WCO Report for Erie County 04/18/2007: Erie area, PA,
WCO Report Posted: April 17, 2007

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Posted by DWCO Randy Leighton on April 17, 2007 at 21:41:32:

April 18th, 2007

West Erie County, DWCO Randy Leighton, WCO Brook Tolbert Conditions:

The Erie Area was spared the brunt of the most recent storm receiving a dusting of snow and some freezing rain. Area tribs were flowing hard earlier in the week from the storm. A good number of steelhead remain in the west side tribs but are very scattered. On the opening day of the regular trout season, anglers were hooking fresh jacks in the 18 to 24" range at the Elk Creek access area from the boat launch to the mouth. The Manchester Hole is still holding steelhead as are the upper stretches of Elk from the Legion Hole area to Foleys End. Opening day was followed by high winds and freezing rain keeping many anglers off the tribs leaving plenty of stockies left for the taking. Early weather reports are predicting good weather to target the stocked areas this weekend. Current Lake Erie water temperature off Toledo is 39 degrees, off Cleveland 39 degrees, and off the Port of Erie, 39 degrees.

Trout Opener Along Pennsylvania's North Coast:
The opening day of Trout Season was spectacular with beautiful weather and a large turnout of anglers and their families. We had sunshine most of the day with brisk temperatures. Officers had a great day watching the crowds enjoy this traditional day of family fishing fun. Crowds were large in all the popular areas. There were little to no problems with great cooperation by all anglers. The smiles on the kid's faces as always, were the best part of the day.

Boating Season is Just Around the Corner:
Now is the time to ready your vessel for the water. If you did a proper job of winterizing your boat, spring maintenance should be minimal. Boats stored outdoors are inviting homes for critters that love to gnaw on wires and make nests out of PFD stuffing. Doing a thorough preseason inspection of your boat can prevent problems and surprises on the water and unnecessary embarrassment at the launch ramp. Any local boat dealer or repair facility can help you with a preseason check if you are not comfortable doing it yourself.
Early season boaters should be aware that lake and bay temperatures are still in the 30's and are an invitation to hypothermia should a mishap occur. Many boaters were observed this past weekend wearing their PFD's exceeding the requirement of having them on board. Heavy clothing will keep you warm in the boat but can be trouble in the water. PFDs should always be worn and especially this time of year.

Ohio Passes Emergency Order on Perch: Ohio has passed an emergency order that went into effect on April 9th, 2007 lowering the daily Lake Erie creel limit from 40 fish back to 30 fish. Ohio has always been a 30 fish limit with the exception of 2006.

How to Clean That Opening Day Catch:
Cleaning trout is relatively simple process and is easiest while the fish are fresh. (cleaning fish streamside is discouraged and carelessly discarded entrails are considered littering) Trout do not need to be scaled and most folks prefer to leave the skin on, however, trout are easily skinned if you prefer.

1) Hold the trout around the middle with the belly facing towards you

2) Insert a SHARP knife into the anal orifice and moving the knife upward, slit the
trout to the gill cavity. (insert the knife just deep enough to pierce the skin and
not rupture the entrails

3) Looking at the bottom jaw of the trout you will see an upside horseshoe like tab.
Slide your knife under the tab to loosen it.

4) Put your thumb under the horseshoe shaped tab and push it into the gill cavity.

5) Gripping the head with the other hand, remove the gill cavity and the entrails all
together in one downward motion.

6) You should now be left with the head, skin and the blood vein. At this point you can
remove the blood vein and prepare the fish for cooking or freezing.

7) If desired, skinning the fish is easy, as long as it is fresh. Grab the head, bending
it back breaking the back bone while leaving the skin in tact.

8) Gripping the bottom half of the trout, pull the head and skin downward, stripping
the skin inside out.

9) Along the inside of the body cavity along the back bone is a blood vein which
must be removed. Slice the thin membrane that runs along the vein.

10) Using your thumb, scrape the blood away from the fish.

11) The fish is now cleaned and skinned and ready for cooking or freezing.

Local Weather:

Wednesday Cloudy. A chance of rain and snow in the morning...Then a chance of rain showers in the afternoon. Highs in the upper 40s. Northeast winds 5 to 10 mph. Chance of precipitation 40 percent.

Wednesday Night Cloudy with a chance of rain or snow. Lows in the mid 30s. Northeast winds 10 to 15 mph. Chance of precipitation 40 percent.

Thursday Cloudy with a 30 percent chance of rain showers. Highs in the mid 40s. Northeast winds 10 to 15 mph.

Thursday Night Mostly cloudy. Lows in the mid 30s.

Friday Partly sunny. Highs in the lower 50s.

Friday Night Partly cloudy. Lows in the mid 30s.

Saturday Sunny. Highs in the mid 50s.

Saturday Night Partly cloudy. Lows in the upper 30s.

Sunday Mostly sunny. A chance of showers and thunderstorms in the afternoon. Highs in the upper 50s. Chance of rain 30 percent.

Sunday Night Partly cloudy in the evening...Then becoming mostly cloudy. A chance of showers and thunderstorms. Lows in the mid 40s. Chance of rain 40 percent.

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