WCO Report for Erie County 12/30/2009: Erie area, PA,
WCO Report Posted: December 29, 2009

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Posted by DWCO Randy Leighton on December 29, 2009 at 18:59:11:

December 30th, 2009

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


Another mighty snow storm blasted the Erie area early this week bring up to a foot and a half of snow in some areas along with howling winds and blizzard conditions. Ice has again been forming on the tribs, however we do have many areas still open with levels up and flowing well. As we head into the "dead of winter", out of town anglers looking for open water would be wise to check with local bait shops on conditions. Winter road conditions can checked with the Pennsylvania state police.

Cold temperatures are forecast that will quickly add additional ice conditions. Perhaps the hard water season is not far away. current Lake Erie water temperature as of this writing is 36 degrees. Current west county tributary conditions as of Tuesday afternoon were up with good color and flow where open. Ice has been forming in the slow moving areas and along the shorelines.

Some perch and pan fish are being caught (between blizzards) off the North and South piers along the Erie channel entering Presque Isle Bay.

Ice has started to form on Presque Isle but any ice at the present should considered unstable. Officers are asked to comment on local ice conditions & thickness. We must refrain from doing so due to the liability involved and the quick changes that can occur. A report issued today for safe ice in Presque Isle Bay may be totally inaccurate with a sudden temperature chance or if a freighter is moved into the shipyard. Other agencies follow the similar protocol. We will provide recommended thickness and general guidelines but the actual ice conditions will be left to the individual anglers to decide on the particular day they are fishing. Minimum thickness for a single angler or a small group of spread out anglers is a good 4" thick. Drilling small pilot holes as you walk out can be done to check ice thickness but the decision us ultimately yours.

Donít Forget:
Best Wishes for a safe and productive new Year from Pennsylvania's North Coast and remember that 2009 licenses expire at midnight December 31st. A 2010 license must be displayed January 1st, 2010.

Support Your Local Sportsmens' Clubs:
The Pennsylvania Steelhead Association will be holding their next meeting at 7 P.M. Wednesday January 9th, 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.

Law enforcement:
Anglers should be advised that officers continue to patrol our areas throughout the winter months. Foul hooked fish are more common with winter stream conditions, especially with the good numbers of fish we are
experiencing this year. Possession of any foul hooked fish is a violation and can result in a costly fines. Foul hooked fish should be played no more than necessary and released immediately unharmed.
Litter continues to be a problem that we all need to be concerned with. Although the access areas have actually been pretty clean this year, anglers have been moving more into the upper stretches of the tribs in search of moving steelhead adding litter problems to the the upper stretches. These are the very areas where the tribs very often thread their way through residential areas. In the cold weather, we are often in such a hurry to get into our nice warm vehicle that we forget about the coffee cup we set on the ground or the sandwich wrapper by the back wheel. Policing your area when you leave is a positive individual effort that if recognized by all anglers will go a long way in helping to preserve and perhaps even open up precious fishing access.

Local Weather:

Wednesday Night...Mostly cloudy with a 50 percent chance of snow. Not as cold with lows in the mid 20s. South winds 10 to 15 mph.

Thursday...Snow likely. Snow accumulation around an inch. Highs in the mid 30s. South winds 10 to 15 mph. Chance of snow 70 percent.

Thursday Night...Snow likely. Lows in the mid 20s. Southwest winds 5 to 10 mph...becoming west after midnight. Chance of snow 70 percent.

New Years Day...Snow showers likely. Highs in the upper 20s. Chance of snow 70 percent.

Friday Night...Snow showers likely. Colder with lows 15 to 20. Chance of snow 70 percent.

Saturday...Snow showers likely. Breezy and colder with highs 15 to 20. Chance of snow 70 percent.

Saturday Night...Snow showers likely. Breezy with lows around 10 above. Chance of snow 70 percent.

Sunday...Snow showers likely. Highs around 20. Chance of snow 70 percent.

Sunday Night...Snow showers likely. Lows 10 to 15. Chance of snow 70 percent.

Monday...Cloudy with a 50 percent chance of snow showers. Highs in the lower 20s.

Monday Night...Cloudy with a 50 percent chance of snow showers. Lows around 15.

Tuesday...Cloudy with a 50 percent chance of snow showers. Highs in the lower 20s.

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