WCO Report for Erie County 04/30/2008: Erie area, PA,
WCO Report Posted: April 30, 2008

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Posted by DWCO Randy Leighton on April 30, 2008 at 00:15:26:

April 30th, 2008

West Erie County, DWCO Randy Leighton, WCO Brook Tolbert


As another chapter in the annual Erie steelhead season comes to a close, a wealth of opportunities are opening up with the spring fishing and boating season. Anglers have been doing well targeting smallmouth bass in Presque Isle Bay and throughout the lower areas of the West County tribs. Boats have been hitting Presque Isle Bay in search of spring Crappie, Perch, trophy Bass, Pike and even the occasional remaining steelhead. The Gravel Pit Pond in Fairview has an abundance stockies to be caught. Where else can one find such a wealth of angling opportunities? Current Lake Erie water temperature is 55 degrees off Toledo, 46 degrees off Cleveland, and 47 degrees off the Port of Erie.

Walleye Season Opens on Erie This Weekend:
Walleye season on Lake Erie, Presque Isle Bay and the tribs opens this Saturday. This will be the time to try night time fishing near the mouths, both from shore, and by boat. Minimum size is 15" with a daily creel limit of 6 fish.

Walnut Creek Access Area:
The docks and launch ramps are in and dredging is complete. Fishing in the Walnut basin is now closed until removal of the docks in the Fall.

Archery or Spear Fishing:
The question comes up every spring but as a reminder, Archery fishing or spear fishing is prohibited in or along Lake Erie tributary streams.

Elk Valley Sportsmen's Annual Club Kids Fishing Derby is This Saturday:
The Elk Valley Sportsmen's Association will be holding its annual fishing derby for kids 12 and under at the Girard Boro Park pond on Saturday, May 4th. Kickoff is at 1:00 PM till 3:00 PM with great prizes and refreshments for the kids. This is a terrific event for the kids (and great entertainment for the parents) and is always well attended. This is a great introduction to fishing for the youngsters. Get there early for that "hot spot". Any child 12 years of age or younger is welcome to join in the fun. Fishing gear and help is available for those kids in need and refreshments for the kids are provided. Club members and PFBC officers are always on hand to help out. To get the Girard Boro Park turn north on Route 18 in Girard. Turn left on Lake street go several blocks and turn left at the Park Entrance (Lake Street). The pond is at the bottom of the hill. This is one of the most popular area fishing events of the season with plenty of fish to be caught..... don't miss it.

PFBC Basic Boating Course Offered, Sign Up Early:
Area officers from the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission, will be conducting a safe boating class on Monday and Wednesday, June 2nd and 4th from 6:00 PM to 10:00 PM each evening. The class will be held at the Gem City Outdoorsmen Club The club is located at 6701 Van Camp Road in Fairview. There should be plenty of room for anyone interested. This comprehensive 8 hour class is designed for the novice boater or boater to be, as well as the experienced boater who would like to refresh his knowledge and is especially recommended for the new boater and their families. The class covers basic boating safety, boating laws and regulations, and equipment. Successful completion of the course qualifies the individual for a Pennsylvania boating education safety certificate (card). There is no charge for the course or materials, although registration is required. These classes typically fill up and early sign up is recommended. To register for this class, email DWCO Randy Leighton at rglerie@msn.com with your name, address, phone, age, and number of people you would like to register or you can phone WCO Brook Tolbert at (814) 774-4672
Upon successful completion of the course , the Agency will require a processing fee for your Basic Boating Safety Certificate (card) if desired.
Do You or Your Family Need a Boating Safety Certificate?:
Boating Safety Certificates (Actually a plastic card) are required for anyone operating a personal watercraft (jet ski) and anyone born on or after January 1st 1982 operating a boat powered by motors greater than 25 Horsepower.

Boating Season is Just Around the Corner:
Now is the time to ready your vessel, large or small, for the water. If you did a proper job of winterizing your boat, spring maintenance should be minimal. Boats stored outdoors are inviting homes for critters that love to gnaw on wires and make nests out of PFD stuffing. Doing a thorough preseason inspection of your boat can prevent problems and surprises on the water and unnecessary embarrassment at the launch ramp that first time out. Any local boat dealer or repair facility can help you with a preseason check if you are not comfortable doing it yourself. The following suggestions will provide a basic guide however, be sure to refer to your owners manual for your particular vessel.

Do a general cleaning of hull, deck and topsides using a mild detergent
Make sure drains and scuppers are clear
Put on a good coat of wax
Clean and polish metal with a good metal polish
Clean teak and oil
Clean windows and hatches
Clean canvas
Clean interior including bilge
Check spare parts and tools and replace as necessary
Make sure registration is current and onboard and that numbers are legible
Check and replace wiper blades if necessary

Check for hull abrasions, scratches, gouges, etc., and repair
Check and replace zinc's
Check for blisters and refinish is necessary
Check rub rails
Check swim platform and/or ladder - be sure they are secure
Inspect and test trim tabs if applicable
Check shaft, cutlass bearing, strut and prop
Check rudder and fittings
Touch up or replace antifouling paint

