WCO Report for Erie County 04/11/2007: Erie area, PA,
WCO Report Posted: April 10, 2007

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Posted by DWCO Randy Leighton on April 10, 2007 at 21:56:20:

April 11th, 2007

West Erie County, DWCO Randy Leighton, WCO Brook Tolbert

Conditions: Area tribs have been running very clear with some flow remaining. Early forecasts for opening day in our area is suggesting that day time temperatures may get in the fifties with a chance of run..in other words very typical for the trout opener. Steelhead are still scattered throughout the tribs and there will likely be a good number around for the opener along with suckers and our precious smolts. Current Lake Erie water temperatures as of this writing are 40 degrees off Toledo, 38 degrees off Cleveland and 37 degrees off the Port of Erie.

The Big Day
The big Trout opener is April 14th at 8:00 am. The Erie Tribs can be a great place for the opener. With the "stockies" mixed in with the remaining Steelhead and the migrating suckers, area angling this time of year can be quite a smorgasboard. Popular areas in West County for the opener are the Streuchen Flats area on Elk Creek, Crooked Creek, Fairview Gravel Pit Pond, the Mckean Hole off Interstate 79, Elk Creek off Rick Road, and the Legion Park Holes on Elk Creek. (For a nominal fee, you can enjoy a great breakfast at sunrise at the Legion Park picnic pavilion.) A good rule of thumb is to look for the areas where there is a lot of parking....the number of parking spaces is often in direct correlation to the number of fish stocked in those waters. Anglers fishing the Fairview Gravel pit pond are reminded that this is Fish and Boat Commission property. Open fires, camping and cooking are prohibited, as are erecting any permanent structures. Officers will be on the lookout for litter problems in these busy areas.

Boats on the Gravel Pit Pond as well as all PFBC owned waters, require PFBC or DCNR State Parks registration. Internal combustion engines are not permitted. Water temperatures will still be bone chilling on opening day....make sure your safety equipment is in order. A PFD is required for all persons on board. They must be coast guard approved, in good serviceable condition and be easily accessible.

Anglers are advised that the Pennsylvania Lake Erie Tributaries (yes, all of them) are closed to fishing from 12:01 April 13th to 8:00 AM April 14th ( a 32 hour period). Anglers are also reminded that at 8:00 AM on April 14th, trout regulations go to a creel limit of 5 fish with a minimum size limit of 9"

All anglers fishing Pennsylvania waters of Lake Erie, Presque Isle Bay, and their tributaries are required to possess a valid Lake Erie permit and Trout stamp or a combination stamp The main tributaries where a permit is required are: Cascade Creek, Crooked Creek, Eightmile Creek, Elk Creek, Fourmile Creek, Mill Creek, Raccoon Creek, Sevenmile Creek, Sixmile Creek, Sixteenmile Creek, Twelvemile Creek, Twentymile Creek, and Walnut Creek.

Conneaut Creek, although partially in the Commonwealth, does actually enter into Lake Erie within the border of the state of Ohio. Therefore, anglers are not required to possess a Lake Erie Permit.

Anglers fishing the East and West Basin ponds (Waterworks Ponds, Presque Isle State Park) are not required to possess a Lake Erie Permit.

Anglers fishing inland ponds, lakes, and reservoirs in Erie County are not required to possess a Lake Erie Permit.

Some opening day suggestions:

Light or ultra light spinning or spin cast reels filled with two to four lb. test line are best suited for our area streams. Closed faced reels work best for the kids to avoid tangles. Rods should be no longer than six feet (five feet is better) so you can keep your bait out of trees and away from others while casting. Tie a short shank, size 10 to 14 hook and add one or two small (size BB or bird seed) split shot 12-18 inches above the hook. The removable type split shot works better as it allows you to change weights easily. If you are using larger baits like whole night crawlers, larger hooks (size 6 or 8) might work better. Float the bait under a small float just large enough to carry the bait. Large floats do little more than spook the fish and make it difficult to detect strikes. Adjust the float to keep the bait near the bottom, or as deep as possible at the Gravel Pit Pond.

Popular trout baits include corn, red worms, night crawlers, crickets, salmon eggs (fresh cured or jarred types in different colors), the powerbaits, marshmallows and emerald shiners (everyone has a favorite secret weapon). Try a variety of baits in case the trout are finicky (and they usually are.) Put just enough bait on to just cover the hook, but do not go overboard. For example, on a size 10 hook use: a) one or two pieces of corn or, b) one cricket or, c) one red worm d) one or two salmon eggs or, e) one-third to one-half of a night crawler or a single minnow. Typically the smaller the presentation, the better. It doesn't hurt to watch what the guy catching all the fish is using either (My favorite technique).

