WEST ERIE COUNTY, DWCO Randy Leighton, WCO Brook Tolbert|
Anglers coming to town and finding the trib conditions too high and fast to fish might consider a day at Presque Isle Bay for panfish or bass. Anglers have been doing well fishing for perch off the North Pier along the channel connecting Presque Isle Bay to Lake Erie.
Current Lake Erie water temperature as of this writing is 55 degrees. Current Erie tributary conditions as of this writing (11/02/04, 1900 hrs) are high, muddy and flowing hard. rgl
Steelhead Fishing the Tribs in High Fast Conditions:
In these conditions, it's a great time for live bait and bright easily visible baits. Minnows, skein, egg sacks, and the bright colored Powerbaits work great. Glow ball sizes 10 to 12 in orange, red, chartreuse, and even yellow can work in muddy water. Plenty of split shot will be needed to keep your bait on the bottom. 1/32 to 1/8 oz. marabou jigs in black, white, chartreuse, pink, and orange can trigger a strike and do not require as much added weight. rgl
Safety in High and Fast Conditions:
2) Be on the lookout for moving debris.
3) Watch for rapidly rising water conditions. A good hard rain and runoff can literally raise Walnut Creek
4) Fish can be caught in high fast water, but it if often best to fish from the bank.
5) Always try to fish with a buddy, or at least be with shouting distance of other anglers.
6) Life jackets and wading staffs are a good idea in high fast water conditions.
7) Loose waders (the large rubber type) can fill rapidly with water if you fall in...The tighter fitting neoprene will not fill up as easily and provide more warmth. A wading belt should be worn with the breathable type chest waders.
8) If you fall in the fast water there isn't much to do but ride it out. Pulling your knees to your chest will trap air in your waders and help keep you afloat.
9) Wade cautiously...creek bottom conditions can change frequently throughout the course of the Fall and Winter months. rgl
Walnut Creek Basin Open to Fishing:
This may be your last chance to support funding for an independent Fish and Boat Commission...The Time is Now:
To learn how to contact your state legislator, call 1-800-932-0784 or visit the PA General Assembly's Find Your Legislator website.
Support Your Area Sportsmen's Clubs:
On Saturday, Nov. 13, 2004, the PA Steelhead Association will be sponsoring a stream cleanup. Interested parties are requested to gather at Walnut Creek Access Area around 9:00 a.m. For more information, contact Doug Kramer at firstname.lastname@example.org or Michael McSkimming at email@example.com.
Steelhead Fishing's Dramatic Impact on the Erie Area Economy:
According to freshly released results from a study of Economic Impact of Sports Fishing (EISF) in Erie County, steelhead fishing activity in Pennsylvania nearly tripled in the last decade, going from around 70,000 trips in 1993 to over 200,000 trips in 2003. As interest in the fishery has grown, attracting anglers from across Pennsylvania and the country, it has become a notable part of the local tourism economy.
Senator Jane Earll, Pennsylvania Sea Grant, and the Erie Regional Chamber & Growth Partnership joined with the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission (PFBC) to announce the results of the EISF during a press conference at Fairview State Fish Hatchery October 27.
“For too long, we have vastly underestimated the economic impact of fishing on Erie County,” said Senator Earll. “And while fishing or recreational activities will never replace manufacturing jobs or rival a high-tech sector in our economy, they are still important pieces in the overall economic picture, and cannot – nor should not – be overlooked. The study that was done to compile this data was a cooperative effort done to meet multiple goals, and I am very proud to have been a part of such an impressive collaborative effort,” she said.
The study revealed that anglers catch more than 500,000 steelhead each year. Not only are large numbers being caught, but the catch rate is impressive as well, with the average angler landing a steelhead about every hour and a half.
“The Lake Erie tributary steelhead fishery is one of the Commonwealth’s top trophy trout fisheries. As a result, Erie County is a premiere fall fishing destination,” said PFBC Executive Director Dr. Doug Austen. “Fishing is great recreational pastime for families and as this study illustrates, it’s also a tremendous contributor to local and regional economies across the state.”
The steelhead study results represent Phase II of the EISF study. According to Phase II of the study, the economic impact of steelhead fishing in Lake Erie tributary fisheries is $9.5 million. That figure is part of the overall $28 to $36 million in total fishery expenditures in Erie County as determined in Phase I of the study.
Under the direction of Pennsylvania Sea Grant and the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission, researchers collected information regarding angler expenditures. That data was analyzed by the Department of Agricultural Economics and Rural Sociology, Pennsylvania State University and released in a report by the PFBC’s Lake Erie Research Unit.
“There is a very real and direct economic impact to Erie’s economy through sports fishing,” said Robert Spaulding, senior vice president/COO, Erie Regional Chamber. “The $9.5 million in trip-related expenditures in 2003, results in $5.71 million in new value-added economic activity in Erie County which directly and indirectly creates 219 local jobs.”
Spaulding notes that the important number for economic impact is the value-added figure, i.e. new money created in Erie County. The retail mark up (the difference between wholesale and retail values) on the $9.5 million is $6.85 million. Applying the IMPLAN model to this number results in both a direct and secondary economic impact total of $10.68 million. This translates into 170 steelhead-related jobs, and another 49 jobs created due to the spin-off effects of the steelhead fishery.
Of the $10.68 million, $5.71 million is value-added or new money created in Erie County solely due to the steelhead fishery; $3.57 million of which is from directly related activities, and $2.13 million from spin-off activities due to the steelhead fishery.
“We believe this is only a fraction of the economic impact as we are using a very conservative economic model and focusing on short-term, trip-related expenditures,” said Spaulding. “Those expenditures, however, clearly suggest the pathway for developing the strategy of increasing the impact of that industry segment.”
Phase II of the study noted that sports fishing for steelhead is high in October through December. The average out-of-town angler spends $62 per day while the local angler spends $6.60 per day.
“People are coming to Erie County from all over the world, and they are coming at a time many would consider off season, and they are spending money here because of the steelhead fishery,” said Senator Earll. “Steelhead fishing is unique to Erie County; it is the only place in Pennsylvania you can catch them. We should use that fact to our advantage, and do all we can to enhance that industry even more,” she said.
In Phase I of the study, the Erie Regional Chamber and the study partners compiled the economic impact of sports fishing through research and data collection. That research showed that Pennsylvania anglers account for $580 million in fishing expenditures statewide, with a $26 to $30 million economic impact in Erie County. pfbc