Check stanchion, pulpits and lifelines for integrity
Check ground tackle, lines, fenders, etc.
Check chain plates and cleats
Check hull/deck joint
Check deck, windows, and port lights for leaks
Inspect anchor windlass and lubricate
Clean and grease winches
Check and lubricate blocks, pad eyes, etc.
Check dinghy, and life raft

Check, test and lubricate seacocks
Check condition of hoses and clamps
Make sure below waterline hoses are double clamped
Check bilge pumps for automatic and manual operation
Check for oil in bilges
Check limber holes and make sure they are clear of debris

Check battery water level
Check/recharge batteries
Check terminals for corrosion, clean and lubricate
Inspect all wiring for wear and chaffing, replace anything questionable
Test all gauges for operability
Check shore power and charger
Have spare fuses on board
Inspect all lighting fixtures (including navigation lights) and make sure you have spare bulbs on board
Check all electronics for proper operation
Inspect antennas

Check that boat is currently registered if necessary and that insurance is in order
Be sure that sound signaling device is working
Inspect visual distress signals and expiration date (Required on Lake Erie)
Check PFDs, be sure there is one for every potential person on board and that they are out of their wrappers
Inspect life rings and cushions (A throwable device is required on boats over 16' in addition to required PFDs)
Inspect fire extinguishers and recharge or replace if necessary
Check and adjust compass
Check navigation lights for proper operation
Check charts if used, and replace as necessary
Check radar reflector
Inspect and replace first aid supplies as necessary
Check bailer and hand pump or bilge pump operation as applicable
Change batteries in all portable devices such as flashlights, handheld GPS units and marine radios Inspect anchor lines for fraying, fish hooks, and weak spot

Change oil and have spare filter on board
Check and change fuel filters - have spares onboard
Check and change engine zincs (anti corrosion devices)
Check cooling system, change coolant if necessary
Inspect belts for tension and wear
Check power steering and transmission fluids
Inspect and clean backfire flame arrestor (required in Pennsylvania)
Check bilge blower operation


Checked for smooth operation - lubricate and clean as necessary
If equipped with treatment system, have chemicals on hand
Y-valve operation checked, valve labeled & secured

Flush water tank
Check water system and pump for leaks and proper operation
Check hot water tank working on both AC and engines
Check for tank cap keys on board
Check and clean shower sump pump screens

Fill propane tank, check electric & manual valves, check storage box vent to make sure it is clear
Check refrigerator, clean and freshen, operate on AC and DC
Clean stove, check that all burners and oven are working
Check microwave, if fitted

Replace or clean spark plugs as necessary
Check plug wires for wear
Check prop for nicks and bends
Change/fill lower unit gear lube
Inspect fuel lines, primer bulb and tank for leaks
Lubricate and spray moveable parts per manufacturers instructions

Check for current registration
Check rollers and pads
Look for broken springs
Check and lubricate wheel bearings
Clean and lubricate winch
Lubricate tongue jack and wheel
Test lights and electrical connections
Check tire pressure and condition. Tires with excessive dry cracks should be replaced
Check brakes (if equipped)
Check safety chains
Check tongue lock
If you are new to trailering, spend a little time in an open lot learning how to manuever.

Check general condition
Look for wear and chafing
Check battens and batten pockets
Check all sail attachments
Inspect bolt rope

Check mast and spreaders for corrosion or damage
Inspect spreader boots and shrouds Inspect rivets and screw connections for corrosion
Check reefing points and reefing gear
Clean sail track
Check rigging, turnbuckles and clevis pins for wear and corrosion
Inspect stays for fraying and "fish hooks"
Check forestay and backstay connections
Check masthead fitting and pulleys
Check and lubricate roller furling
Check halyards and consider replacing or swapping end for end

Local Weather:

Wednesday Night...Partly cloudy in the evening...then mostly cloudy with a chance of showers after midnight. Lows in the upper 30s. East winds 5 to 10 mph. Chance of rain 40 percent.

Thursday...Mostly cloudy with a 50 percent chance of showers. Not as cool with highs in the lower 60s. Southeast winds 10 to 15 mph.

Thursday Night...Mostly cloudy with a chance of showers and thunderstorms. Not as cool with lows in the upper 40s. Southeast winds 5 to 10 mph. Chance of rain 50 percent.

Friday...Cloudy with a chance of showers and thunderstorms. Highs in the upper 60s. Chance of rain 50 percent.

Friday Night...Cloudy with a chance of showers and thunderstorms. Lows around 50. Chance of rain 50 percent.

Saturday...Mostly cloudy with a chance of showers and thunderstorms. Highs in the mid 60s. Chance of rain 50 percent.

Saturday Night...A chance of thunderstorms in the evening. Mostly cloudy with a chance of showers. Lows in the mid 40s. Chance of rain 50 percent.

Sunday...Mostly cloudy with a 30 percent chance of showers. Highs in the upper 50s.

Sunday Night...Mostly cloudy with a 30 percent chance of showers. Lows in the mid 40s.

Monday...Partly sunny. A chance of showers in the morning. Highs in the upper 50s. Chance of rain 30 percent.

Monday Night...Mostly cloudy. Lows in the lower 40s.

Tuesday...Partly cloudy. Highs in the upper 50s.

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