WCO Report for Erie County 03/04/2003: Erie area, PA,
WCO Report Posted: March 04, 2003

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Posted by DWCO Randy Leighton on March 04, 2003 at 21:38:41:

WEST ERIE COUNTY WCO Brook Tolbert / DWCO Randy Leighton

Daytime temperatures hovering just above freezing and night time temperatures in the teens have kept most areas ice covered. Ice jams still exist at the tributary mouths on Elk and Walnut Creeks with the Manchester Hole still jammed up. A considerable amount of open water can be found up stream in and around the Struechen Flats, Girard park and near the Legion Park areas. Fish are scattered, although reports of some fresh fish have been reported so apparently a few are getting through. The majority of fish caught are dark in color and many are battle scarred from all the ice.

Anglers were doing very well this past weekend on the ice just off shore at Trout Run. Again most fish were dark and scarred but a few were fresh and silver. The mouth at Trout Run was open water this past weekend with anglers standing on the edge of the ice and fishing the mouth. One unlucky individual got a little too close to the edge and fell in. Fortunately the water was only 2 or 3 feet deep and he was able to quickly get out and get to the warmth of his truck. Micro jigs and skein were bringing them in. A few bold anglers that had ventured several hundred yards off shore reported having to drill through several feet of ice. Anglers are advised that ice on the lake can be very unstable and can shift quickly. Any fishing on the Lake should be close to shore. A reminder that the Trout Run tributary stream is nursery waters and is off limits to fishing or even disturbing the fish in any manner.

It seems that the best Perch catches continue to be along the Peninsula side of Presque Isle Bay with in 200 yards of shore. Ice is still over a foot thick and smooth. Jigs and shiners are still the ticket. Anglers are beginning to pick up a few crappie along with the perch.

Big success for all:
The Erie Outdoor Show was a huge success for all involved. Officers and management from the PFBC had the opportunity meet many of the folks we talk to on line and field a variety of questions and comments. West Erie County's Officer Tolbert, was introduced to many of the local sports club officials and had a chance to meet many of the area angling experts.

CENTRAL ERIE COUNTY WCO Tom Edwards / DWCO Bryan Brendely:

Boating Class:
As promised in last weeks report here is the info on the upcoming boating class in the city. Dates: April 7th and 9th. Time: 6 p.m. - 10 p.m. both nights. Place: Commodore Perry Yacht Club. You can pre-register with Sherri Towell (814) 877-6035. Hope to see you there.

Presque Isle Bay:
Although I was at the sports show for the weekend, I did manage to get a few DWCO's out on patrol and away from the booth. This weekend saw a huge number of persons ice fishing the bay. One estimate puts the number over a thousand. Unfortunately the catch rate was not as good as the number of persons fishing. Misery Bay is being targeted for crappie and vista #3 and just before the Park Office seem to be the place to target the Perch. One local bait shop owner said it has been a phenomenal year as far as numbers of persons fishing the bay. If you have any interesting info you don't mind sharing send me an email.

One of the most frequently asked questions at the show this week was what are the in-season dates for Erie County so here you go, the dates shown are the week of the stocking the last column shows from what hatchery the fish are coming from. If there are any Counties other than Erie which you need, visit www.fish.state.pa.us for a complete Commonwealth listing.

Cascade Ck 4/14, 4/21 12th St Bridge to Mouth at Presque Isle Bay
Conneauttee Ck 4/28 Normal St Brdge to Route 99
Crooked Ck 4/21 T360 Bridge to T348 Bridge
East Basin Pond 4/14
Elk Ck 4/14, 4/21 T450 Bridge to Rt 98 Bridge, 4/21 Confl Halls Rn to Mouth
French Ck S Br 4/28 Bridge on Sr2018 Corry Limits to Mouth
Lk Pleasant 4/21, 12/1, 2/9/2004
Twentymile Ck 4/14, 4/28 2 Sr0020 Bridge to Mouth
Upper Gravel Pit 4/28, 2/9/2004
West Basin Pd 4/14

One question which was asked this weekend and hopefully the individual reads this report was about DCNR property and regulations dealing with Reptiles and Amphibians. I was incorrect in my answer, you may not remove reptiles and amphibians from any designated natural area on DCNR property.

