WCO Report for Erie and Crawford County 7/23/03: Erie area, PA,
WCO Report Posted: July 22, 2003

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Posted by DWCO Randy Leighton on July 22, 2003 at 23:18:00:

WEST ERIE COUNTY, DWCO Randy Leighton

Conditions:
Wind and wave conditions have been marginally cooperative this past week. The recent rains have clouded things up a bit near shore and slowed down the action a bit. Anglers are still bringing in the perch and walleye, but in lessor numbers. The season is by no means over. Forecasts for the weekend are fair to good at this time and things should be back to normal.

The Perch are moving around somewhat but are still staying schooled up. Look for the "boat packs" north of Walnut Creek and off the Point. Drift for the perch until you locate them and then settle in for your limit.

Bass fishing in Presque Isle Bay is still good as evidenced by a small tournament this past weekend. Anglers are picking up bass and rock bass along the North and South Piers.

Much of the algae that was causing problems for boaters at the Walnut access area has broken up, however some still remains. Most of the algae is visible on the surface and anglers are advised to use caution when entering and exiting the Walnut Marina.

Discover Presque Isle:
Discover Presque Isle takes place this weekend, July 25th, 26th, and 27th. This three-day event celebrates Erie's most valuable public resource and introduces thousands of visitors to all that Presque Isle State Park has to offer. These include kayak demonstrations, rock wall climbing, nature tours, kite flying, pontoon boat rides, volleyball tournaments, duathlon (run, bike, run), a mile swim, arts and crafts shows, children's areas, giant beach bonfires and much more.

A pancake breakfast will be held on Saturday and Sunday mornings (been there, done it, and it's great). Other food vendors will be on hand throughout the weekend as well. Event times are: 12 p.m. to 7 p.m. on July 25th, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. on July 26th and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on July 27th. Click here Event Schedule for a schedule of week end events from GoErie.com.

Congratulations to Commissioner Sam Concilla:
Commissioner Samuel M. Concilla of North East (Erie County) was elected President and Commissioner Paul J. Mahon of Clarks Summit (Lackawanna County) was elected as Vice President of the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission at the board's quarterly meeting July 18-19. Commissioner Concilla was confirmed as the Commissioner for the First District of Pennsylvania on June 4, 2001. He was first appointed a member of the Pennsylvania Fish & Boat Commission on May 4, 1993. He ha previously served as President of the Commission from July 1997 to July 1998. Commissioner Concilla has been active in many fishing and sportsmen's clubs over the years. He was instrumental in the recent public acquisition and protection of 20 Mile Creek, a tributary stream to Lake Erie. A U. S. Coast Guard licensed charter captain, Commissioner Concilla owned and operated fishing and pleasure boats on Lake Erie for over 30 years. He currently is co-owner of Erie Promotions & Exposition, Inc., which engages in the market research, promotion, and production of consumer sport shows. Commissioner Paul J. Mahon is one of two boating commissioners at large. He was first appointed a member of the Pennsylvania Fish & Boat Commission on July 11, 1991. He served as President of the Commission from July 1994 to July 1995 and was also Vice President from July 2002 to July 2003.The highlight of his ongoing career with the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission has been his efforts to ensure accessibility to the waterways of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania for all individuals interested in fishing and boating. He has been instrumental in the construction of numerous accessible fishing piers and boating ramps in the
Commonwealth.

Commissioner Concilla succeeds Commissioner William J. Sabatose of Brockport (Jefferson County), who was selected as president July 27, 2002. Sabatose also served a term as Commission President from July 1990 to July 1992. Commissioner Sabatose has been a member of numerous conservation and sportsmen's organizations. He served a President of the Toby Creek Watershed Association, Inc. where he led an effort to plant almost two (2) million trees. He has done numerous studies of acid mine drainage in the Clarion River Basin and has worked with government agencies such as the Department of Environmental Protection to reduce acid mine drainage on both the Toby Creek and Clarion River watersheds.

