WCO Report for Erie County 7/16/03: Erie area, PA,
WCO Report Posted: July 15, 2003

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Posted by DWCO Randy Leighton on July 15, 2003 at 22:33:23:


Rough lake conditions this past weekend slowed things down a bit. With calmer conditions returning, the walleye and perch fishing have picked back up. Anglers are finding that fish are beginning to move into deeper water. The first trench out of Walnut Creek is still producing in 60 to 65 feet of water, although anglers are picking up fish in the second trench as well in 70 to 75' of water. Walleye are suspending in the deeper water at times. Varying your trolling depths and presentations will bring them in. Reports of steelhead catches in the deeper water have been limited at best. Perch fishing should pick up again this week due north of the Walnut Creek Access. Early weather forecasts are shaping up for a good weekend. Lake Erie Water temperature as of this writing is 74 degrees.

Walnut Access Area:
Earlier this week a large concentration of floating algae moved into the Walnut Creek channel and settled in at the Marina basin entrance. The algae seems to have been a result of recent strong Southwest winds pushing loose algae along the lakeshore. The opening at Walnut Creek provided a drop off area for the algae. A number of boaters had difficulty with clogged intakes and tangled props. As of this writing, a good amount of the algae has been broken up by boat traffic and this weekend should present few problems. A clogged intake can cause rapid overheating in a water cooled engine. If your temperature alarm goes off or you suspect a clog, your engine should be shut down until the intake can be cleared to avoid costly damage. Algae that is tangled around the prop can often be dislodged by placing the engine in reverse and backing the boat up a short distance. When attempting to clear your intake or prop, the keys, plug wires, or battery cables should be removed until the job is complete.

The Walnut Access Parking lot improvements are nearly complete with only the addition of new lighting and a little landscaping. The lines and traffic flow patterns have been painted and boaters seem very pleased with he improvements.

Know the Area Before You Launch:
Boaters, especially those from out of town that are not familiar with the area should take note of the regulations specific to our area. Although much of the following is marked, boaters should know these regulations.

Boats are limited to slow, minimum height swell speed in the following areas:
Through the Erie Harbor Entrance between the North Pierhead Light (foghorn) and Inter Range Tower.

In the area adjacent to the Erie Public Dock, extending from the Erie Sand and Gravel Company on the West to the Continental Grain Company piers on the East. The restricted area will include the Canal Basin and extend northward to the harbor line. (In short, the channel connecting Presque Isle to Lake Erie)

Within the boundaries of Presque Isle State Park, including the waters of Marina and Misery Bays and the waters along the bay and lake shore for a distance of 500 feet from the shore.

Water skiing, other than for the purpose of take off or approach, is prohibited within 500 feet of the shoreline of Presque Isle peninsula.

The anchoring of watercraft in the entrance channel to Horseshoe Pond, Fox Pond, Marina Bay, the Lagoons or the bridge at Misery Bay in a manner that interferes with the public use of these areas or in a manner which creates a hazard to other watercraft is prohibited.

The mooring of boats to any dock, wharf, pier, ship or boat launching facility in a manner that interferes with public use or creates a hazard to other watercraft is prohibited.

Boats are prohibited within 100 feet of designated swimming beaches at Presque Isle State Park.

The internal lagoons from Marina Drive Bridge at the West end of the Long Pond through the northern entrance of Graveyard Pond shall be limited non powered watercraft and electric motors only.

"At least we haven't seen one of these yet" , submitted by Assistant Region Manager Robert Nestor:

MINNETONKA, Minn. - Authorities recovered the body of a man missing in Lake Minnetonka late Friday following a boat rage incident. Television reports identified the man as Ryan Nustad, 31, of Mound. Rescuers found his body about 11:45 p.m. in the Cruisers' Cove area near Big Island. Two men were taken into custody Friday night and their boat impounded, said Capt. Bill Chandler of the Hennepin County Sheriff's Office. According to Chandler: Around 7:30 p.m., a man in one boat and two men in another boat began arguing about their driving conduct. The men, who did not know each other, pulled their boats alongside one another. The man leaned into the boat containing the two other men, and one of those two allegedly threw him into the water. As the suspects fled, they drove over the top of the victim, killing him on impact. "The sad part is that this is an incident that didn't have to happen," Chandler said. "There was anger, but they didn't detach from their anger. This is a tragic event of road rage, only on water." Large, uncooperative crowds hampered the rescue and recovery efforts, Chandler said. "Hundreds of boats were rafted together and they refused to move," he said. "They were aggressive; they didn't want to lose their spot to watch fireworks. We even had witnesses who said they didn't want to have to come in to (make) statements and miss fireworks."

CENTRAL COUNTY WCO Tom Edwards / DWCO Bryan Brendley, PHD

As the number of boats on the lake continues to mount, the officers would like to remind everyone that operating a boat can be dangerous. The number of boat accidents this year continues to climb with another accident on the bay in the past week.

A boat accident is defined as causing death, dismemberment, medical attention beyond first aid, disappearance, or damage to the vessel in excess of $2000. If any of these conditions are met, you must contact one of the WCOs immediately. The PA Fish and Boat Commission is charged with investigation of all recreational boating accidents in Commonwealth waters.

Be careful on the water. Be alert and observe conditions that might be rapidly changing. Know your limitations and the limitations of your vessel. Know the "rules of the road." This most recent accident might have been fatal. In some cases, simply slowing down or going into neutral might allow for another vessel to make a safe decision.

Local Weather:
Wednesday night
Clear. Lows in the mid 50s. Northwest winds 5 to 10 mph.
Mostly sunny. Highs near 80.
Thursday night
Partly cloudy. Lows in the upper 50s.
Mostly sunny. Highs in the upper 70s.
Friday night
Becoming mostly cloudy. A chance of thunderstorms late. Lows near 60. Chance of rain 30 percent.
A chance of thunderstorms during the day, otherwise partly cloudy. Highs in the upper 70s.
Sunday through Tuesday
Partly cloudy. Lows around 60 and highs in the mid and upper 70s

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