WCO Report for Erie County 10/14/2009: Erie area, PA,
WCO Report Posted: October 13, 2009

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Posted by DWCO Randy Leighton on October 13, 2009 at 22:48:13:

October 14th, 2009

West Erie County, DWCO Randy Leighton, rglerie@msn.com, WCO Brook Tolbert


Tributary conditions this past weekend were very good with anglers lined up elbow to elbow at the Walnut and Elk Creek Access areas. The steelhead have not for the most part moved south of route 5 in any great numbers. As such, crowds at the access areas have been heavy and pressure has been intense. Cold night time temps are in the forecasts along with some precipitation both of which should strengthen fishing conditions. The docks at the Walnut Creek Marina are tentatively scheduled for removal October 25th pending weather conditions, and the announcement of Marina fishing should follow shortly. Lake conditions have been hit or miss with heavy fall fronts moving through and rough conditions. West County trib conditions as of Tuesday afternoon were clear with some flow and very fishable.

Foul Hooking:
A considerable number of foul hooked fish were observed this past week end with most anglers doing their best to play the fish out as quickly as possible or to break off the line and spare the fish. After spending a weekend or more of fishing with out a catch, a foul hooked fish may become tempting to keep, It is a violation of the law throughout the Commonwealth to take or attempt to take fish, or keep fish accidentally caught, by snatch-fishing, foul hooking, or snag fishing. A momentary lapse in judgment and sportsmanship can be embarrassing as well as costly. Don’t take the chance.

Another Reminder Regarding Staying Overnight At the Walnut Creek Access: With Steelhead season underway and the heavy crowds at the access areas, parking can be at a premium. This past weekend found a considerable number of overnight motor homes and vehicles. A significant number of warnings were issued for using the areas for overnight accomodations. Both boaters and anglers should be aware that camping on Fish and Boat Commission property is unlawful. Access areas include -- Walnut Creek Access Area, Elk Creek Access Area, Sterittania Access Area, Fairview Gravel Pits, North East Access Area and Eaton Reservoir
Section 741 (a) Regulation 53.2 (a)
It is unlawful for a person to camp overnight on or in Commission-owned or controlled property or waters, to erect a tent or other device used for, or capable of being used for cooking or sleeping, or to build or maintain open fires on such property.

You are in violation of this section if you are sleeping in a vehicle, camper, boat, or motor home on PA Fish and Boat Commission property.

Please make other accommodations for overnight stays while fishing or boating or risk possible fines. Any questions can be directed to the Erie WCO's or to the PA Fish and Boat Commission, Bureau of Law Enforcement, Northwest Region Office at (814) 337-0444.

Fishing the Wall at the Walnut Creek Access:
Anglers are again advised when fishing the Wall along the channel at the Walnut Creek Access, boaters coming in and out of the channel have the absolute right of way over angler's lines. Anger's are required to yield to the boaters by completing pulling their lines out of the water as the boats pass to avoid tangles in the boater's lower units and out drives. Anglers not yielding their line are subject to citation. The question came up this past weekend.. "but what if I have a fish on shouldn’t the boat stop an yield to me?" The answer is simple a fish in play simply does not override the boaters right of way and often because of channel depths and conditions, the boater may not be able to stop and wait for a played out fish. Tangled lines can destroy out drive seals and in some cases cause thousands of dollars in damages. An angler causing such damage to a boater's out drive can also be exposed to the cost of repairs. It should be considered that the Walnut Creek Marina Channel was designed as a pathway for boaters in and out of the Marina. The fishing opportunities along the Wall became a by product of the original design. Although not a law, boaters exiting the channel are asked to sound there horns to alert anglers that a boat is coming through the channel...this is a courtesy...not a law.

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

Local Weather:

Wednesday Night...Mostly cloudy. Cold with lows in the lower 30s. East winds 5 to 10 mph.

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

Thursday Night...Cloudy with a chance of rain showers. A chance of snow showers after midnight. Lows in the lower 30s. East winds 10 to 15 mph. Chance of precipitation 50 percent.

Friday...Cloudy. A chance of rain or snow showers early...then a chance of rain showers. Highs in the mid 40s. Chance of precipitation 50 percent.

Friday Night...Cloudy with a chance of rain showers. A chance of snow showers after midnight. Lows in the lower 30s. Chance of precipitation 40 percent.

Saturday...Cloudy with a chance of snow and rain showers. Highs in the mid 40s. Chance of precipitation 50 percent.

Saturday Night...Mostly cloudy with a chance of rain and snow showers. Lows in the mid 30s. Chance of precipitation 30 percent.

Sunday...Partly sunny. Highs around 50.

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

Monday...Partly cloudy. Highs in the mid 50s.

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

Tuesday...Partly sunny. Highs in the upper 50s.

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