WCO Report for Erie and Crawford County 03/20/02: Erie area, PA,
WCO Report Posted: March 20, 2002

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Posted by WCO John Bowser on March 20, 2002 at 08:19:35:

WESTERN ERIE COUNTY / WCO John Bowser & DWCO Randy Leighton

Will your Boat be registered for Trout Season Opener??
Boat registrations run for a two year period but expire on March 31st. Every year, anglers go to use their boat for the opening day of trout season only to find that they forgot to send in their renewal. The calls I usually receive state that they never got the form in the mail... I usually tell them to check on top of the refrigerator where most are placed & forgotten. If this has happened to you... the quickest way to be legal for Opening Day is to phone the PFBC's toll-free number at 1-866-262-8734 and pay for the renewal by credit card. Do it now while there is still time.

In 2001. . .
* Capsizing-type and falling overboard-type accidents accounted for 10 of the 14 fatalities.
* Five of the fatalities were onboard powered boats; nine were on unpowered boats of different types.
* Two fatalities occurred on Pennsylvania's lakes. Rivers were the scene of 11 fatalities with one on a pond.
* Hypothermia or sudden immersion into cold water was a possible factor in five of the 14 fatalities.
* Alcohol was a contributing factor in four.
* Five of the 14 victims were female. It is very unusual.
* One of the victims was less than 18 years of age; five were more than 50.
* The average age of the victims in 2001 was 42.
* The month of April accounted for four fatalities; June and September each had three.
* All but one of the accidents happened in the afternoon, four after 5:00 p.m.
* Fatalities occurred on every day of the week. Monday, Tuesday and Saturday tied with the most
* Only three of the boat operators involved in the accidents had taken a boating course.

The next Erie County Boating Course is the USCG Auxiliary Boating Safety Course at the Poreco Center in Erie on 3/30/02 @ 8:30 AM - Call Pat or Beth to register @(814) 836-1955

Erie Pre-season Stockings
04/12/2002 CROOKED CK - 09:45 am - MEET AT: Exit 39 SR0079 @ McKean 04/12/2002 ELK CK - 10:00 am - MEET AT: EXIT 39 OFF SR 0079 AT MCKEAN

Keith Edwards / NW Aquatic Resource Program Specialist Report
LINESVILLE OPEN HOUSE -- "A Day at the Hatchery"
will be held Saturday, April 6, 2002, at the Linesville Fish Culture Station. This event is open to the public from 12:00pm until 4:00pm. Visitors will see methods used in taking and fertilizing musky and walleye eggs, sorting fish from trap nets, determining age of fish, and much more. Demonstrations on cleaning, filleting, and cooking fish, electro-shocking, casting and angling techniques, boating and water safety, will also be presented. The Visitor Center will be full of various exhibits and displays aimed at showing the visitor the varied duties and aspects of the Fish and Boat Commission
including Cooperative Nurseries, aquatic ecology, and more. The 10,000-gallon viewing aquarium will have many favorite fish species to observe "up close and personal." Kids can purchase a T-shirt on site to make their own "Fish Print" to take home with them. There's something for everyone, so follow the crowd and join us for the afternoon. See you there.

Lake Erie Research Unit Report - 2001 COHO/STEELHEAD STOCKINGS BY TRIB
Coho ELK CK 5,000
Coho GODFREY RUN 47,806
Coho TROUT RUN 64,835
Coho WALNUT CK 5,000

Steelhead GODFREY RUN 70,000
Steelhead PRESQUE ISLE BAY 28,825
Steelhead TROUT RUN 170,025
Steelhead CROOKED CK 78,703
Steelhead RACCOON CK 69,221
Steelhead ELK CK 275,000
Steelhead FOURMILE CK 15,000
Steelhead ORCHARD BEACH RUN 24,000
Steelhead PECK RUN 5,000
Steelhead SEVENMILE CK 17,975
Steelhead TWELVEMILE CK 35,000
Steelhead TWENTYMILE CK 35,000
Steelhead WALNUT CK 275,000

This week has been quite productive on the bayfront. Checks of Sassafras Street pier have shown nice catches of perch, not fast limits but they are there if you want to put some time in. Niagara pier on the other hand is producing some crappie and most recently the hotspot is the lagoons by the canoe rental. Watch for an increase in temp for the crappie to turn on at that location. Edinboro Lake or more so Peninsula Park is showing a continuing trend in the production of panfish, with increased catches of perch. Of course the Steelhead fishing is still open and doing well.
With the onset of fair weather (hopefully) I would like to remind everyone that when preparing your boat for the season make sure you check your safety equipment because I will. Personal Flotation Devices are a must have onboard. If you are going to operate a canoe on Commonwealth Water you are not exempt from the PFD requirement. You must have a wearable PFD onboard when canoeing on Commonwealth Water. A Type 4 throwable device is not a wearable device.
Erie Officers have been busy hitting the Sportsmen Clubs with a program explaining the "how to's" of reporting violations, duties of PFBC Law Enforcement, & the need for a Fishing License increase. The next presentation will be at the SONS of Lake Erie meeting on March 25th @ 7 PM. They meet at the East Erie Turners on the corner of 9th & Parade Streets.