Sam has been a valuable asset to Erie area anglers and worked relentlessly to serve, protect and promote our area and its resources. Local anglers and officers offer there congratulations to Sam and his new position with the Commission.

Consider More Then Just the Required Safety Equipment:
Local Officers have had to deal with a number of capsized boats and boating accidents over the last month. Although every boater should be aware of the required safety equipment for their vessel a number of additional on board items can serve well in an emergency situation. Consider adding some or all of the following to your list of safety equipment.

Oars or paddles.
They are helpful to get back to shore if the boat's engine fails.
Anchor and line.
An appropriately sized anchor with good-quality nylon line is an essential piece of equipment for boaters. All boaters on rivers with locks should carry a mooring line at least 75 feet long.
Bailing device.
All boats should have on board some kind of bailer to remove water from the boat. This doesn't necessarily mean carrying an extra bucket. Your bait bucket will work well as will a small cooler
Marine radio.
There is no substitute for a marine radio in an emergency. A marine radio is an excellent addition to boats with a console. Operators of smaller boats should consider portable units.
Cell phone.
A cell phone is an excellent way to call for help if the operator knows the emergency numbers for the area in which he or she is boating. On Lake Erie a cell phone should be an additional means of communication to the marine radio. When off shore on Lake Erie, it is not unusual to pick up a Canadian tower which will be of little use in an emergency not to mention being an expensive call.
Boating maps or charts. These items are useful for planning outings. They can help boaters avoid problems and familiarize the operator with local waters.
GPS or Loran
Satellite guidance systems are now affordable to the average boater, especially the portable ones. Not only can they "bring you home" they can save fuel by displaying the most direct route back to shore.
Other useful items.
Sunscreen, bug spray or protectant, flashlight, visual distress signals (required on Lake Erie), compass, throw (rescue) bag, extra gas can, first aid kit, boat fenders, tool kit, spare spark plugs, propeller pins, spare propeller and extra light bulbs and fuses.

Sea Sickness (with recent wind and wave conditions I thought this was worth a reprint)
Sea Sickness affects people in different degrees of intensity with some folks never being bothered only to laugh at their chumming buddies in all their misery. Sea sickness is caused by a constant rocking or swaying motion that affects the small organs in the inner ears. These constant hypnotic like motions will send signals to the brain causing dizziness, headaches and of course nausea. Inactivity on the boat and fixing ones eyes on a close object can intensify the problem (not to mention downing that morning submarine sandwich with extra peppers).There are several remedies whose results can be debatable but do work for many folks. Over the counter medications for motion sickness can be helpful. In most cases these should be taken the night or morning before the outing. They are of little help after one becomes sick. Prescription patches are available through your doctor for severe problems.Stay above deck in the fresh air and try to stay busy to keep the mind occupied. Look at the horizon rather than focusing on the deck taking deep breaths and drinking water as needed. Wristbands, and eating crackers or pretzels are old wives cures that work for many people. One of the oldest cures is ginger most easily taken by drinking ginger ale in small sips. If you are already sick and a long way from shore, try lying on your back on deck with your eyes closed. And remember as a courtesy to the captain, always try to heave overboard.

Wednesday night
Cloudy with a chance of showers and thunderstorms. Lows in the upper 50s. North winds around 10 mph. Chance of rain 50 percent.
Thursday
Mostly cloudy. A chance of showers in the morning. Highs in the lower 70s. Chance of rain 30 percent.
Thursday night
Mostly clear. Lows 55 to 60.
Friday
Mostly sunny. Highs in the upper 70s.
Friday night
Mostly clear. Lows 55 to 60.
Saturday
Partly cloudy. A chance of showers and thunderstorms in the afternoon. Highs in the lower 80s.
Sunday
Partly cloudy with a chance of showers and thunderstorms. Lows in the mid 60s and highs in the mid 70s.
Monday
Partly cloudy. Lows in the lower 60s and highs in the upper 70s.
Tuesday
Partly cloudy with a chance of showers and thunderstorms. Lows 55 to 60 and highs in the upper 70s.

