WCO Report for Erie and Crawford County 5/18/03: Erie area, PA,
WCO Report Posted: June 17, 2003

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Posted by DWCO Randy Leighton on June 17, 2003 at 23:07:00:


Walleye and Perch fishing continue to improve with more fish being brought in. Migrant walleye have begun to move into our waters and action is picking up. Charter boats are bringing in fair to good catches from deeper water. 60 to 65 feet (first trench) North to Northwest of Walnut Creek and along the "shelf" has been productive for Walleye. Evening and day break hours will be more productive in shallow water, 25 to 35' along the lake shore. Worm harnesses in purple, chartreuse and watermelon, Stinger spoons, Thundersticks and other crank and stick baits are most popular. Planer boards are helpful, conditions permitting. Frequent bait changes may be necessary to find the right presentation. Walleye seem to hanging deep at this time. Current Lake Erie water temperature as of this writing is 62 degrees. Perch are still somewhat scattered, although the schools seem to be forming North to Northwest of Walnut Creek in 45 to 50 feet and as far out as 63 feet of water.

Conneaut Harbor Advisory
Anglers using the Conneaut Ohio Harbor are advised to adhere strictly to the entrance buoys to avoid a number of sandbars and shallow water. It also appears that for now, the fuel dock at the marina is closed.

Local Events of Interest to Boaters and Those Visiting the Erie Area
Erie Summer Festival of the Arts, June 26-29
Liberty Street Pier, Live entertainment at the amphitheater on the South side of Presque Isle Bay, Juried Art Show, Arts and Crafts, Face Painting, food and more

Tall Ships
The tall sailing ships return to Erie from July 3-6. Several tall ships will make a hospitality stop at the Erie Maritime Museum. Ships will include the INS Tarangini from India, the Pride of Baltimore, and the Neiskah I. On July 5th, the "Ale to Niagara" will be held where one can taste over 100 micro brews from around the country (preferably not all at once). This event will last from 8:00 PM to 11:00 PM. Cost is $15.00 per person

Discover Presque Isle Days, July 25-27
This event is a week end celebration of Presque Isle State Park and all it has to offer. Events include music, beach volleyball tournaments, organized beach bon fires, food, arts and crafts and much much more. For information call the Presque Isle Partnership at (814)838-5138 or look at www.presqueisle.org

Celebrate Erie 2003, August 15-17th
This is the Region's largest summer event, a three-day extravaganza which infuses downtown Erie with a unique spirit of pride and possibility. This event centers around all that the Erie area offers. Strong local programming features include visual, performing and literary arts; the best of Erie's culinary offerings; a broad range of interactive children's activities.

Emerging as a fine food and wine festival within a festival, the Taste of Erie will feature cuisine prepared by chef's from Matthew's Trattoria, papermoon, Pufferbelly, Porters, Colony Pub & Grill, Colao's Ristorante, Walnut Creek Grille and many others. Local wineries and breweries also will be featured. In addition, State Street becomes a sidewalk café featuring the downtown area restaurants and other local street vendors

Dozens of local and national performers convene on 4 stages reflecting a multitude of musical genres from Latin to Hip-Hop. Grammy-nominated Alex Torres & the Latin Kings Orchestra take the main stage at 9 p.m. on Friday, Aug. 15, musical legends the Wailers perform main stage at 8:45 p.m. on Saturday, Aug. 16 and reknown ex-Allman brother guitarist with The Derek Trucks Band takes the main stage at 8 p.m. on Sunday, Aug. 17. While the full mix of musicians is still brewing, the Celebrate Erie 2003 line-up boasts 52 bands, a few returning from the 2002 schedule, and many new to the 2003 line up.

One of the highlights of this weekend celebration is the gigantic fireworks display shot off of Dobbins Landing over Presque Isle Bay. The best vantage point is by boat on on the bay, although this display can be seen all over the Erie Area. The combination of the fireworks and hundreds of boat lights dotting the Bay after dark is a sight not to be missed.

