Western Erie County / WCO John Bowser & DWCO Randy Leighton|
Public Hearing on Fishing License Increase...
Learn about the wealth of fishing in Pennsylvania and discuss the importance of its role from the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission at public meeting hosted by State Representative John Evans Monday, March 4 at Fairview High School.
This event, held from 7 to 9 p.m. at Fairview High School, Route 98 South, will provide an excellent opportunity for anglers to acquire details about the Fish and Boat Commission's operations, which are funded almost entirely from sales of fishing licenses and boat registrations.
The meeting format will include an overview of the agency highlights, fiscal needs, and explain the benefits of raising licensing and trout/salmon stamp fees. There will be ample time for audience members to comment and ask questions.
Our rich water resources benefit more than just those seeking recreation - they also support related businesses in Pennsylvania with $2 billion each year.
Anglers, local business owners, environmentalists, and the general public all benefit from the Commission's programs … your presence & comments are needed on this critical license increase issue.
Safe Boating Class...
The scheduled class for the 25th & 26th of February is full & closed to any further registration. If you missed your chance, call 814-336-2426 for additional classes that may be scheduled in your area or to find out about alternative methods.
We have World Class Steelhead, Smallmouth, & Walleye fisheries that draw thousands into our county on a regular basis. This draw provides business revenue through the sales of bait, fishing gear, gasoline, ice, hotel rooms, meals, groceries, alcohol, etc... These sales thus provide jobs in the service industry. Even through financial hard times of its own, the Fish & Boat Commission has recognized the value of the Erie resource and invested into the area.
As a WCO assigned to Western Erie County, I recently reviewed the investments made here as well as across the state while pondering my thoughts on the proposed license increase. Off the top of my head I came up with the following:
... support to the cooperative nurseries supplying Steelhead, put & take trout, perch, etc...
... improvements in the Walnut Creek Access Area
... support in the Walnut Creek Project Waters
... additional stockings added for Waterworks Pond & Cascade Creek
... development of the North East Marina
... purchase & improvements to the Elk Creek Property
... developing Conneaut Creek as a Steelhead water with future stockings planned
... on the front lines in maintaining public access to our waters
... providing youth programs at no charge (P.L.A.Y.)
... providing free Boat Safety Classes
... providing officers the latitude necessary to maximize their effectiveness
... providing assistance in fish habitat projects for Presque Isle Bay
We all tend to remember negative things in looking back ... the least we can do are think of some positives that were perhaps taken for granted.
Q: When do the Gravel Pit & Lake Pleasant close to fishing?
A: Both close at the end of March as they are in the Winter Stocked Lakes Program providing an extra month of fishing opportunity
Q: When do the Lake Erie Tributaries close?
A: The tribs only close for the 32 hours immediately preceding the Trout Opener. This provides anglers some fantastic spring run Steelhead fishing while all other trout waters are closed from Mar. 1 till the opener.
Q: When will the Walnut Creek Channel be dredged?
A: Dredging usually is completed immediately prior to May 15th. Earlier attempts to dredge have usually found the channel to fill up again from spring storms. New equipment of the PFBC should provide a quality job that will last the season.
Q: If I see a violation, how can I report it to an officer?
A: There are a variety of ways. To get a complete answer, attend one of the following sportsmen club meetings in March: Pa. Steelhead Assoc. / March 13th, Elk Valley Sportsmen Club / March 14th, or the S.O.N.S. of Lake Erie / March 25th. Topics will be violation reporting, Deputy Program, and PFBC Proposed License Increase.
Fairview Gravel Pit ...
is scheduled for stocking this week. The size limit is 7" and a total of 3 trout may be taken. This water & Lake Pleasant will be open through the month of March.
The Gravel Pit has open water and is suitable for boating. PFD requirements will be rigidly checked & enforced. They should always be worn but especially in a small boat in cold water.
Eastern Erie County / WCO Mark Kerr
Lake Pleasant is stocked this week. Observations are that ice thickness is 5" but rain & warm temperatures can quickly erode it. Use caution, fish with a buddy, & wear a PFD
Eaton Reservoir has some shore ice of questionable quality but open water is present in the middle.
French Creek is open with anglers trying for walleye at it's juncture with Conneautee. No catches have been personally observed by officers.
Wednesday: Rain likely. High near 50F. Winds S 15 to 20 mph. Rainfall around a half an inch.
Wednesday night: Showers early becoming less numerous late. Low around 36F. Winds SSW 15 to 20 mph. Chance of precip 50%.
Thursday: Showers in the morning tapering to some sprinkles in the afternoon. High around 39F. Winds WSW 15 to 20 mph. Chance of precip 40%.
Thursday (24 hours): Showers ending by midday. Highs in the upper 30s and lows in the low 20s.
Friday (24 hours): Snow showers ending by midday. Highs in the mid 30s and lows in the upper teens.
Saturday (24 hours): Mix of rain and snow showers. Highs in the low 40s and lows in the mid 30s.
Central Erie County / WCO Tom Edwards
Erie Tribs in the central district remain open to Steelhead fishing; current trips to 4 Mile have shown very light fishing pressure.
Dobbins Landing is producing perch in the very early morning hours and then again in the late evening
Presque Isle State Park @ the Water Taxi Dock is producing Steelhead in the morning along with small Perch.
Ice on Edinboro Lake is moderate at best. The fingers are fishable and if you want to get out and enjoy some ice fishing the panfish (bluegill) catch has been fair along with smaller perch.
Be advised that keeping Gizzard Shad or more so throwing them up on the ice not only counts toward your creel but is also a violation concerning unlawful disposition. These are a part of the Northern Pike, Musky and Walleye forage base. Please return them unharmed if you are not going to keep them.
Snowmobiles & ATV's
There is now a new toll-free number to call with questions on registration of these vehicles. 1-866-545-2476
Western Crawford County / WCO Joe Russell
Pymatuning Lake- there is just enough ice to prevent boating and not enough to allow ice fishing on the lake right now. A couple of fishermen were interviewed at the spillway just before writing this and they relayed that they have had no success at all yet. Good news for all anglers using the lake, RICHTERS on Rt. 322 just south of the lake is open again for business. They have a supply of baitfish and are getting more store supplies in every day.
Conneaut Lake- This Lake is mostly open water however I have not witnessed anyone on it fishing at all. If you have been fishing there and have a story of success or failure please feel free to let me know so I can pass it on.
Shenango River- Outflow to Pymatuning Lake has been really slow lately with only a couple of guys saying they caught fish here last week. Prior to writing this I interviewed over a dozen people on the stream and no one had any fish or reported having fish on, they all say it has been real slow.