WESTERN CRAWFORD COUNTY, WCO Joe Russell

Fishing has been pretty much non existent in western Crawford County this week do to the extremely violent storms and high waters. All of the streams and rivers and most of the lakes are at flood stage right now, with Pymatuning being over a foot above normal pool. That may not seem like a lot but when you take that one square foot of water and multiply it by the total acreage of the lake (17,000) you have an awful lot of water that we have gotten in a very short time. One area of concern that has been frequently happening is motorist traveling the flooded roadways and not being able to see where they are going. Multiple people have had to be rescued because the force of the water has been so great. Boaters should also be wary of high water and be extra cautious, the following is a press release from Harrisburg.

FLOODED WATERWAYS ARE HAZARDOUS - BOATERS URGED TO USE CAUTION
In the wake of strong storms that swept across the Commonwealth yesterday and forecasts of more rain on the way, the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission (PFBC) is reminding boaters to avoid flooded areas and exercise extra caution in other locales. Recreational boating on high, storm-swollen waterways, which are often choked debris, can be extremely hazardous

A series of storms July 21 dumped heavy rains across much of the state, swelling streams and causing localized flooding. Heavy winds - reportedly in excess of 80 mph in some areas and possibly tornadic - accompanied the rain, felling trees and scattering debris.Northwestern Pennsylvania was hardest hit with the National Weather Service issuing a flood watch for the region. The Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency has declared a state of emergency for parts of Crawford, Venango and Mercer counties. In McKean County, the Kinzua Viaduct, a historic railroad bridge over Kinzua Creek near the Allegheny National Forest, toppled in storm.Conneaut Lake in Crawford County is over the banks. The Allegheny River in Warren County, downstream past the Forest County Line and French Creek, in Venango County are among the larger waterways currently experiencing flooding. The PFBC is beginning to receive reports of drifting boats in various waterways, apparently torn loose from their moorings by the force of the storms.All of this can spell trouble for boaters. High, fast moving water is a challenge for even the most experienced operators. Inexperienced boaters or those using small, unstable craft like jon-boats, canoes or kayaks need to be especially mindful of basic boating safety considerations given high-water conditions. Even a moderate current can exert a force of several tons, pinning watercraft it against rocks, downed tree or storm-related debris. Boaters venturing out in strong current must stay within their abilities and skill levels, especially in unpowered boats. Capsizing and falls overboard may seem like relatively simple mishaps, but in fact, they are the most common type of fatal boating accidents on Pennsylvania waters. The risks and dangers of capsizing are further increased in flooding conditions.

The PFBC strongly urges all boaters to wear a properly fitting lifejacket when on board a boat, even in good conditions. The importance of wearing a lifejacket is much greater in high water situations. In Pennsylvania, all children 12 years of age or younger are required to wear a life jacket when underway on a boat that is 20 feet in length or less and all canoes and kayaks.Hopefully by next week the water will have gone down and we can report on fish being caught here but for now you will have to settle for local pictures of the flooding.

CENTRAL ERIE COUNTY / WCO Tom Edwards, DWCO Bryan Brendley

The weather is doing funny things these days and anglers are having to deal with ever-changing conditions. But that�s fishing on Lake Erie. Today (Tuesday) started out very calm and by 11 am the waves were putting a �bounce� on things. What was going on? Two groups of boats were set up, one off of the lighthouse and anchored in 50 feet of water. Anglers were bringing in mostly perch, not in record numbers, but of nice size (in excess of 10 inches). The second set of boats was between Walnut Creek and Elk Creek in 40-50 feet of water, also anchored. We noticed a few lucky boats bringing in good size �eyes, but again the action was hit or miss. Again, be advised that the lake is subject to rapid weather changes so make sure you have PFDs, visual distress signals, extinguisher, and a good marine radio on board.




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