2003 Mayor's Cup And 2003 Governor's Cup Sailboat Races
The 2003 races will both be held on Sunday August 17th in conjunction with the Celebrate Erie Festival on Presque Isle Bay. The Mayor's Cup will begin at 1000 hrs with the Governor's Cup to follow immediately thereafter. There will be separate Spinnaker and Jib & Main divisions with keeper awards for the top 3 places in each division in both events. The awards will be provided by Vicary Insurance Company and Mayor Fillipi will present the prestigious Mayor's Cup Trophy's. Written entry is required for all participants with a deadline of August 13th 2003. Registration forms with the notice of race and race instructions will be mailed to all 2002 participants. Entry forms may be obtained from the Erie Yacht Club, Vicary Insurance Agency, 1921 W 8th street or Erie City Hall.
Questions? Call Richard Vicary @ 459-3407 or Dave Heitzenrater @ 454-0437.

Brig Niagra Summer Schedule
Niagara in port - open for visitation. - June 17 - 21
Crew training sails scheduled - June 22 and 23
Niagara in port - open for visitation. - June 24-28

Crew training sails scheduled - June 29 and 30
Niagara in port - open for visitation. - July 1 and 2

Niagara to escort INS Tarangini into Erie- crew training sail. - July 3
Niagara in port - open for visitation. - July 4 - 6

Passage to Cleveland, Ohio arrive on the 9th in the evening - parade of sail from 3 -5 pm - July 7 - 9
Cleveland visitation - Ohio Bicentennial Celebration - July 10 - 13
Passage to Sandusky, Ohio, arrive on the 17th in the evening - July 14 - 17
Sandusky visitation - Ohio Bicentennial Celebration - July 18 - 20
Passage to Erie, PA- arrive on the 23rd in the evening - July 21 - 23
Niagara in port - open for visitation. - July 24 - 26
Crew training sails scheduled - July 27 and 28

Niagara in port - open for visitation. - July 29
Passage to Buffalo New York - arrive on the 1st in the evening. - July 30 - August 1
Buffalo visitation - Water Fest. - Depart on 3rd after 3pm - August 2 - 3
Port Colburn, Ontario - visitation - Canal Days - August 4
Passage to Erie, PA- arrive on the 7th in the evening - August 5 - 7
Niagara in port - open for visitation. - August 8 and 9
Crew training sails scheduled - August 10 and 11
Niagara in port - open for visitation - August 12 - 16
Crew training sail scheduled - August 17
Passage to Sarnia, Ontario - arrive on 21st in the evening. August 18 - 21
Visitation in Sarnia, Ontario - August 22 - 24
Passage to Erie- arrive on 28th in the evening - August 25 - 28
Niagara in port - open for visitation - August 29 - 31

CENTRAL ERIE COUNTY, WCO Tom Edwards / DWCO Bryan Brendley

Bass Fishing has continues to be excellent in Presque Isle Bay and near shore on the lake. For those of you without boats who want to catch smallies try the South Pier. For the last couple of weeks the bass fishing off of the S. pier has been excellent. Baits of choice include crayfish and leeches

A recent special enforcement detail at the South Pier netted multiple violators keeping over the limit of bass and short fish. The new sizes and limits as of this past Saturday, June 14th, are 15 inches and 4 possession for Lake Erie and its tributaries

Perch and Walleye
Perch fishing is still a little slow but those who are picking up a few are in 45 ft straight out from the lighthouse.
Walleye fishing seemed to be very good this past weekend with multiple catches in the central portion of PA waters.

Why Did the Turtle Cross the Road?
This is the season for turtles to be seen out and about on the roadways. If at all possible do not attempt to pick them up off the road. You may feel that you are doing them a favor but what if you put them on the side they just came from.

Local Weather
Wednesday night
Mostly cloudy with a chance of showers and thunderstorms. Lows near 60. Chance of rain 40 percent.
Mostly cloudy. Highs in the upper 60s.
Thursday night
Mostly clear. Lows in the lower 50s.
Mostly clear. Highs in the lower 70s.
Mostly clear. Lows in the mid 50s and highs in the upper 70s.
Mostly clear. Lows in the upper 50s and highs in the lower 80s.
Partly cloudy. Lows near 60 and highs near 80.


