WCO Report for Erie County 12/01/2004: Erie area, PA,
WCO Report Posted: December 01, 2004

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Posted by DWCO Randy Leighton on December 01, 2004 at 20:31:23:

WEST ERIE COUNTY, DWCO Randy Leighton, WCO Brook Tolbert

Conditions:
This past weekend brought big numbers of anglers to the area tribs with many anglers enjoying a little fishing on the way to hunting camp. Traditionally, angling pressure will ease with the Thanksgiving holiday and the threats of snow and cold weather. Those that fish the area regularly know that winter can often bring some of the best steelhead action of the season along with an often more quiet angling experience. As the water temperature drops steelhead will typically become less active holding in the slower moving pools. Presentation is everything and natural drifts are most important in inducing strikes.

Good cold weather baits for the drift anglers include eggsacs, single eggs, skein, shiners, plastic worms in pink, white, and chartreuse, and small jigs tipped with a maggot or waxworm. Fly anglers will often use single egg patterns and suckerspawn patterns in white, pink, orange and peach. Woolly buggers and minnow imitating patterns are also popular.

Anglers fishing the Walnut Basin are doing fair and anglers fishing the Wall at Walnut have seen a fair number of fresh fish.

Anglers are still having some luck with perch off the South pier and in and around Marina Bay off Presque Isle. Crappie action has slowed some in the Bay.

Current Lake Erie Water temperature 49 degrees as of 11-30-2004. West county tribs are again on the low and clear side with some flow and slight color as of this writing.

Walnut Creek Access Information:
The Walnut Creek Access Office will be open on a limited basis before closing for the winter months. The office will be open December 4th, 5th, 10th,11th, and 12th from 7:00 AM to 5:30 PM. The last day the office will be open for this season will be December 17th from 7:00 AM to 5:30 PM. Senior anglers that qualify for a lifetime license or those wishing to buy these licenses as gifts are reminded to do so soon as the lifetime license price increase for 2005 is significant. At this time the Walnut Creek Access office along with Poor Richard's Bait Shop may be the only agents left with licenses. The office sells all of the PFBC publications from posters to books many of which make great holiday gifts and stocking stuffers

Law Enforcement:
With the large crowds this past holiday weekend area officers found few problems. Citations were issued for anglers fishing in the mouth of Trout Run after hours and possessing more than the legal daily creel limit. Anglers targeting perch are reminded that effective December 1st, the size limit drops to 7 inches with the creel limit still at 20 fish.

New Regulations for the Erie Area for 2005:
Two new regulations will go into effect effective January 1st, 2005. The first is regarding burbot, a fresh water strain of Cod. Anglers occasionally catch burbot by hook and line in Lake Erie and Presque Isle Bay. However, burbot currently may only be legally taken by SCUBA divers by use of nonmechanical spears or gigs at a depth of at least 60 feet during the period, June 1 to September 30, with a daily limit of five. Although inland populations of burbot are endangered and therefore harvest is not allowed, burbot in Lake Erie are abundant enough to support commercial and sport harvest. The Commissionís Bureau of Law Enforcement personnel indicate that anglers who catch burbot during the winter months rarely catch more than a couple per day. Thus, the Commission amended this section to allow burbot to be taken by hook and line with a limit of five per day and no closed season. Commission staff anticipate no adverse impacts to burbot populations as a result of the change.

The Commission has also added clarification to anglers fishing for smelt which mostly effects ice anglers on Presque Isle Bay. Under the Commissionís current regulations, smelt are not specifically listed and have been considered baitfish. Baitfish may be taken year around with no minimum size requirement and a daily limit of 50 (combined species). To clarify the existing regulations, the Commission amended this section to list smelt separately with no closed season, no minimum length and no creel limit. Commission staff do not anticipate any adverse impacts to the smelt population as a result of the change.

Local Weather:
Wednesday night
Partly cloudy with a 30 percent chance of snow showers. Brisk with lows in the upper 20s. West winds 15 to 25 mph.
Thursday
Mostly cloudy with a 30 percent chance of snow showers. Highs in the upper 30s. Southwest winds 10 to 15 mph.
Thursday night
Mostly cloudy with a 40 percent chance of snow showers. Lows in the upper 20s. West winds 10 to 20 mph.
Friday
Mostly cloudy with a 40 percent chance of snow showers. Brisk with highs in the mid 30s.
Friday night
Mostly cloudy with a 30 percent chance of snow after midnight. Lows in the upper 20s.
Saturday
Mostly cloudy with a 40 percent chance of snow. Highs in the upper 30s.
Saturday night
Partly cloudy. Lows in the upper 20s.
Sunday
Partly cloudy. Highs in the lower 40s.
Sunday night
Partly cloudy. Lows in the lower 30s.
Monday
Mostly cloudy with a 30 percent chance of rain in the afternoon. Highs in the mid 40s.
Monday night
Mostly cloudy with a 30 percent chance of rain. Brisk with lows in the mid 30s.
Tuesday
Mostly cloudy with a 30 percent chance of rain. Highs in the upper 40s.




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