WCO Report for Erie County 09/30/2009: Erie area, PA,
WCO Report Posted: September 29, 2009

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Posted by DWCO Randy Leighton on September 29, 2009 at 21:48:15:

September 30th, 2009

West Erie County, DWCO Randy Leighton, WCO Brook Tolbert


The rains have finally come. Northwest Pennsylvania has had significant rainfall since the weekend raising the tribs to very high, muddy, and hard flowing conditions. As of Tuesday afternoon it was still raining and most areas were completely blown out as the heavy water moves from the county towards the lake.. The good new, of course, is that as the waters subside, steelhead movement should be significant. Forecasts for the week are calling for a pretty good chance of continued rain. If things ease up the stage may be set for a spectacular weekend of trib fishing. Those coming from out of town would be wise to check local weather forecasts and check with local bait shops or the Walnut Creek Access office for up to the minute conditions. Boating activity has been halted for the past few days with small craft warnings and waves cresting 14 feet or more. Current Lake Erie water temperature is 65 degrees off Erie. Current West county tributary conditions as of Tuesday after noon were very high and muddy and rolling hard.

Fish & Boat Commission Looking for Diverse Applicants to Perform Duties of Waterways Conservation Officers:
Harrisburg, PA - The Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission (PFBC) is looking for individuals interested in a career as a Waterways Conservation Officer (WCO).

Applications for WCO Trainee positions will be accepted between October 7 and November 18. All written testing must be completed with the Civil Service Commission by December 29.

WCOs perform specialized work in fish conservation and watercraft safety under the jurisdiction of the Commission, blending law enforcement and public relations duties. Typical duties include patrolling by foot, car and boat to detect violations of fishing and boating laws; apprehending violators; issuing warnings and or citations; serving warrants; presenting evidence at hearings and court proceedings; investigating water pollution incidents; investigating boating accidents; and stocking fish. Appearing in public to conduct classes or provide information to groups are also highlights of the WCOs duties. WCOs work demanding schedules, including holidays and weekends, to perform their vital public safety and conservation duties.

All WCOs begin their career as a WCO Trainee. Before candidates are assigned the highly independent duties of Waterways Conservation Officer, they must complete an extensive 52-week specialized training program beginning with approximately 20 weeks of instruction in law enforcement principles and practices that meet the standards of the Municipal Police Training Act. An additional 32-week period follows with 20 weeks of classroom training by the Commission at the H. R. Stackhouse School of Fisheries Conservation and Watercraft Safety in Centre County, Pa., and 12 weeks of supervised field training. The program is conducted under close supervision, according to stringent rules. Those who successfully complete the training program will be promoted to a Waterways Conservation Officer position.

Applicants must be at least 21 years of age at date of hire and possess a current valid Pennsylvania driver's license. Applicants must be residents of Pennsylvania, of good moral fiber and be able to perform the essential functions of the job. Successful candidates must pass written, oral, and physical evaluations. Additional information about a career as a WCO is available on the Commission's Careers page.

Application forms and further information on the process can be obtained from the State Civil Service Commission website at www.scsc.state.pa.us. Information may also be obtained from State Civil Service Commission offices in Harrisburg at 717-783-3058 (Text Telephone: 717-772-2685), Philadelphia at 215-560-2253 (Text Telephone: 215-560-4367), or Pittsburgh at 412-565-7666 (Text Telephone: 412-565-2484.) Information may also be obtained by contacting the PFBC's Human Resource Office at 717-705-7820 or by visiting the website at www.fish.state.pa.us.

The Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission is the sole state agency, charged by law, to manage the fisheries and to regulate fishing and pleasure boating in the Commonwealth. The Commission also has a vital, mandated interest in the enhancement and preservation of the state's aquatic environment. These responsibilities have been in place for nearly 140 years, growing steadily in scope, complexity and the number of people served.

Fish & Boat Fall Meeting Scheduled for October 5-6 in Harrisburg to Include Erie Public Fishing and Boating Access Matters:
Harrisburg, PA - The Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission (PFBC) will consider authorizing several property-related matters to improve public fishing and boating access in Erie County when the agency holds its fall quarterly meeting on Oct. 5-6 at its Harrisburg office.

Among other items on the formal agenda, commissioners will consider amendments to regulations which reduce creel limits for American Shad and River Herring in parts of the Delaware, Lehigh and Schuylkill rivers and will vote on adding the salamander mussel to the state endangered species list. Also, during the Fisheries Committee meeting on Monday, staff will outline to commissioners its strategic plan for trout management.

Commission committees will meet beginning at 10 a.m. on Monday, Oct. 5, and again at 8:30 a.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 6. Formal consideration of the agenda by the full Commission will begin at approximately 12:45 p.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 6. All committee meetings and the review of the agenda are open to the public.

