WESTERN ERIE / DWCO RANDY LEIGHTON|
Gradual snow melt off and daytime temperatures approaching the forties have kept the tribs high and nicely colored. This is the time of year that the tribs get that beautiful deep green color that seems to be so desirable (Between ice overs of course). Cold temperatures at night will yield ice and slush at day break but the late mornings and afternoons have produced great conditions in most areas. Upper stream areas are where to look for fish. Follies End, Streuchen, The Girard and Legion Park on Elk should all be opening up from the recent ice. Fish are up on Walnut on near the Millcreek Mall and some catches have been made at the McKean hole. High water levels should bring additional late staging fish into the tribs making lower Walnut and Elk worth a try. Crooked Creek has good flow and color with fish scattered throughout.
Winter wading tips:
1) Felt bottom waders work well in ice and snow and on slippery rocks but do not work well in mud.
2) A wading staff can assist even the most nimble footed angler in fast water.
3) With changing ice and snow conditions and quick water run off, be aware of rising water depth along the tribs. Levels
will come up faster than you think.
4) Snug fitting (neoprene) waders are normally warmer and are not prone to filling up with water in the event of a fall. A
wading belt should always be worn with loose fitting waders.
5) Standing in ice water for hours can really numb the legs more than is felt making it difficult to walk. Take frequent
warm up breaks and keep the hot beverages handy.
6) Winter angling along the tribs, especially in the more remote areas can be dangerous. Consider phoning a friend to
join you and always let someone at home know where you are going and when you plan to return.
7) If you do fall in fast moving water, try to position yourself with your feet downstream, spread your arms to keep you
head above water, and ride it out till you gain firm footing. In most cases the ride will be short and you can get out of
the water quickly to avoid hypothermia
Hypothermia and Frostbite
Hypothermia simply stated is the lowering of the body's core temperature below 95 degrees. Frostbite simply stated is freezing of ones flesh.
Signs of Hypothermia include:
2) Uncontrollable fits of shivering
3) Slurred and slow speech
4) Poor judgment
5) Skin color ranging from cyanosis to waxen; skin often appears gray and blood
6) Increased blood pressure, heart, and respiratory rates at first; decreased heart and
respiratory rates, irregular heartbeat, weak, shallow or absent pulse and respiration
as hypothermia progresses.
6) Low blood pressure
CENTRAL ERIE / WCO TOM EDWARDS & DWCO BRYAN BRENDLEY
A recent patrol around Presque Isle State Park showed ice all along the park side of the bay. Duck hunters were breaking ice to set out decoys. With a Warming trend this week it may be fishable in the upcoming days but that is up to mother nature.I spoke recently with a boro employee in Edinboro and they informed me that the repairs on the spillway were complete and that normal dam level will be regained once again pending mother nature and runoff. Since these repairs are complete Edinboro will be ready for ice fishing once the ice is favorable.
With the new upcoming possible changes to the law regarding those born after 1982 to possess a boating safety certificate for operation of watercraft, a boating safety course will be offered on February 11 and 12 at the Stull Interpretive Center on Presque Isle State Park from 6:00 p.m - 10:00 p.m. Preregistration is appreciated and can be done at the following contact information. E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or phone (814) 864-6566. E-mail is the preferred method, just list your name and a contact phone number along with the course name and date.
Deputy Diary by DWCO Bryan Brendley (continued)
I figured that after being sprayed with OC it had to
all be downhill at the deputy school. Wrong again.
Our third training session revolved around extensive
firearms training at the range and water safety and
boat familiarization. At the range we were drilled
with safety in handling our firearms under all types
of conditions. We fired in dimlight and in the
daytime. We were schooled in both the revolver and
with the Beretta semiautomatics. At this session we
had to fire our first set of qualifying scores and I
was thrilled that my practice at Bob's Gun Shop payed
The next day we drove to the Bald Eagle State Park for
an instruction session put on by instructors from the
Bureau of Boating and Education. We learned how to
right canoes, move safely in a boat, learn how to
perform water rescues, and how to put on PFDs in the
water. It was at this session that I realized just
how difficult it is to put on a PFD once I was in the
water. I realize now why we are required to wear a
PFD when we are on boat patrol with the Fish
Commission. If we do in the drink, the only thing
between oneself and the deep parts of Lake Erie is the
(to be continued)
EASTERN ERIE/ WCO MARK KERR
Wednesday: Cloudy with a mixture of light rain and snow developing in the afternoon. High 38F. Winds light and variable. Chance of precip 30%.
Wednesday night: Cloudy with rain and snow showers in the evening. Remaining cloudy late. Low 31F. Winds S at 5 to 10 mph. Chance of precip 30%.
Thursday: Partly cloudy skies. High 43F. Winds SW at 5 to 10 mph.
Thursday (24 hours): Partly cloudy. Highs in the low 40s and lows in the low 30s.
Friday (24 hours): Mostly cloudy. Highs in the low 40s and lows in the mid 30s.
Saturday (24 hours): Mix of rain and snow showers. Highs in the upper 30s and lows in the low 30s.
HOW TO RELEASE FISH - Catch and Release
Many anglers today release trout and other fish they catch. Most anglers do it for conservation reasons, but there are times when regulations require that fish be released. Unfortunately, there is no guarantee a released fish will live. Studies suggest that of 100 caught and released trout, as few as one or as many as 50 or more won't survive. The number that does survive depends on several factors: The length of the fight, where the fish is hooked, water temperature, and how the fish is handled and released. The only one of these factors under the absolute control of the angler is the handling and release. Following correct techniques for releasing fish improves the odds of that fish surviving.
Play fish quickly. Important anytime, but especially when waters warm. Water temperatures of 70 degrees and warmer are rough on trout.
A landing net can help you land fish quickly. The best nets have a shallow bag made of fine mesh. If you must handle fish, wet your hands first. It's best for the fish if you keep your hands off.
Keep fish in water as much as possible.
Being out of the water is stressful for fish.
Remove hooks from the mouth quickly. This is made easier with hemostats or longnose pliers. Cut the line if the fish is hooked deeply in the mouth or throat. Removing hooks from deep in the mouth or throat will injure fish, and take valuable time. Barbless hooks may be easier to get out.
If the fish is bleeding or there is damage to the gills or eyes, keep the fish for dinner-if regulations allow. Holding the fish upright underwater, let it swim away under its own power. If necessary, hold the fish out of the current until it revives. Fish that don't recover in a couple of minutes won't. Keep them for the skillet-if regulations allow.
WESTERN CRAWFORD COUNTY / WCO JOE RUSSELL
Pymatuning Lake- Ice season has started here at the lake with a few fishermen venturing out on the ice already. Several guys were spotted by the outboard motor club fishing just out from shore however I have to warn you that the ice is still not safe in several areas and with the snow covering the ice you wont know it is a bad area until you go through. They are predicting warmer weather with possible rain for the next couple of days so that will not help either. If you are going bring a buddy or let someone know where you will be in case you have problems. Another real good idea is a staff or walking stick, you can turn it sideways if you start going threw and prevent yourself from going all the way in. Ice hand augers are another life saver should you go threw to help you drag yourself out.
Conneaut Lake- The main body of the lake is still open water with only the back bays and most of the edges being iced in. This does limit being able to put a boat on though because you can't get to the open water right now.
2003 Fishing Licenses are on sale now and what a great Christmas gift they would make for your loved one. They are an entire year of fun at a very inexpensive price so buy them now before the beginning of the year rush.