WCO Report for Erie and Crawford County 10/08/03: Erie area, PA,
WCO Report Posted: October 07, 2003

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Posted by DWCO Randy Leighton on October 07, 2003 at 22:02:47:


Steelhead angling continues to improve with fish moving freely throughout the west county tribs. A break in the recent rainfall has allowed the tribs to drop and made very clear water conditions, although water levels are still better than we have had in several years. A number of anglers have complained that there are not as many fish in the lower areas of the tribs as we have seen. Very simply, with the amount of rain we have had over the last month, fish have been able to move upstream earlier. The Legion Park area, Folly's End, and the areas around the Girard Park on Elk Creek are all very fishable now, and often not as crowded. Fish have been able to move freely above the falls on Walnut allowing many opportunities upstream. With conditions being so clear, stick to the light presentations and light, preferably fluorocarbon lines and leaders to trigger more strikes. Sucker spawn patterns in cream, white, and pink along with egg patterns in the more subtle colors are good choices now. Cured single eggs are always a good bet as well clear water. Working the micro jigs can often trigger stikes as well. Current Lake Erie water temperature as of this writing is 57 degrees.

Anglers have been doing very well along the Lake shore at Trout and Godfrey Runs when lake conditions permit. Early weekend forecasts are calling for good weather and crowded conditions should be expected at all the popular areas.

Walnut Access Area:
Litter problems have been as bad as it gets at the Access Area at Walnut Creek. This past weekend, the dumpsters were only half full in most cases, with enough litter on the ground to fill them. A number of people are apparently confusing the new parking lot light bases for trash containers and attempting to fill them with garbage. These light bases certainly are not to be considered proper containers and individuals caught jamming litter in these areas will be cited. Thank you to those individuals that took it upon themselves this past weekend to pick up some of the loose parking lot trash

Law Enforcement:
Several questions have been posed regarding exchanging fish on a stringer or "culling" and continuing to fish after catching one's limit. The answers are as follows:

It is legal to fish catch and release after catching a daily limit as long as no fish are killed and no fish are taken. However, if a fish caught after having a daily creel limit cannot be released immediately and unharmed (for any reason), a violation has occurred. For this reason, it is NOT a recommended practice to continue to fish on a catch and release basis after taking a daily creel limit. While it is legal if the last fish caught is immediately returned unharmed to the waters from which it was caught, because of the chances for noncompliance in such a situation, it's not a good idea. Also, you are not allowed to trade fish from the stringer for bigger ones caught later. Fish on the stringer are "taken" even if they are alive. Once placed on a stringer or in a live well or other container is part of the daily creel limit. The exception is for fishing tournaments, which require a special permit. You are not allowed to trade a fish from the stringer for a mortally wounded fish caught after you have a limit. Catching the fish that is mortally wounded is a violation even if the intent of the angler was to fish on a catch and release basis. Since the angler would be unable to immediately return it unharmed to the waters from which taken, a violation has occurred

Local Weather:
Wednesday night
Clear. Lows near 50. Light and variable winds.
Mostly sunny. Highs in the mid 70s.
Thursday night
Partly cloudy. Lows in the lower 50s.
Partly cloudy. Highs in the upper 60s.
Friday night
Partly cloudy. Lows near 50.
Partly cloudy. Highs in the upper 60s.
Mostly cloudy with scattered showers and thunderstorms. Breezy. Lows 45 to 50 and highs in the upper 50s.
Columbus Day
A chance of showers during the day, otherwise partly cloudy. Windy. Lows in the lower 40s and highs in the upper 50s.
Mostly cloudy. A chance of showers during the night. Windy. Lows in the upper 30s and highs in the mid 50s.


Pymatuning Lake:
The spillway seems to be where all the activity is for fishing right now. Walleyes are being caught jigging silver and blue Sonarís and chartreuse 1/8 oz. Jigs at the wire. Several large catfish are also being taken at the wire using minnows on the bottom. Crappies are also hitting here on minnows floated under a bobber. Fish them three to four feet below the bobber and for best results be sure to keep a live one on. Just remember you have to stay outside the wire to be legal.

Shenango River (outflow to Pymatuning):
Some very nice catfish were taken over the weekend fishing at the river. Some well in excess of two feet. Fishing the bottom using liver is the way these anglers were getting lucky. The two in the picture took over seven in two days, which will make for some very nice eating.

Conneaut Lake:
havenít seen any activity this week on Conneaut except for a sailboat this afternoon. White bass should be schooling up now and biting good. Anyone with any information would be welcomed.

Waterfowl season opens this weekend and we are once again asking hunters to be very cautious when it comes to weather and boating while hunting. If it is cold and you have multiple layers of clothes on, when they get wet they will weigh you down that much more. Instead of having a life jacket in the boat throw it on for an added layer of warmth. Remember, ďLIFE JACKETS ARE LIKE SEATBELTS THEY DONíT WORK IF YOU DONíT WEAR THEMĒ! All the same rules of boating apply while hunting as it does when you are out fishing in the summer.

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