WCO Report for Erie County 5/03/2006: Erie area, PA,
WCO Report Posted: May 02, 206

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Posted by DWCO Randy Leighton on May 02, 206 at 22:21:34:

May 3rd, 2006
WEST ERIE COUNTY, DWCO Randy Leighton, WCO Brook Tolbert

Dry and warming conditions have begun to paint the transition to spring and summer fishing around the area. Even with Lake Erie temperatures still on the cold side, a number of anglers are hitting the big water trolling for lake trout and steelhead and targeting smallmouth along the shore line. With the opening of walleye season this Saturday and the delay in the warm weather, night time shoreline fishing along the lake could be better than usual. Anglers have been picking up nice crappie and perch in the bay although catches off the North and South Piers have been sporadic. A lot of anglers have been asking about perch fishing on the lake. Typically the schools seem to form as the lake climbs above the 50 degree mark...which should be too far away. The Lake Erie water temperature off Toledo is 55 degrees, off Cleveland, 49 degrees and off Erie, 46 degrees.

Bullhead Tagging:
Eric Obert from Sea Grant has inform us that his people have been tagging bullhead for the last few weeks under a Scientific Collectors Permit #219. The tags are specifically marked "do not eat" as the fish were exposed to anesthetics when they were tagged. The fish were tagged and released in Presque Isle Bay and will allow researchers to monitor migration through the channel into the Lake.

Kids Derbies a Real Hit:
The Elk Valley Sportsmen and the Northwest Sportsmen's clubs held their annual kids fishing derbies this past weekend with huge success. Both derbies catered to sellout crowds of kids along with there moms and dads getting together for an afternoon of great weather and good fishing. Prizes were awarded and refreshments were enjoyed by all. It was great to see so many youngsters getting outdoors with Mom and Dad and leaving the video games and computers behind to enjoy some great fishing and a beautiful day. Many thanks and appreciation to these fine clubs for sponsoring these fabulous events and helping to get our kids out there.

Tiger Trout:
This weeks report includes a beautiful picture of a tiger trout caught by a youngster at the Elk Valley kids derby. A tiger trout is a hybrid cross between a brown and a brook. Commission trout hatcheries have been experimenting with raising a small number of tiger trout over the last couple of years to determine if they would grow any faster or more efficiently than other species. Thus far we have not seen any advantage of raising tiger trout. The experiments have produced several thousand tigers each year and a few are put in with loads of brook trout to be stocked throughout the Commonwealth. Although biologically possible, wild tiger trout are extremely rare. For more information on hybrid trout got to Tiger Trout and Other Hybrids

Shoreline Fishing at Night for Walleye:
Walleye season opens on May 6th and early season anglers will be trying their luck along the shorelines near the Walnut access area and Trout and Godfrey runs. The jetties just east of the Walnut Creek Channel are the most popular spots as are the shorelines at Godfrey and Trout Runs. Resident walleye often will come in close to shore after sunset in search of smolts and shiners. Patient anglers can cash in with a little skill and finesse and a lot of time. It is arguable how successful anglers are at these early season walleye, but be assured we have observed many successful night time outings. Wading the shoreline or fishing from shore with light line (4 to 6 lb.) using large Rappel's in rainbow, silver, and fire tiger patterns generally the most successful. Cast as far as you can and let the lure rest, giving it an occasional twitch. Resist the urge to real the lure in too soon. Secrets to success are patience, keeping quiet and not using any light. Calm moon lit evenings tend to be the most productive. Early season trolling along the shore at dusk and after dark can be productive as well.

Walleye, Muskellunge, Northern Pike Seasons:
The season opens Saturday May 6th for Walleye, Muskellunge and Northern Pike on Lake Erie, Presque Isle Bay and the Erie tribes. Creel limits and size minimum sizes are as follows:
Walleye - A creel limit of 6 fish per day with a minimum length of 15"
Muskellunge - A creel limit of 1 fish per day with a minimum length of 40"
Northern Pike - A creel limit of 2 fish per day with a minimum length of 24"

Boat Registration:
Questions always come up early in the season regarding requirements for boat registration. The following offers guidelines for registration:
Boats propelled by machinery, including electric motors, must be registered, and they must properly display numbers and a boat registration validation decal. This includes all motorboats regardless of the boat's length and type of motor.

No other number may be displayed on either side of the bow. These numbers may not be removed, altered, tampered with, or defaced except by the owner or representative. Documented vessels, as well as kayaks, sculls, sailboards, and other low-volume boats of similar design, are exempt from the display of numbers but they must display the validation decal. Inflatable boats may carry their numbers and validation decal on boards lashed to each side of the bow. Powered canoes are not exempt and must display the numbers and the decal.

Often, boaters tell us that they "just sent in their renewal" or "I have my canceled check" and is it okay to boat. The response to this is the boat is considered to be legally registered when the validation sticker is on the boat and the registration card is received and signed. A boat without a current validation sticker and numbers affixed to both sides the bow and a signed registration card are no more legal than an automobile without a current license plate sticker and signed registration card.

Unpowered boats using Commission lakes and access areas must be registered OR display a Commission use permit OR display a State Parks launch or mooring permit. Presque Isle State Park is an exception and does not require registration or a State Parks permit for unpowered boats

Boat titles are issued when a boat is sold or when ownership is conveyed. Titles are required for motorboats with a model year of 1997 and newer, except for those that are powered by an outboard motor that are less than 14 feet in length. All 1997 or newer personal watercraft, are also subject to the titling requirement. Voluntary titling is available for any other boat.

Fish & Boat Commission Boating Course Hotline: 1-888-PAFISH-1 (1-888-723-4741)
Bureau of Boating and Education: 717-705-7833
Bureau of Law Enforcement: 717-705-7861
Boat Registration Office: TOLL-FREE 1-866-BOATREG (1-866-262-8734)

Local Weather: Wednesday Night Partly cloudy in the evening. Then becoming mostly cloudy. Lows in the lower 50s. West winds 5 to 10 mph... Becoming southwest after midnight.

Thursday A chance of thunderstorms in the morning. Mostly cloudy with a chance of a lingering shower in the afternoon. Highs in the upper 70s. Southwest winds 10 to 20 mph. Chance of rain 30 percent.

Thursday Night Partly cloudy. Lows in the upper 40s. West winds 10 to 20 mph...Becoming northwest 5 to 10 mph after midnight.

Friday Partly cloudy. Highs in the lower 60s.

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

Saturday Mostly cloudy with a 40 percent chance of showers. Highs in the upper 50s.

Saturday Night Partly cloudy with a 30 percent chance of showers. Lows in the upper 30s.

Sunday Partly cloudy. Highs in the mid 50s.

Sunday Night Partly cloudy. Lows around 40.

Monday Mostly sunny. Highs around 60.

Monday Night Partly cloudy. Lows in the mid 40s.

Tuesday Partly cloudy with a chance of showers and thunderstorms in the morning...Then mostly cloudy in the afternoon. Highs in the lower 60s. Chance of rain 30 percent.

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