WCO Report for Erie County 02/10/2009: Erie area, PA,
WCO Report Posted: February 11, 2009

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Posted by DWCO Randy Leighton on February 11, 2009 at 09:59:36:

February 9th, 2009

West Erie County, DWCO Randy Leighton, WCO Brook Tolbert

Conditions: Warmer temperatures this past weekend have broken down most of the ice on the area tribs. Major ice jams have built up at the tributary mouths temporarily blocking fishing access. Most areas South of Route 5 are open and flowing fast as of Tuesday afternoon.

Fish are scattered. Reported catches are coming from those anglers having the patience and persistence to do a lot of walking and looking. Most fish that are found have been in the tribs most of the winter. Cold clear waters after ice out are a good time to work the micro jigs in an attempt to trigger strikes. Egg sacs, singles and egg patterns will work nicely as the water clears and of course shiners are always a good choice in cold water.

As the ice jams at the mouths subside, we should see additional fish moving in, hopefully setting the stage for a strong spring run. Any ice fishing in the area should be approached with the utmost caution. Ice at the mouth of Trout Run along the lake shore should be considered unstable for fishing at this time.

Ice fishing slowed this past weekend as the ice on Presque Isle Bay began to burn off. With a day or so of warm weather predicted before the next cold snap, anglers should be using extreme caution when venturing out on the ice.

Winter Stocking: Lake Pleasant, the Upper Gravel Pit Pond in Fairview and the East and West Basin Ponds at Presque Isle have all been stocked in the last few weeks as par of the winter stocking program.

PFBC Basic Boating Class:
Area officers from the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission, will be conducting a safe boating class on Saturday March 21st from 8:30 AM until 5:00 PM. The class will be held in Room 110 at the Tom Ridge Environmental Center located at 301 Peninsula Drive, Erie, PA. Class size will be limited to 30 participants. This comprehensive class is designed for the novice boater or boater to be, as well as the experienced boater who would like to refresh his knowledge and is especially recommended for the new boater and their families. The class covers basic boating safety, boating laws and regulations, and equipment. Successful completion of the course qualifies the individual for a Pennsylvania Boating Safety Certificate (card). There is no charge for the course or materials, although registration is required. For more information and to register contact Linda Woznicki at 814-833-2829 or email at lwoznicki@state.pa.us or Valerie Tarkowski at 814-683-5126 or email at vtarkowski@state.pa.us
Participants may bring a lunch or eat locally. Upon successful completion of the course , the Agency will require a processing fee for your Basic Boating Safety Card if one is desired.

Anglers Fishing the Shoreline at Trout Run and Godfrey Run:
With the ice build up along the lake shore and the tributary open, it can be difficult to tell where the tributary ends and the lake begins. Fishing in the Trout Run or Godfrey run tribs (State controlled nursery waters) is prohibited. Generally any running or riffled water can be considered part of the tributary. If in doubt, don/t take the risk as fines for fishing or disturbing State nursery waters can be expensive.

Northwest Region Annual Deputy Meeting:
This past Sunday Deputy Waterways Conservation Officers from the Northwest Region met in Meadville for their annual meeting. This is an opportunity for area DWCOs to meet as a large group as part of their on going training through out the year. Agenda items included regulation updates, comprehensive training schedules for the year, outstanding service recognition and awards, refresher training and updated education in police and law enforcement skills. Training for both DWCO's and WCO's is an ongoing process through out the year to keep officers on top of the latest law enforcement polices, tactics, and required annual certifications. A number of Deputies were recognized for their many years of dedicated service with several officers serving over 30years.

Who Needs a Boating Safety Certificate:
Boating Safety Certificates (Actually a plastic card) are required for anyone operating a personal watercraft (jet ski) and anyone born on or after January 1st 1982 operating a boat powered by motors greater than 25 Horsepower.

Erie Outdoor Sport and Travel Expo:
The 25th annual Erie Outdoor Sport and Travel Expo will be held March 6th through March 8th at the Erie Bayfront Convention Center along the Erie bay front just west of Dobbins landing. Hours are Noon to 8:00 PM on Friday, 10:00 AM to 8:00 PM on Saturday and 10:00 PM to 5:00 PM on Sunday. With 24 years under its belt, this expo has developed into the definitive cabin fever event for area hunters and anglers. The expo is a fabulous mix of the latest in hunting and fishing information and gear blended with exhibits by local clubs, bait shops and sport and travel stores and outfitters from around the globe. Great buys, informative demonstrations, and noted guest speaker clinics round out the expo. Area PFBC officers and representatives from the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission as always, will be on hand through out the weekend to answer questions and listen to your comments. See you there..... For more information go to Erie Outdoor Sport and Travel Expo

Learn How to Ice Fish:
The S.O.N.S. of Lake Erie in cooperation with the PFBC and DCNR will be offering instruction and demonstration on ice fishing techniques on Saturday, February 14th. Interested anglers and observers should meet at the Rotary Pavilion near the Waterworks pond on Presque Isle. The Erie area offers some of the best ice fishing in the state and this is your chance to learn every thing you need to know from local experts. PFBC officers will be on hand to assist and answer questions regarding ice fishing regulations. Equipment will be provided for those in need. For more information and times, contact the S.O.N.S. of Lake Erie at 814-453-2270 or email sonslakeri@aol.com

Local Weather: Wednesday Night...Showers. A chance of thunderstorms in the evening. Very windy with lows in the mid 30s. Southwest winds 25 to 35 mph. Gusts up to 45 mph...possibly increasing to 55 mph after midnight. Chance of rain near 100 percent.

Thursday...Rain and snow showers. Windy and much cooler with highs in the upper 30s. West winds 20 to 30 mph. Gusts up to 55 mph... Decreasing to 45 mph in the afternoon. Chance of precipitation near 100 percent.

Thursday Night...Snow showers likely. Light snow accumulation possible. Blustery with lows in the mid 20s. West winds 15 to 25 mph. Gusts up to 45 mph...decreasing to 35 mph after midnight. Chance of snow 70 percent.

Friday...Partly sunny. A chance of snow showers in the morning... Then a chance of rain showers in the afternoon. Highs in the mid 30s. Chance of precipitation 50 percent.

Friday Night...Mostly cloudy. Lows around 20.

Saturday...Mostly cloudy with a 30 percent chance of snow. Highs in the lower 30s.

Saturday Night...Mostly cloudy. Lows around 20.

Sunday...Partly sunny. Highs in the lower 30s.

Sunday Night...Mostly cloudy. Lows around 20.

Presidents Day...Partly cloudy. Highs in the lower 30s.

Monday Night...Partly cloudy. Lows around 20.

Tuesday...Partly sunny. Highs in the mid 30s.

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