WCO Report for Erie and Western Crawford County 12/25/02: Erie area, PA,
WCO Report Posted: December 26, 2002

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Posted by WCO John Bowser on December 26, 2002 at 17:34:56:

Steelhead ... The western tribs are scattered with them all the way to the upper reaches. Heaviest concentrations remain at the Manchester Hole. Minnows continue to be the most successful bait.

Summary Book... the 2003 Summary Book contains a $10.00 coupon to a sporting goods chain. A nice rebate to the license cost.... Lifetime License holders can pick up a summary book at any Issuing Agent.

Late Winter Trout Stockings will be occurring in February for Lake Pleasant & the Fairview Gravel Pit... check the PFBC Website for dates.

The following is an excerpt from the Commission Agenda scheduled 1/6/03: Boating Regulations - Proposed Rulemaking
** Amendment to Section 97.1 (Personal Flotation Devices). Commentary:From 1993 through 2002, one hundred and fourteen (114) people lost their lives in recreational boating accidents in Pennsylvania. A disproportionate number of these boaters (54 or 47%) died during the cold water/cold weather months from October 1 through the Friday before Memorial Day. This is especially notable because during those months, participation in recreational boating is greatly reduced. Forty (40) of the fatalities that occurred during this time period over the last ten years were boating in unpowered boats and motorboats less than sixteen (16) feet in length. This number represents 74% of the fatalities occurring during those cold water/weather months and 35% of the fatalities overall. Unpowered boats and small motorboats are very unstable, and most accidents that occur in these boats are the result of capsizes or falls overboard. During the colder months, such mishaps often result in a tragedy. Sudden immersion into cold water, hypothermia or the stronger currents common in colder months can create a situation from which the boater cannot escape. This is especially true if the boater is not wearing a personal flotation device (PFD or life jacket). Statistics have shown that wearing a personal flotation device will save lives. The intent of the proposed regulation is to save boaters’ lives during the “off season,” cold water months. (See Attachment C) It is proposed that the regulations be amended to add a new section as follows: §97.1. Personal flotation devices.* * *(i) Between October 1 and the Friday before Memorial Day, all persons shall wear a U.S. Coast Guard approved Type I, II, III or V PFD when underway on any boat less than 16 feet in length or any canoe, kayak.

LAKE ERIE PERCH REGULATIONS CLARIFIED The Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission today said that a chart in the 2003 Summary of Fishing Regulations and Laws displaying seasons, sizes and daily creel limits for Lake Erie, its tributaries and Presque Isle Bay omitted a portion of the regulations for yellow perch. The chart, found on page 10 of the Summary Book, correctly indicates that the season on yellow perch is open year round and no more than 20 may be taken daily. However, the portion of the chart containing information on the minimum size of perch that can be legally harvested by anglers states the minimum size is 7 inches throughout the year. In fact, the Commission at its July 2002 meeting changed the regulations so that the minimum size limit on yellow perch in Lake Erie and related waters is 8 inches from the period April 1 to November 30. The seven-inch minimum size is in effect the remainder of the year. "The regulation change was widely published previously: in the Pennsylvania Bulletin, on the Commission's web site, in a press release detailing the July meeting and subsequent media reports. The Summary Book is intended only as an overview and not the actual text of fishing regulations. However, many anglers turn to the Summary as their primary source of information for the applicable rules and therefore may be confused that the information the chart conflicts with what they had previously understood. We want to stress that an eight-inch minimum size limit is indeed in place April 1 to November 30," said Commission Executive Director Peter A. Colangelo. Colangelo said Waterways Conservation Officers and their deputies always use discretion in enforcing new regulations and would do so in enforcing the perch regulations for Lake Erie and related waters. "The eight-inch minimum size limit for yellow perch from April to November is an important component of our efforts, in cooperation with other Lake Erie jurisdictions, to protect and manage this species and ensure the sport catch is within Pennsylvania's allocation," he said.

Best of Holidays ... Western Erie County PFBC Officers wish all of you a great holiday season.

Presque Isle State Park:
The waters are somewhat open in the marina and there have been some perch taken from the docks. Not a lot of action seen on the Bayfront.

