WCO Report for Erie and Crawford County 5/28/03: Erie area, PA,
WCO Report Posted: May 28, 2003

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Posted by DWCO Randy Leighton on May 28, 2003 at 08:07:34:

WESTERN ERIE COUNTY, DWCO Randy Leighton

Conditions:
Bass, in particular, smallmouth bass continue to be the hot story in our area. A number of bass tipping the scales at 7 lbs. were brought into the Walnut Access area over the holiday weekend. Hot n Tots, Shad Raps, Rattle Traps, and large live shiners are bringing in the big ones. With so many big bass catches, it would seem that it will only be a matter of time before someone reels in the next state record. The current record smallmouth is 8.8 Lbs.

Walleye fishing has been sporadic in West County with most reported catches occurring at dusk or after dark. Trolling the shoreline in 25' to 35' of water between Walnut Creek and Godfrey Run has been somewhat productive.

Perch fishing has also been slow with few limits seen in our area yet. Perch fishing has been good out of the Conneaut harbor which is a good indication that our area should turn on soon. Some catches have been reported in 39' of water west of the Walnut Creek Access.

For those not having access to the lake, the Erie tributaries have been providing good action. Small and largemouth bass are hitting well, although they are typically not as large as the lake bass. Suckers and catfish are abundant in the tribs now and yes, you might even pick up a stray steelhead or brown trout in the deeper pools. The tributary streams are very peaceful this time of year and rainfall has been enough to keep water levels fishable.

New Species Found In Our Area:
While taking bullhead samples from the Presque Isle lagoons area, biologists Bob Wellington and Jim Grazio were surprised to pull in a fish they had not seen in our area before. Upon calling in PFBC biologist Roger Kenyon, the fish was identified (99% certainly) as a Rudd. Rudd are a European native and have been seen in Lake Erie as far back as 1997 although almost exclusively in the Eastern part of the Lake. Rudd are brightly colored fish with near red fins and look similar to the native golden shiner. It is not clear what, if any, impact these fish will have on the Lake Erie eco system. It is suspected that the impact will be minimal according to Kenyon. Personal research indicates that they do not make particularly good tablefare, but such is always a matter of opinion and personal taste.

Boating:
Even though the Lake temperature is still hovering in the low to mid fifties, eager boaters were out in good numbers this past weekend and who can blame them with the long winter we've endured. With cold water temperatures, proper safety equipment is most important this time of year and boaters are reminded to assure that their vessel is properly equipped. Its often easy to forget how cold the Lake can be on a sunny spring day and current temperatures are still cold enough to cause a quick onset of hypothermia. Officers found a good number of safety equipment violations this past holiday weekend. Be sure those PFD's are at least with in arm's reach as required by regulation, or better yet put them on.

WESTERN CRAWFORD COUNTY, WCO Joe Russell

Pymatuning Lake
A very busy weekend was had over the holiday with just about every boat ramp being packed. Fishing pressure was heavy, but the Walleye were just not cooperating. The Walleye that were caught were mostly taken along the bottom in 15 to 18 of water drifting worms on jig heads. A very nice Channel cat was caught on the North end by a lucky angler who fought it for over 15 minutes after he figured out it wasn't a log and was actually pulling. It was in the 30 range and was immediately released after pictures were taken unharmed to be caught again. Another lucky angler, Dr. Shannon Pursel of Johnstown Pa., was lucky enough to land her first ever Musky. This fish came in at 38 and was caught just off of the main swim beach while trolling for Walleye. Her dad who was with her at the time was just as proud as she was. A lot of fishermen are still hooking up with Muskies trolling and fishing the shallows (5-8 of water). Some very large fish have been taken so far.

Conneaut lake was not too busy over the weekend, probably do to the colder weather and water temperatures so far this year. I expect this lake to get very busy soon if the weather will just cooperate. Conneaut Lake always warms up slower because it is spring fed and deeper than Pymatuning Lake.

CENTRAL ERIE COUNTY, WCO Tom Edwards / DWCO Bryan Brendley PHD

Fallen Conservation Officer:
The WCOs and DWCOs from Erie County extend their sympathies to the family of the fallen officer from the KY Fish and Wildlife department. Conservation Officer Bryant was killed when his patrol truck was intentionally struck by the car of a man he was pursuing on I-75/71 in Fort Mitchell, Kentucky. Officer Bryant had stopped the vehicle on the interstate and was speaking with the driver when the man sped away. The patrol truck overturned after being struck in the fast lane of the interstate shortly before 1400 hours. Officer Bryant was wearing his seat belt at the time. He was transported to St. Luke Hospital where he was pronounced dead. The driver of the vehicle he was pursuing was arrested and charged with second-degree manslaughter.

Conservation Officer Bryant had been with the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources for fourteen years. He is survived by his wife and 16-year-old daughter.

Local Weather
Wednesday night
Mostly cloudy with a chance of showers. Lows 45 to 50. West winds 5 to 10 mph becoming south. Chance of rain 40 percent.
Thursday
Mostly cloudy with a chance of showers and thunderstorms. Highs near 70. Chance of rain 40 percent.
Thursday night
Mostly cloudy. Lows near 50.
Friday
Partly cloudy. Highs near 70.
Friday night
Mostly cloudy with a chance of showers. Lows in the lower 50s. Chance of rain 40 percent.
Saturday
Showers and thunderstorms likely. Highs in the upper 60s.
Sunday
Mostly cloudy. A chance of showers and thunderstorms from early afternoon on. Lows in the mid 40s and highs near 60.
Monday
Mostly cloudy. A chance of showers and thunderstorms during the day. Lows in the upper 30s and highs in the mid 60s.
Tuesday
Partly cloudy. Lows in the mid 40s and highs in the upper 60s.





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