WCO Report for Erie County 08/17/2011: Erie area, PA,
WCO Report Posted: August 16, 2011

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Posted by DWCO Randy Leighton on August 16, 2011 at 22:09:59:

August 17th, 2011

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

As of late a dozen people will give you a dozen different reports. Anglers are still having the most success for walleye and a few steelhead in the colder, deeper waters of the lake which in many cases may often be too far off shore for some of the smaller watercraft. Boats fishing north of the point off Presque Isle nearly to the Canadian line and West have been doing well. Perch fishing is a bid sporadic with schools somewhat on the move and anglers having to move often to bring in their limits. As of this writing the most productive perch fishing has been in 52 to 54 feet of waters off the Presque Isle condos and the point. The exceptionally warm Lake temperatures this year seem to have fish on the move in search of colder more oxygen enriched waters. A few anglers have been spotted fishing the wall at Walnut Creek at night in search of that first tributary steelhead but it's a bit early. The tribs are still very low and very warm and there hasn't been any evidence of early staging at the mouths. Current Lake Erie water temperature off Erie is 78 degrees.

Celebrate Erie, August 14th -16th:
Celebrate Erie (formally, We Love Erie Days) takes place August 18th - 21st. This is one of the largest summer event in the city and combines the Arts, Music, great food, and a wealth of Downtown events and activities. This year the event will take over State street from 4th street to 12th street. For more information go to Celebrate Erie 2011

Boat Ownership, Protecting That Investment:
The following provides in depth detail and information in securing and safely guarding your watercraft against theft and vandalism:

Across the nation, as recreational boating continues to gain popularity, more and more boats, trailers, equipment, electronics and personal items are stolen each year. Most of these crimes are committed by amateurs who, when tempted with an easy opportunity, can't resist the temptation. Remember the old adage that locks are just a means of keeping honest people honest. This certainly applies to boating. You would be surprised at how often, when strolling the fuel dock, you will find a boat that has pulled up for fuel, or ice or refreshments, just sitting there unattended with the keys in the ignition or, worse yet, idling away. Or even if the keys aren't present you might see a handheld VHF radio or a pair of expensive binoculars just lying in the seat or on the dash. What can you do to make sure that your boat stays in your possession? Read on for tips on security.

Permanently mark or engrave your boat, your trailer, all your equipment, electronics and personal items which you use regularly on your boat with your vessels hull identification number (HIN) and/or your driver's license number. Your boat of course, unless manufactured prior to 1972, will already have a HIN on the transom. Permanently mark your driver's license number in a location that is not readily accessible or noticeable. The same should apply to the trailer. Perhaps mark your boat's HIN and your DL number on the underside of the tongue or axle. As for your equipment, electronics and other items, use some method of permanently marking them as well.

Be sure to keep a copy of your boat and trailer registrations at home in a safe place. It is also a good idea to take a hull rubbing of your HIN. Take a sheet of thin paper and tape it over your HIN number on the transom. Using a soft leaded pencil, rub back and forth across the number lightly until in shows up on the piece of paper.

Make a complete inventory of your boat, trailer and equipment. List all electronic gear, binoculars, outboard motors, PFDs, fishing equipment etc. by brand, model, and serial numbers if available. Also record your boat by make, model, registration and HIN number. Be sure to record the license number of your trailer.
Keep this master inventory list at home and keep a copy for reference in a hidden place on your boat in case you find something missing.

Take pictures or videotape your boat, trailer and equipment from all angles. Keep copies at home in a safe place. Perhaps alongside your insurance papers.

Consider an alarm system. Self-contained systems are inexpensive and can be purchased at most any radio shack, electronics or marine store. Be sure to choose a system specifically designed for boating use. The damp and constantly moving marine environment puts demands on the alarm system requiring special sensors and properly protected location. Systems not designed for marine use may malfunction or report false alarms. Be sure, if you have an enclosed cabin, to include a smoke detector in your alarm system.

Boats should be covered and secured as completely as possible. Ignition switches should be locked and additional steps such as installing a hidden "kill switch," hidden fuel shut off or removing motor parts such as the coil wire should be considered.

Boats on trailers are easy crime targets if thieves can just hitch up and drive away. Here are several ways that you can help prevent that:

If possible, store the boat and trailer in a locked garage, secured boat storage facility or mini-storage warehouse.
Keep the boat well inside your yard, preferably out of sight.
If possible, turn the trailer around so the it is "nose" in rather than out.
In a carport or driveway, park a vehicle in front of the trailer, blocking easy removal.
For any type of outside storage, remove at least one wheel from the trailer.
Use a high-security chain and quality lock to secure the boat and trailer to a fixed object such as a tree or post.
No matter how you store your trailer, get a trailer hitch lock.
Some trailers are available that allow you to remove the forward part of the tongue which contains the hitch.

