WCO Report for Erie County 1/18/2006: Erie area, PA,
WCO Report Posted: January 17, 206

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Posted by DWCO Randy Leighton on January 17, 206 at 20:47:22:

WEST ERIE COUNTY, DWCO Randy Leighton, WCO Brook Tolbert


A short freeze had some ice beginning to form around the area over the weekend but temperatures knocking on the forty degree mark, the tribs almost fully open. Morning slush has been a nuisance but as of the late, it hasn't been a big problem later in the day. The tribs have been relatively clear the past few days with a fair number of fresh fish having been caught since the last snow melt. It has been a real cat an mouse game of ice over and open water for our area with significant changes in conditions from week to week. Current trib conditions as of this writing are good levels and flowing clear to lightly stained.

Proposed Land Acquisition at Trout Run: The following proposals refer to the heavily fished shoreline area at Trout Run just east of the Trout Run nursery waters and Route 98. This acquisition may be a starting point to alleviating parking congestion and securing much needed public fishing access in our area.

The Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission (PFBC) has committed $200,000 to a consortium working to acquire a 3.5-acre parcel of land that includes 450 feet of Lake Erie frontage.
By notational vote, PFBC Commissioners have unanimously agreed to support efforts led by Fairview Township, Erie County, to secure in public ownership property along Avonia Road. The property sits across from Trout Run, an important steelhead trout nursery water. The Commission has fish collection facilities on Trout Run that it uses to collect steelhead brood stock for management purposes. The location is also extremely popular for both fishing on the lake and for fish watching. Lack of parking and space for access improvements historically has been a significant limiting factor for the public’s use of the area.

Along with Fairview Township and the Commission, other entities working toward the purchase of the property include the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, the Department of Environmental Protection – Coastal Zone Management Program, and the Lake Erie Regional Conservancy.

If the purchase is secured by the Township, the Commission’s grant would be the first expenditure from a new program that collects fees from recreational anglers in Lake Erie and its tributaries and invests them in public access. The monies raised by the sale of Lake Erie Permits are placed in a special account that may only be used to improved public access to the lake and its feeder streams. The permits were sold for the first time in 2005, generating approximately $600,000 for the fund.

“The proposed purchase of this property is a perfect match with the Commission’s vision for monies raised by the sale of Lake Erie Fishing Permits. It really is the ideal project for the first expenditure from this special fund. Working with partners, we are able to use anglers’ dollars to leverage additional monies providing an even bigger return on their investment,” said PFBC Executive Director Dr. Doug Austen.

Fairview Township has agreed that it will use the site, in part, to improve access to both Lake Erie and Trout Run. The Township will grant to the Commission conservation or access easement that will allow for public access along the lake shore in perpetuity. An agreement between the Township and the Commission will include specific provisions for the protection of the Commission’s interests, the angling public, and the development of parking facilities that can be accommodated on the site.

Wading Suggestions:
With the fluctuating water levels and the possibility of drifting ice on the tribs, wading safety is important. We have seen so many types of waders and boots that it would be difficult to describe the pros and cons of all of them. Personally though, I am a fan of the neoprene type waders for cold weather wading in our area. They typically come in 3 and 5 mm insulation and for my money are the safest all around wader. They provide warmth, fit snug around the chest preventing large amounts of water from getting in, and they provide some floatation and cushion if you fall. Rubberized fabrics, coated nylon or the new breathable waders, the preference of many, do present some risk of rapidly filling with water if you slip or fall. This can even make standing back up in shallow water very difficult. These types of waders should never be worn without a properly adjusted wader belt to minimize water entry. The belt helps to trap air in the waders as well. Think of it like a seat belt and always use one. Boots, whether a separate item or built into the wader are mostly a matter of preference in our area. Felt bottoms do nicely on algae covered rocks and ice however, the rubber cleated type will fair better in the mud and loose snow. Another option is the rubber soles with a removable "gripper" system or cleats. One local veteran angler threads small screws into the bottoms of his rubber soled waders fro additional traction. Naturally this would be done with care as to not puncture the soles.

If you fall in fast moving water, the best thing to do is ride it out feet first downstream until you can get your footing. Since most of our tribs are relatively shallow, the most important thing is to get safely out of the water quickly to avoid hypothermia. Anglers will often stand for hours in ice water often joking about the cold and how numb their legs and feet get. Dressing appropriately, taking frequent breaks, and taking along food and non alcoholic beverages can often safely extend your angling time and help avoid over exposure to the cold.

Local Weather:
Snow showers likely. Snow accumulation of 1 to 3 inches. Windy and cooler with highs in the lower 30s. Temperature falling into the upper 20s in the afternoon. Southwest winds 20 to 30 mph with gusts up to 40 mph. Chance of snow 70 percent.

Wednesday Night Mostly cloudy. A chance of snow showers in the evening. Windy with lows in the mid 20s. Southwest winds 20 to 30 mph with gusts up to 40 mph. Chance of snow 40 percent.

Thursday Mostly cloudy in the morning. Then becoming partly cloudy. Not as cool with highs in the low 40s. South winds 15 to 20 mph.

Thursday Night Partly cloudy in the evening...Then mostly cloudy with a chance of showers after midnight. Breezy and not as cool with lows in the upper 30s. Southwest winds 15 to 25 mph with gusts up to 35 mph. Chance of rain 30 percent.

Friday Mostly cloudy with a 40 percent chance of showers. Highs in the upper 40s.

Friday Night Mostly cloudy with a 40 percent chance of rain showers. Lows in the upper 30s.

Saturday Rain showers likely. Highs in the upper 40s. Chance of rain 60 percent.

Saturday Night Mostly cloudy. A chance of rain and snow showers in the evening...Then a chance of snow showers after midnight. Lows around 30. Chance of precipitation 40 percent.

Sunday Mostly cloudy. Cooler with highs in the upper 30s.

Sunday Night Mostly cloudy. Lows in the mid 20s.

Monday Partly cloudy. Highs in the upper 30s.

Monday Night Partly cloudy. Lows in the mid 20s.

Tuesday Partly cloudy. Highs in the upper 30s.

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