WCO Report for Erie County 12/14/2005: Erie area, PA,
WCO Report Posted: December 13, 2005

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Posted by DWCO Randy Leighton on December 13, 2005 at 20:24:46:

WEST ERIE COUNTY, DWCO Randy Leighton, WCO Tolbert Tolbert


It's no secret that old man winter has settled in on the Erie area with night time temperatures in the teens and the days struggling to reach the freezing mark, not to mention we have had plenty of snow. Area tribs have significant ice cover with open areas left only in faster moving sections. Although some open water areas remain, they are seemingly on the way to full freeze. Those hearty anglers in relentless pursuit of soft water are best suit to mid day when the infrequent sunshine provides some burn off. The open water on the tribs is flowing well and is quite clear for the most part making light presentations a must. Light line fishing in the wintry ice and slush conditions can be a challenge for most and many anglers have hung up their poles in anticipation of the winter ice fishing season or a partial melting.

Presque Isle Bay has begun to freeze over with a combination of thin ice and slush as of Tuesday afternoon. Area ice conditions are in no way safe yet, but temperatures over the next week look cold enough that ice over should

Lake Erie water temperatures as of this writing are 33 degrees off Toledo, 36 degrees off Cleveland and 38 degrees off Erie. Area tribs were mostly ice covered with some open water as of Tuesday afternoon.

Meeting Reminder:
The PA Steelhead Association will have its monthly meeting beginning at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, December 14, 2005. Note the new location - meetings will be held at the American Legion Post 773 on 4109 West 12th Street, Erie, PA. 16505. The public is welcome.

Regional Collaboration: Making the Great Lakes Greater
The Great Lakes are a unique and extraordinary natural resource — a national treasure for both the United States and Canada. Together, the lakes make up one-fifth of the fresh water on the earth’s surface. They provide drinking water, food, recreation and transportation to more than 35 million Americans.
But the Great Lakes have faced many serious environmental challenges. Since 1970, much has been done in attempts to restore and protect the lakes. EPA and nine other federal agencies administer some 140 programs that fund and implement environmental programs in the Great Lakes basin. Although there has been significant progress, the work of cleaning up the lakes and preventing further problems has not always been coordinated.

That prompted President Bush, in May 2004, to create a cabinet-level interagency task force and to call for a “regional collaboration of national significance.” After extensive discussions, the federal Great Lakes Interagency Task Force, the Council of Great Lakes Governors, the Great Lakes Cities Initiative, Great Lakes tribes and the Great Lakes Congressional Task Force moved to convene a group now known as the Great Lakes Regional Collaboration (GLRC).

The Collaboration includes the EPA-led federal agency task force, the Great Lakes states, local communities, tribes, non-governmental organizations and other interests in the Great Lakes region.

The Collaboration created a strategy which was release on December 12, 2005.

Highlights of the GLRC Process
The Great Lakes Regional Collaboration was officially launched with the first Conveners Meeting on Dec. 3, 2004, in Chicago. On this day, members of the President’s cabinet, the Great Lakes governors, the Great Lakes congressional delegations, mayors, and tribal leaders met and forged an intergovernmental partnership and officially voiced their support for a coordinated strategy to further protect and restore the Great Lakes.

About 400 regional leaders and stakeholders attended the Conveners Meeting. Commitment to the Collaboration is expressed in the Great Lakes Declaration while the Framework for the Great Lakes Regional Collaboration defines the process for developing a Great Lakes restoration and protection strategy. Collaboration partners rallied around a shared vision of a restored, sustainable Great Lakes ecosystem. This has generated optimism and a spirit of cooperation. While the Collaboration is a U.S. effort, its members will do everything possible to make sure the final plan synchronizes our efforts with those of our Canadian partners.

Issue area strategy teams
Following the Conveners Meeting, the issue area strategy teams began their work. These eight teams were organized using priorities identified by the Council of Great Lakes Governors.
The priorities are:

Aquatic invasive species

Habitat conservation and species management

Near-shore waters and coastal areas

Areas of concern

Non-point sources

Toxic pollutants

Sound information base and representative indicators


The teams were made up of subject-matter experts from many diverse backgrounds. There were more than 1,500 people from all levels of government, and non­governmental organizations, working on the specific issues identified as crucial to the health of the Great Lakes ecosystem.

They were the working bodies responsible for drafting specific action items and recommendations to address the eight issues.
The teams have addressed the following overarching considerations and topics:

Human health impacts and priorities

Tribal interests and perspectives

Research and monitoring

Draft Report Issued
In July 2005, the teams filed their first reports, listing key recommendations in all eight issue areas. This was the Collaboration’s first step toward putting a plan into action.

