WCO Report for Erie and Crawford County 02/27/02: Erie area, PA,
Fishing Report Posted: February 27, 2002

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Posted by WCO John Bowser on February 27, 2002 at 09:30:23:

Western Erie County / WCO John Bowser & DWCO Randy Leighton

Steelhead have been observed well into the upper ends of the tribs. While numbers of fish there don't compare to the lower ends, there is minimal activity there. The area behind the Millcreek Mall has some fish with the large hole just upstream of the old Ames Store being the best spot. Nice fish are at the McKean (I-79) Hole on Elk. Anglers should know that the hole is 17' deep and fish it accordingly.

March Fishing
This is usually an exciting month for the tribs. While the Approved Trout Waters close throughout PA, the tribs remain open until 32 hours prior to the start of the Trout Opener. A few people have mentioned on the discussion boards that the streams being open detracts from the excitement of Opening Day. In past years, there was a 2 week closure where it was "worms only/suckers only". Officer observations found only a handful of actual sucker anglers with the balance being "fly fishing trout anglers being forced to use worms". The other flaw in this practice was that technically, anglers could fish right up to the 8 AM opener start time if they were using worms and stating they were fishing for suckers. Through public comment & the PFBC's committment to provide the maximum fishing opportunity to our license buyers, the regs were changed to give us these extra weeks of terrific steelheading. True, there is a lessening of the "hype" but would you go without eating anything for two weeks just so your next meal would seem extra special?
Lake Pleasant & the Fairview Gravel Pit remain open to fishing until April 1st when they then close until the Opening Day of Trout.

March Activities
This Saturday (March 2nd) is a litter clean up of the tribs. Volunteers are meeting at the Walnut Access Area at 10 AM. Many plan some angling afterwards with free wings & drinks at the Avonia Tavern for the workers compliments of the "FishUSA" website. The Erie Outdoor Expo is also running this weekend (March 1,2,&3) and offers a nice diversion after fishing.
A public meeting will be hosted by State Representative John Evans on 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.
March 13th is the Pa Steelhead Association meeting with Erie WCO's & DWCO's along with WCO Joe Russell from Western Crawford giving a presentation on reporting violations, the Deputy Program, and the proposed license increase needs. These topics will also be presented at the Elk Valley Sportsmen Club meeting on March 14th & the S.O.N.S. meeting on March 25th. We are looking forward to direct questions & discussion on a wide array of items. Hopefully, these will provide an insight into conservation law enforcement, provide a better understanding of the PFBC financial needs, and secure some deputy applicants.

Safe Boating Courses
If you missed the class held this week, a list of upcoming classes may be found on the PFBC website.

Central Erie County / WCO Tom Edwards
Early morning fishing at the public dock and at Marina lake has been sporadic for perch as of late. Waterworks dock continues to produce steelhead in the morning. Four Mile remains open with limited pressure observed. With March here we should see increased runs of steelhead and plenty of fishing opportunity while the rest of the state sleeps. Lake temp is currenty in the low forties and lake effect snow is forecast for the next few days. For those interested the Erie Sports Show will be March 1, 2, and 3rd - stop out and see your local WCO's. March also brings about pre-season stocking of trout. The central district pre-season stocking will be that of Conneauttee Creek and Waterworks pond. Edinboro Lake is still seeing some limits of panfish especially bluegill taken in the fingers, check ice conditions before your trip. Mother nature is playing games with us again but the water is still too cold to swim in. Safety Tip - Wear Your PFD While Icefishing.

Erie Forecast
Wednesday: Cloudy with occasional snow showers more frequent later. Quite windy. Temps nearly steady in the upper 20s. Winds W 25 to 35 mph and gusty. Chance of precip 60%. Snow may accumulate near one inch.
Wednesday night: Occasional snow showers. Low near 18F. Winds W 10 to 15 mph. Chance of precip 60%. Snow accumulations less than one inch.
Thursday: Becoming partly cloudy later with any flurries or snow showers ending by noontime. High around 30F. Winds SW 15 to 20 mph. Chance of precip 50%.
Thursday (24 hours): Snow showers early. Highs in the low 30s and lows in the upper teens.
Friday (24 hours): Snow showers. Highs in the low 30s and lows in the low 20s.
Saturday (24 hours): Rain mixed with snow. Highs in the low 40s and lows in the mid 20s.

Eastern Erie County / WCO Mark Kerr
Many Eastern-Erie tributaries continue to hold good populations of
Steelhead, especially Twentymile in its upper reaches nearer the New York
State Line.
Eaton Reservoir has produced some harvests of Crappies, particularly in
that area nearest the east end of the impoundment.
Lake Pleasant, stocked with trout again just last week, has been producing
good numbers of browns. Lake Pleasant, as of its last stocking, had an ice
covering of 4"+; in my opinion, the best conditions of the season thus far
for that immediate area. However, given this week's rising temperatures,
that thickness, as well as for all local impoundments, has been
significantly reduced. Good news though, the ole' weather channel is
calling for much colder temperatures throughout the remainder of this week
and into the weekend. No doubt a welcome change of pace for all you
ice-fishing enthusiasts.
French Creek has continued to draw some Walleye fishing attention; however,
contacts have shown minimal numbers in terms of harvest at this time.
At a recent meeting, the subject of the 2002 Salmon/Steelhead smolt
allocation for the Eastern-Erie area was brought to the floor. Numbers are
not yet final; however, it appears that Twentymile is set for reallocation
with increased numbers scheduled for planting. As the Bureau of Fisheries
issues a release, more details shall follow.
Pollution reports have begun to increase within the far-eastern portion of
the district. Personnel have been actively pursuing remediation to a 3+
mile stretch of Winton Run, within Concord Township, which was temporarily
affected by sedimentation run-off. Restitution efforts are currently in
progress; and, the 'responsible party' has been actively involved in a
cooperative effort to abate further erosion and sedimentation occurrences.

Western Crawford County / WCO Joe Russell
Pymatuning Lake- The ice is gone and boating has started however I havenít seen to much activity or success. The only ones out so far braving the cold have been the die hards and people with cabin fever. A lot of phone calls have been coming in about dead fish floating around the edge of the lake and in the out flow, these are gizzard shad and this is a yearly occurrence due to the change in temperature. These are basically forage fish and are not as able to take the change as other fish are. It is definitely nothing to worry about though.

Conneaut Lake- No activity has been noted here for the last week and I have heard from no fishermen with tales of success so not much to report for here this week.

Shenango River/ Pymatuning Outflow- I have seen a couple of walleye taken here so far, both of which were legal fish. The female was full of eggs however they were hard and green yet and not ready for a spawning run. The bait of choice is definitely Minnieís here or jig heads tipped with Minnieís.

Fishermen are reminded that as of this Friday / March 1 the Linesville Creek and Paden/Findley Creek are designated as nursery waters and fishing is prohibited. This remains in effect until April 14.

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