WCO Report for Erie and Crawford County 04/30/20003: Erie area, PA,
WCO Report Posted: April 30, 2003

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Posted by DWCO Randy Leighton on April 30, 2003 at 05:53:52:

WEST ERIE COUNTY, WCO Brook Tolbert / DWCO Randy Leighton

Spring conditions and a lapse in precipitation have left the West County tribs low and clear making the remaining steelhead very finicky and requiring a very light presentations. A few scattered steelhead remain at the Manchester Hole and lower Elk for those die hards. Temperatures in the 60's and 70's will be bringing the Spring steelhead season to a close shortly. There are plenty of stocked trout to be had on Elk and Crooked Creeks and a good number of people are still pulling them out of the upper Gravel Pit Pond and the McKean hole off of I-79. The opening season crowds have thinned out at the Gravel Pit pond in Fairview making it an ideal spot for the young anglers to test their skills. Walleye season officially opens on May 3rd. Mild temperatures should make conditions ideal for some night time shoreline eye angling. Once the Walnut access area is dredged out, it probably won't be too soon to be targeting perch on the Lake.

Walnut Creek Access:
Dredging of the basin and channel is still underway in preparation for the boating season. The Walnut office is scheduled to be open full time beginning May 9th with the docks and ramps to be in no later than May 10th.

Elk Valley Sportsmen's Fishing Derby:
The Elk Valley Sportsmen's Association will be holding its annual fishing derby for kids 12 and under at the Girard Boro Park pond. Kickoff is at 1:00 PM till 3:00 PM with great prizes and refreshments for the kids. This is a terrific event for the kids and is always well attended. Get there early for that "hot spot" . Fishing gear is available for those kids in need. Club members and PFBC officers are always on hand to help out. (Hint: shiners are generally the best bait)

Reminder for minimum ages and requirements for powerboat operation:
We are often asked about the minimum ages for motorboat operation, although the information has been well published. This information is also clearly explained in the PFBC Boaters handbook available at any boat store, many bait shops, and at the Walnut Access office. The following is a summary of the minimum age and education requirements including the new regulations for this year.

For the operation of a motorboat
propelled by a motor greater than 10 horsepower (other than personal watercraft):
A person 11 years of age or younger may not operate such a watercraft.
A person 12 through 15 years of age may not operate such a watercraft unless he has obtained and has in his possession a boating safety education certificate or at least one person 16 years of age or older is present onboard.

For the operation of a motorboat propelled by a motor greater than 25 horsepower (other than personal watercraft):
Persons born on or after January 1, 1982 may not operate unless they have obtained and have in their possession a Boating Education Safety Certificate (Effective February 7, 2003)

For the operation of personal watercraft:
A person 11 years of age or younger may not operate a personal watercraft.
a person 12 through 15 years of age may not operate a personal watercraft unless he has obtained and has in his possession a boating safety education certificate.
A person 12 through 15 years of age may not operate a personal watercraft if there are any passengers onboard 15 years of age or younger.

CENTRAL ERIE COUNTY, WCO Tom Edwards / DWCO Bryan Brendley PHD.

Presque Isle State Park:
The fishing on Presque Isle State Park has been best when the wind has been cooperative. Good Catches of Yellow Perch (slabs) were taken from the N. Pier (morning) and Waterworks is picking up a little. Long Pond is still seeing some angler action for Crappie with results varying from day to day. Waterworks Ponds are still producing trout.

Starting from the West and moving East. Cascade Creek still has a fair number of stockies from Frontier down to the old visitors center. Cascade Condos which is usually the Crappie hole is producing Yellow Perch so far this year. Liberty Park has seen some slow going up until yesterday. The only thing I've seen caught here is a rock bass. Chestnut St. shows small perch but some decent sized Bass. Public Dock is still showing some good sized Perch but once again it all seems dependent upon the wind.. S. Pier perch are picking up, see N. Pier report.

Center County Trib:
4-Mile creek still has an abundance of Steelhead behind the Lawrence Park Fishing Club. There are also sucker/smolts/shiners present to harass your bait.

Conneauttee Creek:
My final stocking of the season will take place this week with another planting of fish in Conneauttee. Fishing has been very good on this small stream which flows out of Edinboro Lake for those not from the area and should continue to be good with this next stocking.

Landowners Note:
The item of Ferncliff on the South side of Presque Isle Bay was brought up at the S.O.N.S. meeting last night, please park in a manner not to interfere with the property owners coming and going. This is not another area where anglers need conflict.

Local Artists Wins Again:
A local Erie youth earned the top spot for artwork submitted to the PFBC Congratulations to Josh Joint of Erie for taking top state honors for grades 10-12. The victory was his fourth consecutive, having previously won his age group in 2000, 2001 and 2002.

Free Boat Equipment Checks:
Boating Season is upon us, we would like to remind all that local WCO's will be conducting boat equipment checks at Walnut Creek Access Area on May 18, from 11:00 a.m. until 3:00 p.m. These checks will be completed while still on the trailer in the East Lot parking area. This is a no harm no foul day and a chance to ask any questions which you may have. We will also have information publications available to the public.