Five public meetings were held during a 60­ day comment period to gain even more input on the July draft report.
With this valuable public involvement, the teams revisited their recommendations to ensure they were workable. The final strategy was released on December 12, 2005 at Summit II in Chicago.

The final strategy can be viewed at http://www.glrc.us/documents/GLRC_Strategy.pdf This is in a pdf format and takes a moment to download. It is worthwhile reading for those interested in the future of the Great Lakes eco system

Getting Ready for Ice Season: The following list of ice fishing gear has been compiled over the past few years and each year we receive a few suggestion and additions that have made the list rather lengthy, but hey, can you every have too much "stuff"? Ice fishing can be as simple as a five gallon bucket, a rod and warm clothes to the latest in high tech fishing gear and living room comfortable huts. This list is by no means everything you need but instead an annual inventory to choose from to make your hard water fishing outing more productive and enjoyable.

Fishing rods - Large guides, sensitive tip, with some backbone, preferably the short ones made specifically for ice angling
Reels - Micro-spinning reel
Line - 2 to 6 LB test ice line
Bobber stops with beads
Split shot, a variety of sizes
Foam ice fishing bobbers
Fingernail clipper or line cutters to cut line
Ice scoop/ladle/dipper - for removing slush from the hole, a must have item
Micro and ice jigs and spoons, hooks...etc.
Bait - wax worms, fatheads, crappie, minnows, grubs etc. Small jigging blades tipped with shiners are good bait.
5 gallon bucket to sit on, and carry fish in
Hand warmers (I still like the Jon E's best)
Needle nose pliers or forceps
Fishing License (current of course)
Proper Personal Identification (regulations require an additional form of ID when fishing)
Ice auger (Regulations permit hole diameter to be 10")
Sled for auger and gear (The light weight kids plastic toboggans work great)
Bait bucket
Small light weight shovel, collapsible if possible
Ice picks or grips - could be a lifesaver! (A couple of screw drivers tied on the end of a light cord will work in a pinch)
A compass (can be easy to loose sense of direction in a blizzard)
Mouth spreader (for the fish of course)
Gaff for larger fish should you get lucky
Hook sharpener
Ice Shelter, almost a must on Presque Isle Bay
"Another sled for more gear"
Propane heater or heater stove combination
Spud bar (for checking ice thickness)
Tip-ups - preferably the freeze-free type
Leaders for tip-ups
Quickstrike rigs for tip-ups
Bait for tip-ups, smelt, shiners, etc.
GPS (a white out on Presque Isle Bay can be pretty confusing)
Camera (disposable works best and you wont fret if you lose it)
Ice cleats
Small flashlight
Lantern, Matches or Lighter (for propane heater)
Sun glasses, You'll appreciate them when coming out of your hut on a bright sunny day
A buddy whenever possible
Neoprene waterproof gloves
Tasty snacks and beverages Layered clothing
Strap on boot grips for walking on the ice
"Another sled for more gear"

For those with a few extra bucks:
Aqua-view or underwater camera
Two-way radios to talk to your buddies
Strike sensors for tip-ups

Local Weather:

Wednesday Night Cloudy. A chance of snow in the evening...Then a chance of snow or freezing rain after midnight. Lows in the lower 20s. Brisk southeast winds 15 to 25 mph. Chance of precipitation 50 percent.

Thursday Occasional freezing rain or snow. Highs in the lower 30s. Brisk southeast winds 15 to 25 mph. Chance of precipitation 80 percent.

Thursday Night Occasional snow or freezing rain in the evening... Then snow showers likely after midnight. Lows in the mid 20s. South winds 15 to 25 mph...Becoming southwest after midnight. Chance of precipitation 80 percent.

Friday...Cloudy with a 50 percent chance of snow showers. Highs in the lower 30s.

Friday Night...Mostly cloudy with a 40 percent chance of snow showers. Lows in the lower 20s.

Saturday Mostly cloudy with a 40 percent chance of snow showers. Highs in the upper 20s.

Saturday Night Mostly cloudy with a 30 percent chance of snow showers. Lows in the lower 20s.

Sunday Mostly cloudy with a 40 percent chance of snow showers. Highs in the upper 20s.

Sunday Night Mostly cloudy with a 50 percent chance of snow showers. Lows in the mid 20s.

Monday Cloudy with a 50 percent chance of snow showers. Highs in the lower 30s.

Monday Night Cloudy with a 50 percent chance of snow showers. Lows in the lower 20s.

Tuesday Mostly cloudy with a 40 percent chance of snow showers. Highs in the upper 20s.

Questions, suggestions, or comments can be email to DWCO Leighton at rglerie@msn.com or WCO Tolbert at wco14@msn.com

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