WCO Report for Erie County 10/07/2009: Erie area, PA,
WCO Report Posted: October 06, 2009

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Posted by DWCO Randy Leighton on October 06, 2009 at 20:36:07:

October 7th, 2009

West Erie County, DWCO Randy Leighton, WCO Brook Tolbert


Plenty of rain last week put area tributaries at nice levels this past weekend and brought plenty of steelhead in for eager anglers. Walnut and Elk Creeks were very busy with anglers lining up to take advantage of the good conditions. A good number of fish were caught and many limits taken. for the most part the fish have made it up to route 5 with a few going further. A few more nights of rain and we should see the fish that have been hovering around the access areas making the big move. Observations on Sunday morning saw catches every few minutes. As of Tuesday, levels had dropped and the tribs had started to clear allowing a good picture of how many fish have come in. The clear water has slowed the bite a bite, but this is Erie and the forecasts are calling for more precipitation over the next week or so.
Good baits in the clear conditions have been single eggs and egg patterns, earth colored woolly buggers, and the micro jigs tipped with a maggot or waxworm fished under light fluorocarbon line or tippets. Good shoreline and channel baits include little Cleos, egg sacs, single eggs, and the ever popular power baits.

Boaters have been sidelined for the most part with heavy wind and waves and few breaks. Current Lake Erie water temperature is 59 degrees off Erie. Current West county trib conditions as of Tuesday afternoon were clearing, with some flow.

Support Your Local Sportsmens' Clubs:
The Pennsylvania Steelhead Association will be holding their next meeting at 7 P.M. Wednesday October 14th at the American Legion Post 773 at 4109 West 12th Street in Erie. This is on the south side of West 12th Street (State Route 5), just east of the Erie Airport. The public is welcome. For more information on the club and how to become a member and get involved, go to Pennsylvania Steelhead Association

PFBC Aquires Easements in Erie County, Adopt New Trout Management Plan:
Harrisburg, PA - The Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission (PFBC) voted at its quarterly meeting today to acquire two easements along Crooked Creek in Erie County as part of the agency's strategy to improve public fishing and boating access and also adopted a five-year strategic plan for trout management.

"Crooked Creek provides significant steelhead fishing opportunities in the areas and regularly receives trout stockings," said PFBC Executive Director Doug Austen. "The acquisition of the easements will ensure that the public has access to these opportunities in perpetuity."

The two easement areas provide approximately a half-mile each of stream frontage and are located along Happy Valley Road and Lucas Road in Springfield Township. The properties are adjacent and the Lucas Road property will provide parking and a footpath to the creek.

The new trout management plan was developed based on input provided by a work group that consisted of commission staff, anglers affiliated with a variety of sportsmen's organizations, and independent trout anglers which are not affiliated with an organized group.

"Significant progress in addressing these issues over the life of this plan will ensure that adequate protection is being afforded to the resource and that the fisheries provided through the management of wild trout and the stocking of hatchery trout will provide excellent angling opportunities in Pennsylvania," said Austen.

Some of the key issues addressed in the plan include: the sampling of unassessed wild trout streams; protection of Class A wild trout waters; trout stocking in Class B streams; managing waters through fingerling stocking; stocked trout movement; in-stream flow and habitat protection and improvement; public access to trout waters; and the Lake Erie steelhead and brown trout stocking program.

Commissioners also voted to adopt amendments to regulations which reduce creel limits for American Shad and river herring in the Delaware River. These changes are consistent with regulations either now in place or planned in the near future in New Jersey, New York and Delaware. Effective Jan. 1, 2010, the creel limits for American shad will be reduced from six to three fish and for river herring from 35 to 10 fish in the Delaware River West Branch and the entire Delaware River main stem from the confluence of the East and West Branches downstream to the Commodore Barry Bridge. For the remaining 2.9 miles downstream of the Commodore Barry Bridge to the Delaware state line, the creel limits in N.J. will remain at six for American shad and 35 for river herring until at least 2011, when it is anticipated that N.J.'s Marine Fishery Council will reduce the creel limits. Given the fish restoration efforts on the two major tributaries to the Delaware, the commission also voted to impose a 10-fish-per-day creel limit on river herring on the Lehigh and Schuylkill rivers.

