January 17th, 2007|
West Erie County, DWCO Randy Leighton, WCO Brook Tolbert
The Erie area has been pounded with heavy rainfall since the weekend taking area tribs to near peak levels. Heavy run off has kept most of the tribs pretty muddy and still flowing hard. Overnight temperatures have hit the twenties and forecasts are calling for the teens. The freezing temperatures have all but stopped the run off and the West county tribs were starting to drop some as of late Tuesday afternoon although conditions are still a bit merky. It will remain to see the effect on fish movement. The few anglers that have braved the elements and the rough water conditions have had light stringers. A week or two of overnight temperatures in the teens should start to bring slush and ice to the tribs if the daytime temps remain around the freezing mark. It likely will still be a while till ice over on Presque Isle Bay.
Cold Weather Safety on the Tribs: All good things often come to an end and the unseasonably warm weather that we have been enjoying around the area looks short lived according to local weather forecasts. Significant drops in temperature and possible snow accumulation this week look likely if not inevitable and with the winter weather upon us in Erie, safety should be a relevant concern when fishing the area tribs. With angling pressure lightening up it is very conceivable to be fishing alone at times. Cell phones are great however, in some of the less elevated areas along the tribs signals can be weak. When going out for the day let someone know when you plan to return and where you are going. Dress warm and in layers and cover the ears and head. Use extreme caution when wading unfamiliar water. After a significant high water event such as we have just experienced, wading a once familiar area can change dramatically. Consider using a wading stick and wearing a wading belt, especially with loose fitting waders. Be aware of large floating sheets of ice as the tribs begin to ice over. Moving ice flows can without warning knock an unsuspecting angler off balance. Take frequent breaks and short walks to keep the circulation moving. Wading ice water in one spot to the point of allowing numbness can contribute to a bone chilling fall when taking that first step. Take a snack or two for energy and keep a warm thermos in the car or truck for the day's end.
Anglers should be advised that officers continue to patrol our areas throughout the winter months. Foul hooked fish are more common with winter stream conditions, especially with the good numbers of fish we are
experiencing this year. Possession of any foul hooked fish is a violation and can result in a costly fines. Foul hooked fish should be played no more than necessary and released immediately unharmed.
Litter continues to be a problem that we all need to be concerned with. Although the access areas have actually been pretty clean this year, anglers have been moving more into the upper stretches of the tribs in search of moving steelhead adding litter problems to the the upper stretches. These are the very areas where the tribs very often thread their way through residential areas. In the cold weather, we are often in such a hurry to get into our nice warm vehicle that we forget about the coffee cup we set on the ground or the sandwich wrapper by the back wheel. Policing your area when you leave is a positive individual effort that if recognized by all anglers will go a long way in helping to preserve and perhaps even open up precious fishing access.
Local Radar from the National Weather Service
LAKE EFFECT SNOW ADVISORY IN EFFECT UNTIL 4 AM EST WEDNESDAY
Wednesday Partly sunny. A chance of snow showers in the morning. Highs in the upper 20s. West winds 5 to 10 mph. Chance of snow 30 percent.
Wednesday Night Partly cloudy. Lows around 20. South winds 10 to 15 mph.
Thursday Mostly sunny in the morning...Then becoming mostly cloudy. Highs in the lower 40s. South winds 10 to 15 mph.
Thursday Night Mostly cloudy with a 50 percent chance of snow showers. Lows in the lower 30s. Southwest winds 10 to 15 mph.
Friday Partly sunny with a 30 percent chance of snow. Highs in the lower 30s.
Friday Night Mostly cloudy with a 40 percent chance of snow showers. Cooler with lows in the lower 20s.
Saturday Mostly cloudy with a 40 percent chance of snow showers. Cooler with highs in the lower 20s.
Saturday Night Mostly cloudy with a 30 percent chance of snow showers. Lows in the lower 20s.
Sunday Mostly cloudy. Highs in the lower 30s.
Sunday Night Mostly cloudy with a 30 percent chance of snow. Lows around 20.