WCO Report for Erie County 03/25/2003: Erie area, PA,
WCO Report Posted: March 26, 2003

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Posted by DWCO Randy Leighton on March 26, 2003 at 08:19:46:

WEST ERIE COUNTY WCO Brook Tolbert / DWCO Randy Leighton

We are now pretty much in complete meltdown in and around Erie. Some drifting ice remains on the lake, although the tribs are completely ice free. Water levels have started to drop and clear quite a bit. Water flow has been good and with normal Spring rainfall we should have good conditions for a while. No doubt, anglers will be hooking steelhead along with stocked trout on opening day. Anglers were crowding in at the Walnut Project waters and the Manchester Hole. Catches were good to excellent this past weekend with most fish being somewhat to very fresh. A good number of people were trying their luck on the wall at Walnut looking for fresh steelhead. Good catches and a number of limits were observed along the lake shore at Trout Run. The most popular baits were eggsacs dyed pink or chartreuse, single eggs, egg patterns and shiners. Elk Creek has been productive from the access area to the mouth with a good number of fresh fish caught. The upper stretches from the Legion Park area to Folley's End have been good although the fish are still scattered. Cascade Creek along the city side of the Bayfront is holding a good number of steelhead. A good number of out of state vehicles were observed over the weekend in all the crowded areas, a true testimony to our world class fishery.

Manchester Hole reminder:
Most anglers are aware, but for those that are not, the Manchester Hole on Walnut Creek is private property with the landowner owning both sides of the hole. The East bank and the island in the center of the hole near the bridge are posted and fishing that side or on the island is considered trespassing by law enforcement. Anglers are advised to fish on the West side by the generosity of the landowner. Anglers fishing the Manchester Hole are strongly encouraged to leave with every thing they bring and be generous in picking up any litter in that area to maintain good landowner relations. Anglers fishing the Manchester hole should park in the Walnut Access parking lot. Parking is not permitted on either side of Manchester Road. Vehicles parked along Manchester Road are subject to citation or being towed.

Law Enforcement:
Along with the return of the weekend crowds comes an increase in violations. Several individuals were cited on Elk Creek for having nearly twice their limit of Steelhead. A number of litter violations were found this past week. Anglers are reminded that litter carries a zero tolerance policy, especially in and around landowner areas. Nothing will cause a land owner to post his property faster than littering or even worse, an angler relieving himself in view of the land owner. Make yourself feel good about the day's outing by bagging any noticeable trash around you before you leave and using the proper facilities. Take a walk around your vehicle and assure that you havent left a coffee cup or soda can on the bumper.

Violations can be reported to Officer Tolbert at 814-566-7869. Mailing address is PO Box 162
Fairview, PA 16415. Remember when reporting violations to any officer, the more information we have the better the chances of apprehension. Details such as license plate numbers, vehicle descriptions, clothing descriptions, physical characteristics, names of other witnesses, and location of the incident are all important facts in making a case.

Suckers have started to move into the tribs. Although often considered a nuisance fish when steelhead fishing, suckers can be great fun to catch and provide easy action for the impatient young anglers. Suckers can be caught on just about any tackle. The most effective method is light or ultralight spinning tackle. Four to six pound test monofilament should be used, along with small, sharp hooks. Worms, live aquatic nymphs, maggots and waxworms are the best baits for suckers. Fish directly on the bottom, either with a stationary rig with a sliding sinker, or with a drifting rig that moves along the bottom with the current. In short, you can fish them the same way that you would fish for steelhead. Suckers have been known to hit leadhead jigs and in-line spinners, but this technique is not very effective most of the time. Suckers are also easy to catch on fly tackle. They hammer flies like the Pheasant Tail, Scud Patterns, and the Gold-Ribbed Hare's Ear. Fly-fishing for suckers is great sport. The best flyfishing rig for white sucker fishing is the deadly shot-and-indicator nymphing rig. Set your indicator at the right depth to get your fly right on the bottom, and drift it naturally with the current. The strike of a sucker is very subtle and easily mistaken for a steelhead in the Spring. The indicator will either pause or dip for a fraction of a second before the fish spits out the fly. You must set the hook quickly, but softly, to avoid breaking your tippet. Always have a forceps on hand while sucker fishing, since their rubbery lips are tough and it's hard to get a deeply imbedded hook out without harming the fish.

CENTRAL ERIE COUNTY, WCO Tom Edwards / DWCO Bryan Brendley

Presque Isle Bay:
The bayfront is heating up with the now open water seen in the majority of the bay. The S. Pier is open but the anglers encountered are having limited success. Dobbins landing (public dock) had about a dozen anglers on it this morning (Tuesday) and they had some very large perch. Limits were probably there for those who had enough time but it is amazing the size difference from the perch a couple of weeks ago through the ice and those that I saw this morning.

