WCO Report and Photo for Erie County 09/24/2008: Erie area, PA,
WCO Report Posted: September 24, 2008

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Posted by DWCO Randy Leighton on September 24, 2008 at 08:45:11:

September 24th, 2008

West Erie County, DWCO Randy Leighton, WCO Brook Tolbert


The tribs have dropped to very low clear conditions with long range weather forecasts showing very little rain. Steelhead will be moving mostly at night if at all, with the best chances for success at dawn or dusk. Fish are scattered throughout the Walnut Project waters and the Manchester Hole as well as lower Elk Creek with reports of a few fish making it up to route 5, although there are still no big numbers. The Lakeshore at Trout and Godfrey Runs are producing fish at night and in the early morning hours. Many anglers have been heading for the lakeshore with the tribs so low. Several dozen anglers along wall at Walnut Creek did quite well this past weekend with a number of limits observed. Most of the fish were caught before dawn with the activity slowing dramatically after sunrise. Low clear water and very line shy fish will dictate the lightest of presentations if you are going to give a a try. Fly anglers should do well with fluorocarbon tippets. Conventional anglers will do best reducing line strength to 4 lb. and even 2 lb. fluorocarbon line at times. Very light floats and small baits such as sucker spawn flies and single eggs may be the ticket. Anglers are reminded again that fishing from the East bank of the Manchester Hole is not permitted nor is fishing the West side of Walnut Creek from the end of the wall North to the mouth.

Boaters are still bringing in good catches of Walleye and Perch, wind and waves permitting. Boaters have been trying their luck trolling the Lake near the mouths for steelhead but there have been no reports of great activity yet.

Current Lake Erie water temperature off Toledo is 66 degrees, off Cleveland, 68 degrees, and off the Port of Erie, 68 degrees. Current West County tributary conditions as of this writing are extremely low, very clear, and little flow.

Few More Regulations Pertinent To The Walnut Creek Access:
We so often hear an individual say "I didn't know" or "am I allowed" when it comes to regulations in our area. The following are a few more regulations directly affecting the Walnut Creek Access Area which is controlled by the PFBC. These are areas of concern and regulations that cover many of the typical problems we encounter with the large crowds and congestion in that area.
Boats have the absolute right of way over anglers fishing along the Walnut Creek Channel wall. Reminder signs are posted and any interference by shore anglers will be strictly enforced. Although boaters are reminded to sound their horns when exiting the channel, this is a courtesy and not a law. Wall anglers need to keep an open eye for boats entering and exiting the channel and immediately pull their lines to avoid tangling with boat props and outdrives.

Overnight camping (includes sleeping overnight in a vehicle or boat), building or maintaining open fires, swimming, and picking, cutting, or digging flowers, plants, shrubs and trees is prohibited.

The leaving or disposal of any rubbish on Commission property is prohibited unless placed in containers, if provided for this purpose. Disposal of any refuse accumulated off Commission property is prohibited.

Any personal, organizational or commercial use other than normally intended fishing and boating activities is prohibited, except that the executive director or his designee may issue permits to organizations for the use of Pennsylvania Fish & Boat Commission properties, when it is determined that such use will not damage Commission property and will not interfere with normal usage by others.

The removal or defacing of any sign, poster or property is prohibited, and it shall be unlawful to damage in any manner any lands or to interfere with any device or structure, or to alter or interfere with the flow of water over or through any structure.
Vehicles must be parked in designated areas only. Blocking or obstructing driveways, access roads or launch ramps is prohibited.

No person may construct, place or maintain any structure, fixture or any other tangible property on or in Commission-owned or Commission-controlled property or waters without a permit from the executive director or his designee. Persons are further prohibited from encroaching upon Commission property in any manner incompatible with public use.

A vehicle properly registered and operated in conformance with the Vehicle Code (except all-terrain vehicles) is permitted on Commission-owned or Commission-controlled property on those areas that are open to vehicular traffic such as roadways, driveways, launch ramps and designated parking areas. It is unlawful to operate a vehicle on Commission property on (a) roads not open to the public, (b) in a negligent or reckless manner, (c) in a manner that obstructs or impedes public access to driveways, access roads and launch ramps, (d) in a manner not in conformance with the posted traffic control signs or devices, (e) on forested areas, grasslands, wetlands and lands under cultivation, and (f) on frozen lakes, ponds, rivers or streams. The use of off-road motorized vehicles, including trail bikes, Tote Gotes, all-terrain vehicles (ATVs), air-cushioned vehicles, track vehicles, hydrofoils and the like, is prohibited.

Fishing in the Walnut Creek marina basin is currently prohibited.

Trespassing on Fish & Boat Commission property is prohibited where posted

Law Enforcement:
An explanation of the term "Culling" was requested this past week. An explanation is as follows: It is legal to fish catch and release after catching a daily limit as long as no fish are killed and no fish are taken. However, if a fish caught after having a daily creel limit cannot be released immediately and unharmed (for any reason), a violation has occurred. For this reason, it is NOT a recommended practice to continue to fish on a catch and release basis after taking a daily creel limit. While it is legal if the last fish caught is immediately returned unharmed to the waters from which it was caught, because of the chances for noncompliance in such a situation, it's not a good idea. Also, you are not allowed to trade fish from the stringer for bigger ones caught later. Fish on the stringer are "taken" even if they are alive. Once placed on a stringer or in a live well or other container it is part of the daily creel limit. The exception is for fishing tournaments, which require a special permit. You are not allowed to trade a fish from the stringer for a mortally wounded fish caught after you have a limit. Catching the fish that is mortally wounded is a violation even if the intent of the angler was to fish on a catch and release basis. Since the angler would be unable to immediately return it unharmed to the waters from which taken, a violation has occurred

Local Weather

Wednesday Night...Mostly clear. Lows in the lower 50s. East winds 5 to 10 mph.

Thursday...Partly cloudy. Highs in the mid 70s. Southeast winds 5 to 10 mph...becoming northeast in the afternoon.

Thursday Night...Partly cloudy. Lows in the mid 50s. Northeast winds 5 to 10 mph.

Friday...Partly cloudy. Highs in the lower 70s.

Friday Night...Mostly cloudy with a 30 percent chance of rain. Lows in the mid 50s.

Saturday...Mostly cloudy. A chance of showers in the morning. Highs in the upper 60s. Chance of rain 30 percent.

Saturday Night...Mostly cloudy. Lows in the mid 50s.

Sunday...Partly sunny. Highs in the lower 70s.

Sunday Night...Mostly cloudy. Lows in the mid 50s.

Monday...Partly sunny. Highs in the upper 60s.

Monday Night...Mostly cloudy. Lows in the upper 40s.

Tuesday...Partly sunny with a 40 percent chance of showers. Highs in the upper 50s.

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