WEST ERIE COUNTY, DWCO Randy Leighton, WCO Brook Tolbert
A rapid snow melting and mild temperatures combined with significant rainfall has left all local tributaries at near flood stage, flowing high and hard and bring steelhead fishing along the tribs to a stand still for a few days. The rainfall Monday night was more than enough to cause flooding in many of the low lying areas of Northern Erie county. Anglers with the urge to fish were finding some good luck in the shelter of the Walnut Creek Basin and a few fish biting along the Erie Lake shore, although the immediate areas around the mouth of Trout and Godfrey funs have been quite muddy. A few die hards were observed fishing along the Walnut Project waters tossing safety to the wind. A careless slip along the shoreline in such conditions could be a recipe for disaster. The temporary diversion project just above the stop sign hole that was designed to create a "self cleaning effect" has held up through the flooding to this point and seems to working well even with a considerable amount debris and large trees being washed downstream.
Current Lake Erie average water temperature off Erie is an average 42 degrees. The West County tribs were near flooded and raging hard as of Tuesday afternoon.
Cold Weather Safety on the Tribs: Local weather forecasts are predicting a drop in temperatures and possible snow again this week and with the winter weather upon us in Erie, safety should be a relevant concern when fishing the area tribs. With angling pressure lightening up it is very conceivable to be fishing alone at times. Cell phones are great however, in some of the less elevated areas along the tribs signals can be weak. When going out for the day let someone know when you plan to return. Dress warm and in layers and cover the ears and head. Use extreme caution when wading unfamiliar water. After a significant high water event, wading a once familiar area can change dramatically. Consider using a wading stick and wearing a wading belt, especially with loose fitting waders. Take frequent breaks and short walks to keep the circulation moving. Wading ice water in one spot to the point of allowing numbness can contribute a chilling fall upon taking that first step. Take a snack or two for energy and keep a warm thermos in the car or truck for the day's end.
A Special Thanks to Our Fellow Officers:
Winter Fishing Tip: Lip balm or Vaseline used sparingly can help prevent your rod eyes from icing up.
Fishing Licenses for the Holidays: 2006 Fishing licenses will be available on line at http://sites.state.pa.us/PA_Exec/Fish_Boat/mpag1.htm Lifetime Fishing licenses make great Holiday gifts or the Seniors on your list. A new license for the young angler who has recently turned 16 would make a delightful stocking stuffer as well. A license purchased in December may used for the remainder of 2005 as well as throughout 2006
Local Weather: Wednesday Night Mostly cloudy. Lows in the mid 20s. Southwest winds 5 to 10 mph.
Thursday Mostly cloudy with a 40 percent chance of snow showers. Highs in the upper 30s. Southwest winds 10 to 15 mph.
Thursday Night Cloudy. A chance of snow showers in the evening... Then snow showers likely after midnight. Snow accumulation possible. Lows in the lower 20s. West winds 10 to 20 mph. Gusts up to 35 mph after midnight. Chance of snow 60 percent.
Friday Night Snow showers likely. Lows in the lower 20s. Chance of snow 60 percent.
Saturday Mostly cloudy with a 50 percent chance of snow showers. Highs around 30.
Saturday Night Mostly cloudy with a 40 percent chance of snow. Lows in the lower 20s.
Sunday Mostly cloudy with a 30 percent chance of snow. Highs in the upper 20s.
Sunday Night Mostly cloudy with a 30 percent chance of snow showers. Cold with lows around 20.
Monday Mostly cloudy with a 30 percent chance of snow showers. Highs in the upper 20s.
Monday Night Mostly cloudy with a 30 percent chance of snow showers. Cold with lows around 20.
Tuesday Mostly cloudy with a 30 percent chance of snow showers. Highs in the upper 20s.