Cascade Creek:
If this stream was somewhere else it would be quite a find. Pressure is always light considering the amount of fishable stream that is present (apx. 1/2 mile) and the steelhead which are in Cascade are all very nice size. Fish remain to be from just South of the old visitors center all the way to the Bay.

Presque Isle State Park:
The head of the bay had quite a few anglers fishing for crappie but the success was limited for those I checked. The Lagoons are open and the crappies are starting to turn on in this area.

Linesville Fish Culture Station employees were collecting Northerns in the lagoons this morning and although I didn't get to witness it one of the Central County DWCO's said that it was pretty amazing to see the size of some of these fish. A reminder to those who fish Presque Isle State Park, DO park in those areas designated for Parking. DO NOT park in the median of the roadway or on the multi-purpose trail. DCNR Park Rangers are issuing citations (tickets) to those who are parking illegally.

This is the best this trib has looked in the last couple of months (obviously) and there are a fair number of fish behind the Lawrence Park Fishing Club.

Violation Reports:
With the increased temps and the number of persons getting out and enjoying them the phone calls are starting to come with more regularity. We encourage persons to call and report violations which they are certain occurred at the following numbers. Office (814) 864-6566 if no answer call (814) 730-7046.

A fair number of boats are starting to use the now unthawed Bay, remember with the water temp still quite cold it is a good idea to wear you Personal Flotation Device. Immersion into cold water is very dangerous and as we have seen, most of our fatalities are during this time of the year. Be careful and wear your life jacket

Whirling disease: What is it? What are we doing about it?
These are a few questions that will be tackled in the next few weeks on the update, but for those of you familiar with the disease, a quick update. The Colorado Wildlife Commission has recently adopted a new policy to terminate the stocking of infected trout in 2003. Colorado Trout Unlimited has been a big supporter of this plan and finally all stocking of infected fish will cease. The major force behind the policy change was a report by the Colorado Division of Wildlife that linked the continued stocking of infected fish with higher rates of infection. In addition, the report illustrated that infection levels in trout can actually drop when stocking of infected fish is discontinued. Current research in Colorado has identified key watersheds where whirling disease is especially severe. One ongoing project, funded by Trout Unlimited, involves developing filters to catch whirling disease spores before they pass into certain rivers. Colorado Trout Unlimited continues to press forward on all fronts against whirling disease including hatchery cleanup, public education, and habitat improvement.


Reminder for PFBC Basic Boating Course:
Readers are, again, reminded of the Basic Boating Course, offered by the PFBC, which is to be held on April 22nd & 23rd 2003, at the Wesleyville Borough Building. Hours are from 6:00 p.m. until 10:00 p.m., each night. Reservations are still being taken; if you are interested in attending, either call WCO Kerr at 814-796-1378 or send e-mail requests to wco015@yahoo.com.

East County Tributaries:
It was our general opinion, after patrol on Monday evening, that there were actually more sections of East County waters, as a whole being fished, then on many a given day during the peak of the Fall season. That being said, here is some news:

4 mile:
LOADED at the mouth!!

7 mile:
Rather small run of fresh fish at the mouth.

Important Note on 7 mile Parking:
PARKING IS STRICTLY PROHIBITED ON THE GLINODO PROPERTY, INCLUDING THE DRIVEWAY, FROM SR 5 NORTHWARD. If anglers continue to park vehicles on the Glinodo grounds, this area may well be lost to recreational fishing. Accept this as the last of the warnings we are able to give on this subject. From this posting forward, officers' will issue citations for those violations resulting from this misuse of the property. Thanks for your help in spreading the word!!

12 mile: Fresh run of steelhead, from the mouth to the falls at SR 5.

16 mile, 20 mile:
Not exceptionally productive as of this writing; however, things up here can change in a hurry!! My sources tell me that it may be best to wait until a fresh run arrives.Short and sweet this week folks!! Good luck and Good fishing!

Weather Forecast:

Wednesday night:
Partly cloudy. Lows 30 to 35. Light and variable winds.
Partly sunny. Highs in the mid 50s.
Thursday night:
Mostly cloudy with a chance of showers. Lows near 40. Chance of rain 30 percent.
Cloudy with a chance of showers and thunderstorms. Windy. Highs in the mid 60s. Chance of rain 30 percent.
Friday night:
Cloudy with a chance of showers and thunderstorms. Windy. Lows in the lower 40s. Chance of rain 50 percent.
Showers and thunderstorms likely, then a chance of snow or rain showers
Saturday night:
Windy. Highs near 50.
Cloudy with a chance of snow. Windy. Lows in the upper 20s and highs in the upper 30s.
Mostly cloudy. A chance of snow or rain during the night. Windy. Lows in the mid 20s and highs in the lower 40s.
Mostly cloudy. A chance of rain. Lows near 30 and highs in the upper 40s.

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