WCO Report for Erie County 9/13/2006: Erie area, PA,
WCO Report Posted: September 13, 206

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Posted by DWCO Randy Leighton on September 13, 206 at 21:50:05:

September 13th, 2006

West Erie County, DWCO Randy Leighton, WCO Brook Tolbert


Yes, the steelhead are in, not in massive numbers yet but enough to make the fishing darn good. Anglers have been hooking good numbers of fresh steelhead along the Walnut Creek Channel wall and throughout the Project Waters and the Manchester Hole. Lower Elk is holding a good number of fish up to and around the Elk Creek access boat launch. A good steady run Tuesday morning brought the tribs to high and muddy levels and should leave addition steelhead behind and trigger additional upstream movement. Perch fishing is still excellent in between high wind and wave conditions. North of Walnut in 62' and North of the point at Presque Isle in 70' of water have been the reported good spots. Don’t count out the Walleye yet. Although the walleye action has slowed a bit, catch rates are still good. Anglers trolling for walleye are picking up good numbers of bonus steelhead as well. Steelhead are also staged in good number off the mouths allowing good opportunities at the mouths of Trout and Godfrey Runs. This weeks photos showcase the smorgasbord of fishing opportunities that Lake Erie has to offer in September. Current Lake Erie water temperature off Toledo is 67 degrees, off Cleveland 70 degrees, and off Erie 68 degrees. Current tributary conditions as of Tuesday afternoon were high and muddy but falling.

Erie Support Your Local Sportsmen's Clubs:

The Pennsylvania Steelhead Association
The PA Steelhead Association will have their monthly meeting Wednesday September 13th at 7:00 PM. at the American Legion Post on Route 5 just East of the Airport. Tickets will be available at the meeting for the annual "Big Run Raffle and Banquet". Your support at this meeting will be appreciated and as always, the public is welcome. Founded in 1996, the Association was created by avid steelhead anglers to develop landowner cooperation, maintain a professional relationship with the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission, and actively support the 3 C U Trout Association. The Association is currently involve in a cooperative effort with the PFBC in pursuing land easement rights to help preserve fishing access along the Erie Tribs and shoreline. They recently completed the much appreciated hand railings along the Walnut Creek Project waters and the popular Manchester Hole area. For more information on this dedicated group go to PA Steelhead Association

The S.O.N.S of Lake Erie
The S.O.N.S. will have there first meeting of the fall season on Monday September 25th at 7:30 PM at the Moniusczko Club at East 12th and Reed Streets in Erie.

The S.O.N.S. (Save Our Native Species) of Lake Erie Fishing Club is an active organization of over 2000 members. Established in 1981, they are dedicated to the improvement of fishing on Lake Erie and its Pennsylvania tributaries. The organization has acted as a lobbyist for regulations supporting the growth of the Lake Erie fishery. They are members of the Cooperative Nursery Branch of the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission. Through this alliance they have established a fish hatchery that annually produces and stocks approximately 1 million Walleye and 2 million Yellow Perch into Presque Isle Bay. Steelhead and Brown Trout are also produced in the hatchery. The S.O.N.S. also participate in the P.F.B.C. adopt-a-stream program. They are active in the clean up and stocking of Cascade creek, a previously polluted stream which was a receptor of industrial out fall. The Club, partnered with the P.F.B.C., has annually built and placed appropriate structures in the waters of Presque Isle Bay which provide habitat for the fish that call these waters their home.

The S.O.N.S. have stood in the forefront to support free public access to the waters of Presque Isle Bay and Lake Erie. As a result of the clubs encouragement, ordinances and regulations have been enacted in the City of Erie that provide for free public access in all new developments on Presque Isle Bay.

The S.O.N.S. are always looking for more members and support. For more information and on this great organization go to Save Our Native Species

Law Enforcement
With the overlap of boaters and shore anglers, crowds will be growing at the Walnut Creek Access area, especially along the channel Wall. Anglers are again reminded that the boaters coming in and out of the channel have the absolute right of way. Wall anglers must realize that with the wind and waves, the channel gets very shallow and often times boaters have to "hug the wall" to stay in navigable water. Fishing line can do costly damage to a boat's outdrive. Officers will be on the lookout for anglers not reeling their lines in to avoid boat traffic. Boaters having problems with angler lines should contact law enforcement via the Walnut Creek Access Area Office of any specific incidents and should not attempt to take these situations into their own hands. Boaters are asked to sound their horns or whistles when entering or exiting the Walnut channel as a courtesy to the wall anglers.

With the large crowds, litter is already becoming a problem. Officers will have little tolerance for this unfortunate problem. Be sure to police your area when you leave. A reminder that the Manchester hole is privately owned and fishing there is granted only by the generosity of the land owner. Fishing in the Manchester hole is permitted only from the West Bank. Fishing is not permitted on the "island" or on the East bank and is an enforceable violation of the law. Breaking the rules, littering or unruly behavior in this area can jeopardize public access to this great fishing spot.