Among other items on the formal agenda, commissioners voted to add the salamander mussel to the state endangered species list and approved a notice of proposed rulemaking to add the northern redbelly dace, northern cricket frog and blue-spotted salamander to the endangered species list and to remove the silver chub from the endangered species list, the mooneye, goldeye and skipjack herring from the threatened species list and the brook silverside from the candidate species list.

Commissioners also approved a grant of up to $200,000 to American Rivers, Inc. for the removal of the Lower Shoop Dam on Middle Spring Creek, Southampton Townships, Cumberland and Franklin counties. Funding for the dam removal will come from the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission to mitigate impacts associated with the reconstruction and widening projects between mileposts 199 and 200.5.

Prior to the meeting, the commission awarded William E. Sharpe of Port Matilda, Pa., with the 2008 Ralph W. Abele Conservation Heritage Award. A retired professor from Penn State University, Sharpe has devoted much of his professional career to producing scientific evidence that showed how acidic deposition was harming the state's aquatic resources, forest health, and human health through contamination of water supplies.

The Ralph W. Abele Conservation Heritage Award is the highest recognition the commission provides to persons who distinguished themselves in the cause of conservation. The award serves as a memorial to Ralph Abele for his steadfast and courageous work in protecting and conserving natural resources. Ralph W. Abele served as executive director of the commission from 1972 until 1987.

A complete copy of the meeting schedule and the full agenda for the meeting can be found on the Commission's web site at www.fishandboat.com/minutes.htm. The mission of the Fish and Boat Commission is to protect, conserve, and enhance the Commonwealth's aquatic resources and provide fishing and boating opportunities.

Litter Problems:
The litter problems at the Walnut and Elk Creek Access have been heavy this year. As usual it is normally a small number of the thousands of anglers that contribute to this problem. Even with all the trash containers, sportsmen's club cleanups, and individual efforts, the litter problem seems to increase. Please take a moment to police your area before you leave. Make sure that coffee cup or soft drink bottle is not laying on the ground by your vehicle. Make yourself feel good by picking up a little trash on your way out. A very small effort by the majority can go a long way. As we all know, much of our tributary access is via private land and nothing will instigate land posting faster than a persistent litter problem. Officers will be on a vigilant lookout for those individuals that insist on spoiling our area by carelessly leaving any kind of trash behind.

Lampery Eels:
A number of fish brough in off the lake these year have had Lamprey markings and some have been caught with the eels still attached. Lampreys are actually a fish that was first discovered in Lake Erie as early as 1921. They are one of the most ancient fish we know of dating back over 325 years since its discovery. they are typically 12 to 21 inches in length and will weigh an average of 8 to 13 ounces. Lamprey eels use their disc-shaped mouth, full of teeth, to bit onto fish. They make holes in the sides of their victims and feed on blood and body fluids. They can stay attached for hours, days, or even weeks on one fish. Large fish will most likely survive a lamprey attack with just a circular scar left on the fish's side. Small fish may die immediately from the attack or mat slowly die of infection. Lampreys can hatch over 100,000 eggs at at time.

Local Weather:

Wednesday Night...Partly cloudy. A chance of showers in the evening. Breezy with lows in the lower 40s...except in the upper 40s near the lake. West winds 20 to 25 mph with gusts up to 40 mph...diminishing to 10 to 15 mph with gusts up to 30 mph after midnight. Chance of rain 50 percent.

Thursday...Partly sunny. Highs in the lower 60s. Southwest winds 10 to 15 mph.

Thursday Night...Cloudy with a 50 percent chance of showers. Lows in the upper 40s. South winds 10 to 15 mph.

Friday...Showers. Highs in the mid 60s. Chance of rain 80 percent.

Friday Night...Showers likely. Lows in the upper 40s. Chance of rain 70 percent.

Saturday...Partly sunny. A chance of showers in the morning. Cooler with highs in the lower 50s. Chance of rain 40 percent.

Saturday Night...Mostly cloudy. Cooler with lows in the mid 30s.

Sunday...Partly sunny. Highs in the lower 50s.

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

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

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

Tuesday...Mostly cloudy. Highs in the upper 40s.

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