WCO Report for Erie and Crawford County 01/02/02: Erie area, PA,
Fishing Report Posted: January 02, 2002

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[ Lake Erie & Tributaries Fishing Report ]

Posted by WCO John Bowser on January 02, 2002 at 13:02:41:

Erie County - DWCO Randy Leighton

Fishing conditions have become difficult with nearly 40" of snow and freeze over setting in. Most all of the tribs are frozen with minor areas of water flow. Some open pockets will produce fish however landing them can be a challenge. Anglers have been spotted attempting to break up the ice at the Manchester hole as well as the Project Waters. This often does little more than severely spook the fish and can be very dangerous to the angler. With the unpredictable weather we have in our area, it only takes a week or so of above freezing to melt off the ice on the tribs. Fishing the shore at Trout Run will continue to be productive ice and waves permitting.
Presque Isle Bay currently has 1.5" to 2" of ice on it.

With water levels being high and the possibility of drifting ice on the tribs, wading safety is important. We have seen so many types of waders and boots that it would be difficult to describe the pros and cons of all of them. Personally, I am a fan of the neoprene type waders. They typically come in 3 and 5 mm insulation and for my money are the safest all around wader. They provide warmth, fit snug around the chest preventing large amounts of water from getting in, and they provide some floatation and cushion if you fall. Rubberized fabrics, coated nylon or the new breathable waders present a real risk of rapidly filling with water if you slip or fall. This can even make standing back up in shallow water very difficult. These types of waders should never be worn without a properly adjusted wader belt to minimize water entry. The belt helps to trap air in the waders as well. Think of it like a seat belt and always use one. Boots, whether a separate item or built into the wader are mostly a matter of preference in our area. Felt bottoms do nicely on algae covered rocks and ice however, the rubber cleated type will fair better in the mud.
If you fall in fast moving water, the best thing to do is ride it out till feet first downstream until you can get your footing. Since most of our tribs are relatively shallow, the most important thing is to get safely out of the water quickly to avoid hypothermia. Anglers will often stand for hours in ice water often joking about the cold and how numb their legs and feet get. Dressing appropriately, taking frequent breaks, and taking along food and non alcoholic beverages can often safely extend your angling time and help avoid over exposure to the cold.

Hypothermia and Frostbite
Hypothermia simply stated is the lowering of the body's core temperature below 95 degrees. Frostbite simply stated is freezing of ones flesh.

Signs of Hypothermia include:
1) Trembling
2) Uncontrollable fits of shivering
3) Slurred and slow speech
4) Poor judgment
5) Skin color ranging from cyanosis to waxen; skin often appears gray and blood
6) Increased blood pressure, heart, and respiratory rates at first; decreased heart and
respiratory rates, irregular heartbeat, weak, shallow or absent pulse and respiration
as hypothermia progresses.
6) Low blood pressure

Emergency care for Hypothermia

1) Activate EMS - 911
2) TOP PRIORITY - never allow the person to stay in a cold environment.
3) Obtain body temperature using a thermometer with a minimum reading of 70
4) Keep the person in a horizontal position; it helps to prevent shock.
5) Handle the patient very gently and do not allow the patient to exert himself.
6) Jostling a hypothermia patient can cause a heart attack.
7) Check vital signs -- measure for one full minute due to the slowness of the body
8) Insulate the head due to rapid heat loss
9) Start with active external warming -- warm blankets, coats, layers of clothing, body
heat transfer from person to person.

Frostbite often accompanies Hypothermia. Factors that contribute to Frostbite include:

1) Any kind of trauma; always check for frostbite in trauma victims who are injured in
cold weather.
2) Age - the elderly and the newborn are most susceptible
3) Use of alcohol during exposure to cold (alcohol acts as a vasodilator and lowers
the ability to conserve heat)
4) Wet clothing
5) High Altitudes
6) Loss of blood
7) Race - African Americans are 6 times more likely to get frostbite.

Treatment for frostbite:

1) Remove the patient immediately, if possible, from the cold environment.
2) If the tissue is still frozen, keep it frozen until you can initiate care. Never initiate
thawing procedures if there is any danger of refreezing.
3) Protect the injured area from friction or pressure. Remove any constricting clothing
or jewelry.
4) Thaw the tissue as rapidly as the patient can tolerate the pain. Use water just
below body temperature (90o). Never reheat the water just continue to a warm
water to the existing water.
5) Rewarming is extremely painful.
6) Keep rewarming until the color no longer improves. The affected should turn deep
red or bluish, and the skin should be soft and pliable. Rewarming may take as
long as 30 to 40 minutes. Never attempt to rewarm the area by rubbing or
massaging, and never rub a frostbitten area with snow or alcohol.

Information on Hypothermia and frostbite in part from various web sources

Crawford County - WCO Joe Russell

Pymatuning Lake- I have received a lot of e-mails this week asking about the
condition of the ice on the lake. Unfortunately until this morning Jan 1,
2002 there was no ice on the southern end of the lake. I did check today
though and the ice has started forming so I guess it is finally time to get
the boats put away for the year and get out the ice shanties. So far we only
have about enough ice to support the waterfowl sitting out there but if we
keep getting these cold nights we should have good ice soon. As to where the
best spots to fish through the ice, that remains to be seen but the channel
off Tuttle Point really produced last year and that is as good a place as
any to start. Give it a while though because the ice is still not thick
enough to support anyone yet. For those of you that have been writing asking
about Richter's Sporting Goods that burnt down, construction has come along
nicely and they should be open to selling bait by the beginning of next
month. I spoke with them this afternoon and this was a setback but they will
be open again soon which is really good news with ice season coming up, and
yes they will be a license dealer again this year.

Conneaut Lake- I have been on vacation this week and have not made it up to
check on the conditions here, and no one has sent me any reports so I am not
sure about how this lake is doing this week.

For those of you that think there is nothing to do around here during the
winter, you couldn't be more wrong. Next month Feb 2nd and 3rd the " WINTER
FUN DAYS " will take place at Pymatuning State Park Beach 2, Shelter #4 near
the dam. This is a really great family event with rides, games, learning
events, and yours truly doing an ICE FISHING display. The times are 9:00 AM
to 6:00 PM on Saturday and 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM on Sunday, with a wiener
roast and torch ride on Saturday evening. This is an excellent time had by
all and a really good break to the winter blues. It is also a good time to
meet me face to face should you have any questions that I may be able to
address for you. Please plan on attending if you can, you won't be sorry.

[ Lake Erie & Tributaries Fishing Report ]

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