WCO Report for Erie County 01/31/2007: Erie area, PA,
WCO Report Posted: January 31, 207

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Posted by DWCO Randy Leighton on January 31, 207 at 09:53:02:

January 31st, 2007

West Erie County, DWCO Randy Leighton, WCO Brook Tolbert

Conditions: Erie has fallen in to the winter deep freeze and frigid temperatures and a thick blanket of Lake effect snow. Presque Isle Bay has nearly frozen over as have most all of the area tributaries. Very little open water remains. Ice is still thin on Presque Isle Bay but it should be long before the hard water anglers take to the ice. A few anglers were observed taking their chances on the shallower West end of the Bay this past weekend, although ice conditions were less than marginal. A few anglers have been trying their luck on the thinly frozen Walnut Marina Basin.

Ice Warnings:
As ice builds along the lake shore, so does the formation of "ice dunes". These beautiful formations occur as the waves pound the shoreline and gradually build up frozen mounds. As spectacular as they are to view, they are equally dangerous to walk on. Many of these dunes are hollow inside with open water underneath. A fall through a dune can leave an individual trapped with little chance of escape

Temporary Ban Issued on Live Fish Transport from the Erie Watershed : Commission to Consider Implementing Permanent Regulations

The Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission (PFBC) has placed a temporary ban on the transportation of live fish from Lake Erie and its tributary waters inland.

PFBC Executive Director Doug Austen signed an order this morning (January 30th, 2007) making it unlawful to transport or cause the transport of live fish out of the Pennsylvania portion of the Lake Erie watershed. Waters included in the Pennsylvania portion of the Lake Erie watershed are Twentymile Creek, Orchard Beach Run, Sixteenmile Creek, Twelvemile Creek, EightmileCreek, Sevenmile Creek, Sixmile Creek, Fourmile Creek, Mill Creek, Cascade Creek, Walnut Creek, Trout Run, Godfrey Run, Elk Creek, Crooked Creek, Raccoon Creek, Turkey Creek, Conneaut Creek, Ashtabula Creek and their tributaries.

The Executive Director has found that this action is necessary and appropriate for the protection, preservation and management of fish. The intent of the ban is to help reduce the potential spread of exotic fish species and fish diseases found in the Great Lakes to the state's inland waters.

The temporary ban goes into effect immediately and will remain in place until January 1, 2008. The Commission, under a separate notice of proposed rulemaking,will seek public comments on a permanent change to the Commission's fishing regulations. A vote on adopting a permanent regulation is expected later this year.

Another Reminder on Upcoming Winter Stockings for the Area:
East and West Basin Ponds (Presque Isle State Park) February 15, 2007, This is a changed from the previously published date of February 1st, 2007

Lake Pleasant February 20th, 2007

Upper Gravel Pit Pond (Fairview) February 2nd, 2007

Anglers are advised that these areas are ice covered. Lake Pleasant and especially the Upper Gravel Pit Pond are quite deep. Use caution and common sense when venturing out on the ice.

Cabin Fever? Safe Boating Class Coming Up:
Area officers from the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission will be conducting a safe boating class on Tuesday and Wednesday, March 20th and 21st from 6:30 PM to 10:30 PM each evening. The class will be held at the new Tom Ridge Environmental Center at the entrance to Presque Isle State Park. 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). There is no charge for the course or materials, although registration is required. This class typically fills up quickly and early sign up is recommended. Upon successful completion of the course , the Agency will require a processing fee for your Basic Boating Safety Card if one is desired.

To register for this class, email DWCO Randy Leighton at rglerie@msn.com with your name, address, phone, age, and number of people you would like to register or if necessary you can phone Keith Edwards at the PFBC Northwest Region office at 814-336-2426

Preparing for Ice Fishing Season: Consider the following check list of items (enhanced from last year, and the year before, and the year before) to make your ice outing more enjoyable and productive. You may not need everything but some folks like to prepare for everything:

Fishing rods- Large guides, sensitive tip, with some backbone, preferably the short ones made specifically for ice angling
Reels - Micro-spinning reel
Line - 2 to 6 LB test ice line
Bobber stops with beads
Split shot, a variety of sizes
Foam ice fishing bobbers
Fingernail clipper or line cutters to cut line
Ice scoop / ladle / dipper-for removing slush from the hole, a must have item
Micro and ice jigs and spoons, hooks...etc.
Bait wax worms, fatheads, crappie, minnows, grubs etc.
5 gallon bucket to sit on, and carry fish
Hand warmers (I still like the Jon E's best)
Needle nose pliers or forceps
Fishing License (current of course)
Proper Personal Identification (regulations require an additional form of ID when fishing)
Ice auger (Regulations permit hole diameter to be 10")
Sled for auger and gear (The light weight kids plastic toboggans work great)
Bait bucket
Small shovel, collapsible if possible
Ice picks - could be a lifesaver! (A couple of screw drivers tied on the end of a light cord will work in a pinch)
A compass (can be easy to loose sense of direction in a blizzard)
Mouth spreader (for the fish of course)
Gaff for larger fish should you get lucky
Hook sharpener
Ice Shelter
Propane heater
Spud bar (for checking ice thickness)
Tip-ups - preferably the freeze-free type (regulations permit a maximum of 5 tip ups or combination of tip ups and rods or handlines. A maximum of 2 rods or handlines is allowed. For example, 2 rods and 3 tip ups are permitted.)
Leaders for tip-ups
Quickstrike rigs for tip-ups
Bait for tip-ups, smelt, shiners, etc.
GPS (a white out on Presque Isle Bay can be pretty confusing)
Camera (disposable works best and you wont fret if you lose it)
Ice cleats
Small flashlight
Lantern Matches or Lighter (for propane heater)
A buddy when ever possible
Neoprene waterproof gloves Plenty of eats (Contrary to most, local pizza delivery places do not deliver to the middle of the Bay)

For those with a few extra bucks:
Aqua-view or underwater camera
Two-way radios to talk to your buddies
Strike sensors for tip-ups

Local Weather:

Local Radar from the National Weather Service

Tonight Snow showers. Additional snow accumulation of 4 to 6 inches. Lows around 16. West winds 10 to 20 mph. Chance of snow near 100 percent.

Wednesday Cloudy. Snow showers ending. Additional snow accumulation of 1 to 3 inches. Brisk with highs in the mid 20s. West winds 15 to 25 mph. Chance of snow 70 percent.

Wednesday Night Mostly cloudy. A chance of snow after midnight. Lows around 19. Southwest winds 15 to 20 mph. Chance of snow 30 percent.

Thursday Cloudy with a 30 percent chance of snow. Highs around 30. Southwest winds 10 to 20 mph.

Thursday Night Cloudy with scattered snow showers. Lows in the lower 20s. South winds 10 to 15 mph. Chance of snow 40 percent.

Friday Cloudy with a 50 percent chance of snow showers. Highs in the mid 20s.

Friday Night Snow showers likely. Lows 15 to 20. Chance of snow 60 percent.

Saturday Snow showers likely. Highs 15 to 20. Chance of snow 60 percent.

Saturday Night Snow showers likely. Cold with lows around 10 above. Chance of snow 60 percent.

Sunday Snow showers likely. Highs 15 to 20. Chance of snow 60 percent.

Sunday Night Snow showers likely. Cold with lows around 10 above. Chance of snow 60 percent.

Monday Snow showers likely. Highs 15 to 20. Chance of snow 60 percent.

Monday Night Snow showers likely. Cold with lows around 10 above. Chance of snow 60 percent.

Tuesday Mostly cloudy. Highs 15 to 20.

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