WCO Report for Erie County 07/09/2008: Erie area, PA,
WCO Report Posted: July 08, 2008

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Posted by DWCO Randy Leighton on July 08, 2008 at 18:19:02:

July 9th, 2008

West Erie County, DWCO Randy Leighton, WCO Brook Tolbert


Perch have become the hot story with many limits being brought in. A good number of jumbo size perch in the 10 to 12" plus size have been caught. Perch have schooled heavily in 52 feet of water north of Walnut Creek and 52 feet of water North of the Point at Presque Ise...just look for the large clusters of anchored boats. Near shore walleye action has slowed a bit perhaps due to the more summer like temperatures and the increase in water temperatures. Anglers searching for walleye are beginning to target the trenches off Walnut.

Bass fishing continues to thrive in and around Presque Isle Bay. Anglers are still enjoying plenty of action along the North and South Piers. Rock bass are easily caught this time of year and can be a good target for kids off the piers or anywhere along the Bayfront. Lake Erie water temperature off Toledo is 70 degrees, off Cleveland, 69 degrees, and off the Port of Erie, 70 degrees.

With the warmer temperatures and often flat lake conditions, more boats are taking to Lake Erie. Boat traffic this past weekend gave no indication of the increased fuel prices. With perch fishing at its peak and good fishing expected for a while, the Walnut Creek Access area has been on overload . This past week end saw parking conditions and boat traffic at capacity levels. The key is patience and a little common sense. Officers are tolerant to a little creative parking when conditions warrant so, however there are a few areas where parking is unacceptable. Do not park in any area that would block a building entrance or access, any place that would block right of way or another vehicle and in any handicapped spot without proper license or permit. Parking anywhere along the north bank (just above the beach) is not permitted as much of this area is "dredge fill" and can be unstable. Parking on the Sunset Memorial Garden island is not permitted. Always be sure there is all asphalt areas are full before considering parking on any grass area and if there is any doubt as to permitted parking areas ask an officer or office personnel.

Discover Presque Isle:
Discover Presque Isle takes place the weekend of, July 25th, 26th, and 27th. This three-day event celebrates Erie's most valuable public resource and introduces thousands of visitors to all that Presque Isle State Park has to offer. These include kayak demonstrations, rock wall climbing, nature tours, kite flying, pontoon boat rides, volleyball tournaments, duathlon (run, bike, run), a mile swim, arts and crafts shows, children's areas, giant beach bonfires and much more.
A pancake breakfast will be held on Saturday and Sunday mornings (been there, done it, and it's great). Other food vendors will be on hand throughout the weekend as well. Event times are: 12 p.m. to 7 p.m. on July 25th, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. on July 26th and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on July 27th. Click here Discover Presque Isle for a schedule of week end events from GoErie.com.

Occasionally during the summer months an unsuspecting angler fishing Presque Isle Bay or even Lake Erie will pull in a Bowfin only to wonder what in the world they caught.

Bowfins are widely distributed over the eastern half of North America. In Pennsylvania, they are found in Presque Isle Bay, on Lake Erie, and in a few other scattered locations in the Delaware, Ohio and Susquehanna River watersheds. Their preferred habitat is heavily vegetated lakes, sluggish rivers and swamps. Bowfins can tolerate very warm water. Their body functions become limited and their activity slows when it becomes too hot. To overcome these adverse conditions, the bowfin has a swim bladder that opens to the throat. The bowfin, like the gar, can go to the surface, stick its head out, and gulp air. Bowfin have also been called "dogfish" and "mudfish."

As unique as they are these prehistoric throwbacks are relatively easy to identify. First, the long dorsal fin that gives the fish it's most common name. The dorsal has more than 45 rays and covers over half the length of the fish. The body is heavy and cylindrical, with a wide bony jaw. The catfish has a similar shape (although it is unrelated), but unlike the cat, the bowfin has scales. Coloration is dark on top, light on the bottom, in shades of mossy green to silvery green . The bowfin has sharp teeth, but they are not large. The bowfin has a tiny pair of barbels above the nostrils. Bowfin average 25" long and 5 or so pounds. They can top three feet and over 20 pounds. Juveniles and males typically have a dark spot on the full, rounded tail. This spot is lacking in adult females. Although Bowfin are primarily gill breathers, they do have a primitive lung and can breathe air. At times can be seen gulping air at the water's surface.

Local Weather:
Wednesday Night...Partly cloudy. Cooler with lows in the upper 50s. West winds 10 to 15 mph.

Thursday...Mostly sunny. Highs in the mid 70s. Northwest winds 5 to 10 mph.

Thursday Night...Mostly clear. Lows in the mid 50s. Northwest winds 5 to 10 mph...becoming southeast after midnight.

Friday...Partly cloudy. Highs in the lower 80s.

Friday Night...Partly cloudy. Lows around 60.

Saturday...Partly cloudy. Highs in the lower 80s.

Saturday Night...Mostly cloudy with a chance of showers and thunderstorms. Lows in the lower 60s. Chance of rain 40 percent.

Sunday...Partly sunny. Highs in the lower 80s.

Sunday Night...Partly cloudy. Lows in the upper 50s.

Monday...Partly cloudy in the morning...then becoming mostly sunny. Highs in the upper 70s.

Monday Night...Partly cloudy. Lows in the upper 50s.

Tuesday...Partly cloudy. Highs in the upper 70s.

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