WCO Report for Erie County 03/11/2009: Erie area, PA,
WCO Report Posted: March 10, 2009

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Posted by DWCO Randy Leighton on March 10, 2009 at 19:57:07:

March 11th, 2009

West Erie County, DWCO Randy Leighton, WCO Brook Tolbert


With the relatively mild weather (for Erie) and significant rainfall, there is little ice left to be found in the area. Heavy run off had the tribs rolling high and hard this past weekend. Anglers fishing the rolling muddy over the weekend were having a surprising amount of success on the Walnut Project waters. Most anglers were using shiners or egg sacs. On and off rain continues to keep the tribs at generally high levels but in very fishable in many areas. There is open water at the mouth of Trout Run. Presque Isle is nearly ice free and a few boats have already been spotted.

Take Care Of Stocked Steelhead Smolts:
Steelhead smolts look like small rainbows and are often mistaken for stocked trout. They are typically smaller then the "stockies" and should be carefully released. They hold the future of Steelhead fishing in our area. If a Steelhead smolt is hooked, reel it in quickly without overstressing the fish. Gently release the smolt as quickly as you can. If the hook is swallowed it is generally best to just cut the line and release the fish for the best chance of survival.

Spring is Just a Couple of Weeks Away, Even in Erie:
The calendar says Spring is officially around the corner (Even though Erie has seen snow in April) Typically the waters of Presque Isle Bay remain cold well into May. Spring Crappie fishing around Presque Isle bay can be spectacular both by boat and from shore. They actually like the cooler waters and can be found in the cooler deeper waters in the summer time too. In the spring, during their spawning, like most fish, they move into the warmer shallow waters of Presque Isle Bay.. Spring time crappie fishing can be lively in our area with the hot spot being Presque Isle, specifically Misery Bay and the shoreline on the north side of the bay west of the Marina Bay channel. Since crappie tend to prefer brush piles and other underwater cover, try to locate any structures. Ask rangers, or park officials, and bait shops where they can be found, or easier yet, just look for the crowds. Misery bay has a good amount of natural and artificial cover.

Rig up an ultralight rod with 2-4 pound test line and a jig or live minnow with a stand-up crappie bobber or in line pencil type float. Noodle rods used for steelhead fishing work great. Fish it with a lot of action to attract crappie in the 5-18 ft. depths. When you get a strike, pull back on the rod tip and carefully begin reeling the fish in. Be sure not to let the line go slack or the fish can sometimes back the hook out before you land it. Crappie, like most panfish will put up a great fight, especially on light tackle. When possible, night time fishing for crappie can prove very successful. These fish are really attracted to a large lamp pointing into the water.

Crappie are excellent table fare and can be rivaled only by our mouthwatering perch. Filleted, and pan fried, they are hard to beat.

Fish & Boat Commission Schedules Public Meeting, Public Opportunity to Meet Commissioners and Staff: Meadville, PA - The Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission will host a public meeting on March 24, 2009, at the Vernon Central Fire Department Social Hall in Meadville, to give an update about the agency’s work and to discuss a new license proposal the agency will offer to legislators this spring.

The meeting will begin with an informal open house from 6pm-7pm when the public can meet the Executive Director, Dr. Doug Austen, region Commissioner Sam Concilla, and Commission staff. Also during this time, a display and information area staffed by PFBC partner organizations will be open. From 7pm-8pm, Dr. Austen and regional staff will make various presentations, including fisheries updates, habitat projects, outreach and education activities, and boating and access programs. A general discussion including question and answer period will follow from 8pm-9pm.

“The meeting will allow us to meet our customers, the anglers and boaters who use our services and the resources every day,” said Doug Austen, PFBC executive director. “It’s important that we hear from them.”

“There are a lot of projects we do that I believe the public isn’t aware of. We want to tell them about how these projects enhance fishing and boating opportunities and how they protect and conserve our aquatic resources.” Austen said.

Directions: 4/10 of a mile South of the intersection of routes 322 and 19. Take exit 147B off of I-79 (State Route 322 West) to the 2nd light. Turn left on to State Route 19 South and go 4/10 of a mile and turn right on to McMath (look for Vernon Twp. Municipal Building sign on right). Go 2/10 of a mile to the parking lot on the left. Enter "Social Hall" doors.

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.

Local Weather:


Wednesday...Cloudy with a chance of showers in the morning...then partly cloudy in the afternoon. Windy with highs in the lower 40s. West winds 25 to 30 mph. Gusts up to 50 mph in the morning. Chance of rain 30 percent.

Wednesday Night...Mostly cloudy with a 30 percent chance of snow showers. Brisk and much colder with lows in the lower 20s. West winds 15 to 25 mph with gusts up to 35 mph.

Thursday...Partly cloudy. A chance of snow showers in the morning. Highs in the lower 30s. Northwest winds 15 to 20 mph. Chance of snow 30 percent.

Thursday Night...Partly cloudy. Lows in the lower 20s. Northwest winds 5 to 10 mph.

Friday...Partly cloudy in the morning...then becoming mostly sunny. Highs around 40.

Friday Night...Mostly clear. Lows in the mid 20s.

Saturday...Mostly sunny. Highs in the mid 40s.

Saturday Night...Partly cloudy. Lows in the upper 20s.

Sunday...Partly cloudy with a 30 percent chance of rain showers. Highs in the upper 40s.

Sunday Night...Mostly cloudy with a 50 percent chance of rain showers. Lows in the mid 30s.

Monday...Mostly cloudy with a 40 percent chance of rain showers. Highs around 50.

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

Tuesday...Mostly cloudy with a 40 percent chance of rain showers. Highs in the lower 40s.

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