WCO Report for Erie County 08/25/2010: Erie area, PA,
WCO Report Posted: August 25, 2010

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Posted by DWCO Randy Leighton on August 25, 2010 at 21:35:17:

August 25th, 2010

West Erie County, DWCO Randy Leighton, rglerie@msn.com


Cooler temperatures and a number of large fronts moving through the area have made Lake Erie fishing a challenge at times with rapidly changing wind and wave conditions. Walleye and Perch anglers are still "on the move" anywhere from 30 to 40 feet of water for walleye out to 75 to 80 feet. Perch seem to still be moving, but when going our, 50 to 55 feet of water off of the Walnut Creek access and similar depths off the point are good places to start. Steelhead are being pulled in along with the walleye in the deeper depths. A few eager steelhead anglers have been spotted off the wall at Walnut Creek, but we are still pretty early and water temperatures are very warm. The tribs are very low and very clear with negligible precipitation over the last month. The current Lake Erie water temperature off Toledo is 74 degrees, off Cleveland, 76 degrees, and off degrees. The West County tribs are low and clear and in need of rain.

Use Caution With Changing Fronts and Rough Water:
With the often quick transition from Summer to Fall like weather, boaters are advised to carefully monitor wind and wave conditions. All too often we see boaters come a long way to fish our area, and risk going out in risky conditions. Most marine radios have at least 2 weather channels including NOAA. Monitoring channel 16 in the scan mode (rather than locking in on say, channel 68) will give you severe weather warnings as they develop. The simple rule of thumb is to keep an eye on the sky, especially towards the west for changing conditions. Should you get caught in rough water, put on your PFD, insist your passengers do the same, and consider the following:
1) Maneuver so the boat takes the initial and heaviest winds on the bow, not abeam. (The smaller the boat, the more
important it is to head into the wind.)

2) Waves should be approached at a 45-degree angle. This will help keep the propeller underwater and reduce pounding.

3) In moderate waves, slow your speed so you can ride atop and over a wave. Avoid driving the bow into a wave or riding
to the top of the wave and falling off the back, which could bury the bow.

4) Remember ... the heavier the seas, the slower your boat speed to minimize strain on the vessel and maximize
steering control.

5) Continue to keep the bilge free of water to prevent the rolling effects of sloshing water below.

Foggy Conditions:
Significant differences between water and air temperature (very common on Lake Erie as we head into the fall months) are a recipe for fog and poor visibility. Consider the following when caught in foggy conditions:

If possible, finding a spot to safely anchor is the best way to ride out foggy conditions. Once anchored, however,, you must sound your compressed air horn (or whistle or bell) for 5 seconds during every minute anchored and you should display your all around white light (anchor light)

If you hear another vessel approaching, give the sound signal to alert oncoming vessels to your presence One Short Blast and One Prolonged Blast.

Should you find that you must operate a vessel in fog conditions, be sure you are displaying your running lights, immediately reduce speed, and remember the proper following sound signals to avoid collision:

Two Short Blasts: You are turning to port and will pass the other vessel on your starboard side.

Three Short Blasts: This means that a boat is slowing or stopping to avoid collision.

Five Short Blasts: This means danger. If you believe a collision is imminent or that there is confusion in the sound signals this is an appropriate signal.(A short blast is about 1 second. A long blast is about 5 seconds.)

Treat your windshield with a quality rainshield product to reduce fogging and improve visibility.

Boating Safety Tip of the Week: Fire extinguishers should be mounted within arm's reach of the operator and visual distress signals should be in an easily accessible location. A few double checks and extra late season precautions may save your life

Local Weather: Wednesday Night ..Mostly cloudy with a 30 percent chance of showers. Lows around 60. North winds 5 to 10 mph.

Thursday...Partly sunny with a 30 percent chance of showers. Highs around 70. Northwest winds 10 to 15 mph.

Thursday Night...Becoming partly cloudy. Lows in the lower 50s. North winds 5 to 10 mph.

Friday...Mostly sunny. Highs in the mid 70s.

Friday Night...Clear. Lows in the upper 50s.

Saturday...Mostly sunny. Highs in the lower 80s.

Saturday Night...Mostly clear. Lows in the lower 60s.

Sunday...Mostly sunny. Highs in the mid 80s.

Sunday Night...Mostly clear. Lows in the lower 60s.

Monday...Mostly sunny. Highs in the mid 80s.

Monday Night...Mostly clear. Lows in the lower 60s.

Tuesday...Mostly sunny. Highs in the mid 80s.

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