WCO Report for Erie County 04/14/2010: Erie area, PA,
WCO Report Posted: April 13, 2010

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Posted by DWCO Randy Leighton on April 13, 2010 at 23:02:49:

April 14th, 2010

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

Conditions: Little to no precipitation has kept tribs very clear and low although most areas still have some flow. Steelhead have become very scattered. Some fish remain in the Manchester hole and only a few stray fish remain in the Walnut Project waters. Remaining fish are either in the far upstream areas or have returned to the lake for now. The Struechen flats area, Folly's end, the McKean hole along I-79 and the areas behind the Millcreek Mall may still be worth a try for the big ones but donít look for big numbers. . We don't mean to be redundant, but anglers should be careful when hooking smolts. These infant Steelhead are fragile and extra care should be taken to release them unharmed. They are easy to distinguished from the stocked trout. Stockies typically are of legal size to keep (nine inches). Smolts are generally in the 6 to 7 inch range. Early weather reports are predicting dry conditions with a possibility of some rain for the opener. Trib conditions should remain clear and will dictate a variety of bait possibilities. Shiners, singles, grubs, wax worms and very small jig and fly presentations will be good bets combined with 2 to 4 LB test line. Crawlers or red worms may be the ticket if rain clouds up the tribs. Perch and crappie catches are still good in Presques Isle Bay.

***Anglers Urged to Help Prevent Spread of Aquatic Invasive Species in Erie County *** Harrisburg, PA - As the April 17 opening day for trout season approaches, the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission (PFBC) is urging anglers at a popular Erie County fishing spot to help prevent the spread of the aquatic invasive species commonly known as round goby. "We are asking anglers at Fairview Township's Upper Gravel Pit Pond to do their part to protect our natural resources by following the law and not transporting round gobies from this site," said John Arway, PFBC Executive Director. "Round gobies are an invasive species that can cause great harm to ecosystems. Unfortunately, we have confirmed their presence in the Upper Gravel Pit. "Our goal is to prevent them from being introduced into other inland waters," Arway added.

To help educate anglers about the impact of round gobies, PFBC waterways conservation officers will be present at the gravel pit on opening day and at other times during trout season. They will be answering angler questions and will be inspecting bait buckets. The Upper Gravel Pit will be stocked with brown trout on April 12 and again on May 1. Round gobies are one of 11 live species that anglers are prohibited from possessing under section ß71.6 of the PFBC's fishing and boating regulations. Anglers found to be in possession of live round gobies may be subject to penalties under the Fish and Boat Code.

The PFBC, in cooperation with Pennsylvania Sea Grant, also will post signs at the gravel pit informing anglers of the restrictions on possessing and transporting live round gobies. Over the next several weeks, the signs will be posted at other Erie County waters where round gobies are known to be present, including Lake Erie, Presque Isle Bay and tributaries to Lake Erie. Round gobies (Apollonia melanostoma) have large heads with frog-like raised eyes, mottled olive/brown body, fused pelvic fins, and a black spot on the rear of the first dorsal fin. Adults can grow up to 10 inches. Round gobies are known for their voracious eating habits, and are known to eat small darters, minnows, and fish eggs and fry. There are concerns about these species spreading to other waterways within the Commonwealth, which could severely harm bottom-dwelling fish, including rare dater and minnow species populations, and have devastating effects on game fish populations. To help stop the spread of the aquatic invasive species, anglers who catch round gobies at the gravel pit will be asked to dispose of them in trash bins provided by the PFBC. To help track the species elsewhere, anglers catching a round goby in Pennsylvania waters other than the gravel pit or Lake Erie, are asked by the PFBC to immediately kill it, freeze it, and call PA Sea Grant at 814.217.9020 or the PFBC at 814.474.1515.

For more information on round gobies, see: http://www.protectyourwaters.net/hitchhikers/fish_round_goby.php. The PFBC's "Stop Aquatic Hitchhikers" campaign (http://fishandboat.com/cleanyourgear.htm) encourages anglers to:

. Check for and remove plants, mud, and aquatic life before transporting;

. Drain water from boat, live well, bilge, and bait bucket before transporting;

. Clean boat and gear with hot water, or

. Dry everything for at least five days.

Elk Valley Sportsmen's Annual Club Kids Fishing Derby:
The Elk Valley Sportsmen's Association will be holding its annual fishing derby for kids 12 and under at the Girard Boro Park pond on Saturday, May 1st. Kickoff is at 1:00 PM till 3:00 PM with great prizes and refreshments for the kids. This is a terrific event for the kids (and great entertainment for the parents) and is always well attended. This is a great introduction to fishing for the youngsters. Get there early for that "hot spot". Any child 12 years of age or younger is welcome to join in the fun. Fishing gear and help is available for those kids in need and refreshments for the kids are provided. Club members and PFBC officers are always on hand to help out. To get the Girard Boro Park turn north on Route 18 in Girard. Turn left on Lake street go several blocks and turn left at the Park Entrance (Lake Street). The pond is at the bottom of the hill. This is one of the most popular area fishing events of the season with plenty of fish to be caught..... don't miss it.

Stateline Ponds
A nice alternative to get away from the crowds with lots of exploring for kids to do. Bluegills are always available and Crappies are starting to appear. Small Bass are being hooked regularly but the waters also hold some lunkers. Musky have been reported in a few of the ponds and offer a big surprise to the dozing angler.

Opening Day Etiquette: Cooperation and consideration in crowded fishing areas will make for a great day of angling for all. Area officers will be out and covering as much of the area as possible. There are plenty of fish to be caught and sharing your secrets with others can develop into life long friend ships. As always be aware that many areas of our tributaries run through private land and your behavior is a direct influence as to how many areas will remain open to public fishing in the future. Be especially considerate of younger anglers and the elderly .....we were all young once and we certainly are all getting older.....and please police your area for litter before you leave, even if its not your own. Good Luck!!

Local Weather:

Wednesday Night...Partly cloudy. Lows in the mid 40s. East winds 5 to 10 mph...becoming south after midnight.

Thursday...Partly cloudy. Warmer with highs in the lower 70s. Southwest winds 10 to 15 mph...becoming west 15 to 20 mph in the afternoon.

Thursday Night...Mostly cloudy. A chance of showers and thunderstorms after midnight. Not as cool with lows in the mid 50s. Southwest winds 15 to 20 mph. Chance of rain 50 percent.

Friday...Mostly cloudy with a chance of showers and thunderstorms. Much cooler with highs in the upper 50s. Chance of rain 50 percent.

Friday Night...Mostly cloudy with a 30 percent chance of showers. Much cooler with lows in the upper 30s.

Saturday...Mostly cloudy with a 30 percent chance of showers. Cooler with highs in the upper 40s.

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

Sunday...Partly cloudy. Highs around 50.

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

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

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

Tuesday...Partly cloudy. Highs around 60.

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