WCO Report Photos for Erie County 02/09/2005: Erie areaErie, PA: Erie area, PA,
WCO Report Posted: February 08, 2005

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Posted by DWCO Randy Leighton on February 08, 2005 at 20:53:01:

WEST ERIE COUNTY DWCO Randy Leighton, WCO Brook Tolbert

Ice fishing thrived this past weekend on Presque Isle Bay however the recent warm spell along with significant rainfall has eroded the ice to unsafe conditions n most areas. As of this writing, the Bay is covered in standing water in many areas. Checking holes on Misery bay on Sunday revealed ice thickness varying from 5 to 8 inches with no consistency and many large stress cracks. A few brave souls were out on the Bay Tuesday afternoon but most likely were taking some serious risks. Tuesday brought heavy rain and continued warm temperatures to the area making safe ice on the Bay a wait and see deal.

The Walnut Creek Marina is a flooded ice jam at this time with water and ice rising up and over the wall in some areas. The tribs are ice free at this time and are flowing very high and muddy causing ice jams at the mouths. Trib conditions will likely remain this way for a while as there has been a significant ice melt along with a considerable amount of melted snow flowing into the tribs throughout the county. The runoff will likely be more than a few days. Although forecasts are calling night time temperatures below freezing, it may be a while before the tribs freeze again if at all. Ice along the lake shore is still drift ice for the most part and unstable although there is some open water at the mouth of Trout Run.

Current Lake Erie water temperature as of this writing is 35 degrees with open water and drifting ice. As of this writing, the tribs are extremely high and muddy.

From WCO Tom Edwards, Learn How to Ice Fish:
The Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission in cooperation with the S.O.N.s of Lake Erie, DCNR, and Presque Isle State Park will conduct its second annual ice fishing seminar at the Waterworks Ponds on Presque Isle. This popular event will be held on February 20th from 11:00 AM until 4:00 PM. Local officers and S.O.N.s volunteers will be on hand to demonstrate traditional and high tech ice fishing techniques and introduce those interested to hard water angling. Equipment will be made available for those eager to participate. All are welcome, especially the kids. The rotary pavilion north of the ponds will be open for this event for warming up and perhaps a hot beverage. This is a great "cabin fever" event for the whole family. Questions on this event should be directed to WCO Tom Edwards at 572-0066

Preseason Stocking at the Fairview Gravel Pit Pond:
The upper Gravel Pit Pond in Fairview was stocked this past Wednesday as part of PFBC's early season stocking program. Extended Trout Season rules are in effect for this area.

Smelt are Plentiful:
Smelt are plentiful in Presque Ise Bay especially during the winter season. With last years regulation change, there is no limit on the number allowed and no minimum size when taken by hook and line. Targeting them through the ice can provide great fun for the kids not to mention some mouth watering table fair for the whole family.
Clean and dry the fish, roll them in beaten egg and then in finely grated breadcrumbs; dredging a little flour and salt over them. Put a good-sized lump of butter or shortening into a frying pan, and when hot put in the smelt and fry them quickly. Drain the fish when golden browned. Some people will fry them whole, heads on. After frying the head and backbone can be pulled off the fish as you eat them eliminating the need to clean them before cooking. Add a little coleslaw, some fresh fries, and your favorite tasty beverage and you're all set.

Local Weather:
Wednesday night
Snow likely. Little or no snow accumulation. Lows around 20. North winds 10 to 15 mph. Chance of snow 60 percent.
Snow showers likely. Snow accumulations possible. Highs in the mid 20s. Northwest winds 10 to 20 mph. Chance of snow 60 percent.
Thursday night
Mostly cloudy with a 30 percent chance of snow showers. Lows around 20. Northwest winds 10 to 20 mph.
Mostly cloudy. Highs around 30.
Friday night through Saturday night
Partly cloudy. Lows in the lower 20s. Highs in the mid 30s.
Mostly cloudy with a 30 percent chance of rain and snow. Highs around 40.
Sunday night
Cloudy with a 40 percent chance of rain and snow. Lows in the mid 20s.
Cloudy with a 40 percent chance of rain. Highs around 40.
Monday night
Cloudy with a 40 percent chance of rain. Lows around 30.
Mostly cloudy with a 30 percent chance of rain. Highs around 40.

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