WCO Report for Erie County 01/19/2011: Erie area, PA,
WCO Report Posted: January 19, 2011

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Posted by DWCO Randy Leighton on January 19, 2011 at 08:38:14:

January 19th, 2011

West Erie County, DWCO Randy Leighton, rglerie@msn.com

Along with most of the Northeast part of the country, Erie has finally been able to dig out from the recent snowstorms that hit the area. Cold temperatures continue to strengthen the ice on most of the areas waters although some areas are still a bit unstable and in some areas the ice is still relatively thin. Presque Isle Bay remains ice covered with reports on thickness from 4 to 6" in most areas. Some areas in the center of the Bay remain thin and there is still slush in some areas. . Anglers coming off the Bay this past weekend reported moderate catches of perch although blue gills and smelt seemed to be plentiful. There were no complaints though; just being able to finally do a little hard water fishing seemed to be enough to bring out the smiles.

Anglers have had success targeting steelhead through the ice at the Walnut Creek Basin and in the channel just outside the basin. Broken drift ice has built up along the Lake Erie shoreline. This ice is not solid or stable and should be considered unsafe. The Manchester hole although mostly ice covered although fast flowing water under the ice in this area is a recipe for danger.

A number of anglers found good ice fishing at the Upper Gravel Pit pond in Fairview this past weekend bringing in a few nice perch and a a few leftover stockies. Shiners were the ticket. The Gravel Pit pond is somewhat sheltered from the high winds that often blow on Presque Isle Bay and can be a good place for those without a portable ice shanty. The Gravel pit, although not a large body of water, is quite deep.

Ice Fishing Gear Reminder:
It is unlawful while ice fishing to use more than five fishing devices, which may consist of rods, hand lines, tip-ups, or any combination. Each device shall contain a single fishing line with no more than three hooks attached to each line. Holes cut in ice may not exceed 10 inches between the farthest points as measured in any direction. All lines, rods, or tip-ups shall be under the immediate control of the person using them. On Fish & Boat Commission lakes, shelters, or shanties must be removed when through fishing for the day.

Information on Frostbite: Although those ice huts can be warm and toasty, that long walk on the ice in sub zero temperatures can be hazardous. Be careful and consider the following:

Frostbite has three stages of progression: Frostnip - In this stage, the individual experiences a pins and needles sensation with the skin turning very white and soft. No blistering occurs. This stage produces no permanent damage and may be reversed by soaking in warm water or breathing warm breath on the affected area.

Superficial Frostbite - In this stage, blistering may occur. The skin feels numb, waxy and frozen. Ice crystals form in the skin cells and the rest of the skin remains flexible.

Deep Frostbite - This is the most serious stage of frostbite. In this stage, blood vessels, muscles, tendons, nerves and bone may be frozen. This stage can lead to permanent damage, blood clots and gangrene, in severe cases. No feeling is experienced in the affected area and there is usually no blistering. Serious infection and loss of limbs frequently occurs after frostbite reaches this stage. However, even with deep frostbite, some frozen limbs may be saved if medical attention is obtained as soon as possible.

Frostbite risk can be reduced by practicing the following:

Wear several layers of clothing when in extremely cold conditions since the air pockets between the layers will help to retain warmth.

Limit the use of alcohol and smoking tobacco. Alcohol causes the blood to cool quickly and tobacco inhibits circulation to extremities.

Avoid going outdoors during extremely cold weather.

When outside, shield the face and other body parts from the cold wind and temperatures by wearing protective clothing, scarves, earmuffs, gloves etc.

Wear waterproof skin moisturizer on exposed areas.

Do not spend extended periods in extreme temperatures when exhausted, intoxicated, wet or under the influence of certain drugs.

If, after being in extremely cold conditions, any of the following are experienced, seek emergency care.

skin swelling
loss of limb function and absence of pain
drastic skin color changes
slurred speech
memory loss

If the patient cannot be transported to a hospital immediately, the following re-warming techniques may help until reaching an emergency facility.

Bring patient indoors as soon as possible.

Apply warm towels or immerse the area in circulating lukewarm water for twenty minutes. Hot water should not be used and the area should not be rubbed in any way. If blisters are present, leave them intact.

