WCO Report for Erie County 11/08/2006: Erie area, PA,
WCO Report Posted: November 08, 206

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Posted by DWCO Randy Leighton on November 08, 206 at 09:42:58:

November 8th, 2006 West Erie County, DWCO Randy Leighton, WCO Brook Tolbert

Conditions: As with last week a break in the rain allowed the tribs to settle and produce some of the best steelhead fishing of the season. Rain showers Tuesday afternoon helped to keep levels good giving up some of the best catch rates of the season. Sunday morning revealed a good number of smaller steelhead moving in at the mouths. Many of the larger fish are now being caught in the upper stretches of the West side tribs. With the opening of the Walnut Creek Basin and the recent mild weather, many anglers have been enjoying the relaxed angling experience that the basin offers with fair to good catch rates. Lake Erie was calm early this week with one lucking anglers taking what may have been the final limit of perch for the season just north of Walnut Creek. Trib conditions late Tuesday afternoon were at very good levels with good flow and color.

Hunting Season
With hunting season upon us and deer season right around the corner, anglers are reminded that wearing some type of bright clothing especially in the remote areas of the tribs will help keep you out of hunters sights. There is no special rule or regulation on this but a little blaze orange makes good sense in any wooded area this time of year. Many of the upper areas of Elk and Crooked Creeks run through prime hunting areas.

Upper Elk Creek Advisory: Anglers fishing Elk Creek just down stream and adjacent to Folly's End Campground (the area with the two large bends) have been observed crossing private property to access this water. Anglers are advised that although this area is open to public fishing, access is permitted by water only per the local land owner. Please heed this notice and help to keep this area open to the public. Signs are being posted to better clarify this area but in short, stay in the water in this area. This area is also a good area to be wearing some fluorescent orange clothing.

Also, anglers fishing the "Doberman Hole" or "Swinging Bridge Hole" on Elk Creek, off of Sterritania road are advised to stay in the stream and off the bank adjacent to the landowners house. Simply put, stay in the water in this area.

Fishing from or crossing the above mentioned lands is trespassing, a violation of the law and more importantly, repeated violations could result in additional postings of precious fishing access. If you are in these areas and are asked to identify yourself and asked to leave, you must do so immediately without incident as with any posted areas.

Pennsylvania Steelhead Association Welcomes Outdoor Writer Mike Bleech: The Pennsylvania Steelhead Association is proud to welcome Mike Bleech to this months meeting scheduled for Wednesday November 8th at 7:00 PM at the American Legion Post on Route 5 just East of Tom Ridge Field.

Mike Bleech has been a full-time outdoor writer and photographer since 1981. He has written more than 3,500 articles for more than 90 magazines, newspapers and web sites, is a columnist for Erie Times News, the Warren Times Observer and the Pennsylvania Outdoor Times. He is also the author of two books. He is a member of the Pennsylvania Outdoor Writers Association, Professional Outdoor Media Association, and New York State Outdoor Writers Association. Mike is a colorful writer with a wealth of information to offer the outdoor enthusiast. Mike should be a real treat for the members and guests. The public is welcome.

PFBC Suggests Alternatives for USCG Live Fire Training on Lake Erie: Saying that a live fire training zone proposed by the United States Coast Guard in Lake Erie is too large and inappropriately sited, the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission (PFBC) asked that modifications be considered. At a public meeting held in Erie this past Monday evening, the PFBC suggested several alternatives to the Coast Guard, including changes to the location and/or size of the live fire zone and limits on when it would be used for training.

The Coast Guard has plans to create a series of zones throughout the Great Lakes for weapons training. For safety considerations, all recreational and commercial vessels would be banned from the zones during training sessions. According to John Simmons, Director of the PFBC's Bureau of Boating, the agency's concerns center on the negative impacts the Coast Guard's plans would have on recreational boating and fishing in the mot heavily used portion of Lake Erie within Pennsylvania.

“We understand and appreciate the need for these training sites for military readiness but, as always, we expect that the Coast Guard will consider the impacts their proposed restrictions will have on the ability of Pennsylvania anglers and boaters to enjoy their sport and reap the benefits of the resources of Lake Erie,” said Simmons, outlining the agency’s perspective at the meeting. “The Lake Erie Safety Zone 1, as delineated and mapped in the proposed rulemaking, occupies most of the sport fishing grounds in Pennsylvania on Lake Erie popularly referred to as the ‘first and second trenches’. During the primary fishing period, May through October, more than 48,000 boat angler-hours are expended annually in this area.”

The Commission also raised questions regarding the methods to be used to alert the public when the training sites would be off limits.

“We believe that the current plan for notification through posting of notices and marine danger warnings broadcast over VHF radios will not be sufficient to adequately notify recreational boats transiting the zones. This will result in problems for the Coast Guard training and compromise the safety of recreational boaters,” said Simmons.

The Commission suggested that the Coast Guard also place notices in local papers, make postings at boat launch ramps, marinas and other marine businesses, and create a web site where boaters may go to see the schedule of closures. The PFBC additionally requested that the dates of the closures be established well in advance so that boaters and anglers may appropriately plan their recreational activities.

The Commission proposed the following alternatives for considerations:

· Move the Eastern Safety Live Fire Zone to the existing Danger Zone 334.850 (NOAA Great Lakes navigation chart no.14820 – Lake Erie) off Camp Perry, Ohio, already in use for decades as a live fire area for artillery and military craft. It is familiar to sport fishermen and marine traffic as an area to stay clear.

· Alternatively, move the eastern boundary of the Zone 1 westerly to a point west of the area locally known as the “trench.” This would place the east boundary of the zone at or near the Pennsylvania-Ohio border. Move the western boundary a commensurate distance to the west.

· Alternatively, combine Zone 1 and Zone 2 into a single zone located off shore of Conneaut, Ohio.

· Restrict live fire exercises to the period between October 15 and April 30.

The Coast Guard will continue to accept public comment on the live fire training zone plans through November 13.

Local Weather:

Wednesday Night Mostly cloudy. Lows in the upper 40s. Light northwest winds.

Thursday Partly sunny. Highs in the lower 60s. Southwest winds 10 to 15 mph.

Thursday Night Partly cloudy. Lows in the lower 40s. West winds 10 to 15 mph.

Friday Mostly sunny. Highs in the mid 50s.

Friday Night Becoming mostly cloudy. A chance of showers after midnight. Lows around 40. Chance of rain 40 percent.

Veterans Day Cloudy with scattered showers. Highs in the mid 50s. Chance of rain 40 percent.

Saturday Night Mostly cloudy with a 30 percent chance of showers. Lows around 40.

Sunday Mostly sunny. Highs in the upper 40s.

Sunday Night Partly cloudy in the evening...Then becoming mostly cloudy. Lows in the upper 30s.

Monday Cloudy with a 40 percent chance of showers. Highs around 50.

Monday Night Mostly cloudy. Lows in the upper 30s.

Tuesday Cloudy with a 40 percent chance of showers. Highs in the upper 40s

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