WCO Report for Erie and Crawford County 7/09/03: Erie area, PA,
WCO Report Posted: July 08, 2003

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Posted by DWCO Randy Leighton on July 08, 2003 at 22:57:52:

WESTERN ERIE COUNTY, WCO Brook Tolbert / DWCO Randy Leighton

Walleye and Perch fishing in the area are hot with excellent reports coming in all along the North Coast. Walleye anglers are limiting quite often and even the casual anglers are having success. Crawler harnesses in copper, watermelon, chartreuse, and purple will continue to bring them in off of deep diving dipseys. Some anglers have reported success with the Erie Dearie crawler rigs as well. The first trench has been productive in 65 to 67' of water west of the Walnut Creek Access.

Perch are heavily schooled North of Walnut Creek in 48 to 52 feet of water. Look for the large packs of anchored boats. A number of boaters are fishing for Walleye and Perch after sunset. Remember, regulations require that an "all around white light" be displayed at anchor. Running lights are required when trolling or underway.

Lake Erie water temperature as of this writing is 73 degrees.

Law Enforcement:
This past holiday weekend brought thousands of vacationers and boaters to the Erie area. Unfortunately the weekend was not without incident with one drowning at Presque Isle State Park and several near tragedies on the Lake. A 34 foot SeaRay ran aground near South side of Gull point on Presque Isle . Fortunately the injuries were minor.

In another incident, two young men were out on Lake Erie in a 14 foot rented jon boat. Wave conditions had built to 4 to 6 feet when the men were unexpectedly tossed from the boat. A rapid and unbalanced shifting of the weight in the boat combined with the wave action was determined to be the cause of the men being thrown overboard. The two individuals had PFDs on board however, they were not wearing them and the PFDs remained with the boat and well out of reach. The boat was later recovered with the PFDs still on board. It was estimated that the two men had to tread water for nearly 15 minutes (a significant amount of time for even a good swimmer) without any floatation aides before another boat came to render assistance. The second boat, also 14 foot, thoughtfully had visual distress signals (flares) on board and were able to get them off. The individuals in the second boat were wearing their PFDs however in their attempt to pull the first two men on board, the second boat capsized. The situation place all four individuals in the water for nearly 4 hours before they were finally rescued. The second two individuals having the good sense to stay with their capsized boat and be wearing their PFDs until help arrived spared the lives of all four men. Fortunately minor hypothermia became the only cause for concern.

This situation demonstrates that although regulations dictate that a wearable PFD must be on board for each individual, they are of little use if the are not worn in just such a situation. Had the men on the second boat not been wearing their PFDs a significant tragedy would have been in the making. Another important point here is that the second boat being under 16', was not required to have VDS on board although he elected to carry them, and in this case was able to use them. We may often sound redundant in the reminders of required and recommended safety equipment, however, this near deadly situation is a perfect illustration of how necessary proper safety equipment is.

Boat Registration:
Questions come in all summer long regarding boat registration requirements and when and where does a boat have to be registered. The following offers the guidelines for registration:

Boats propelled by machinery, including electric motors, must be registered, and they must properly display numbers and a boat registration validation decal. This includes all motorboats regardless of the boat's length and type of motor.

No other number may be displayed on either side of the bow. These numbers may not be removed, altered, tampered with, or defaced except by the owner or representative. Documented vessels, as well as kayaks, sculls, sailboards, and other low-volume boats of similar design, are exempt from the display of numbers but they must display the validation decal. Inflatable boats may carry their numbers and validation decal on boards lashed to each side of the bow. Canoes are not exempt and must display the numbers and the decal.

Often, boaters tell us that they "just sent in their renewal" or "I have my canceled check" and is it okay to boat. The response to this is the boat is considered to be legally registered when the validation sticker is on the boat and the registration card is received and signed. A boat without a current validation sticker and numbers affixed to both sides the bow and a signed registration card are no more legal than an automobile without a current license plate sticker and signed registration card.

Unpowered boats using Commission lakes and access areas must be registered OR display a Commission use permit OR display a State Parks launch or mooring permit.

Boat titles are issued when a boat is sold or when ownership is conveyed. Titles are required for motorboats with a model year of 1997 and newer, except for those that are powered by an outboard motor that are less than 14 feet in length. All 1997 or newer personal watercraft, are also subject to the titling requirement. Voluntary titling is available for any other boat.
Fish & Boat Commission Boating Course Hotline: 1-888-PAFISH-1 (1-888-723-4741)
Bureau of Boating and Education: 717-705-7833
Bureau of Law Enforcement: 717-705-7861
Boat Registration Office: TOLL-FREE 1-866-BOATREG (1-866-262-8734)

Local Weather:
Wednesday night
Partly cloudy with a chance of showers and thunderstorms. Lows in the mid 60s. East winds 5 to 15 mph. Chance of rain 40 percent.
Partly cloudy with a chance of showers and thunderstorms. Highs near 80. Chance of rain 40 percent.
Thursday night
Showers and thunderstorms likely. Lows in the lower 60s. Chance of rain 60 percent.
Mostly cloudy. Highs in the upper 70s.
Friday night
Partly cloudy. Lows 55 to 65.
Partly cloudy. A chance of showers and thunderstorms during the night. Highs in the upper 70s.
A chance of thunderstorms in the morning, otherwise partly cloudy. Lows 60 to 65 and highs in the upper 70s.
Partly cloudy. Lows 55 to 65 and highs in the upper 70s.
Partly cloudy. Lows 60 to 65 and highs in the lower 80s.


Pymatuning Lake:
The lake is getting warmer now and as such the fishing is slowing down somewhat. Perch still seem to be hitting really well in the back bays and shallow areas by floating a worm or maggot under a bobber or a jig you will probably have the best success. Don't overlook the CARP in the lake either, with light tackle they can be a real challenge to land and an awful lot of fun playing them. They are getting more active now with the warmer water and bread balls seem to be the best bait for them. Over 17 thousand people were in attendance for the fireworks at Jamestown this year and a spectacular show was seen by all. Linesville had an impress show as well with a much smaller crowd. No major incidents were reported and everyone behaved themselves which definitely made our job easier and was appreciated.

Conneaut Lake:
The season of the Jet Ski is upon us hear and fishermen will be hard pressed to find areas that are fishable during the day, without being bothered. Your best bet is to fish the lake early morning or at sundown when recreational boat traffic has slowed down. I worked the lake this weekend but was unable to check any fishermen, so I am not sure if anyone is having any luck.

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