company has worked on more than 500 projects with 44 state agencies. FishPro previously completed comprehensive reviews of hatchery systems for states as diverse as Washington, Arkansas, Virginia and Maine.

“Stocking from PFBC-operated fish culture stations is an essential tool to provide fisheries resource management throughout the Commonwealth. In our opinion, the hatchery system in Pennsylvania compares very favorably with other state hatchery operations. For example, Fish and Boat Commission hatcheries currently employ two tiers of effluent treatment, where many facilities across the country have none,” FishPro’s Project Manager Tom Johnson told committee members.

“Although many of these facilities are rather old, they have been well maintained. Despite their age, they continue to be operated in an efficient manner. However, modernization of the Commonwealth’s Fish Culture Station system is vital to protecting the considerable investment the PFBC has made in hatchery operations. The improvements we detail will result in enhanced efficiencies, ensure the long-term, reliable operation of the system and minimize the impact of station operation on the water resources of the Commonwealth,” reported Johnson.

The FishPro report details $81 million in suggested improvements, ranging from modernization of ponds used for the production of warmwater/coolwater species such as bass, musky and walleye to additional levels of wastewater treatment and improved visitor amenities. The report broke the recommendations into three categories, with Priority One tasks being the most pressing. Some $51 million of the total improvements fall into the Priority One category. Influent and effluent water treatment upgrades comprise the bulk of Priority One recommendations.

“The PFBC system has operated within the numeric criteria set forth in its discharge permits. However, benthic impacts to the receiving streams remain a concern for both the PFBC and the Department of Environmental Protection,” said Johnson. The Commission has a stated goal of becoming a positive example for others with the quality of its discharge.

PFBC Executive Director Peter A. Colangelo said that FishPro’s findings are consistent with the agency has been reporting for the last several years.

“I have stated this previously and I will continue to emphasize that the challenges we face in our hatchery system can summarized in just two words: water and money. Our hatcheries are confronting challenges related to the quantity of water that flows into them and with regard to the quality of water that flows out of them. Addressing the urgent need to operate with less water and to discharge water of better quality will require upgraded technology, and it will take a good deal of time and money. We have sought, and we are continuing to seek, funding for these projects, and we need your help to keep Pennsylvania fishing,” Colangelo said.

Colangelo lauded the efforts of House Game and Fisheries Chairman Bruce Smith, committee member Representative Dave Levdansky and other legislators who recently attempted to secure long-term stable funding for PFBC infrastructure through an increase on fees levied on the dumping of municipal waste. While an increase in these so-called “tipping fees” was voted into law, the legislation that was adopted did not include any funding for PFBC, Pennsylvania Game Commission or Wild Resources Conservation Fund needs.

“We know what needs to be done for our hatcheries and other infrastructure needs. The FishPro report provides us with an important blueprint for addressing the hatchery system. Without a new, dedicated funding stream, however, we are essentially handcuffed into what we can actually undertake and accomplish. And the longer we wait to address these needs, the more expensive these projects become.” Colangelo said.

“Currently, we are limited to using the operating monies in the Fish Fund for these projects. License revenues are an appropriate method for funding our daily operating costs. But operating funds were never intended to fund major capital project needs. As a practical matter, we can not continue to deliver the basic programs that anglers and boater expect and deserve and at the same time attempt to address large priority project needs.”

Johnson told the Committee he agreed with that assessment, citing FishPro's experience with other agencies around the country. “We have worked in many states and understand the fiscal limitations that state fish and game agencies face. Only those states that have adopted some sort of funding mechanism beyond a dependence on license dollars have been able to begin successful implement the of type of long-term hatchery improvements like the ones we are recommending for Pennsylvania,” said Johnson.

While the long-term funding issue remains unresolved, the Commission has already begun work on an implementation plan for undertaking FishPro recommendations. Some improvements will be undertaken using the limited operating funds the Commission can devote this fiscal year. The Commission will also begin design work on other improvements so that it can expedite work should other funding become available.

The Commission is also developing a pilot project to test the feasibility and practicality of purchasing adult trout from private hatcheries to supplement the state’s production. FishPro conducted a preliminary evaluation of privatization and noted that commercial growers could only supply a portion of the state’s total needs. Of the numbers that private growers indicated they could supply, nearly half came from out-of-state facilities. FishPro suggested that program costs, fish quality, disease and other concerns be studied in a limited pilot before making any long-term decisions on privatization. The Department of Agriculture (which oversees aquaculture operations in the Commonwealth), commercial fish growers and the PFBC plan to form a working group to examine the issues related to privatization.

The PFBC contracted with FishPro Consulting Engineers & Scientist in March of 2001. FishPro was selected via a competitive interview process. FishPro is a national expert on issues relating to fish hatchery planning and design engineeringand the application of aquaculture technology.


Eastern Erie County /WCO Mark T. Kerr
(814) 796-1378 [office] - (814) 673-4650 [cell]

Responding to numerous reports from concerned citizens, Erie WCO’s & DWCO’s, in consultation with PF&BC Northwest Regional Manager Gary Deiger and Assistant Regional Supervisor Robert Nestor, conducted surveillance patrols of Eaton Reservoir throughout this last weekend. These surveillance activities resulted in the on-view apprehension of one individual responsible for the entering of private vehicles and removal of personal belongings.

Information regarding vehicle description and subject characteristics was obtained through the keen and thorough observations of numerous private citizens as well as other local law enforcement agencies.

Hopefully, this arrest will help deter any further activity of this type at any of our local recreational areas; further keeping with the traditionally safe and family oriented atmosphere that patrons of these areas have come to expect.

It is the strong recommendation of this office that any persons experiencing vehicle break-ins or loss of personal belongings, however slight, report their loss to the Pennsylvania State Police at (814) 898-1641 [c/o Trooper Rexford]. The more information we receive regarding loss of property, especially that which can be positively identified, the better off we are. Additionally, as this subject has been known to operate over an exceptionally large geographic area, this office has contacted the following agencies, requesting their assistance in compiling theft reports that may be attributed to our defendant:
· Presque Isle State Park
· Pymatuning State Park
· Millcreek Police Department
· Erie Police Department
· PSP [Corry, Franklin, Girard, Meadville & Warren Barracks]
· Chautauqua County New York Sheriff’s Department
· Westfield, NY Police Department

Once again, we thank all those who assisted in obtaining information and providing the support that resulted in the arrest of this individual. Good job folks!!!

Walleye—reported catches in the area of the mountain [42-16.250N & 79-57.200W, give or take] in 60’ of water. As well as just West of North East Marina in 95’ of water.

Perch—The boat pack was set in pretty heavy, on Sunday morning, North of Freeport Beach (Sixteenmile) in approximately 52’ of water. Of all the activity on the East-side this last week, Perch was the most sought after and most numerous catch.

Bass—Catch reports have been slower this week; primarily due, it is believed, to the recent abundance of Perch activity.

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