WCO Report for Erie County 03/31/04: Erie area, PA,
WCO Report Posted: March 30, 2004

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Posted by DWCO Randy Leighton on March 30, 2004 at 22:43:15:

WEST ERIE COUNTY, DWCO Randy Leighton, WCO Brook Tolbert

Area tributaries have been running fast and on the high side. We have been getting enough rain to keep flow good and color good. Conditions this past weekend were good to excellent and so far the Spring steelhead season has been far more productive than last year. Rain is predicted for the next few days with possible clearing by the weekend. If the weather holds, we could have another great weekend of fishing. A good number of fresh fish have continued to move in and upstream and have mixed well with the "wintered" steelhead. Fishing is good on all areas of Elk Creek from the mouth up to the Mckean hole off of I-79.

Walnut and Elk Creeks were a bonanza this past weekend with many anglers taking their limits home. Small jigs, egg sacks, and shiners were effective. Anglers fishing the "wall" at Walnut Creek were having luck with the power baits. Again, a reminder that steelhead smolts have been released into the area tribs. Steelhead smolts will resemble a small rainbow and are typically smaller than a stocked trout. If you hook a steelhead smolt, land it gently and take care in releasing it. Current Lake Erie Water temperature as of this writing is 37 degrees.

Fairview Gravel Pit Pond and Lake Pleasant:
These waters are closed starting April 1st until opening day of regular trout season on April 17th, at 8 AM.

Walleye Reminder:
Walleye season on Lake Erie, its tributaries, and Presque Isle bay is currently closed and will reopen again May 3 through Dec. 31. Creel limit, new for this year on Lake Erie , is 4 fish with a minimum length of 18"

Perch Reminder:
The minimum size limit for perch on Lake Erie and Presque Isle Bay is 8" beginning April 1st and continues through November 30th, 2004

The Big One:
As many of you know, Erie resident Bob Schoeller caught the fish of his life last week. The large male steelhead was 35" long and weighed in at a hefty 20 pounds, 10 ounces, 7 ounces more than the existing state record. As of this writing, PFBC officials in Harrisburg are still deliberating if this fish will stand as a new state record. The controversy lies in that the fish was caught in waters not open to the general public. However this story turns out, Mr. Schoeller certainly will retain the bragging rights of a great catch.


Twenty Mile Creek Update:

Though many are already aware, we are again attempting to get this information out to as many anglers as possible...
That entire section of Twenty mile Creek, and the surrounding property, from the State Route 5 bridge and extending southward to a point approximately 200 yards upstream of the old iron bridge is posted and has been designated a "NO FISHING ZONE".
The landowner has been diligent enough to place posted signs, attached to wires, at both the northern & southern limits of this zone. Additionally, PF&BC signage reading "NO FISHING ZONE" has been applied to this area. Furthermore, we have placed signage around the access areas to the surrounding vineyards, alerting anglers that vehicles are not to drive on these lands or block the owners ability towards ingress, regress or egress.
Agency personnel are in routine contact with the landowner, and have been exceptionally diligent in attempting to keep those remaining areas still held by the landowner open to public access. Thus far, the landowner has graciously agreed to oblige us and you, THE ANGLER, with that privilege.
I will openly state that, due to the delicate hold we have on continued public access, no consideration can be given to any person found within the "NO FISHING ZONE" or to anyone who chooses to drive on and/or block any vineyard access or to any vehicle parked along State Route 5 within the limits of the "NO PARKING" zone. Meaning... citations will be issued for any of these infractions, there is a zero tolerance policy in effect. It is your responsibility to adhere to all signage, including the 'posted' property signs surrounding the ground in question. Furthermore, a parking lot has been developed for angler use regarding this area, please use it!
If you have any questions regarding this area, it is in your best interest to contact me at (814) 572-0078, PRIOR to myself or any one of the other local officers' finding you in violation.
The worst part of this profession is having to issue a citation to someone who just wanted "to get away from it all for a few hours"; so, please, save us both a lot of frustration and pay heed to the landowner's rights and wishes.

Boating Safety Course:
The Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission will be conducting another Safe Boating class on Monday and Tuesday, April 26th and 27th. Class will be held at the Wesleyville Borough Building 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 (card). 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 reserve a spot in this hands on class phone WCO Mark Kerr (814) 572-0078 or or send an email to wco015@yahoo.com. Please provide the name, address, date of birth and telephone number for each of your party wishing to attend. Upon successful completion of the exam, the Agency will require a processing fee for your Basic Boating Safety Card.

Last months class filled up fast so sign up early.

Local Weather:

Wednesday night
Rain showers. Lows in the upper 30s. North winds 5 to 15 mph. Chance of rain 80 percent.
Rain showers likely. Highs in the upper 40s. Northeast winds 10 to 20 mph. Chance of rain 70 percent.
Thursday night
Rain showers likely. Lows in the upper 30s. Northeast winds around 15 mph. Chance of rain 60 percent.
Mostly cloudy with a chance of showers. Highs in the mid 40s. Chance of rain 40 percent.
Friday night
Mostly cloudy with a chance of showers. Lows in the mid 30s. Chance of rain 30 percent.
Partly cloudy. Highs in the lower 50s.
Saturday night
Partly cloudy. A chance of showers late. Lows in the mid 30s. Chance of rain 30 percent.
Partly cloudy with a chance of showers. Highs in the upper 40s. Chance of rain 30 percent.
Sunday night
Partly cloudy. Lows in the mid 30s.
Partly cloudy. Highs near 50.
Monday night
Partly cloudy. Lows in the mid 30s.
Partly cloudy. Highs in the lower 50s.

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