A complete copy of the meeting schedule and the full agenda for the meeting can be found on the Commission's web site at www.fishandboat.com/minutes.htm.

The mission of the Fish and Boat Commission is to protect, conserve, and enhance the Commonwealth's aquatic resources and provide fishing and boating opportunities. For more information about fishing and boating in Pennsylvania, please visit our website at www.fishandboat.com

The mission of the Fish and Boat Commission is to protect, conserve, and enhance the Commonwealth's aquatic resources and provide fishing and boating opportunities. For more information about fishing and boating in Pennsylvania, please visit our website at www.fishandboat.com

A Few Wading Suggestions:
With the heavy rainfalls during the month of September, we are ofr to and early start on Steelhead season with the anglers often seeing the high and muddy rapids more typical of the spring steelhead season. Good waders and footing are important part of enjoying a good day on the tribs.

First, select the appropriate waders. Give yourself a little extra room for warm clothing underneath. Generally neoprene waders with built in boots will provide the best insulation although many anglers prefer the "stocking foot" type with separate shoes making it possible to vary the material on their soles. The local tribs have a variety of bottom structure from slippery shale, to gravel, to mud, and rocky bottoms. Wading shoes with felt soles can help improve your traction. Don't worry if you can't find boots with felt soles in your size. Most tackle shops carry felt sole kits you can use to customize your boots. Felt can provide good traction this time of year but are not much help once the snow starts to fall.

Take a wading stick or staff. While you can buy specialty wading sticks from most fishing outfitters, although an old ski pole or stout wooden staff can work just as well. Most of our areas are relatively shallow however, there are plenty of deep pockets that can fool an unsuspecting or unfamiliar angler.

Consider wearing a a life jacket, especially when fishing the tribs after a strong rain when the water is high and fast flowing. This is should be a must for younger anglers and non swimmers. They're not just for boats. Many models offer compartments that can hold your fishing gear. Alternatively, vest models offer built in inflatable lifejackets. They cost a little more than plain vests, but it’s a relatively inexpensive life insurance policy.

Let someone at home know how long you plan to be out, especially when fishing some of the more remote areas. Electronic communication is now at everyone's fingertips, however much of our area, especially near the lake shore, can put you out of cell phone range.

Don't fish completely alone. In an emergency, having someone around who can help is always a good idea, especially when fishing the more remote areas of the tribs

Enter the water slowly, especially at night. Flowing water can be surprisingly powerful, so don’t plunge in and get caught off guard. In addition, a slow, steady entry cuts down on stream bed disturbance. It is also a courteous idea to wade slowly in crowded fishing areas.

If you are wading with a staff, cross the current facing upstream. Lean on the staff as if it were a third leg.

Shuffle your feet. When in water over the top of your feet, don't pick up your feet. Lift them up just a little and shuffle along the bottom. Take one step at a time. It isn't a race, so go slowly. You will spook fewer fish that way, too.

If you do fall, immediately bend your knees to trap air in your waders. Don't panic; chest waders and hip boots will not immediately "pull you down," as some people think. Stay on your back with your feet downstream and your knees bent until you can safety stand up. If you are wearing loose fitting chest waders, a wading belt should be worn to help prevent water from entering in the event of a fall. If you do fall, you and not your gear or fish should be your first priority

Finally, always have some extra dry clothes and a repair kit for leaky waders. A dry shirt and pants feel mighty good after you have taken a cold “swim.” Besides, if you have clothes to change in to and a kit to repair a tear in your waders, you can keep fishing!

Local Weather:

Wednesday Night...Mostly cloudy in the evening...then becoming partly cloudy. Lows in the lower 40s. Northwest winds 10 to 15 mph...diminishing to around 5 mph after midnight.

Thursday...Partly cloudy. Highs in the upper 50s. West winds 5 to 10 mph.

Thursday Night...Partly cloudy in the evening...then becoming mostly cloudy. Lows in the mid 40s. Northwest winds around 5 mph...becoming south after midnight.

Friday...Mostly cloudy with a 50 percent chance of showers. Highs around 60.

Friday Night...Mostly cloudy with a 40 percent chance of showers. Not as cool with lows in the mid 50s.

Saturday...Mostly cloudy with a 40 percent chance of showers. Highs in the mid 60s.

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

Sunday...Cloudy with a 40 percent chance of showers. Highs in the lower 60s.

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

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

Monday Night...Mostly cloudy with a 30 percent chance of showers. Lows in the lower 50s.

Tuesday...Mostly cloudy with a 40 percent chance of showers. Highs in the upper 60s.

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