WCO Report for Erie County 06/09/2004: Erie area, PA,
WCO Report Posted: June 09, 2004

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Posted by DWCO Randy Leighton on June 09, 2004 at 05:51:32:

WEST ERIE COUNTY, DWCO Randy Leighton, WCO Brook Tolbert

Perch fishing is in full swing now with many limits being taken in as little as a couple of hours. The hottest area right now is Northwest of the Walnut Creek Access in 35 to 45 feet of water. Many of these jumbos have been in the one pound plus size. With area temperatures warming up, the perch schools may be moving to deeper water.

Walleye action has been sporadic with no specific areas being dominant right now. Walleye anglers launching out of Walnut Creek have been most successful in shallow water anywhere from 30 to 45'. Anglers have been most successful with crawler harnesses in chartreuse, purple, and watermelon trolled off of small dipseys.

Bass action in the Bay has slowed a little although good smallmouth action is still being reported in 25 to 35 feet of water along the lake shore anywhere from the International Paper site to the Northeast Marina. A reminder that regular bass season begins on June 12th. Limits for regular season bass on Lake Erie are 4 fish with a minimum length of 15".

Rock bass have been abundant in the bay and along the Erie channel. Night crawlers and shiners have been good baits. Rock bass have a delicate flavor and make excellent tablefare.

Current Lake Erie water temperature is 63 degrees.

Personal Floatation Devices:
A U.S. Coast Guard-approved wearable PFD (life jacket) is required for each person on board. The personal floatation device must be size appropriate for the individual wearing it. In addition, one throwable PFD (seat cushion or ring buoy) is required on boats 16 feet in length or longer. Canoes and kayaks, regardless of length, are not required to carry a throwable PFD or throw bag, but whenever possible it is a good idea to have a throwable device on board.

Children 12 years of age and younger must wear an approved wearable PFD while underway on Commonwealth waters on any boat 20 feet or less in length and in all canoes and kayaks.

All water skiers and anyone towed behind a boat, personal watercraft operators and passengers, and sailboarders must wear a life jacket. Inflatable PFDs are not acceptable for these activities.

Wearable life jackets must be "readily accessible" or in the open where they can be easily reached. Throwable PFDs (cushions and ring buoys) must be immediately available or within arm's reach. A PFD stowed in a compartment or sealed in its original packing is not readily accessible or immediately available. We so often see brand new PFDs in there store wrappers buried under seats or n cabins where they would offer little use in an emergency.

Be Sure Your PFDs are in Good Servicable Condition:
Check your PFDs often for rips, tears, and holes, and to see that seams, fabric straps, and hardware are okay. There should be no signs of waterlogging, mildew odor, or shrinkage of the buoyant materials.If your PFD uses bags of kapok (a naturally buoyant material typically found in many orange vest type PFDs), gently squeeze the bag to check for air leaks. If it leaks, it should be thrown away. When kapok gets wet, it can get stiff or waterlogged and can lose some of its buoyancy.Don't forget to test each PFD at the start of each season. Remember, the law says your PFDs must be in good shape before you use your boat. Ones that are not in good shape should be cut up and thrown away.

Children and PFDs:
Children panic when they fall into the water suddenly. This causes them to move their arms and legs violently, making it hard to float safely in a PFD. A PFD will keep a child afloat, but may not keep a struggling child face-up. That's why it's so important to teach children how to put on a PFD and to help them get used to wearing one in the water. To work correctly, a PFD must fit snugly on a child. to check for a good fit, pick the child up by the shoulders of the PFD. If the PFD fits right, the child's chin and ears will not slip through.PFDs are not babysitters. Even though a child wears a PFD when on or near the water, an adult should always be there, too. Parents should remember that inflatable toys and rafts should never be used in place of PFDs.

Using the Marine Radio:
Although a marine radio is not a required piece of navigational equipment, they are highly recommended on Lake Erie. A radio can mean the difference between live and death in an emergency. Marine radio reception on Lake Erie is far more reliable then a cell phone providing a direct link to emergency services and help. The United States Coast Guard as well as local marine towing services monitor channel 16 on the marine radio 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Marine radios also provide up to the minute weather and marine forecasts.

Marine VHF channels are divided into categories that are determined by the type of messages broadcast. The most commonly used channels include:

Channel 16 - DISTRESS SAFETY AND CALLING - To get the attention of another station (calling) or in emergencies (distress and safety). Not to be used for conversation or "radio checks". Once the party you are trying to reach responds, protocol dictates switching to another channel to carry on further conversation.

Channel 6 - INTERSHIP SAFETY - For ship-to-ship safety messages and for search and rescue messages and ships and aircraft of the Coast Guard.

Channels 96, 68, 69, 71, 72, 78, 794, 804, 677 - NONCOMMERCIAL - Messages must be about the needs of the ship. Usually, messages concern fishing reports, rendezvous information, and repair and berthing information. (Use Channels 67 and 72 only for ship-to-ship messages.)

Channels 13 and 67 - NAVIGATIONAL - (Also known as the bridge-to-bridge channel.) Messages must be about navigation with other ships. Messages must be short. Power output must not be more than 1 watt. This is also the main working channel at most locks and drawbridges.

Local Weather:
Wednesday night
Mostly cloudy with a chance of showers and thunderstorms. Lows in the lower 60s. West winds 10 to 15 mph. Chance of rain 50 percent.
Mostly cloudy with a chance of showers and thunderstorms. Not as warm. Highs in the lower 70s. Northwest winds around 10 mph in the morning, becoming northeast 10 to 15 mph in the afternoon. Chance of rain 50 percent.
Thursday night
Partly cloudy with a chance of showers and thunderstorms. Lows in the lower 50s. Chance of rain 30 percent.
Partly cloudy. Highs in the mid 70s.
Friday night through Saturday night
Partly cloudy with a chance of showers and thunderstorms. Lows in the upper 50s. Highs in the mid 70s. Chance of rain 30 percent.
Partly cloudy with a chance of showers and thunderstorms. Highs in the upper 70s. Chance of rain 40 percent.
Sunday night
Partly cloudy. Lows in the upper 50s.
Partly cloudy with a chance of showers and thunderstorms. Highs in the upper 70s. Chance of rain 30 percent

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