Obviously your best bet is to remove all equipment from your boat and store it in the garage or other secure area. Make sure you lock hatches and opening ports. If your boat doesn't have them, or they are broken, you can purchase hatch locks at any marine store. When possible, valuable and easily removed items should be secured below deck in a locked compartment. Lockers should be equipped with non-removable hasps and hinges and secured with padlocks. Lock outboard motors and fuel tanks to the boat. When your boat is left unattended, close the window curtains if you have them so people can not "window shop."

If your boat is kept in the water at a dock, consider chaining it to the dock. Also, get to know your marina neighbors and form a marina watch group.

What should you do if you are a victim of marine theft? Immediately report your loss to your local law enforcement agency, the United States Coast Guard if on federal waters, your insurance company and the marina or storage facility manager. When a loss occurs, the ability to positively identify property is crucial to its recovery and the the prosecution of thieves and dealers in stolen goods.

By following the above suggestions you can reduce the risk of loss of your boat, trailer or equipment by theft. You should also exercise caution when buying a boat or running across a "good deal" on equipment. To avoid problems, match the HIN listed on the title and registration to the one on the boat. Inspect the HIN on the transom to be sure it has not been altered in any way. (Also, contact the manufacturer to see if a second, duplicate HIN was placed on the vessel or equipment in an inconspicuous place.) And, if you think that pair of $500.00 binoculars is a real bargain at only twenty five bucks...well remember that saying, if it is too good to be true...
Boat ownership, keeping it yours, courtesy of boatsafe.com

A Few USCG/PFBC Safety Tips and Regulations On Waterskiing and Tubing:
Don't take unnecessary risks while water-skiing. The following tips will help you safely enjoy this thrilling sport:

ALWAYS have an competent observer in the boat. This is a legal requirement in Pennsylvania and most states. The boat driver cannot watch the skier and operate the boat safely at the same time.

ALWAYS wear a Coast Guard approved wearable Personal Flotation Device (PFD) designed for water skiing. Ski belts are not permitted in Pennsylvania nor are inflatable PFDs

Never ski in rough water. High waves or a choppy sea will prevent the tow boat from maintaining a steady course and speed and can make retrieving a downed skier dangerous.

Stay well clear of congested areas and obstructions. Water-skiing requires a lot of open area.

Don't spray or "buzz" swimmers, boats, or other skiers. Such stunts are dangerous, discourteous, and could cause an unintentional collision.

NEVER ski after dark. It is hazardous and a violation of the law. Water sking and other similar activities are not permitted between the hours of sunset and sunrise. Any boat traveling fast enough to tow a skier is traveling too fast to navigate safely at night.

NEVER water-ski while under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Such activity is extremely dangerous because of the impairment to your judgment and ability to respond. A recent study conducted with expert skiers who were deliberately intoxicated indicated that even their ability to ski was dramatically reduced.

Use hand signals between the skier and observer. Agree before you start what each signal means so there is no confusion at a critical moment.

Retrieving a Downed Skier:
Falling down in the water while water-skiing is a common occurrence, especially for beginners. If a skier has fallen or made a water landing, pick them up as soon as possible, since floating skiers are difficult for other boats to see.

While waiting to be picked up, the skier should hold up a ski to increase their chances of being recognized in the water. The boat operator reduces speed immediately while the observer maintains visual contact with the skier and directs the operator. Return to pick up the fallen skier with the boat at reduced speed and headed into the wind or current, whichever is stronger.

Always turn off engine when approaching the skier. The observer is to watch for the skier's signal to indicate the skier is all right. If the signal is not seen, the operator must assume the skier is injured and needs immediate assistance. If the skier is injured but is able to grasp and hold a line, maneuver the boat upwind and close to the injured person. Turn off the engine, throw the injured skier a line and gently haul them in. If they cannot grasp and hold a line, follow the same procedure, but let the boat drift towards them without power.

Always keep the operator's side toward the victim and NEVER retrieve anyone from the water with the engine running. Put a swimmer in the water to retrieve a skier only as a last resort

Local Weather:

Wednesday Night...Partly cloudy. Lows in the lower 60s. South winds around 5 mph.

Thursday...Mostly cloudy in the morning...then clearing. A chance of showers and thunderstorms. Highs around 80. Southwest winds 5 to 10 mph...becoming west in the afternoon. Chance of rain 40 percent.

Thursday Night...Partly cloudy. A chance of showers and thunderstorms in the evening. Lows in the mid 60s. Southwest winds around 5 mph. Chance of rain 30 percent.

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

Friday Night...Mostly clear. Lows in the upper 60s.

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

Saturday Night...Partly cloudy with a chance of showers and thunderstorms. Lows in the upper 60s. Chance of rain 30 percent.

Sunday...Partly sunny with a chance of showers and thunderstorms. Highs in the upper 70s. Chance of rain 30 percent.

Sunday Night...Partly cloudy with a chance of showers and thunderstorms. Lows in the lower 60s. Chance of rain 30 percent.

Monday...Partly sunny. Highs in the mid 70s.

Monday Night...Partly cloudy. Lows in the lower 60s.

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

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