July 2nd, 2008|
West Erie County, DWCO Randy Leighton, WCO Brook Tolbert
Walleye conditions have remained excellent along the shore from Walnut Creek to the Ohio line. Fish are still holding shallow in depths as low as 15 feet, however some anglers are beginning to move to deeper water to try their luck. Perch fishing continues to improve although lake conditions have been hit or miss over the last week. Bass are still biting along the shore line and along the Walnut Access Wall although the action has started to slow with the warming lake temperatures. Lake Erie water temperature as of this writing is 70 degrees off Toledo, 68 degrees off Cleveland, and 71 degrees off the Port of Erie.
Sand Bar Caution at Walnut Creek:
There is a sand bar on the east side of the entrance to the Walnut Creek channel. Exiting the channel should always be done with caution and an eye on the depth finder. Ever changing lake conditions can change channel entrance depths in days. The PFBC will begin dredging this area on Monday, July 7th. In the mean time, when entering or exiting the Walnut Creek Channel, stay centered for a least a one hundred yards or so from the mouth before heading east. Keep an eye on your depth finder if you have one, and keep the engine trimmed up.
Visual Distress Signals:
Through out the boating season, many questions arise regarding Visual distress signals. Visual distress signals are required when operating on Lake Erie and although not required in other areas of the Commonwealth, they are recommended for all boats.
Between the hours of sunset and sunrise, boats less than 16 feet in length must carry VDS suitable for use at night. This of course does not apply to personal water craft since they are not permitted to operate between sunset and sunrise.
Boats 16 feet and over must at all times carry VDS suitable for both day and night use. Approved day use devices include orange smoke and orange signal flags. Flare type VDS or Pistol launched types must be carried for night use. A minimum of three flares must be carried. These must be Coast Guard approved. All flare devices have an expiration date and to be legal the flares cannot be older than the expiration date. When purchasing new flares be sure to check the expiration date to assure that you are not buying outdated stock. We recommend that expired devices continue to be carried onboard for only for backup in an emergency.
Holiday Weekend: A spectacular fireworks display will be lit on Friday July 4th at 9:45 PM off the sand barge near Dobbins Landing on the south side of Presque Isle Bay. There is no better seat then by boat on the bay. The fireworks, the reflections off the water, combined with all the boat lights makes for a breath taking display.
As always, a reminder that alcohol and boating can be a bad combination. Fines and penalties can be stiff for those boating under the influence. not to mention the danger to yourself and the lives of those around you. The penalties for operation of a watercraft while under the influence of alcohol or a controlled substance could lead to a fine of not less than $500 nor more than $7,500, or imprisonment not exceeding two years, or both, plus the loss of boating privileges for a period of 12 months. Homicide by watercraft while under the influence carries a fine of not less than $2,500 nor exceeding $15,000, or imprisonment of no less than three and no more than seven years, or both. In addition to the offenses described above, operating a watercraft under the influence may also violate other laws. These may include prohibitions against reckless or negligent operation of boats, public drunkenness, disorderly conduct and underage drinking. Its just not worth taking the risk.
Know the Area Before You Launch:
Boats are limited to slow, minimum height swell speed in the following areas:
In the area adjacent to the Erie Public Dock, extending from the Erie Sand and Gravel Company on the West to the Continental Grain Company piers on the East. The restricted area will include the Canal Basin and extend northward to the harbor line. (In short, the channel connecting Presque Isle to Lake Erie)
Within the boundaries of Presque Isle State Park, including the waters of Marina and Misery Bays and the waters along the bay and lake shore for a distance of 500 feet from the shore.
Water skiing, other than for the purpose of take off or approach, is prohibited within 500 feet of the shoreline of Presque Isle peninsula.
The anchoring of watercraft in the entrance channel to Horseshoe Pond, Fox Pond, Marina Bay, the Lagoons or the bridge at Misery Bay in a manner that interferes with the public use of these areas or in a manner which creates a hazard to other watercraft is prohibited.
The mooring of boats to any dock, wharf, pier, ship or boat launching facility in a manner that interferes with public use or creates a hazard to other watercraft is prohibited.
Boats are prohibited within 100 feet of designated swimming beaches at Presque Isle State Park.
The internal lagoons from Marina Drive Bridge at the West end of the Long Pond through the northern entrance of Graveyard Pond shall be limited non powered watercraft and electric motors only
Local Weather: Wednesday Night...Becoming mostly cloudy. Showers and thunderstorms likely after midnight. Lows in the mid 60s. South winds 10 to 20 mph. Chance of rain 70 percent.
Thursday...Mostly cloudy. Showers and thunderstorms likely in the morning...then a chance of showers and thunderstorms in the afternoon. Highs in the mid 70s. West winds 10 to 15 mph. Chance of rain 70 percent.
Thursday Night...Mostly cloudy. Lows in the upper 50s. North winds 5 to 10 mph.
Independence Day...Partly sunny. Highs in the lower 70s.
Friday Night...Mostly cloudy with a chance of showers and thunderstorms. Lows in the lower 50s. Chance of rain 30 percent.
Saturday...Partly sunny. Highs in the mid 70s.
Saturday Night...Partly cloudy. Lows in the upper 50s.
Sunday...Partly sunny. Highs around 80.
Sunday Night...Mostly cloudy. Lows in the upper 50s.
Monday...Partly sunny. Highs in the lower 80s.
Monday Night...Mostly cloudy with a chance of showers and thunderstorms. Lows in the lower 60s. Chance of rain 30 percent.
Tuesday...Partly sunny with a chance of showers and thunderstorms. Highs in the lower 80s. Chance of rain 30 percent