WCO Report for Erie and Crawford County 09/25/02: Erie area, PA,
WCO Report Posted: September 25, 2002

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Posted by WCO John Bowser on September 25, 2002 at 07:00:34:

WESTERN ERIE COUNTY / WCO JOHN BOWSER & DWCO RANDY LEIGHTON

Steelhead:
The tribs have dropped to very low clear conditions with long range weather forecasts predicting cooler temps for the end of the month. Fish will be moving mostly at night with the best chances for success at dawn or dusk. Fish are scattered throughout the Walnut Project waters and the Manchester Hole as well as lower Elk Creek although the biggest runs are still yet to come. The Lakeshore at Trout and Godfrey Runs are producing fish at night and at dawn. Low clear water and very line shy fish will dictate the lightest of presentations. Fly anglers should do well with fluorocarbon tippets. Conventional anglers will do best reducing line strength to 4 lb. and even 2 lb. fluorocarbon line at times. Very light floats and small baits such as sucker spawn flies and single eggs may be the ticket. Anglers are reminded again that fishing from the East bank of the Manchester Hole is not permitted nor is fishing the West side of Walnut Creek from the end of the wall North to the mouth.

Walnut Creek Boating:
Boaters have had success trolling and casting just off the mouths of Walnut Creek and Trout Run. Boaters are again reminded to "hug the wall" due to shallow gravel bars near the basin exit. Boaters do have the right of way over wall fishermen but very few are sounding their horns to alert anglers to retrieve lines. This jetty is the favorite of elderly & handicapped anglers and some cooperation on both sides will assure everyone has an enjoyable experience.

Trout Run Marina:
The Trout Run (Avonia) Marina will be open for business as usual on Thursday, September 26th. This is a great place to introduce youngsters to Steelhead fishing and is very convenient for the handicapped and elderly. Fishing the Marina (for a small fee) can provide sanctuary from rough wind and wave conditions. Food and hot beverages can be purchased at the Marina as well.

Perch:
Anglers are still slamming perch in big numbers weather permitting off of Walnut Creek and the Presque Isle light house in 50' to 55' of water. Perch fishing was good into November last year and this year appears that conditions will be as good.

CENTRAL ERIE COUNTY / WCO TOM EDWARDS
Perch: Still good in all of the hotspots, get in on the action before the weather gets too bad.

Bass: Picking up in the bay, fish early.

Catfish: Still good in the early evening at the S. Pier.

Steelhead: Cascade has nothing to report. four-mile has some fish up behind the Lawrence Park Fish Club but no great numbers yet, check it out after another blast of rain. 8-mile unknown.

Edinboro: Recent reports are that the crappie are hitting fair on minnows but you have to find them, Perch are being caught but head for Lake Erie if possible. Bass anglers stated that they were having good results.

A recent convention in Toronto gave us some information regarding fishing in Quebec, Quebec has control zones which require the standard license and then the additional fee of 16.50 per day to fish. Compared to our prices we are all getting a deal.


SEPTEMBER 28 DESIGNATED AS FISH FOR FREE DAY

The Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission has designated September 28 as a �Fish For Free Day� in recognition of National Hunting and Fishing Day.

Fish For Free Days allow anyone -- not just license holders or youth under the age of 16 - to legally fish for Pennsylvania's most popular fish, including bass, walleye, panfish and trout. From 12:01 a.m. to 11:59 p.m. on September 28, 2002, no fishing license is needed to fish on Pennsylvania's waterways. For beginning anglers, the Commission and its partners have established a number of sites around the state where fishing tackle can be borrowed free of charge. A listing of tackle loaner sites is available on the special Fish For Free Day section of the Commission�s web site.

All other fishing regulations, including size and creel limits, apply as usual. A Summary of Pennsylvania Fishing Regulations and Laws is available on the PFBC web site.

�Fish For Free Day is the perfect opportunity to introduce a friend or relative to the lifelong sport of fishing. There�s no better way enjoy the beginning of fall in Pennsylvania�s great outdoors than a day of fishing with the entire family,� said PFBC Executive Director Peter A. Colangelo.

Colangelo added that the Commission will offer two free fishing days in 2003: May 24, 2003 (the Saturday of Memorial Day Weekend) and Saturday, June 7 as part of National Fishing and Boating Week. �For the last several years, we have designated one free fishing day in the spring and another in the fall. For 2003, we decided to try a different approach in response to suggestions from anglers, staff and Commissioners. By including a Fish For Free Day in May, we can support fishing events sponsored by some of our trout cooperative nurseries and give everyone a chance to fish for free on the Saturday of the first holiday weekend of the summer season.�

�We�ll evaluate the response to the May Fish For Free Day after next spring as we schedule Fish For Free Days for future years,� Colangelo concluded.

