WCO Report for Erie and Crawford County 9/10/03: Erie area, PA,
WCO Report Posted: September 10, 2003

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Posted by DWCO Randy Leighton on September 10, 2003 at 08:17:54:


Perch fishing North of Walnut Creek just seems to get better and better. A good number of boats were observed leaving the access area at day break this past weekend and returning by 8:30 with their limit. Shiners (the bait of choice) are in good supply at the local bait shops and weather and waves permitting, perch fishing should be good for a while. A good number of citation size walleye were brought in this past week although limits were not common. Walleye are being brought in from the trenches in 60 to 65 feet of water northwest of the Walnut Access west to the Ohio line. A number of steelhead and a few chinook were brought in by local charters this past weekend. Current Lake Erie water temperature as of this writing is 70 degrees.

We have received countless calls as to the steelhead movement into Walnut and Elk Creeks. Current water and ambient temperatures have moved some fish into the tribs, however typically in these conditions they seem to be little more than "exploratory runs". As such, the numbers in the tribs can vary day to day. The Walnut channel seems to be holding a fair number of fish as of this writing as evidenced by the number caught this past weekend. Most fish were caught between sunset and sunrise. Although water levels are good, conditions are clear in most areas making daytime steelhead fishing difficult, but not impossible. Anglers were also doing fair at the mouths of Trout and Godfrey runs along the lakeshore and angler reports indicate that some fish are holding in the "mud hole" at the mouth of Elk Creek. Water temperatures in the tribs are slowly dropping which should trigger additional activity. Long term weather forecasts indicate possible rain in our area this weekend which could be the spark needed to get things really going. In short, there are currently fish to be caught for those that know how to catch them, but the big run is still around the corner.

Area reminders:
Unfortunately, the Trout Run Marina will not be open for business this year and as of this writing it is still uncertain as to whether the Marina parking lot will be open. As such, parking at on Avonia Road (route 98) near the lake could be a real problem. Anglers are to be advised that careless parking in this area will be addressed. Vehicles on either side of the road that block traffic, especially for emergency vehicles, will be subject to citations and possible removal at the owners expense. Anglers are also reminded that there is no parking on anywhere on either side of Manchester Road.

Fish Fry:
A great time was had by local boaters and "Friends" of the Walnut Creek Marina at their annual fish fry this past weekend. Thank you to all who participated and especially to all those who donated.

Pa. Steelhead Association:
On September 27th, 2003, the PSA will be having their first ever "PSA Big Run Banquet" at the Elk Valley Sportsmen's' Club. The picnic is the kick for the Association's annual membership drive and all proceeds benefit the club and is an opportunity for anglers to get together for some great food and entertainment. A pig roast with all the fixings will be featured along with a variety of raffles and give away items. Tickets for this event are selling rapidly. For more information and ticket availability contact Ron Smith, Jr. at rsmit@aol.com

Local Weather:

Wednesday night
Clear. Lows 50 to 55. East winds 5 to 10 mph.
Mostly sunny. Highs in the upper 70s.
Thursday night
Mostly clear. Lows 50 to 55.
Mostly sunny. Highs in the upper 70s.
Friday night
Mostly clear. Lows in the upper 50s.
Partly cloudy. Highs in the upper 70s.
Partly cloudy with a chance of showers and thunderstorms. Lows in the upper 50s and highs in the mid 70s.
Partly cloudy. A chance of showers until midnight. Lows in the upper 50s and highs in the upper 60s.
Partly cloudy and windy. Lows in the lower 50s and highs in the upper 60s.


Pymatuning Lake:
Bass are hitting really well right now, one bass fisherman stated “you can’t throw a plug or a lure anywhere near weeds or structure without coming up with a fish”. Muskies are still being caught by trolling but not as regularly, I am told by the fishermen that target them that they should be picking up soon for the fall run. Some Walleyes are being caught by trolling deep; Hot-N-Tots seem to be working best for this.

Conneaut Lake:
Pike are being caught on a steady basis by fishermen and seem to be concentrated near the weed beds and vegetation. White bass are starting to pick up as well, look for the schools of minnows swimming up out of the water and throw your lures into that. The fish that are jumping are the baitfish being chased by the white bass. Stick baits seem to be the best in a silver color, something that imitates a minnow.

The Causeway on Pymatuning:
Work on the Causeway across Pymatuning Lake has begun for the fall. Pendot has started grouting the rocks with concrete so you may experience a slight delay, but it is still open to traffic. They only have it narrowed down to one lane on the Pennsylvania side to get the work done. The work is scheduled to continue until sometime in November.