Pre-season Stockings:
04/12/2002 CASCADE CK - 10:00 am Brook - MEET AT: Exit 39 SR0079 @ McKean


Pre-season Stockings:
04/03/2002 - LAKE PLEASANT @ 09:00 am - MEET AT: LAKE PLEASANT - SR 0008
04/12/2002 TWENTYMILE CK - 10:00 am - MEET AT: PRESEASON - EXIT 39 OFF I-79 MCKEAN

Recently, I've had several anglers ask me questions regarding Eaton
Reservoir, Lake LeBoeuf and Lake Pleasant. Primarily, "Where are they
located?" and "What's there to catch if I go?". So, since spring is almost
upon us and it seems that some of you are looking for alternative
distractions and destinations, above and beyond the tributaries, here's a
brief snippet about the three...

This body of water is located in both North East and Greenfield Township(s)
and is approximately 140 acres in size. Eaton supports several varieties
of game fish, including Bass, Northern Pike and Walleye. There are also
abundant populations of panfish available as well.
Watercraft operation on Eaton is by either manual propulsion or electric
motor--- gas motors are prohibited. All boats, including those
non-powered, need to be registered, as this reservoir is controlled under
Pa Fish and Boat Commission property regulations. Launch ramps and parking
areas are located on both the western side (Black Road/Ashton Road) and on
the eastern side (adjacent Stateline Road) of the Reservoir.
From the North (Erie area)... take I-90 east to the Route 89 exit.
Follow Route 89 south for just under 2 miles, watching on your left for
Dam Site Road. Turn left onto Dam Site Road and follow it until reaching
the 'T'-intersection, +/- 2 miles. At this intersection, turn right onto
Black Road (Ashton) and go about 1 mile-- Eaton's west shoreline will be
immediately to your left.

This body of water is located in Waterford Township, immediately adjacent
to the Borough of Waterford and is just around 100 acres in size. Primary
species of attention are Black Crappie, Yellow Perch, Largemouth Bass,
Walleye and Northern Pike. Reports from data collected (Fisheries
Management) state that Black Crappie averaged 6", with some to 14". Yellow
Perch averaged 6.5", with some to 9"; although, I have checked larger that
were harvested from the tributaries feeding the lake. Largemouth Bass,
Walleye and Northern Pike were found up to 22", 25" and 33" respectively.
Black Crappie appeared the most abundant of those listed, with the
remaining species varying in degrees.
Watercraft operation on Lake LeBoeuf is limited entirely to 'Slow No Wake'
speed; however, there is no horsepower restriction limit. The Pa Fish and
Boat Commission launch ramp/parking area is on the northwestern shore of
the lake (off Water Street)-- as stated earlier, PFBC property regulations
From the North (Erie area)... take I-90 to the Route 19 exit
(Waterford/Peach Street). Follow Route 19 south through the Borough of
Waterford, just a wee bit over 8 miles. A few blocks after passing
through the traffic light, look on your left for the 'Fort LeBoeuf'
Museum-- immediately after the museum and immediately before the bridge
turn right onto Water Street. Follow this until the 'T'-intersection and
then turn left and follow into the PFBC parking area.

This natural glaciered lake is located in Venango Township and is
approximately 60 acres in size. Although not the only species present,
trout do appear to be the most sought after prize; as this lake is stocked
several times a year by the PA Fish and Boat Commission. I watched just
today as anglers landed several nice brown trout, and was told by another
that his friend had landed one 22" earlier in the week.
Watercraft operation is limited to manual propulsion only-- the use of any
type of motor (gas and/or electric) is prohibited. The Pa Fish and Boat
Commission maintains a parking lot and land lease along the southeastern
shore area of the lake, adjacent to SR 1001-- as stated earlier, PFBC
property regulations apply.
From the North (Erie area)... take I-90 to the Route 8 (Hammett) exit.
Follow Route 8 south and look on your right for 'Mark Road',
approximately 3 miles. Turn right onto Mark Road and follow until the
'T'-intersection. At the'T', turn left onto Lake Pleasant Road. Follow
Lake Pleasant Road for approximately 5 miles and the lake will be
immediately to your right.

