WCO Report for Erie County 05/12/2004: Erie area, PA,
WCO Report Posted: May 11, 2004

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Posted by DWCO Randy Leighton on May 11, 2004 at 21:15:55:

WEST ERIE COUNTY, DWCO Randy Leighton, WCO Brook Tolbert

Bass have been hitting well in the Bay and have been starting to hit in the lake. Reports of good size smallmouth bass being taking in 20 to 35' of water off of the old International Paper site west to the Northeast Marina have been frequent. Many have been of good size and it may only be a matter of time before the State record of 8 lb 8 oz is broken. Bass on the lake are often best located by trolling deep diving crank baits until a school is found. Once located, tube jigs, especially the salted variety are popular. Pumpkinseed, chartreuse, clear, and black are all popular colors. Anglers have been reportedly catching some perch in 25 to 30 feet of water north and northwest of the Walnut creek access area. Local bait shops have reported that a number of Walleye have been brought in at night taken along the shoreline at Walnut Creek and Trout and Godfrey Runs.
Lake Erie water temperature as of this writing is 51 degrees.

Walnut Creek Access:
Channel dredging is currently underway at the Walnut Creek Access area with completion expected at the end of next week weather and waves permitting. Depending on the phase, boats can exit and enter the channel at times during dredging. You can call the Walnut Access office at (814) 833-2464 to find when the channel will be closed to boat traffic.

2004 National Safe Boating Week (May 22-28):
(WASHINGTON, D.C.) National Safe Boating Week (May 22-28) highlights the need for boaters to take command of their safety by wearing a life jacket at all times while on the water. The week will kick off with an event in Washington, D.C. on May 22 that features a fashion show of the latest life jackets. Celebrity boating safety advocate and Emmy-nominated actor John Amos will also participate in the event and in a video news release of the event, which will be available by satellite feed to the media. Currently, Amos can be seen in The West Wing, starring as Admiral Percy Fitzwallace, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

According to the Coast Guard’s latest available statistics, 750 boaters died in 2002. Eighty-five percent of those who drowned were not wearing their life jackets, even though in many cases, life jackets were aboard.

“Our boating accident statistics show that wearing your life jacket is the number-one thing you can do to greatly increase your chances of surviving a boating accident,” said Rear Admiral Jeffrey J. Hathaway, Director of Operations Policy, United States Coast Guard. “The reality is there is rarely enough time to reach a life jacket, because accidents happen so quickly and unexpectedly. Up to 440 boaters would have survived in 2002 if they’d simply put on their life jackets before they headed out. Remember ‘You’re in Command.’ So, boat smart. Boat safe. Wear it!”

“With today’s lighter, more comfortable, and attractive life jackets, there’s no reason not to wear one,” said Virgil Chambers, Executive Director of the National Safe Boating Council (NSBC). “There are life jackets for almost every activity, too – from hunting and fishing, to paddling and general recreational boating. There are jackets that inflate in the water and jackets that don’t look like life jackets at all. Make sure you have the right one for your chosen activity and make sure it fits.”

NSBC, along with the National Association of State Boating Law Administrators, produces National Safe Boating Week through a grant from the Aquatic Resources (Wallop-Breaux) Trust Fund administered by the U.S. Coast Guard.
For more information visit www.safeboatingcampaign.com

Boat Registration:
Questions always come up early in the season regarding requirements for boat registration. The following offers guidelines for registration:

Boats propelled by machinery, including electric motors, must be registered, and they must properly display numbers and a boat registration validation decal. This includes all motorboats regardless of the boat's length and type of motor.

No other number may be displayed on either side of the bow. These numbers may not be removed, altered, tampered with, or defaced except by the owner or representative. Documented vessels, as well as kayaks, sculls, sailboards, and other low-volume boats of similar design, are exempt from the display of numbers but they must display the validation decal. Inflatable boats may carry their numbers and validation decal on boards lashed to each side of the bow. Powered canoes are not exempt and must display the numbers and the decal.

Often, boaters tell us that they "just sent in their renewal" or "I have my canceled check" and is it okay to boat. The response to this is the boat is considered to be legally registered when the validation sticker is on the boat and the registration card is received and signed. A boat without a current validation sticker and numbers affixed to both sides the bow and a signed registration card are no more legal than an automobile without a current license plate sticker and signed registration card.

Unpowered boats using Commission lakes and access areas must be registered OR display a Commission use permit OR display a State Parks launch or mooring permit.

Boat titles are issued when a boat is sold or when ownership is conveyed. Titles are required for motorboats with a model year of 1997 and newer, except for those that are powered by an outboard motor that are less than 14 feet in length. All 1997 or newer personal watercraft, are also subject to the titling requirement. Voluntary titling is available for any other boat.

Fish & Boat Commission Boating Course Hotline: 1-888-PAFISH-1 (1-888-723-4741)
Bureau of Boating and Education: 717-705-7833
Bureau of Law Enforcement: 717-705-7861
Boat Registration Office: TOLL-FREE 1-866-BOATREG (1-866-262-8734)

Local Weather:
Wednesday night
Partly cloudy with a 30 percent chance of thunderstorms in the evening. Lows in the lower 60s. Southwest winds around 10 mph.
Partly cloudy with a chance of thunderstorms in the afternoon. Highs in the upper 70s. Southwest winds 10 to 15 mph. Chance of rain 40 percent.
Thursday night
Partly cloudy with a chance of thunderstorms. Lows in the upper 50s. Southwest winds 10 to 15 mph. Chance of rain 40 percent.
Partly cloudy with a chance of thunderstorms. Highs in the upper 70s. Chance of rain 40 percent.
Friday night
Partly cloudy in the evening, then becoming mostly cloudy. A chance of thunderstorms in the evening, then thunderstorms likely after midnight. Lows in the upper 50s. Chance of rain 60 percent.
Mostly cloudy with a chance of thunderstorms. Highs in the upper 60s. Chance of rain 50 percent.
Saturday night
Mostly cloudy in the evening, then becoming partly cloudy. A chance of thunderstorms. Lows around 50. Chance of rain 30 percent.
Sunday through Monday night
Partly cloudy. Highs in the lower 70s. Lows in the lower to mid 50s.
Partly cloudy with a chance of thunderstorms in the afternoon. Highs in the lower 70s. Chance of rain 30 percent.

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