WCO Report for Erie and Crawford County 01/23/02: Erie area, PA,
Fishing Report Posted: January 23, 2002

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Posted by WCO John Bowser on January 23, 2002 at 09:11:54:

Erie WCO Report / WCO John Bowser & DWCO Randy Leighton

Steelhead Fishing...
Current high temperatures have the streams open & flowing well. The 40" + of snow cover has been doing a slow melt off which will no doubt help the water table. Current observations (1/22/02) show that only anglers using live minnows were catching fish. The fish are all the way up the tribs and fresh runs will be making their way intermittently. A huge gravel bar is nearly blocking the mouth of Walnut but there is still plenty of room for incoming Steelhead.

Pa. Fishing Licenses ... Recreational fishing is important to Pennsylvania's economy. Its economic impact has been conservatively estimated at $1.35 billion per year. Recreational fishing supports nearly 17,000 jobs in Pennsylvania, and it contributes more than $50 million to the stateís General Fund in state sales and income taxes each year.
The year 2002 will be the seventh consecutive year where the cost of a fishing license has remained unchanged. It will be the twelfth consecutive year with no increase in the price of a trout stamp.
The Commission plans to participate in 10 to 15 sportsmenís forums, some hosted by members of the General Assembly, during the first half of 2002. The Commission is committed to working with the sportsmen, the Administration and the General Assembly to fashion a reasonable and responsible fee schedule.

Late Winter Stocking of Trout... Both Lake Pleasant & the Upper Gravel Pit will be stocked the "Week of" February 18

Safe Boating Course Reminder
A PFBC Basic Boating Course is scheduled for February 25th and 26th. (Mon. & Tues.) from 6:00 PM to 10:00 PM. at the Nature Center on Presque Isle (Stull Interpretive Center). This is an eight hour course that covers the basics of boating safety. Materials are provided and there is no cost for the class. This is a great course for the beginning boater or to freshen up your boating skills. Successful completion of the course earns the participant a boaters safety certificate as required for personal watercraft operation. For more information or to register you can email Officers Bowser or Leighton at Jwb014@aol.com or Rglerie@aol.com or you may call 774-0928

Winter Sportsmen Club Meetings...
Officers are putting together a presentation on "How to report violations more effectively." It will roughly cover the type of evidence needed for successful prosecutions, information gathering, contact methods, and an informal question & answer period. This will be a chance to ask any of the questions you may have on how we do our job & improve the way we work together to clear the poachers and slobs from our waters. This is a great place for inquiries about the PFBC Deputy Program. Announcements will be made through the media as to times, dates, places, etc...

Western Crawford County WCO Report / WCO Joe Russell

Pymatuning Lake- The ice season has started on Pymatuning and with the opening of Tuttle Point fishermen are finding it much easier to get to that favorite fishing hole. A large number of fishermen were out this weekend with the nice weather and several were lucky enough to catch fish. Walleye and Crappies were the big winners with a very few perch taken. The hot spot seems to be off of Tuttle Point along the edge of the old river bed (just south west of the boat ramp in Tuttle camp), however people were having luck out from Manning Boat ramp as well. Live bait and jigging sonar's seems to be the most productive, just remember to buy your bait ahead of time as the shops right on the lake are closed right now. Ice was anywhere from 4 to 6 inches depending on where you were and I have been receiving numerous letters asking is the ice safe, to answer that question my response is always going to be "NO ICE IS SAFE." I don't want the responsibility of you taking a swim or worse, just because I said the ice was safe and you didn't pay attention. Pymatuning State Park also has numerous programs coming up in the next few months that I told them I would pass on to you all, they are listed below.

Schedule of upcoming events for Pymatuning State Park:
1. Winter Fun Days Feb. 2 & 3- free horse drawn hay rides, trail rides, ice boat races, wood carving, kids sled rides (with snow), kids train rides (without snow), ice fishing demonstrations, hole in one contest, snow mobile displays, breakfast served from 7:00am to 11:00 am, wiener roast Saturday night at 6:00 pm. Event will be held snow or no snow.
2. Join Ed Vorisek Wildlife Management Technician, on Saturday Feb. 16th from 1:30pm to 3:00pm at shelter #4, for a program on Bear And Human Conflict Management in Alaska and a slide program focusing on the natural history of Grizzly bears in interior Alaska. Ed works for the National Park service at Denali National Park and has been monitoring bear/human conflicts since 1995.
3. Pymatuning Lake Shore line clean up, April 6th 8:00am to 12:00noon, the clean up coincides with earth day celebrations and includes shoreline and litter cleanup of all areas around the park. Lunch is provided for all volunteers and pre-registration is required by 3/29/02
4. Amphibians and Reptiles presented by April Claus on April 27th from 1:00pm to 2:30pm at shelter #4. Learn the importance of reptiles and amphibians to our environment with several native western Pennsylvania species present. Learn to identify various frog calls and join the frog watch program to determine the status of our local species.
5. After a long drab winter enjoy a WILDFLOWER SLIDE PROGRAM. During this slide program we will look at some of the wildflowers found around Pymatuning and the preferred habitat for these early bloomers.
6. A WILDFLOWER WALK will take place on May 4th at 1:30 pm to 3:00 pm at the ranger station on Adams rd. Comfortable walking shoes are recommended.
7. Mother's Day Victorian Tea on May 12th 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm at the rangers station on Adams Rd. (registration Requested) Join us on mothers day as we visit the historic past through culinary delights and stories of the local area during this interesting era.
8. Pymatuning Pioneer Arts Festival, July 27th and 28th, 10:00 am to 6:00 pm on Saturday and 12:00 pm to 6:00 pm on Sunday. Displays, demonstrations, historical programs, arts and crafts, jelly making, ice cream making, musical entertainment, and civil war re-enactors. This event is held in the day use area near the dam.

Conneaut Lake- Conneaut just saw its first skim of ice this last weekend over the entire lake and there were still spots of open water near our access at the northern end. Definitely not good for fishing just yet but as soon as it is I will let you know.

Crystal Lake- Several Ice fishermen have been using this lake so far and with some good results. This is an excellent fishing hole to bring young ones or if you want a little more action, you just don't get the larger fish like you do on bigger bodies of water. Small panfish and bass seem to be the main species caught here on just about every bait you can come up with.

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