Hunting Season is Here:
Now that waterfowl season has arrived hunters are reminded that all the rules and regulations that applied during your summer boating season are still all the same. Think about wearing that Life Jacket now that it is getting colder and maybe it will help keep you warm. Watch weight distribution and nasty fall storms as they come up quick. We had hunters go into the lake last year during bad weather and were lucky to have a cell phone with them that they could call for help.

CENTRAL ERIE COUNTY, DWCO Bryan Brendley, DWCO Don Benczkowski

International Coastal Cleanup 2003:
On Saturday, September 20, 2003, International Coastal Cleanup 2003 (ICC03) will be taking place in over 118 countries around the globe. On the same day, and in our own area, it will also be conducted along the Lake Erie shoreline, and into many tributary streams that lead to Lake Erie. From 9:00 a.m. to noon that day, several hundred volunteers, including individuals, organizations and businesses, in East and West Erie County, will comb the shoreline and stream banks for trash and debris left behind by unknowing or uncaring individuals. But the ICC is not a mere cleanup. Data will be collected using standard data collection forms. These forms document the types of trash found, the amounts, and whether that trash could be recycled. Also, education is a major thrust of the ICC 03. The Erie Times News will dedicate two "Newspapers In Education" inserts in newspapers before and after the event, so that students and teachers can focus on an environmental education program that includes valuable information about recycling, litter, and trash disposal.

Of the years that the International Coastal Cleanup has taken place in Erie County, this is the first time that the cleanup effort will go beyond the boundaries of Presque Isle State Park. Several individuals and groups have been meeting for nearly a year to make the ICC 03 a success along the entire shoreline and into many of the tributaries to Lake Erie. A commitment was made by the ICC 03 Steering Committee many months ago, that a concerted effort would be required if this event was going to be successful. Working with Waste Management and Liberty Iron and Metal Co., among others, ten locations in Erie County were chosen as staging areas for the trash and recyclable collection and transport:

Raccoon Creek Park
Elk Creek Access Area
Walnut Creek Access Area
Asbury Woods Nature Center
Presque Isle State Park
Cascade Creek/Presque Isle Bay/Garrison Run
Mouth of Mill Creek
McDannel Run/Six Mile Creek/Seven Mile Creek
North East Marina/Freeport Beach/Twenty Mile Creek Park
Headwaters Park at Mill Creek, Rt. 8 and I-90

We are asking for your cooperation as you fish for steelhead on September 20th, between 9 a.m. and noon. If you see individuals or groups of people along the shoreline or the bank of your favorite stream, they are not there to disrupt or interfere with your angling experience. They are there, however, to remove debris and trash that potentially affect wildlife and fish and, ultimately, you. The information gathered from the cleanup will be used for various educational endeavors. If you feel the need or desire to assist those volunteers already registered for ICC 03, consider setting your fishing pole down for a couple hours, and join us for this important event. Afterward, from 12:30 p.m. to 2:30 p.m., all volunteers are invited to the first annual "Trash Bash" at Liberty Park, right off the Bayfront Highway.

A "Coastal Cleanup" web site has been set up at www.goerie.com/coastalcleanup for more information. If you would like to volunteer, team leader names and phone numbers are available on the web page. Sometime after the event, all data collection results will be posted there.

For additional information, feel free to call me, Don Benczkowski, of the PA DEP's Coastal Zone Management Program, at 814-332-6360, or email me at dbenczkows@state.pa.us . I look forward to meeting many of you at ICC 03.

Don’t Forget the Bass:
With steelhead fever rapidly getting into swing, remember that there are still other fish to stalk in the Lake Erie watershed. Spring and Fall are the best times of year to go after the bass. The fall is particularly enjoyable due to the temperature of the water. Simply put, cold water holds more oxygen for the fish and they tend to be more active. Find an area that holds bass and fish like crazy! In the fall bass tend to be hearty eaters and they will feast on crankbaits, spoons, jigs, you name it! It is also important to watch where vegetation is still green. Green plants are still performing photosynthesis, which means that they are releasing oxygen into the water and the fish will likely school in those areas. Dying vegetation, by contrast, becomes what is called Biological Oxygen-Demanding wastes and consumes oxygen as it decays – fish avoid those areas. Just a little reminder that bass in the fall can be a nice addition to steelhead fishing. Enjoy.

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