WCO Report for Erie County 08/20/2008: Erie area, PA,
WCO Report Posted: August 19, 2008

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Posted by DWCO Randy Leighton on August 19, 2008 at 20:55:32:

August 20th, 2008

West Erie County, DWCO Randy Leighton, WCO Brook Tolbert


Late summer early fall weather on Lake Erie can be tricky for boats and anglers alike and this past week has been typical. Fast moving fronts can quickly change serene conditions into capping waves in very short periods of time. Rough water has had boaters flipping the coin as to when to go out, but those that can take a little pounding, don't get sick, and respect what Lake Erie can dish out, have been rewarded with good perch catches in 60 plus feet of water and fair to good numbers of walleye. This is of course not an endorsement to throw caution to the wind...if in doubt, don't head out.

Yes, the cat is out of the bag with a few steelhead caught off the wall at Walnut Creek and even a few have been caught upstream, however, donít throw the paycheck in the fuel tank quite yet. The few rogue steelhead that have entered the creeks have been just that...a few. Much colder nights and higher water levels are needed for any real activity. Current Lake Erie water temperature of Toledo is 72 degrees, off Cleveland, 73 degrees, and off the Port of Erie, 75 degrees.

Think You've Got What It Takes?

The Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission is looking for individuals interested in a career as a Waterways Conservation Officer (WCO).

WCOs perform specialized work in fish conservation and watercraft safety under the jurisdiction of the Commission, blending law enforcement and public relations duties. Typical duties include patrolling by foot, car and boat to detect violations of fishing and boating laws; apprehending violators; issuing warnings and or citations; serving warrants; presenting evidence at hearings and court proceedings; investigating water pollution incidents; investigating boating accidents; and stocking fish. Appearing in public to conduct classes or provide information to groups are also highlights of the WCOs duties. WCOs work demanding schedules including holidays and weekends, to perform their vital public safety and conservation duties. Additional information about a career as a WCO is available on the Commission's Careers page at www.fish.state.pa.us (click on "About the PFBC" from the left and then "Careers and Employment").

All WCOs begin their career as a WCO Trainee. Before candidates are assigned the highly independent duties of Waterways Conservation Officer, they must complete an extensive 52-week specialized training program beginning with approximately 20 weeks of instruction in law enforcement principles and practices that meet the standards of the Municipal Police Training Act. An additional 32-week period follows with 20 weeks of classroom training by the Commission at the H. R. Stackhouse School of Fisheries Conservation and Watercraft Safety in Centre County, Pennsylvania and 12 weeks of supervised field training. The program is conducted under close supervision, according to stringent rules. Those who successfully complete the training program will be promoted to a Waterways Conservation Officer position.

Applications for WCO Trainee positions will be accepted between August 13, 2008 and October 1, 2008. All written testing must be completed with the Civil Service Commission by November 22, 2008.

Applicants must be at least 21 years of age at date of hire and possess a current valid Pennsylvania driver's license. Applicants must be residents of Pennsylvania, of good moral fiber and be able to perform the essential functions of the job. Successful candidates must pass written, oral, and physical evaluations.

During the application period, application forms and further information on the application process can be obtained from the State Civil Service Commission website at www.scsc.state.pa.us. Information may also be obtained from State Civil Service Commission offices in Harrisburg at 717-783-3058 (Text Telephone: 717-772-2685), Philadelphia at 215-560-2253 (Text Telephone: 215-560-4367), or Pittsburgh at 412-565-7666 (Text Telephone: 412-565-2484.) Information may also be obtained by contacting the PFBC's Human Resource Office at 717-705-7820 or by visiting the website at www.fish.state.pa.us.

The Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission is the sole state agency, charged by law, to manage the fisheries and to regulate fishing and pleasure boating in the Commonwealth. The Commission also has a vital, mandated interest in the enhancement and preservation of the state's aquatic environment. These responsibilities have been in place for nearly 140 years, growing steadily in scope, complexity and the number of people served. The Commission's mission is to conserve, protect and enhance the Commonwealth's aquatic resources and provide fishing and boating opportunities.

Handling a Boat in Stormy Waters and High Wave Conditions: 1) Maneuver so the boat takes the initial and heaviest winds on the bow, not abeam. (The smaller the boat, the more important it is to head into the wind.)

2) Waves should be approached at a 45-degree angle. This will help keep the propeller underwater and reduce pounding.

3) In moderate waves, slow your speed so you can ride atop and over a wave. Avoid driving the bow into a wave or riding to the top of the wave and falling off the back, which could bury the bow.

4) Remember ... the heavier the seas, the slower your boat speed to minimize strain on the vessel and maximize steering control.

5) Continue to keep the bilge free of water to prevent the rolling effects of sloshing water below.

6) Put on your PFD and instruct passengers to do the same if they are not on already

Local Weather:
Wednesday Night...Mostly clear. Lows in the mid 50s. East winds around 10 mph...becoming southeast after midnight.

Thursday...Mostly sunny. Highs in the lower 80s. Southeast winds 5 to 10 mph.

Thursday Night...Mostly clear. Lows in the mid 60s. Southeast winds 10 to 15 mph.

Friday...Partly cloudy. Highs in the mid 80s.

Friday Night...Partly cloudy. Lows in the mid 60s.

Saturday...Partly cloudy with a chance of showers and thunderstorms. Highs in the mid 80s. Chance of rain 30 percent.

Saturday Night...Mostly cloudy with a chance of showers and thunderstorms. Lows in the upper 60s. Chance of rain 30 percent.

Sunday...Cloudy with a chance of showers and thunderstorms. Highs in the lower 80s. Chance of rain 40 percent.

Sunday Night...Mostly cloudy with a chance of showers and thunderstorms. Lows in the lower 60s. Chance of rain 30 percent.

Monday...Partly cloudy. Highs in the mid 70s.

Monday Night...Partly cloudy. Lows around 60.

Tuesday...Partly cloudy. Highs in the upper 70s

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