One last note:
Although I do not comment on any of the local fishing discussion boards, I do read the posts which are generated by the vast majority of fine persons using this means of communication. I see in some of the posts misinformation about the policy of the Fish and Boat Commission regarding certain issues. Once again and even though it is at the top of my section of the report my email address is pafishcop13@yahoo.com , we are here to answer any questions which you may have. I will quote directly from our policy book regarding any questions which you may have. Isn't it better to get the answer from the source than to just speculate or go on info second hand.

Thank you:
A special thanks to all that stopped by the Family First Sports Park Erie Outdoor Show PFBC exhibit. All of the WCO's and DWCO's responded to a variety of questions, some of which were quite inventive. It is always good to get a fresh new take on things.

Interesting info on Catfish:
We often donít really consider them all that important as anglers. Sure, itís fun to go out with some cheese at night and see if we can land a big whopper every once in a while, but catfish arenít usually mentioned in the same breath as perch, walleye, steelies, and bass. What catfish may lack as a sportfish, they make up for as an economic fish. A recent ruling by the US Commerce Department has deepened a catfish trade war between the US and Vietnam. The US alleges that Vietnam is dumping their catfish products on the US as below-market costs, thereby undercutting catfish farmers in the southern states, including Mississippi and Arkansas. The recent ruling imposes higher duties upon countries that export frozen fish to the US. These duties range from 38 to 62 percent. The government in Vietnam responded quickly to the ruling, stating that the US is hurting the farmers of Vietnam and will hold back progress towards capitalism in the country. The US had only recently become the largest importer of Vietnamese catfish, bringing in over 20 million pounds in 2001. The Vietnamese catfish, called basa and tra, are prized for their pleasant flavor and are imported through Los Angeles and San Francisco. Such imports are wrecking havoc on the $600-million catfish industry in the US. From 2001 to 2002, the price for US catfish dropped from 69 cents/pound to 55cents/pound. Initially, the Catfish Farmers of America (CFA) asked the Commerce Department for tariffs up to 190 percent.

FOREST COUNTY / WCO Eric P. Shellgren:

Mark your calender:
Sunday June 01, 2003 the Children's Fishing Derby will be held at Cook
Forest State Park, Cooksburg, PA. Registration will be located at shelter
#1. The derby begins at 1:00pm and ends at 4:00pm. Every child that
registers receives a prize. The derby is sponsored by the Marienville Rod
and Gun Club.

Tionesta Creek preseason stocking has been changed:
The section from Barnes
to Mayburg will be stocked on March 14, 2003. The meeting place will be in
Barnes at 12:30. The second part of Tionesta Creek from Mayburg to
Kelletville will be stocked on March 20, 2003 meeting place will also be in
Barnes at 12:30.
There is open water on Tionesta Creek below Tionesta Dam which could provide
good musky and walleye fishing in open water. Tionesta Lake is still
producing some good ice fishing opportunity, however be careful if ice
fishing Tionesta Lake as the ice on the shoreline can be unsafe.


Daily roller coaster temperatures may open up some additional open water in East Erie county with 16 mile creek still open as of this writing and fair catch rates being reported. Some trout are being hooked on Lake pleasant with shiners being the most popular bait.
Wednesday night:
Mostly cloudy with a chance of snow. Little or no snow accumulation. Lows in the mid teens. Northwest winds 5 to 10 mph becoming east. Chance of snow 40 percent.
Partly cloudy. Highs in the upper 20s.
Thursday night:
Mostly cloudy with a chance of flurries. Lows in the upper teens.
Cloudy with a chance of snow or rain. Highs near 40. Chance of precipitation 40 percent.
Friday night:
Mostly cloudy with a chance of rain or snow. Lows near 30. Chance of precipitation 40 percent.
Mostly cloudy with a chance of snow or rain. Breezy. Highs in the upper 30s.
Mostly cloudy. Scattered snow showers during the day. Breezy. Lows in the lower 20s and highs in the upper 20s.
Partly cloudy during the day, then cloudy with a chance of snow during the night. Lows in the mid teens and highs in the lower 30s.
Cloudy. A chance of showers during the day. Lows in the mid 20s and highs in the mid 40s.

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