WEST ERIE COUNTY, DWCO Randy Leighton|
The West County trib conditions have been good to excellent with the tribs having good color and flow. Winter is upon us with cold temperatures and strong winds. Winter time normally brings a beautiful green tint to the tribs and some of the best fishing of the year for those anglers that can handle the cold weather. Crowds have begun to dwindle with plenty of elbow room especially on weekdays. A variety of baits will work well this time of year as the tribs maintain their winter color. Any of the sucker spawn fly patterns are good choices now. Colors will vary depending on what they are hungry for. Single eggs can be hot now and cold water winter conditions are an excellent time to use the micro jigs. Shiners are a staple bait for many anglers in the winter months. The recent heavy rains have brought additional fish into the tribs with fish spread out up to I-90. Lake Erie water temperature as of this writing is 47 degrees.
Any boaters venturing out of the Walnut Creek Access are advised that the channel is only ankle to knee deep in most of the area near the mouth.
Reminder on Perch:
The perch size limit has now changed to 7" from 8," effective December 1st. The daily creel limit remains at 20 fish.
Walnut Creek Access:
The Walnut Creek Access office is now on limited weekend hours through the month of December.
Remaining hours for the season are as follows:
December 3rd and 4th, Wednesday and Thursday - 8:00 AM to 6:30 PM
December 5th, Friday - 6:00 AM to 10:00 PM
December 6th and 7th, Saturday and Sunday - 7:00 AM to 5:30 PM
December 12th, 13th, and 14th - 7:00 AM to 5:30 PM
December 19th, Friday - 7:00 AM to 5:30 PM (last day open until April 2004)
Porta Johns and trash containers will remain around the parking lot through out the winter months after the office building closes.
2004 Fishing licenses are now available at the office as well as most area bait shops and license outlets.
Fourth in a Series of Local Tributary Descriptions, Raccoon Creek:
Raccoon Creek is a small stream that holds some steelhead. Its mouth is located west of the town of North Springfield, just west of Elmwood Home Road (Township Road 324). Raccoon is not an approved trout stream and it is not stocked with "regular" trout for the trout season. However, there is evidence of natural reproduction of trout in this creek. Occasionally the PFBC puts spawned-out steelhead in Raccoon Creek near Ellis Road. Most of Raccoon runs through wooded lands, and portions run through State Game Lands 314. Because of its small size and because it runs primarily through woods, Raccoon drains quickly and can be fishable when the larger creeks are too high or muddy from recent rain or runoff.
Raccoon Park, a nice community park with picnic pavilions and plenty of parking, is located just east of the mouth of Raccoon Creek. The creek has a slow, wide and reasonably deep area at its mouth in this area. Much of the fishing in Raccoon Creek is done here at the mouth. You can also walk upstream from Old Lake Road and fish the stream.
Heading south on Elmwood Home Road, you enter the State Game Lands. You can walk into the Game Lands and fish the stream here. You can also access the stream by parking along the Conrail tracks (which are the northern set of tracks) and taking the steep but short trail down the South side of the tracks to the creek. Here you will find a tube under the bridge and some nice fishing areas. There is also access at the bridge on Lynch Road north of Route 5. There is limited parking here and the stream is brushy. Trying to fish this area or areas upstream of this with a long rod will be very difficult.
The next access points are where Elmwood Home Road crossed over the creek, and at the Route 5 bridge, which is just upstream.
If you want to try a smaller stream, with few other anglers, try this one.
Tributary descriptions in part provided by www.FishERIE.com, a www.FishUSA regional site.
Partly cloudy. Highs in the lower 30s. West winds 5 to 10 mph.
Partly cloudy. Lows in the lower 20s. Light and variable winds.
Mostly cloudy. Highs in the upper 30s. Southeast winds 5 to 10 mph.
Mostly cloudy with a chance of snow or rain. Lows 25 to 30. East winds 10 to 20 mph. Chance of precipitation 40 percent.
Snow or rain likely. Breezy. Highs in the mid 30s. Chance of precipitation 60 percent.
Snow likely. Breezy. Lows in the upper 20s. Chance of snow 60 percent.
Mostly cloudy with a chance of snow showers. Highs in the lower 30s. Chance of snow 50 percent.
Mostly cloudy with a chance of snow showers. Lows in the lower 20s. Chance of snow 30 percent.
Mostly cloudy. A chance of snow showers in the morning. Highs in the lower 30s. Chance of snow 30 percent.
Partly cloudy. Lows in the mid 20s.
Partly cloudy. Highs in the mid 30s.
Partly cloudy. Lows 25 to 30.
Partly cloudy. Highs in the upper 30s.