WCO Report for Erie and Crawford County 7/02/03: Erie area, PA,
WCO Report Posted: July 01, 2003

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Posted by DWCO Randy Leighton on July 01, 2003 at 22:36:58:


Walleye action continues to be the best it has been in the last few years. Anglers are bringing in fish in good numbers with limits not uncommon. Crawler harnesses are the hot ticket with Michigan stinger spoons and deep diving stick baits working as well. Walleye action has been good in 65 feet of water along the first trench North of Trout Run. The triangle area, along the PA line and out to almost to the Canadian line is beginning to produce as well.

Perch fishing has been spectacular with the large schools settling in North of Walnut Creek in 48 to 50 feet of water and North of the point off of Presque Isle. Limits of jumbo perch are now common with many in the one pound plus size.

Bass are still biting along the shore line and along the Walnut Access Wall although the action has started to slow with the warming lake temperatures. Lake Erie water temperature as of this writing is 69 degrees.

Anglers are picking up nice panfish and some bass at the Stateline ponds just south of Interstate 90 near the Ohio line. The Stateline ponds offer a quiet angling experience and are a great place for small car top boats and canoes.

Walnut Access Update:
With good weather predicted for the weekend at the Walnut Access, parking will be at a premium and ramps will probably be crowed. Asphalt work again is complete and the South lot will be open this weekend for boat trailers, although line painting will not begin until next week.

Visual Distress Signals:
Through out the boating season, many questions arise regarding Visual distress signals s. Visual distress signals are required when operating on Lake Erie and although not required in other areas of the Commonwealth, they are recommended for all boats.

Between the hours of sunset and sunrise, boats less than 16 feet in length must carry VDS suitable for use at night. This of course does not apply to personal water craft since they are not permitted to operate between sunset and sunrise.

Boats 16 feet and over must at all times carry VDS suitable for both day and night use. Approved day use devices include orange smoke and orange signal flags. Flare type VDS or Pistol launched types must be carried for night use. A minimum of three flares must be carried. These must be Coast Guard approved. All flare devices have an expiration date and to be legal the flares cannot be older than the expiration date. When purchasing new flares be sure to check the expiration date to assure that you are not buying outdated stock. We recommend that expired devices continue to be carried onboard for only for backup in an emergency.

Proposed Changes in Ohio Walleye Regulations:
The Ohio Division of Wildlife recently proposed new Walleye regulations in an effort to contribute to the long term stability of the Lake Erie Walleye population.

For walleyes, the Division is proposing a springtime creel limit of just three fish a day in March and April, down from four, plus a minimum size of 15 inches year-round. The creel limit the rest of the year would stay at six a day.

The restrictions and proposed regulations are being announced at this time, to allow the required regulatory process to be completed and ready to be in place for the 2004 fishing season. This will allow time for public hearings later this summer, and further review of the latest research.

Proposals then will be made final by September, in time for consideration in October by the Ohio Wildlife Council. Based on the agency's track record, however, such proposals typically are approved largely intact.

Pennsylvania has already added a closed season for Walleye during the Spring spawning period and is considering a minimum size of 20" for Lake Erie, it's tributaries, Presque Isle Bay and Peninsula waters

Have a Safe Fourth:
The Fourth of July Holiday is one of the busiest boating days of the season. With predicted warm weather and the Holiday falling on a Friday, the waterways and launch ramps along Lake Erie and Presque Isle Bay will be crowed. Take a moment and check that you have all the required safety equipent for your watercraft, and be reminded that excessive alchohol consumption and boating can be a deadly combination.

Local Weather:


Pymatuning Lake:
The water is warming up with all the recent nice weather and the warm water species seem to be hitting very well. Perch, Crappie, Bluegill, and Bass are all being caught in good numbers. The best results for the panfish continue to be worms or a jig floated under a bobber. Bass are hitting just about anything that moves right now so if what you have is not producing switch until you find something they like. The warm weather is also making for crowded ramps, so please be patient and wait your turn. This has not been a problem
so far. People are reminded that Pymatuning Lake is a State Park in both Ohio and Pennsylvania and as such, alcohol or even the possession of alcohol on the park property is a violation of the law and Can be punishable by up to 300.00 and 90 days in Jail. A drink is not worth that.

Conneaut Lake:
The lake is getting packed with more and more recreational boaters and less and less fishermen. The best times to fish this lake in the summer is either very early in the morning or very late in the evening. These are the prime hours before the Personal Watercraft (Jet Skis) and other boaters get out and get going.

Fireworks schedule for Western Crawford County
Friday July 4th - Conneaut Lake scheduled to start at 10 pm
Saturday July 5th - Pymatuning Lake south end by the dam scheduled to start at Dusk
Sunday July 6th - Pymatuning Lake North end from Linesville beach scheduled to start at Dusk

Be Smart, Be Safe:
Boaters and fishermen alike are asked to please be careful this Holiday weekend as it will more than likely be crowded with the anticipated forecasted good weather. Remember if you have to drink please drink sensibly. The fines and penalties for Boating Under The Influence are steep.

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