Additional Information on the Presque Isle Pike Kill:
Another note about the pike deaths in the lagoons. The metabolism of any living organism is very complex and very tenuous. In nature stress can kill very quickly. We humans donít recognize this on a day-to-day basis due to the fact that we can adapt to changing weather. It gets cold, we go inside and turn up the heat; it gets hot, we turn on the AC. Fish canít do this. The pike in the lagoons had their systems shocked by a rapid warmup followed by a rapid cooldown. Proteins in the body canít always maintain their functionality and when proteins arenít able to work, metabolism canít work, the organism canít work, and it goes belly-up, Literally

A Note about Cascade Creek:
A casual walk along Cascade Creek inside of Frontier Park on Monday has revealed the presence of anglers. How sad. In one location I found many clumps of fishing line, candy wrappers, and a few plastic worm containers (minus the worms). Please remember that PFBC officers have a ďzero-toleranceĒ policy for littering in the entire county, not just in the ďhigh-visibilityĒ sites like Elk Creek, Walnut Creek, and Twenty mile Creek. If you are observed to litter, you will be cited. Our resources are far too important to allow trash and castoff items to clog our waterways and to perhaps damage our wildlife, both aquatic and terrestrial. Please think before you throw your garbage along the stream. Take it with you!


Pymatuning Lake:
The recent cold rains and low pressure system that came through has all but shut the fish down. Fishermen were experiencing luck wading towards evening right before sundown however now that is even stopped. Hopefully these last few days of very warm and sunny weather will raise the water temps and bring the fish in to feed again. Quite a few fishermen have been telling me they are catching a lot of Muskies this year. They have been running in shallow and feeding on the other fish. It looks like it might be a great year to try and catch one of these fifty plus inch giants.

Renovations at the State Park:
If you are around the state park you may notice all the bathrooms have been closed and porta-johns have been set up around them. This is do to work being done to convert all the pit toilets to flush toilets. This will not only make them more economical but a lot more environmentally friendly. The minor inconvenience we have to endure for this short period will be a significant benefit for us in the long run.

Conneaut Lake:
Still not much fishing pressure here and most of the docks are still empty from the boats not being in the water yet. The pressure that was taking place in the inlet at the North end has also slowed down with only sporadic fishermen hitting it now. This would definitely be the lake to hit if you want some seclusion from other fishermen. Should you go here and have any success let me know I would like to hear from you.

WCO Mark Kerr / DWCO Michael McSkimming, PHD

In Season Stocking:
This week, 04-26 through 05-02, waters that were stocked were Lake Pleasant, Twentymile Creek & the South Branch of French Creek. Next week's, 05-03 through 05-09, stocking list shows that Spring Creek & Brokenstraw Creek are scheduled. Questions concerning these streams may be referenced to this office by using the contact information provided.

French Creek, East Branch:
For those of you unfamiliar with this waterway, we are referring to that stream section running east towards New York, from Wattsburg, along SR 474...
Through the exceptionally dedicated work of a private individual, as well as local Trout Unlimited chapters, talks are now underway towards returning this stream to the Approved Trout Waters list. At this point, nothing is firm and nothing is final!! However, discussions seem to point towards a general belief that "people need to have a place to enjoy nature"; however, landowners stress that litter, as well as other property misuse, would not be tolerated. Were still in the infancy stage of this idea, and PF&BC personnel, with the exception of this office, still have had no input regarding the feasibility of re-securing this stream section. We'll have to wait and see; and, as events unfold, we'll keep you posted. For those of you who remember when this stream was stocked, I would encourage you to call, write, or E-mail me with information regarding this stream, old stocking points, or other particular comments/questions/concerns which you have. Contact information is as follows: WCO Mark T. Kerr, PO Box 571, Waterford, PA 16441-0571, Phone (814) 796-1378 [office] or (814) 673-4650 [cell]... E-mail wco015@yahoo.com. Thanks!!

Delayed Harvest Artificial Lures Only, What's your view?:
Over the course of the past three or four years, I have had numerous requests for exploring the possibility of situating DHALO areas on both Spring Creek (Warren County), French Creek-South Branch (Erie County) and French Creek-East Branch (Erie County) [if this stream were returned to the ATW list]. I, personally, would have no objection to DHALO areas being placed along lengths of these waters. However, I am not the one who is routinely fishing them. So, I pose the question to you!! How do you, the anglers, feel about attempting to incorporate DHALO areas into these Approved Trout Waters. Pros and Cons exist; both, dependent on your individual point of view. I'm not looking to open up the next 'Discussion Page Chapter Album' here... a simple, good old-fashioned barber shop argument will plenty suffice. Thanks for your consideration... and, we thank you for your support!!

Local Erie Area Weather:
Wednesday night
Partly cloudy with a chance of showers and thunderstorms. Lows in the upper 50s. East winds 5 to 15 mph becoming south. Chance of rain 50 percent.
Partly cloudy. A chance of showers and thunderstorms in the afternoon. Breezy. Highs in the mid 70s. Chance of rain 50 percent.
Thursday night
Mostly cloudy with a chance of showers and thunderstorms. Lows in the lower 50s. Chance of rain 40 percent.
Mostly cloudy with a chance of showers and thunderstorms. Highs in the upper 50s. Chance of rain 40 percent.
Friday night
Mostly cloudy with a chance of showers. Lows in the lower 40s. Chance of rain 30 percent.
Partly cloudy. Highs in the lower 50s.
Partly cloudy. Lows in the mid 30s and highs near 60.
Mostly cloudy with a chance of showers and thunderstorms. Lows in the lower 40s and highs in the mid 60s.
Cloudy with a chance of showers and thunderstorms. Lows in the mid 40s and highs in the lower 70s.

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