WCO Report for Erie County OCT 1 2003: Erie area, PA,
WCO Report Posted: October 01, 2003

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Posted by DWCO Randy Leighton on October 01, 2003 at 08:04:54:


Although boaters are still going out for perch (still north of Walnut Creek, wind and waves permitting) and what's left of the walleye, the steelhead are the story now. Significant precipitation this past weekend again has helped to keep the tribs at healthy fishing levels. The water temperatures have dropped significantly (61 degrees at this writing) and fishing have steadily continued to move in. Even with high muddy conditions, the Walnut Access area was packed this past Sunday. The Manchester Hole and the Project waters were elbow to elbow. Fish can be found in most areas well upstream.

Walnut Creek Access Area:
The marina basin at the Walnut Creek Access area is scheduled to be open for fishing on October 31st. Completion of the lighting in the parking lot has also been scheduled.

A Few Pointers on Wading:
First, select the appropriate waders. Give yourself a little extra room for warm clothing underneath. Generally neoprene waders with built in boots will provide the best insulation although many anglers prefer the "stocking foot" type with separate shoes making it possible to vary the material on their soles. The local tribs have a variety of bottom structure from slippery shale, to gravel, to mud, and rocky bottoms. Wading shoes with felt soles can help improve your traction. Don't worry if you can't find boots with felt soles in your size. Most tackle shops carry felt sole kits you can use to customize your boots.

Take a wading stick or staff. While you can buy specialty wading sticks from most fishing outfitters, although an old ski pole or stout wooden staff can work just as well. Most of our areas are relatively shallow however, there are plenty of deep pockets that can fool an unsuspecting or unfamiliar angler.

Consider wearing a a life jacket, especially when fishing the tribs after a strong rain when the water is high and fast flowing. This is should be a must for younger anglers and non swimmers. They're not just for boats. Many models offer compartments that can hold your fishing gear. Alternatively, vest models offer built in inflatable lifejackets. They cost a little more than plain vests, but it’s a relatively inexpensive life insurance policy.

Let someone at home know how long you plan to be out, especially when fishing some of the more remote areas. Electronic communication is now at everyone's fingertips, however much of our area, especially near the lake shore, can put you out of cell phone range.

Don't fish completely alone. In an emergency, having someone around who can help is always a good idea, especially when fishing the more remote areas of the tribs

Enter the water slowly, especially at night. Flowing water can be surprisingly powerful, so don’t plunge in and get caught off guard. In addition, a slow, steady entry cuts down on stream bed disturbance. It is also a courteous idea to wade slowly in crowded fishing areas.

If you are wading with a staff, cross the current facing upstream. Lean on the staff as if it were a third leg.

Shuffle your feet. When in water over the top of your feet, don't pick up your feet. Lift them up just a little and shuffle along the bottom. Take one step at a time. It isn't a race, so go slowly. You will spook fewer fish that way, too.

If you do fall, immediately bend your knees to trap air in your waders. Don't panic; chest waders and hip boots will not immediately "pull you down," as some people think. Stay on your back with your feet downstream and your knees bent until you can safety stand up. If you are wearing loose fitting chest waders, a wading belt should be worn to help prevent water from entering in the event of a fall. If you do fall, you and not your gear or fish should be your first priority

Lastly, have some extra dry clothes and a repair kit for leaky waders. A dry shirt and pants feel good after you have taken a cold “swim.” Besides, if you have clothes to change in to and a kit to repair a tear in your waders, you can keep fishing!

2003-2004 Creel Survey, and How you can Help:
We would like to advise Pennsylvania steelhead anglers that the PFBC Lake Erie Research Unit will be conducting a creel survey beginning October 1, 2003 and continuing through April 30, 2004. This investigation is in cooperation with the offices of Sen. Jane Earll and Rep. John Evans, The Erie Chamber, Pennsylvania Sea Grant and the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission.

Creel clerks will be counting anglers and soliciting interviews from people fishing Trout Run, Elk Creek, Godfrey Run, Walnut Creek, Fourmile Creek, Sevenmile Creek, Twelvemile Creek, Sixteenmile Creek and Twentymile Creek. The objective is to update data collected in 1993, and provide some measure of the economic impact of the steelhead fishery.

The creel clerks are on a very rigid schedule. Arrival and departure times at sites along their routes are to be strictly adhered to. Please understand that the clerks don't have time to chat or entertain a lot of questions.

We are asking that if a creel clerk approaches you, please cooperate with the survey; it will only take a few minutes of your time to answer the questions on the interview sheet. The information provided by cooperating anglers is critical to providing a better understanding of Pennsylvania's steelhead fishery. Thank you for supporting our efforts.

For additional information contact Chuck Murray, Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission Lake Erie Research Unit, Fairview, PA., by telephone at 814-474-1515 or by email at chamurray@state.pa.us.

Local Weather:
Mostly cloudy. Highs in the mid 50s.
Tuesday night
Mostly cloudy with a chance of showers. Lows in the lower 40s. Chance of rain 50 percent.
Cloudy with a chance of showers. Highs 50 to 60. Chance of rain 50 percent.
Wednesday night
Cloudy with a chance of rain or snow showers. Lows 35 to 45. Chance of precipitation 40 percent.
Mostly cloudy. A chance of showers during the day. Highs in the upper 40s.
Partly cloudy and breezy. Lows in the mid 30s and highs in the mid 50s.
Partly cloudy. A chance of showers until midnight. Lows in the lower 40s and highs in the upper 50s.
Partly cloudy. Lows in the upper 40s and highs in the lower 60s.


Results of Pennsylvania's First Annual Lake Erie International Coastal Cleanup:

Satellite/Radar Products
The next time you are angling on your favorite Lake Erie tributary, it may look different from your last visit. That's because, on September 20th, over 600 dedicated volunteers took time out of their busy Saturday morning schedules to participate in Pennsylvania's First Annual Lake Erie International Coastal Cleanup (ICC 03).

Picking up someone else's trash is a disgusting thought to some, but a very necessary activity to others. These volunteers covered about 37 miles of stream bank and Lake Erie shoreline. But the real statistic is startling: Over 35, 000 pounds of trash was collected, that's 17.5 tons.

It's a great feeling to know that those who participated really did make a difference. Not only was the trash collected, but each item was carefully documented using standardized data forms, supplied by the Ocean Conservancy. These forms were used to identify each location where trash was picked up, and the amounts and types. What started in Texas in 1986 as the first International Coastal Cleanup, has spread around the globe, as volunteers from nearly 120 countries participated in ICC on the same day.

After the trash collection in Erie County, tires, metals and garbage were placed in separate containers for final disposition. Many volunteers then attended the "Trash Bash," a get together at Liberty Park after the cleanup. The amount of trash collected was phenomenal. But, on the other side of the coin, it's really disheartening to know that this vast amount of litter is STILL making its way through our waterways and onto our shorelines. In 2003, the litter problem seems "bigger and badder" than before.

Plans for International Coastal Cleanup 2004 have already begun in Erie County. If you or your organization would like to become a volunteer or partner, please call 814-332-6360, and get in on the ground floor for ICC 04. If you would like to become a sponsor, please contact Melanie Williams of Waste Management (Inc.) at 814-824-7826. Or, you could visit the ICC 03 web site at:


Results from the September 20th cleanup will be posted at this address in the near future.

For those who sponsored, partnered, volunteered, or somehow participated in the ICC 03 Cleanup, a hearty "THANK YOU." For those who want to participate in ICC 04, consider this message as your personal invitation to really make a difference out there.

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