January 5th, 2011|
West Erie County, DWCO Randy Leighton, email@example.com
With the mercury topping fifty degrees this past weekend and considerable rain and drizzle, meltdown came as fast as the freeze with nearly all of the area tribs thawed and flowing well. Trib conditions are good at present until the next freeze hits. Most of the area snow and ice has melted, although the southern areas of the county still have snow and potential additional runoff, but for now there is plenty of soft water fishing to be had with more than ample elbow room. Walnut Creek displayed excellent conditions as of late Monday afternoon.
Presque Isle Bay was just starting to get to the solid ice stage when the thaw hit. The existing ice suffered considerable melting and what remains has softened considerably. As of Monday afternoon better than two thirds of the Presque Isle Bay was ice free with the remaining ice risky at best. Many stress cracks are visible and the Bay should be considered very unstable for now. Day time temperatures in the twenties ma make the window of opportunity for trib fishing short lived, but for now conditions are good. The Walnut Creek marina basin was ice free as of late Monday. The shoreline at Trout Run, although not frozen, was scattered with loose drifting ice and slush. Current West County trib conditions as of Tuesday were high and flowing nicely with good color.
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Ice Safety and Common Sense: Wear a personal flotation device, or at least carry a floatation cushion to sit on and don't fish alone.
Leave information about your plans with someone, where you intend to fish and when you plan to return.
Know the conditions of the ice before venturing out; taking into consideration recent possible effects changes in the weather have had on the ice.
Children should ALWAYS be supervised on the ice.
Use an ice spud bar or an auger to test the ice ahead of you.
Before venturing out onto the ice, check with local sources, such as bait and tackle shops, for the most up-to-date information and always consider any information on ice thickness as suggestion, not fact.
Avoid ice formed over flowing water near shore and around inlets and outlet
Avoid aeration devices such as warm water bubblers used near marinas.
Temperature fluctuations typically occurring in early winter and spring will again make for uncertain ice.
Heavy snow cover insulates ice and prevents it from freezing as evenly and as quickly as it would if the snow weren't there. Snow cover is also deceptive and makes evaluating the ice cover difficult.
Be especially wary of tributary ice, as it can be highly variable in thickness due to the erosive action of the underlying water current. Many anglers like to ice fish the Walnut Project waters which has some deep holes. One can be standing on ice eight-inches thick on a trib and just a few feet away, the ice may be only two-inches thick.
Carry a set of "grippers" (a couple screwdrivers on a length of nylon cord will do in a pinch). If you should go through the ice, they can provide a "grip" on the slippery surface and aid in getting out.
Should you break through the ice, try not to panic. Remember to turn toward the direction you came from, toward the ice that supported you. Use you "grippers" or your hands to gain a hold on the unbroken surface of the ice, and advance by kicking your feet.
Once you are out of the water and are lying on the ice, don't stand! Roll away from the point where you broke through until you are on solid ice.
If you do see someone fall through the ice, do not run toward them. Carefully extend a rope, ladder, pole or line to the victim.
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Wednesday Night...Mostly cloudy. A chance of snow after midnight. Near steady temperature in the mid 20s. Southwest winds 10 to 15 mph. Chance of snow 50 percent.
Thursday...Snow likely. Highs in the upper 20s. Chance of snow 70 percent.
Thursday Night...Snow showers likely. Lows around 20. Chance of snow 70 percent.
Friday...Snow showers likely. Highs in the lower 20s. Chance of snow 60 percent.
Friday Night...Snow showers likely. Lows 15 to 20. Chance of snow 70 percent.
Saturday...Snow showers likely. Highs in the lower 20s. Chance of snow 70 percent.
Saturday Night...Cloudy with a 50 percent chance of snow showers. Lows around 15.
Sunday...Mostly cloudy with a 50 percent chance of snow showers. Highs in the mid 20s.
Sunday Night...Mostly cloudy with a chance of flurries. Lows 15 to 20.
Monday...Partly cloudy. Highs in the upper 20s