Strict enforcement at the stop signs at the Walnut Access entrance shall continue. This is a heavily used pedestrian crossing and will be enforced for those failing to stop their vehicle. There have been several near misses already this season.

Important Information Concerning Overnight Anglers and Boaters Using the Walnut Creek Access Area: The Fall steelhead season is getting underway in Erie County and anglers should be aware that camping on Fish and Boat Commission controlled property is unlawful. Locally these a areas include, the Walnut Creek Access Area, Elk Creek Access Area (East side of Elk), Sterrettania Access Area, Fairview Gravel Pits, North East Access Area and Eaton Reservoir.

Section 741 (a) Regulation 53.2 (a)

It is unlawful for a person to camp overnight on or in Commission-owned or controlled property or waters, to erect a tent or other device used for, or capable of being used for cooking or sleeping, or to build or maintain open fires on such property.

You are in violation of this section if you are sleeping in a vehicle, camper or motorhome on PA Fish and Boat Commission Property.

Please make other accommodations for overnight stays while fishing or boating. A good number of campgrounds and motels are open year round in our area that can accommodate campers and overnight anglers. Any questions can be directed to the Erie WCO's or to the PA Fish and Boat Commission, Bureau of Law Enforcement, Northwest Region Office at (814) 337-0444

Winterizing Those Marine Engines Unfortunately winterizing is a part of life in our area. Before you take any steps to prepare your engine for winter lay-up, read your manufacturer’s manual and review their winterizing requirements or check with your local marine dealer. A little extra effort when winterizing can make the first run of the next years season far more enjoyable.

Here are some basic general engine prep tips:

Drain the raw water systems.
Backwash and flush the system.
Top off your antifreeze.
Grease everything that can be greased to protect against corrosion.
Unhook the fuel hose and run the engine until it dies to use up remaining fuel in the system.
Spray fogging oil into the air intake to coat piston heads and cylinder walls.
Plug openings into the engine to keep out dust, bugs and mice.
Change the engine oil.

Fill the fuel tank and add a commercial fuel stabilizer and run the engine to allow the stabilized fuel to work its way into the carburetor or injection system.

For inboard engines, follow these steps:

Run the engine to warm it up.
Turn engine off and change oil while engine is still warm to help drain away impurities with the oil.
Change oil filters.
Add fresh oil.
Circulate antifreeze through the manifold. Start the engine to let the antifreeze circulate through the system. It will run out through the exhaust.

For outboards, take these steps:
Use a flush muff attached to the raw water system to clean out the engine. Let all the water drain from the engine. Wash the engine with soap and water and rinse thoroughly.
Disconnect the fuel line and let the engine run at a low rpm while fogging each carburetor throat. Let the engine run until it stalls.
Remove spark plugs, fog each cylinder and then turn the engine over by hand a few times.
Replace spark plugs. Grease the propeller shaft and threads with water-resistant grease.
Change the gear oil in the lower unit.
Change the transmission fluid as necessary and spray a little fogging oil into each cylinder.
To prepare stern drives for lay-up, remove plants and barnacles, and drain the gear case to remove any oil and water. Refill with fresh oil, and then clean the lower unit with soap and water. Grease all fittings and check the fluid levels in hydraulic steering or lift pumps.

Marine Batteries: If your boat is to be left outside, remove the batteries. To clean the terminals and body of the batteries, wash with a solution of water and baking soda and rinse well with fresh water or use a commercial battery terminal cleaner or brush. Lightly grease the terminal end of the battery and the cables. Store batteries, fully charged in a cool dry place or leave them on an automatic trickle charge that maintains full charge levels. Store batteries off of concrete floors, preferably on a wood shelf. Monitor the water levels in the batteries every few weeks if not a sealed battery.

Local Weather:
Wednesday Night Showers likely. Lows in the upper 50s. South winds 5 to 10 mph. Chance of rain 60 percent.

Thursday Mostly cloudy with a 40 percent chance of showers. Highs around 70. Southwest winds 5 to 10 mph...Becoming northwest in the afternoon.

Thursday Night Partly cloudy. Lows in the mid 50s.

Friday Partly cloudy. Highs in the mid 70s.

Friday Night Mostly clear. Lows in the lower 50s.

Saturday Mostly sunny. Highs in the mid 70s.

Saturday Night Mostly clear. Lows in the lower 50s.

Sunday Mostly sunny. Highs in the lower 70s.

Sunday Night Partly cloudy. Lows in the mid 50s.

Monday Partly cloudy with a chance of showers and thunderstorms. Highs in the lower 70s. Chance of rain 30 percent.

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