WCO Report for Erie and Crawford County 10/23/02: Erie area, PA,
WCO Report Posted: October 23, 2002

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Posted by WCO John Bowser on October 23, 2002 at 08:15:38:

The West side tribs remain low and clear with some flow from the heavy rains last week. A considerable amount of fish entered the tribs this past weekend with angler after angler catching their limits. Both Elk and Walnut Creeks were elbow to elbow with parking at a premium. Popular baits in the clear conditions have been single eggs and egg imitations, micro jigs and maggots. Elk creek from the boat launch toe the mouth has good color and many anglers found small spinners to be the ticket. This week end should see much of the same. The chutes on Walnut Creek have been productive with shiners being the bait of choice in that area. Crooked creek is holding a good number of fish and can provide some isolation from the crowds. Anglers were doing very well at the Trout Run Marina and along the wall at Walnut Creek on a variety of baits including chartreuse and white Powerbaits, live minnows, and skein.

Walnut Creek:
The Memorial Wall is being constructed near the launch ramp. Engraved pavers are available by applicationans available in the marina lobby.

WCO Mark Kerr & DWCO Mike McSkimming were patrolling the Walnut Creek area on Monday evening at 9:00 PM when they observed three suspects netting fish at the chutes above the Manchester Hole. Upon approach, the three fled up a steep hillside on the opposite side of the creek. One was overtaken and apprehended while the other two eluded capture. A call for assistance went to WCO Bowser who responded with DWCO Duane English & DWCO Randy Leighton. At 9:12, the suspect's vehicle was found parked at the Manchester Nursing Home parking lot and at 9:52, the other two suspects were apprehended. 25 Steelhead were recovered that evening and the following morning an additional 28 were recovered which were hidden near the violation site. The 53 fish weighed approximately 300 pounds. Twenty-two citations were issued totaling in excess of $5,000.00. The media had picked up our radio transmissions apparently and dispatched a live broadcast truck. Most of the officers had plans to watch the Steelers football game and ended up exchanging information about the incident for score updates.
Poor Richard's Bait & Tackle offered complementary processing of the confiscated fish with the smoked trout to be presented in gratitude to landowners that have kept
their lands open to public fishing in the high impact areas.

Presque Isle Bay:
Perch action is starting to pick up in the bay, these past few days have shown good catches coming from the East and West Pier in the park. Also off of the N. Pier they are starting to pick up a few Steelhead.

4 Mile Creek through 8 Mile:
4 Mile has fish up to the falls and 6 has a good number of fish 7 and 8 don't bother with. Rains should have helped with the extreme Eastern tribs.

Edinboro Lake:
Bass still producing at a decent catch rate and if you can get on the perch you should do fair.

As we interact with the public, we are often asked about the "invasive" species that threaten the Great Lakes and the Lake Erie Watershed. Over the next few weeks we will try to touch on some of the more problematic species and what is being done to control them. However, some folks are not too familiar with the invasive species concept. We as humans aren't too concerned in our day-to-day life about survival. We go to supermarkets and live in warm houses and have recreational time. Your average fish and plant do not have this luxury. Plants are constantly fighting off a barrage of insects, bacteria, and fungi -- all while trying to maximize their exposure to sunlight and tap water and nutrients from the soil. When plants that naturally occur in a region are crowded out by faster growing, more fit plants we can see the beginning of an invasive takeover. So what's the problem? If it's "survival of the fittest" why not let the new species in. Well, unfortunately humans have the propensity to bring plants into areas that Mother Nature never intended. Plants like purple loosestrife, giant hogweed, and elephant grass all work their way into natural Pennsylvania ecosystems and choke out what would normally be growing. These invaders form a monoculture, they exclude all other plants and can even force out animals due to thick growth. It is much the same in the lakes and waterways. We are all familiar with the round goby and the zebra mussel and what they are doing in the Lake Erie basin. We are now faced with bighead carp and a new species of water flea that are making inroads in our state. These species can, over many years, lead to declines in native fish populations. Confronting invasive species in not just the job of the "state people in Harrisburg." We are the state, you are the state. Our waterways are precious natural resources. The Fish and Boat Commission logo of "Resource First" is truly how we thi nk and operate. Our water is valuable and it needs to be protected today and into the future. We know that many of you care about our native populations and are spreading the word to others through sportsman club meetings and while fishing along the streams. Thank you. We appreciate your commitment to making sure our biodiversity remains. Please look here in the next few weeks for some discussions on the bighead carp and the water flea of concern.

Erie Forecast"
Wednesday: Partly cloudy skies. High 48F. Winds NNE at 5 to 10 mph.
Wednesday night: Partly cloudy skies. Low 33F. Winds NE at 5 to 10 mph.
Thursday: A mix of clouds and sun in the morning followed by cloudy skies during the afternoon. High 47F. Winds E at 5 to 10 mph.
Thursday (24 hours): More clouds than sun. Highs in the upper 40s and lows in the low 40s.
Friday (24 hours): Showers possible. Highs in the mid 50s and lows in the low 40s.
Saturday (24 hours): Few showers. Highs in the mid 50s and lows in the low 40s.

Pymatuning Lake:
The walleye fishing is starting to pick up again with the water cooling off. The last measurement taken I believe it was at 59 degrees. Sonar's are supposedly what is working best right now in the deeper water and sizes have ranged from 17" to 23." The fall run is usually a lot less active than the spring run but after such a long stretch with no activity anything seems good right now. Water levels are still extremely low so boaters should beware of where they are boating to avoid hidden obstacles.

Conneaut Lake:
has been slow so far this week with very little or no activity to speak of so not much to report from there.

On November 21st at 7:00 PM to 9:00 PM there will be a public meeting held at Pymatuning Valley Primary School in Andover Ohio. This will be a public forum to express your views on a Horsepower Increase for Pymatuning Lake. Public opinion is wanted on an increase to 18Hp., 25Hp. or staying at the current 10Hp. The option of unlimited horsepower, towing skiers, and personal watercraft (jetskis) are not going to change and will remain as they are now. This will be your chance to make your opinions heard because no ones mind is made up yet, and if you do not express your views for this meeting then shame on you. Members of Pa. State Parks, Ohio State Parks, Pa. Fish and Boat Commission, Ohio Division of Watercraft, Ohio Division of Wildlife, and hopefully the State Representatives Office will be in attendance. Plan on attending if at all possible.

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