Edinboro Lake:
The lake is now back up to normal pool level and is ready for the freeze.

Nothing much to report for the past week I've just been enjoying some leave around the holidays.

Upcoming Boating Courses in Erie County: (call to register)

PFBC Basic Boating Presque Isle State Park Erie 2/11/2003 6:00 PM (814) 864-6566

PFBC Basic Boating Erie Red Cross Erie 3/5/2003 6:00 PM
Kim Herman (814) 833-0942

PFBC Basic Boating Erie Red Cross Erie 5/7/2003 6:00 PM
Kim Hermann (814) 833-0942

PA Fish and Boat Basic Boating Corry Higher Education Corry 5/10/2003 8:00 AM (814) 664-9405

Deputy Diary by DWCO Bryan Brendley:
One of the most challenging tasks at deputy school was our training with the ASP expandable baton. After a few hours of classroom instruction and introduction to the ASP, it was time to learn how to utilize the baton against a padded target. We ended up swinging the batons from many directions against a stationary target with three WCOs making sure we had a clue what we were doing. After lunch, we began a line drill against both stationary and moving targets. The moving targets were moving -- towards us! These situations called for fast reflexes and good judgment especially when two targets were charging at the same time!

Our final course of the session was a drill where one of the WCOs dressed in what was called a "Red Man" protective suit and acted out a scenario for an individual deputy to assess and perhaps to quell, using a padded simulation ASP baton. These scenarios were varied and the responses of the trainees were also varied. All in all, these drills forced us to realize how quickly first impressions can be incorrect and how quickly we have to act and to react to a flowing encounter with wither a friendly angler or an enraged felon.

ASP training was physically demanding on each and every one of our class, some much more so than others. I for one had a sore shoulder and back for the next week, but our instructors made sure we knew what we were doing in a very long session out in the hot sun!
(To be continued...)

Best holiday wishes to all from the BLE officers in Central Erie!

Erie Forecast:
Wednesday: Snow likely. Temperatures steady in the upper 20s. ENE winds shifting to NW at 10 to 15 mph. Chance of snow 80%. Snow may accumulate 2 to 4 inches.
Wednesday night: Cloudy with snow. Low around 25F. Winds WNW at 15 to 25 mph. Chance of snow 70%. 1 to 3 inches of snow expected.
Thursday: Flurries and some snow showers diminishing late in the day. Temperatures steady in the upper 20s. Winds W at 15 to 25 mph. Chance of snow 30%.
Thursday (24 hours): Snow showers at times. Highs in the low 30s and lows in the low 20s.
Friday (24 hours): A few snow showers. Highs in the upper 20s and lows in the low 20s.
Saturday (24 hours): Cloudy. Highs in the low 30s and lows in the mid 20s.
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year


WHOPPER WHITE BASS IS NEW STATE RECORD When Robert Hornstrom of Meadville headed out to nearby Conneaut Lake on November 8, he had high hopes for a good day of fishing. Considering that he came home with the new state record white bass, one could say: “mission accomplished.” Hornstrom was jigging with a quarter-ounce spoon when the fish struck. Once in hand, the fish measured just over 19 inches with a 15 ˝-inch girth. A trip to the meat department of a local grocery store to have the bass weighed on a certified scale revealed that not only was the fish big, it was actually the biggest on record for its species in Pennsylvania. The new record, 3 lbs, 15.7 oz, surpasses the previous white bass benchmark by a little more than an ounce and a half. David F. Hornstein, also of Meadville, caught that 3 lb, 14 oz fish - at Conneaut Lake. The state record white bass prior to Hornstein’s 1996 catch also came from Conneaut Lake. Pennsylvania certifies state records based on total body weight. Potential record fish must exceed the established mark by at least one ounce, as weighed on a certified scale. To be considered for state record certification, a fish must be caught using legal means, in season, from Pennsylvania waters open to the public without charge or fee. Fish taken from farm ponds, fee-fishing lakes, ponds or streams or in waters restricted to use by club members or their guests do not qualify. A biologist or Waterways Conservation Officer from the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission (PFBC) must examine the fish. The PFBC is the only entity that can certify an official state record fish in the Commonwealth.

Happy Holidays !!

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