The key to catching trout is to "read" a stream for good spots and then "present" your bait in a natural manner. "Read" the water for spots that offer trout a place to hide from predators while watching for food to drift by. Trout are usually found near the bottom in pools and in slower "pockets" around rocks, boulders. or submerged trees.
Stand downstream of a spot you think a trout might be. "Present" your bait by casting several feet upstream of the target area. Let the bait drift downstream into the target area while slowly reeling in the slack line. If your bait does not tick along the bottom, add more weight to the line. If your bait hangs up on the bottom. take some weight off. Cast two or three times into the same spot. If you do not get a bite, change baits or try a different area if possible. A stop in the downstream drift of your line along with a sharp tap in your line signals a bite. Give the fish a second or two at most to take the bait, then pull back on the rod and set the hook. A strong set is not necessary if you are using sharp hooks. The Gravel Pit Pond in Fairview is literally a mined out gravel pit and as such is quite deep and pending weather, very clear. Small baits with very light line should be fished deep under a float or without any float at all. With a little patience, you may be rewarded with a tough fight from a beautiful brown trout!

Cooperation and consideration in crowded fishing areas will make for a great day of angling for all. Be especially considerate of younger anglers ....we were all young once.....and please police your area for litter before leaving. Good Luck!!

Support Your Local Sportsmens Clubs: The PA Steelhead Association will have its monthly meeting, Wednesday, April 11th, 7:00 P.M. at the American Legion Post on Route 5 just East of the Airport. Guest speaker WCO Brook Tolbert speaking on "Kids Fishing." As always the public is invited.

Trout Run at the Lake Shore: Development on the property on the East side of Route 98 at Trout Run (the former Brugger property) is now underway. Development plans for this area are on file with Fairview Township.

Udate on the Walnut Creek Sunset Memorial /Recognition Wall: Spring is here again and while the garden is still asleep, we have been receiving requests for more wall pavers to be engraved! Most of you who regularly log on to this web site know about the garden and the wall. For those of you who are new, the purpose of this community garden is beautification and education for the visitors to the Marina. The wall is a means to preserve memories and recognize important persons or events in the lives of people who use this beautiful Marina to fish, boat, walk their dogs, watch the sunsets, take walks - even fly kites!

The sale of the pavers brings in the money needed to maintain the garden and the wall. We have finally reached the goal of $10,000!!!! The money is now in the hands of the Erie Community Foundation and will be earning interest every year which will help pay for the upkeep and any future plans as long as the garden and the wall exist. So, those of you who have helped us with this project can be proud of your participation.

There are still 4x8 and 8x8 pavers available and 2-4 sides of the large cap stones ready for someone's name. The wall becomes more and more meaningful every year that passes. Please drop down to the Marina and take a look. Last year we had many visitors who paused to take pictures and to check out the names of persons they knew or of ones who had passed away. We were even the site of a wedding ceremony.

So, if you are interested, either contact me at the address below or see the ladies at the Administration building as soon as it opens. Christie Ferrier - cbfbeach@aol.com

Local Weather:

Wednesday Night

Showers. Breezy with lows in the mid 30s. Southeast winds 15 to 25 mph with gusts up to 35 mph. Chance of rain 80 percent.


Rain and snow showers likely. Highs in the mid 40s. Southwest winds 10 to 15 mph. Chance of precipitation 60 percent.

Thursday Night

Mostly cloudy with a chance of rain and snow showers. Lows in the lower 30s. West winds 10 to 15 mph. Chance of precipitation 50 percent.


Mostly cloudy. A chance of rain and snow showers in the morning. Highs in the upper 40s. Chance of precipitation 40 percent.

Friday Night

Mostly cloudy with a 40 percent chance of rain showers. Lows in the mid 30s.


Showers and thunderstorms likely. Highs in the mid 50s. Chance of rain 60 percent.

Saturday Night

Rain showers likely. Lows in the lower 40s. Chance of rain 60 percent.


Cloudy with a chance of rain and snow showers. Highs in the mid 40s. Chance of precipitation 50 percent.

Sunday Night

Cloudy with a chance of rain and snow showers. Lows in the mid 30s. Chance of precipitation 50 percent.


Mostly cloudy with a 30 percent chance of showers. Highs in the lower 50s.

Monday Night

Mostly cloudy. Lows in the upper 30s.


Partly sunny. Highs in the mid 50s.

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