WCO Report for Erie County 02/07/2007: Erie area, PA,
WCO Report Posted: February 06, 2007

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Posted by DWCO Randy Leighton on February 06, 2007 at 21:20:37:

February 7th, 2007

West Erie County, DWCO Randy Leighton, WCO Brook Tolbert


Erie has been part of the artic blast that has plunged the mercury into the single digits over most of the past week or so. High winds and drifting snow have made travel difficult and most have been content to stay in the warmth and safety of their homes or workplaces. The good news is that the frigid temperatures have accelerated ice thickness around the area. Anglers coming off Presque Isle Bay Tuesday afternoon reported Ice as thick as 12 to 14 inches with slush forming under the ice. Although there is plenty of thick ice, a heavy blanket of snow has slowed the formation of hard "black ice" in some areas. The high winds and frigid temperatures have actually kept the number of ice anglers down on Presque Isle Bay. With the wind howling and the temperature in the single digits, one fellow coming off the ice yesterday exclaimed "its too cold and windy, I'm a fair weather ice fisherman" The few that have braved the elements have not reported great catches yet. Area Tributaries are completely iced over with little to no open water. Drift ice is forming heavily on Lake Erie and accumulating along the shorelines.

Correction to Last Weeks Report:
Every year we make a list of suggested gear for the hard water anglers. Each year a few new items are added as was done last week. When the list was started a few years ago, it included a description of the old regulations regarding legal ice fishing devices and allowable combinations of those devises. Quite a number of sharp readers picked up the error and quickly let me know. For clarification, the current regulation regarding ice fishing equipment is as follows:

ICE FISHING EQUIPMENT - It is unlawful while ice fishing to use more than five fishing devices, which may consist of rods, hand lines, tip-ups, or any combination. Each device shall contain a single fishing line with no more than three hooks attached to each line. Holes cut in ice may not exceed 10 inches between the farthest points as measured in any direction. All lines, rods, or tip-ups shall be under the immediate control of the person using them. On Fish & Boat Commission lakes, shelters, or shanties must be removed when through fishing for the day.

Support Your Local Sportsmen's Clubs:
The PA Steelhead Association will have their monthly meeting Wednesday February 14th at 7:00 PM. (be sure to bring your sweetheart) at the American Legion Post on Route 5 just East of the Airport. Your support at this meeting is appreciated and as always, the public is welcome.

Safe Boating Class Coming Up, Sign Up the Whole Family:
Area officers from the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission will be conducting a safe boating class on Tuesday and Wednesday, March 20th and 21st from 6:30 PM to 10:30 PM each evening. The class will be held at the new Tom Ridge Environmental Center at the entrance to Presque Isle State Park with plenty of room for anyone interested. This comprehensive 8 hour class is designed for the novice boater or boater to be, as well as the experienced boater who would like to refresh his knowledge. The class covers basic boating safety, boating laws and regulations, and equipment. Successful completion of the course qualifies the individual for a Pennsylvania boating education safety certificate (card). There is no charge for the course or materials, although registration is required. This class typically fills up quickly and early sign up is recommended. Upon successful completion of the course , the Agency will require a processing fee for your Basic Boating Safety Card if one is desired.
To register for this class, email DWCO Randy Leighton at rglerie@msn.com with your name, address, phone, age, and number of people you would like to register or if necessary you can phone Keith Edwards at the PFBC Northwest Region office at 814-336-2426

Information on Frostbite:

Although those ice huts can be warm and toasty, that long walk on the ice in sub zero temperatures can be hazardous. Be careful and consider the following:

Frostbite has three stages of progression:

Frostnip - In this stage, the individual experiences a pins and needles sensation with the skin turning very white and soft. No blistering occurs. This stage produces no permanent damage and may be reversed by soaking in warm water or breathing warm breath on the affected area.

Superficial Frostbite - In this stage, blistering may occur. The skin feels numb, waxy and frozen. Ice crystals form in the skin cells and the rest of the skin remains flexible.

Deep Frostbite - This is the most serious stage of frostbite. In this stage, blood vessels, muscles, tendons, nerves and bone may be frozen. This stage can lead to permanent damage, blood clots and gangrene, in severe cases. No feeling is experienced in the affected area and there is usually no blistering. Serious infection and loss of limbs frequently occurs after frostbite reaches this stage. However, even with deep frostbite, some frozen limbs may be saved if medical attention is obtained as soon as possible.

Frostbite risk can be reduced by practicing the following:

Wear several layers of clothing when in extremely cold conditions since the air pockets between the layers will help to retain warmth.

Limit the use of alcohol and smoking tobacco. Alcohol causes the blood to cool quickly and tobacco inhibits circulation to extremities.

Avoid going outdoors during extremely cold weather.

When outside, shield the face and other body parts from the cold wind and temperatures by wearing protective clothing, scarves, earmuffs, gloves etc.

Wear waterproof skin moisturizer on exposed areas.

Do not spend extended periods in extreme temperatures when exhausted, intoxicated, wet or under the influence of certain drugs.

If, after being in extremely cold conditions, any of the following are experienced, seek emergency care.

skin swelling
loss of limb function and absence of pain
drastic skin color changes
slurred speech
memory loss

If the patient cannot be transported to a hospital immediately, the following re-warming techniques may help until reaching an emergency facility.

Bring patient indoors as soon as possible.

Apply warm towels or immerse the area in circulating lukewarm water for twenty minutes. Hot water should not be used and the area should not be rubbed in any way. If blisters are present, leave them intact.

Do not hold the affected area near fire since the area may be burned due to the reduced feeling in the area.

Offer the patient warm coffee or tea, if alert, but never alcohol.

Keep the affected area raised.

After re-warming, a superficial frostbite will redden and become painful as circulation resumes in the area. Blisters are likely to form within 24 hours.

A deep frostbite injury will remain hard, cool to the touch and may turn blue. Blisters may form and the area can turn black. Skin surrounding the affected area may become swollen and remain swollen for over a month. If gangrene develops, amputation may become necessary.

While a frostbite injury is healing, do the following:

Avoid infection by leaving any blisters intact.

Watch for signs of infection such as redness, swelling, fever, oozing pus, and red streaks on skin.

Take all prescribed medications

Do not expose the affected area to cold temperatures until cleared to do so by a physician.
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Local Weather:

Hazardous Weather Outlook

Local Radar from the National Weather Service

Wednesday Night Mostly cloudy with a 50 percent chance of snow showers. Lows around 8 above. West winds 15 to 20 mph. Wind chill values as low as 13 below.

Thursday Partly sunny with a 50 percent chance of snow showers. Highs around 18. West winds 15 to 20 mph. Wind chill values as low as 13 below.

Thursday Night Mostly cloudy with a 50 percent chance of snow showers. Lows around 10 above. West winds 15 to 20 mph.

Friday Mostly cloudy with a 30 percent chance of snow showers. Highs in the lower 20s.

Friday Night Mostly cloudy with a 50 percent chance of snow showers. Lows 10 to 15.

Saturday Mostly cloudy with a 50 percent chance of snow showers. Highs in the lower 20s.

Saturday Night Mostly cloudy with a 50 percent chance of snow showers. Lows 10 to 15.

Sunday Mostly cloudy with a 30 percent chance of snow showers. Highs in the mid 20s.

Sunday Night Mostly cloudy. Lows 15 to 20.

Monday Partly sunny. Highs in the upper 20s.

Monday Night Partly cloudy. Lows around 10 above.

Tuesday Partly sunny. Highs in the upper 20s.

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