Recent temperatures in the fifties have made conditions more akin to spring then the middle of January. Anglers were observed fishing in short sleeves this past weekend. Only in Erie could we have the local golf courses open along side the local ski resorts. However, spring is a long ways away. Nearly all the snow has melted and has the tribs at good levels. Some fresh fish have made their way in particularly at Lower Elk near the access area, but no large runs yet. Anglers are again fishing the "Wall" at Walnut creek and the Basin with some success. Fish are scattered throughout upper Elk near the Legion Park and the Girard Boro Park. Some walking may be necessary to find fish...but they are there. Water levels should be good and fishing worth a try at the Streuchen Flats area, Folly's End, and the hole at the McKean exit on I-79. Calm conditions recently along the lake shore at Trout Run have anglers lining up for some great action again with a lot of fresh fish staging at the mouth.
Although trib levels are high, the water is generally still clear making small presentations and light line a necessity. Live shiners continue to produce strikes but now is the time to try a variety of small jigs (jigs are made to imitate minnows). Maribou jigs in white, brown, chartreuse and olive are good choices. Trout worms in white and pink on a small jig hook can be deadly in the colder temperatures and can be jigged to trigger strikes. Glo balls and sucker spawn patterns are a good choice as well.
Safe Boating Course Reminder
A PFBC Basic Boating Course is scheduled for February 25th and 26th. (Mon. & Tues.) from 6:00 PM to 10:00 PM. at the Nature Center on Presque Isle (Stull Interpretive Center). This is an eight hour course that covers the basics of boating safety. Materials are provided and there is no cost for the class. This is a great course for the beginning boater or to freshen up your boating skills. Successful completion of the course earns the participant a boaters safety certificate as required for personal watercraft operation. To register you can email Officers Bowser or Leighton at Jwb014@aol.com or Rglerie@aol.com or you may call 774-0928 leaving your name, # of people attending, & a return phone #.
Employees honored for helping save boater
Five employees of the Walnut Creek Access Area & Erie County PFBC received awards Saturday in Harrisburg. The employees were recognized for their roles in saving an Altoona area man who was burned when his boat caught fire in Lake Erie off Walnut Creek in August.
Pennsylvania Waterways Conservation Officers Thomas Edwards and Mark Kerr were on patrol when they noticed smoke. The two officers pulled Samuel DelGrande of Cresson, Cambria County, from the water and transported him back to the Walnut Creek Access Area. Edwards and Kerr received the Fish and Boat Commission's Lifesaving Award which is the PFBC's highest honor.
Three others, including Waterways Conservation Officer John Bowser and Marilyn Soltis and Beverly Leighton, who both work in the office at Walnut Creek, will receive the commission's Outstanding Service Award for helping with the rescue. Soltis is an emergency medical technician and helped the others determine the medical needs of the fishermen during the rescue.
The accident happened when DelGrande and two companions were fishing. DelGrande was splashed with gasoline while he worked on the boat's fuel tank, and the gas ignited. An explosion set DelGrande on fire and sent flames throughout the boat. DelGrande suffered burns over 40 percent of his body.
Lack of ice ...
Warm temps have virtually cleared any ice from the lake. A recent trip to Canada found open water all the way to Niagara Falls. Open tribs and the late start to the runs have made it a great Steelhead season. The steady rains received this Tuesday will raise water levels and probably deliver fresh fish from the lake. The lake of protective ice dunes may cause beach erosion problems but these should be minimized by the low lake levels.
Walnut Creek Garden Project...
The project is gearing up for spring. The plaque was just completed for the anchor, a sign has been made & ready for installation, design has been completed for the wall, pavers sales continue to move along. If you haven't ordered your stone yet with your family or business name you can request an order form by contacting WCO Bowser at firstname.lastname@example.org and supplying your mailing address. One will be mailed to you for completion.
Western Crawford County Report / WCO Joe Russell
Tuttle Point is closed do to weather & ice conditions. There is 2" to 3"
of ice on the reservoir but about half of that is slush. No fish are being caught according to my observations.
Conneaut Lake ...
From the Park to the South end is all open water. Boats were out over the weekend. A 100 yard patch of ice around the shoreline is very thin and basically unfishable.