WCO Report for Erie County 02/18/04: Erie area, PA,
WCO Report Posted: February 17, 2004

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Posted by DWCO Randy Leighton on February 17, 2004 at 21:59:31:

West Erie County, DWCO Randy Leighton

Perch action is picking up on Presque Isle Bay although we are still not seeing the catches we saw last year. The most productive area has been off the Chestnut Street boat launch on the Bayfront Highway straight out about a third of the distance across the bay. The best reports have come from anglers fishing in 15 to 24 feet of water off the bottom. Anglers are also beginning to pick up smelt as well. Ice thickness on Presque Isle bay has been reported at 16 to 18 inches as of this writing.

Misery Bay and Horse Shoe pond at the end of Presque Isle State Park are still hot spots for nice size gills and plent of them. If shiners aren't catching them for you, try a variety of small jigs.

Steelhead are being iced at the Walnut Basin, the Walnut Creek Channel and the Manchester Hole with very little angling pressure. Temperatures approaching the 40 degree mark later this week may loosen up some additional open water on the tribs but for now we are still mostly ice over.

b>Free Safe Boating Class Offered:
The Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission will be conducting a Safe Boating class on Tuesday and Wednesday, March 23rd and 24th. Class will be held at the Stull Interpretive Center at Presque Isle State Park from 6:00 PM until 10:00 PM each evening. This comprehensive 8 hour class is designed for the novice boater or boater to be, as well as the experienced boater who would like to refresh his knowledge. The class covers basic boating safety, boating laws and regulations, and equipment. Successful completion of the course qualifies the individual for a Pennsylvania boating education safety certificate. This certificate is required for all personal watercraft operators, individuals 12-15 years of age that will be operating a boats powered by 10 HP or more, and for all individuals born after January 1st, 1982 that operate motorboats of more than 25 horsepower. There is no charge for the course or materials, although registration is required. To register by email, write Deputy Waterways Conservation Officer Randy Leighton at rglerie@aol.com with your name, address, and phone number or you can call Waterways Conservation Officer Brook Tolbert at 774-4672

Area Sportmen's Clubs Updated by Local PFBC Officers:
Local representatives of many of our local sportsmen's clubs were eagerly in attendance at last weeks PA. Steelhead Association meeting to hear an outstanding presentation by our local WCOs regarding funding needs of the PFBC as well as the latest updates and information regarding the proposed merger resolution. The standing room only crowd was given the facts, figures, and potential effects of these most important issues through a powerful presentation put together by WCO's Kerr, Edwards, and Tolbert. Special thanks goes to DWCO Michael McSkimming and his team from Gannon University in assembling an impressive PowerPoint presentation that clearly defined the issues and their potential effect on all of us. Many new eyes were opened at this presentation indicating that there is a strong need to continue to put these issues to the sportsmen of Pennsylvania and to urge them to strongly voice their opinions to their local legislators.

Pennsylvania Federation of Sportsmen Meeting to Address Merger Issue:
The PA. Federation of Sportsmen will be having a meeting at the Franklin Area High School on April 29th at 7:00 PM to address the issues surrounding resolution 15, the proposed merger of the PFBC and the PGC. Area legislators from Northwestern Pennsylvania along with representatives from the PFBC and the PGC have been invited to join in this meeting.

Directions to Franklin High School are as follows:
* I-79 south to Meadville exit (SR 322 East)

* Take SR 322 East to Franklin (+/- 28 miles)

* At the intersection of SR 322 & SR 417 (Buyer's Fair Hardware Store on your left-hand side & BP gas station on right-hand side)-- make RIGHT hand turn [still SR 322]

* Continue until reaching 4th traffic light (intersection of SR 322 & SR 8)

* At that light, make RIGHT hand turn onto SR 8 South

* Take SR 8 South for just over 2 miles until reaching traffic light at intersection of SR 8 & PONE LANE (just passed Venango Regional Airport entrance)

* At that light, make LEFT hand turn onto PONE LANE.

* Take PONE Lane for +/- 5/8 mile, Franklin High School will be on your right-hand side
[226 Pone Lane-- Franklin, PA 16323; (814) 432-2121]

Approximate drive time from downtown Erie, PA to Franklin Area High School, on good roads, is +/- 1 hour and 30 minutes.

Local Weather:

Wednesday night
Partly cloudy. A chance of flurries after midnight. Lows in the mid 20s. Southwest winds 5 to 15 mph.
Mostly cloudy. A chance of flurries early. Highs in the upper 30s. West winds around 15 mph.
Thursday night
Partly cloudy. Lows 25 to 30. Northwest winds 5 to 10 mph becoming east.
Mostly cloudy with a chance of showers. Highs in the lower 40s. Chance of rain 30 percent.
Friday night
Cloudy with a chance of showers. Lows in the mid 30s. Chance of rain 50 percent.
Cloudy with a chance of showers. Highs near 40. Chance of rain 50 percent.
Saturday night
Mostly cloudy with a chance of rain or snow showers. Lows in the mid 20s. Chance of rain 30 percent.
Partly cloudy. Highs in the mid 30s.
Sunday night
Partly cloudy. Lows in the mid 20s.
Partly cloudy. Highs in the upper 30s.
Monday night
Partly cloudy. Lows in the mid 20s.
Partly cloudy. Highs

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