Pymatuning Lake
The walleyes were biting Friday night, I checked 7 boats and everyone of them had fish. They were not limiting out but every fisherman had one or two. The same location was given for everyone of them that came off the lake they were all fishing on the north end and in the stumps. The perch were being caught by the same group as well in the same area. The secret to success was fishing the bottom and using night crawlers. No one else seemed to have any luck on any other kind of bait. Crappies and Bluegills as well as the mosquitoes were biting also around the Red Cross area and they were being caught on worms as well. I would strongly suggest bug repellant though because in the short time it took me to check 2 fishermen I received several bites. Carp are biting all over the lake as well now and are very active, as they appear to be spawning in the shallows.

Conneaut Lake
The Bowfin are back and they appear to be biting rather nicely now. Several fishermen have called me with questions on them and what they are. They look somewhat like an eel and have a fin going down most of their tail and around to the underside. They have very sharp teeth and a voracious appetite. They are a good fighting fish when you catch them so they can be fun. Fishermen should return them to the water immediately unharmed after they are caught because they are a candidate species for the threatened and endangered list.

Crawford County Youth Field Days took place this weekend with a good time being had by all. The weather and the fish cooperated and kids caught fish ranging in size from a 19” catfish to a 4” bluegill. The size of the fish didn’t seem to matter though because I think every kid caught at least one fish and most caught several. I would like to personally thank Al from BA’s Bait & Bassin Shop in Meadville for donating all the bait for the kids to use and for his two employee’s Dale Vukmir and Myrle Knickerbocker for their time. If anyone has ever taken a kid fishing that has never been you know how busy you can be baiting and untangling and taking fish off of hooks, Now multiply that by 180 kids and you know what they went through to help out that day. Their assistance was invaluable and greatly appreciated and I can’t thank them enough. All had a good time and I think we may have some kids hooked on fishing because of it.

WCO Mark Kerr / DWCO Michael McSkimming PHD

Eastern Erie Conditions
As predicted, the warmer temperatures have triggered renewed interest in the fishing scene in the Erie area. Vehicles
can be seen parked along rt. 5 near 20-mile, suggesting that Smallmouth Bass are inhabiting the stream. A quick look-see there confirmed our suspicions, and it appears a healthy run of bass are primed for anglers to tackle. Successful anglers were using live crawfish, leeches, and small black and silver floating Rapalas. While it is good to see anglers visiting 20-Mile this time of the year, a few subtle reminders should be made at this point:

1. The East-side of 20-Mile from the rt. 5 bridge up to the old iron bridge is till posted! To make it fair to all, the landowner will not even allow family members to fish that side of the stream. Although it is tempting to cross the stream and fish that side, please do not do so.

2. Old habits die hard, and that is recognized. However, given all the time and energy spent on securing more access areas, it is recommended that all anglers to 20-mile use the designated parking area (it is roped off and
clearly marked) Personal and vehicle safety will be greatly enhanced once anglers start utilizing this parking area to its fullest.

3. This goes for ALL Lake Erie Tributary Streams, the regulations for both Largemouth and SmallMouth Bass are minimum lengh of 15", with a creel limit of 4 (combined species) For all Inland waters, the regulations are 12" with a creel limit of 6 (combined species), unless fishing at a special regulations area. Pages 6 and 10 of the 2003 Fishing Regulations have that all spelled out.

Fish and Boat Commission Owned and Regulated Properties

Generally speaking, PA Fish and Boat Commission Properties are designed for fishing and boating related activities. While one may find nature walkers, joggers, and picnickers on these lands, there are stringent guidelines as to what types of activities are prohibited. Such no-no's include the building of campfires and the use of 4-wheelers Commission properties are likened to Disneyland, and proper behavior and language (rated-G)is expected. Although attractive to the youth in our area, alcohol parties will be disrupted, and appropriate fines will be levied. Please do not start your summer off on the wrong foot. Read posted signs on these properties and everyone will have an enjoyable time!

Litter is still holds a "ZERO TOLERANCE" level. Be an example and others
will follow!

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