WCO Report for Erie County 11/05/2008: Erie area, PA,
WCO Report Posted: November 05, 2008

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Posted by DWCO Randy Leighton on November 05, 2008 at 09:07:28:

November 5th, 2008

West Erie County, DWCO Randy Leighton, WCO Brook Tolbert


The rain from last week brought the West County Tribs up enough put the steelhead on the move again. A good number of fish moved in and up stream as far south as the Mckean Hole on Elk Creek and the Millcreek Mall on Walnut Creek. Fishing was good to excellent through this past week end as the tribs lowered. The tribs have now dropped to the lower levels we saw before the rain with fish holding in the deeper pools and pockets. This past weekend saw anglers frequently catching their limits through out the tribs and conditions as crowded as it can get. The Walnut Creek Marina basin is now open for fishing and anglers have been doing very well there, especially at night. Current trib conditions as of this writing are low and clear with some flow. Lake Erie water temperature off the Port of Erie is 55 degrees.

From the Department of Environmental Protection Regarding Walnut Creek:
The Department of Environmental Protection will host a public meeting this week to discuss a restoration plan for the Walnut Creek watershed, which is impaired due to increased commercial and residential development.

The meeting will be held at 7 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 6, at Asbury Woods Nature Center, 4105 Asbury Road, Erie, and will provide information about the tools and resources that are available to businesses, industry and the public to protect and restore the watershed. All are welcome to attend.

The Walnut Creek watershed includes parts of Millcreek, Fairview, Summit, McKean and Greene townships. "Walnut Creek runs through the heart of northern Erie County," said DEP Regional Director Kelly Burch. "We must work together to protect this vital watershed that supports a renowned steelhead fishery, contributes to the nation's biggest freshwater resource for drinking water, and provides habitat for threatened and endangered plant and animal species." The department performed a comprehensive assessment in 2006 to determine the environmental conditions of Walnut Creek. Among other items, the study identified impairments to aquatic life, habitat alterations due to soil being washed into the creek, and stream flow variability caused by land development, urban storm water runoff and storm sewers. In response, the department developed a watershed protection and restoration plan that focuses on steps to reclaim the impaired creek.

A copy of the plan is available for review at the regional office, or the plan can be viewed by accessing the "Community Involvement" link at the DEP Northwest Regional website: http://www.depweb.state.pa.us/northwestregion/site/default.asp

For more information on watershed protection, visit www.depweb.state.pa.us

Law Enforcement:
Area officers have had their hands full over the past week with the good fishing conditions and the large crowds. With the often low and clear conditions, and line shy fish, many anglers have been all too tempted to keep the easily foul hooked fish resulting and a substantial amount of citations. Other common violations have included over the legal limit, license violations, litter, nursery water violations etc. Litter has been exceptionally bad this year especially at the Walnut Creek Access. Anglers are reminded that officers have a zero tolerance policy regarding litter and fines can be steep. Sleeping overnight on Commission Property, (WCAA) continues to be a problem with many warnings issued. Should this problem escalate any further, the appropriate citations will be issued.

Support Your Local Sportsmen's Clubs:
The Pennsylvania Steelhead Association will be holding their monthly meeting on Wednesday November 12th at the American Legion Post on West 12th street (route 5 near the Airport) at 7:00 PM. The public is welcome.

Why Are the Steelhead Allowed to Stack Up at Trout Run:
We were again asked this past week about the steelhead trout that collect at Trout Run where it enters Lake Erie in Fairview. This is a common question with many people wondering what happens to all these fish and why are they blocked from their upstream run. Trout Run is marked as Nursery waters by the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission and as most anglers know, it is off limits to angling and highly protected. Trout Run is heavily stocked and controlled through out the Fall months. A gate or "weir" as it is called is used to control fish migration on the trib. The weir is typically closed through late fall which confines the migrating fish in a small area easily accessible area. Typically fish are netted and trucked out of this area in the late fall by the Commission with most going to the Fairview Hatchery for sorting and milking. The spawned out fish then are released back in other trib areas and occasionally the Walnut Basin and the Mckean Hole. Once this process is complete the weir is normally opened to allow the fish to move upstream. Although many of these fish do not survive the winter, there are a good number that actually return to the lake. Trout Run is a very small trib that is perfect for this process. If The Nursery waters have an over abundance of fish the Commission will often move the fish from Trout Run to other areas, a process that has often been assisted with by local sportsmen's clubs.

Local Weather:

Wednesday Night...Mostly clear. Lows in the upper 40s. Southeast winds 5 to 10 mph.

Thursday...Mostly sunny. Highs in the upper 60s. East winds 5 to 10 mph.

Thursday Night...Partly cloudy. Lows around 50. Southeast winds 10 to 15 mph.

Friday...Partly sunny. Showers and thunderstorms likely in the afternoon. Highs in the mid 60s. Chance of rain 60 percent.

Friday Night...Cloudy with a 50 percent chance of showers. Lows in the lower 40s.

Saturday...Showers likely. Much cooler with highs in the upper 40s. Chance of rain 60 percent.

Saturday Night...Rain and snow showers likely. Lows in the upper 30s. Chance of precipitation 60 percent.

Sunday...Rain showers likely. Highs in the lower 40s. Chance of rain 60 percent.

Sunday Night...Mostly cloudy with a chance of rain and snow showers. Lows in the mid 30s. Chance of precipitation 40 percent.

Monday...Partly sunny with a 40 percent chance of rain showers. Highs in the mid 40s.

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

Veterans Day...Mostly cloudy with a 30 percent chance of rain showers. Highs in the mid 40s.

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