Just another reminder that the WPC is inviting you to participate in their
public meeting on Tuesday, March 26th, at 5:00 PM, regarding the future of
Lake Pleasant and its recreational opportunities as well. The meeting will
be held at the WPC's Northwest Field Station on Juva Road (first left off of Lake Pleasant Rd. north of the lake)

Western Crawford / WCO Joe Russell
Pymatuning Lake- Walleye were being caught from boats on Saturday by some die hard fishermen who went out first thing in the morning and fished all day until they were checked by me at sunset. Out of 4 boats 2 had fish one had a 19 incher and the other had 2 15 inchers. Both reported the fish were taken at about 16 feet of water and both were using sonars when they got lucky. Crappies and perch were also being caught on Saturday at both the spillway and the rock wall in front of the entrance to the Game Commission Museum parking lot. The preferred bait seemed to be floating a minnie under a bobber. Since Saturday and with the storm and cold front that came through with it the fish have shut right off and I haven't seen any fish taken in the last 3 days. The hatchery just started setting trap nets in the main lake on Monday and after only one day and 8 nets being set they were able to catch 55 walleye and 5 musky, as well as some other species. 85% of the catch were 15 inches with the largest measuring 19". The musky were much larger with the size ranging from 33 inches to 391/2 inches. I also spoke to the state park and as of Friday all boat docks should be in for easier access and quite a few of the restroom facilities are open. The question of Horsepower limit was also decided on and I have included a copy of the news release below.

Department of Conservation and Natural Resources

PILOT PROGRAM ALTERS HORSEPOWER REGULATIONS FOR BOATING AT SIX STATE PARK LAKES HARRISBURG (March 14) -- On behalf of Gov. Mark Schweiker, Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR) Secretary John C. Oliver today announced changes to boating horsepower limits at six state park lakes as part of a pilot program seeking better enforcement and better protection of the environment. “Outboard motor limits are increased from 10 horsepower to 18 horsepower at six state park lakes following intensive study by Bureau of State Parks officials, and extensive comment from boaters and anglers across the state,” Secretary Oliver said. The pilot program is effective immediately at the following state park lakes: Lake Marburg, Codorus State Park, York County; Lake Wilhelm, Maurice K. Goddard State Park, Mercer County; Lake Arthur, Moraine State Park, Butler County; Lake Nockamixon, Nockamixon State Park, Bucks County; Glendale Lake, Prince Gallitzin State Park, Cambria County; and Yellow Creek Lake, Yellow Creek State Park, Indiana County. With the exception of Yellow Creek, all lakes involved in the pilot program are larger than 1,000 acres. Lake Pymatuning at Pymatuning State Park, Crawford County, also is targeted for a 10- to 18-horsepower increase, but not before the needed approval in joint legislative action by Pennsylvania and neighboring Ohio.“It is important to keep in mind that these changes are part of a pilot project and may not be permanent,” Secretary Oliver said. “Managers at each of the affected parks will closely monitor their lakes for signs of increased shoreline erosion or other adverse effects. There will be no personal watercraft allowed, nor water skiing or recreational towing of any type.”Park officials at the affected lakes say boaters routinely circumvented posted 10-horsepower limits by altering carburetion systems, or displaying 10-horsepower motor covers on motors that actually were more powerful.Outboard motors larger than 18 horsepower may be attached to boats used in all state park lakes, but they can be operated only in those lakes approved for unlimited horsepower.“The ‘status quo’ at these lakes is not changing," Secretary Oliver said. “Now we will have the capability to enforce the posted horsepower limit on motors being used to propel watercraft. Because of their noticeably larger size, motors exceeding 18 horsepower can be spotted more easily by law enforcement officers.”Throughout a series of public meetings held across the state in the summer of 2001, a recurring issue raised by park visitors was present horsepower limits on some of the state park lakes. DCNR and the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission (PFBC) then hosted a public meeting on the issue in Harrisburg last fall.The PFBC has adopted general and special boating regulations applicable to Commonwealth waters. At DCNR’s request, the PFBC has in the past established special boating regulations for state park lakes. These regulations maintained unlimited horsepower at seven state park lakes; motors not larger than 10 horsepower at the seven state park lakes where the test program is now in effect; and electric motors only at 35 state park lakes.“The Fish and Boat Commission defers to DCNR with respect to horsepower regulations on state parks lakes, and we support the proposed pilot program,” said PFBC Executive Director Peter Colangelo. “The Commission will pursue appropriate amendments to its special regulations and, in the meantime, we will defer to DCNR with regard to enforcement of horsepower limits. Written comment on the horsepower pilot program can be sent to Gary Smith, Chief, Park Operations and Maintenance, Bureau of State Parks, Rachel Carson State Office Building, P.O. Box 8551, Harrisburg, PA 17105-8551. For more information on boating and other features at Pennsylvania's state parks, call 1-888-PA-PARKS or visit the PA PowerPort at www.state.pa.us, PA Keyword: “state parks.” For details on boating regulations, safety classes, public access areas and registering watercraft, visit the Fish and Boat Commission’s website at www.fish.state.pa.us. # # #

Conneaut Lake- Crappies, Perch, and Blue gills were being caught on the northern end of the lake by fishermen in the canal. The bait of choice here was varied from minnies, mealworms, and jigs but all were being floated under a bobber. These fish have also shut down since the last cold front came through and it doesn't look like it will be getting much better with highs in the 20's predicted for Friday.

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