EASTERN ERIE COUNTY/ WCO MARK KERR

CLEANING AND COOKING YOUR FISH PCBs and most other organic contaminants usually build up in a fish�s fat deposits and just underneath the skin. By removing the skin and fat before cooking, you can reduce the levels of these chemicals. Mercury collects in the fish�s muscle and cannot be reduced by cleaning and cooking methods. To reduce PCBs and other organics:
� Remove all skin.
� Slice off fat belly meat along the bottom of the fish.
� Cut away any fat above the fish�s backbone.
� Cut away the V-shaped wedge of fat along the lateral line on each side of the fish.
� Bake or broil trimmed fish on a rack or grill so some of the remaining fat drips away.
� Discard any drippings. Do not eat them or use them for cooking other foods.

ENVIRONMENTAL CRIMES FREQUENTLY DISCOVERED

Excavation, construction or filling along Commonwealth waters without required permits.
Failure to comply with provisions of permits which have been secured.
Failure to implement and/or maintain an Erosion & Sedimentation Control Plan.
Draining lakes/ponds without required permits.
Creating unpermitted stream obstructions such as falling trees into streams .
Draining septic systems, manure runoff and swimming pools into waterways.
Siltation pollution caused by excavation/construction projects.
Industrial waste spills and discharges.
Pollutions resulting from sloppy equipment care or maintenance at project site (i.e., leaking fuel or fluids from equipment, refueling spills, placing contaminated materials into waters).
Pollutions resulting from pouring wet concrete or asphalt into waterways or dumping fill into waters or wetlands.


RULES OF THUMB WHEN WANTING TO DO PROJECTS ALONG WATERS

PLAN WELL AHEAD FOR YOUR PROJECT
SEEK ADVICE AND INFORMATION FROM GOVERNMENT AGENCIES.
ALWAYS ASSUME THAT ENVIRONMENTAL PERMITS/WAIVERS WILL BE REQUIRED FOR YOUR PROJECT, AND NEVER BEGIN GROUNDBREAKING UNTIL YOU HAVE SECURED SUCH PERMITS OR RECEIVED POSITIVE VERIFICATION FROM ENVIRONMENTAL AUTHORITIES THAT NO PERMIT IS NEEDED.
SECURE AND ABIDE BY AN EROSION AND SEDIMENTATION CONTROL PLAN FOR YOUR PROJECT.(Contact your County Conservation District for plan assistance and approval)
NEVER ASSUME THAT YOUR WORK IS TOO FAR BACK IN THE WOODS TO BE CAUGHT!
DON'T BECOME CONFUSED OVER ENVIRONMENTAL LAW REQUIREMENTS! HELP IS NEARBY TO ASSIST YOU KNOWING WHAT IS REQUIRED. USE THAT HELP. ASK QUESTIONS. A VERY RELIABLE SOURCE TO GUIDE YOU WITH YOUR PROJECT PERMIT REQUIREMENTS IS YOUR COUNTY CONSERVATION DISTRICT.


REMEMBER THAT COMMITTING AN ENVIRONMENTAL VIOLATION IS A CRIME! DON'T PLACE YOURSELF IN A SITUATION THAT CAN RESULT WITH A PRISON SENTENCE, SEIZURE OR IMPOUNDMENT OF YOUR EQUIPMENT, THOUSANDS OF DOLLARS IN CRIMINAL AND/OR CIVIL PENALTIES. TOWNSHIPS, MUNICIPALITIES AND OTHER POLITICAL SUBDIVISIONS ARE NOT EXEMPT FROM THE PROVISIONS OF THE ENVIRONMENTAL LAWS.

WESTERN CRAWFORD COUNTY/ WCO JOE RUSSELL
Pymatuning Lake- The lake is still low right, 2 Feet below normal pool, now do to lack of any rain and water temps remain high but some walleye are still being caught on the southern end by fishermen late at night, fishing from shore. Rappallas and lures that imitate minnows seem to be working the best. Bluegill and Crappie are still being caught along the edges and if you can find any structure to fish around. Live bait and small jigs are the hot ticket for these guys.
Conneaut Lake- A bass tournament was held here this last weekend by western Penn bassmasters and I was lucky enough to get there right at weigh in to get a chance to talk to some of the anglers from the competition. The big winner was Keith Kristoff with an impressive lbs. 7 oz. lunker that measured 21 inches. He said the secret to his success was in fishing the weed beds using lures that you could work the top 1 foot of water. His impressive fish was caught on a pumpkin seed rubber worm, but all the anglers were telling me worms and lizards on top was the way to go. They also mentioned that a "BOAT LOAD" of pike were caught during the day and they couldn't keep the pike off the lines. Some of the pike were legal but most were sublegal but that just means there will be plenty for next year. The water temp on Saturday was 71 degrees and the 18 fishermen that registered for this tournament told me they had a great day after the bad weather in the morning cleared out. Bluegills are also being caught in droves right now with fishermen telling me that they are catching there fifty in an hour just by fishing the weed beds. Small jigs and live bait are what they are hitting on here as well.




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