Do not hold the affected area near fire since the area may be burned due to the reduced feeling in the area.

Offer the patient warm coffee or tea, if alert, but never alcohol.

Keep the affected area raised.

After re-warming, a superficial frostbite will redden and become painful as circulation resumes in the area. Blisters are likely to form within 24 hours.

A deep frostbite injury will remain hard, cool to the touch and may turn blue. Blisters may form and the area can turn black. Skin surrounding the affected area may become swollen and remain swollen for over a month. If gangrene develops, amputation may become necessary.

While a frostbite injury is healing, do the following:

Avoid infection by leaving any blisters intact.

Watch for signs of infection such as redness, swelling, fever, oozing pus, and red streaks on skin.

Take all prescribed medications

Do not expose the affected area to cold temperatures until cleared to do so by a physician.
Source Pagewise, Inc., http://www.pagewise.com/disclaimer.htm.

Ice Fishing Season: Consider the following check list of items (enhanced from last year, and the year before, and the year before) to make your ice outing more enjoyable and productive. You may not need everything but some folks like to prepare for everything:

Fishing rods- Large guides, sensitive tip, with some backbone, preferably the short ones made specifically for ice angling
Reels - Micro-spinning reel
Line - 2 to 6 LB test ice line
Bobber stops with beads
Split shot, a variety of sizes
Foam ice fishing bobbers
Fingernail clipper or line cutters to cut line
Ice scoop / ladle / dipper-for removing slush from the hole, a must have item
Micro and ice jigs and spoons, hooks...etc.
Bait wax worms, fatheads, crappie, minnows, grubs etc.
5 gallon bucket to sit on, and carry fish
Hand warmers (I still like the Jon E's best)
Needle nose pliers or forceps
Fishing License (current of course)
Proper Personal Identification (regulations require an additional form of ID when fishing)
Ice auger (Regulations permit hole diameter to be 10")
Sled for auger and gear (The light weight kids plastic toboggans work great)
Bait bucket
Small shovel, collapsible if possible
Ice picks - could be a lifesaver! (A couple of screw drivers tied on the end of a light cord will work in a pinch)
A compass (can be easy to loose sense of direction in a blizzard)
Mouth spreader (for the fish of course)
Gaff for larger fish should you get lucky
Hook sharpener
Ice Shelter
Propane heater
Spud bar (for checking ice thickness)
Tip-ups - preferably the freeze-free type (regulations permit a maximum of 5 tip ups or combination of tip ups and rods or handlines. A maximum of 2 rods or handlines is allowed. For example, 2 rods and 3 tip ups are permitted.)
Leaders for tip-ups
Quickstrike rigs for tip-ups
Bait for tip-ups, smelt, shiners, etc.
GPS (a white out on Presque Isle Bay can be pretty confusing)
Camera (disposable works best and you wont fret if you lose it)
Ice cleats
Small flashlight
Lantern Matches or Lighter (for propane heater)
A buddy when ever possible
Neoprene waterproof gloves Plenty of eats (Contrary to most, local pizza delivery places do not deliver to the middle of the Bay)

For those with a few extra bucks:
Aqua-view or underwater camera
Two-way radios to talk to your buddies
Strike sensors for tip-ups

Elk Valley Sportsmen Reverse Raffle..
Don't Miss It!

The annual Elk Valley Sportsmen Reverse Raffle is just around the corner. Your ticket gives you a chance at the $1,500 Main Prize, dinner, drinks, music, games of chance, & dancing. It is being held on Feb. 19th @ St. John's Social Hall / Girard with Happy Hour starting at 5:30 ... Dinner @ 7:00 ... Dancing from 9:00 to Midnight. At a bargain price of $60.00/couple, it is one of the best buys out there. Your ticket for two covers dinner, entertainment, and all legal beverages. This is the only Fund Raiser held by the Elk Valley Sportsmen Club for the year. This helps to fund the Annual Kid's Fishing Derby & improvements at the Girard Boro Pond as well as Turkey Feeding, Hunter's Safety Courses, and many other community projects. Tickets are available at McDonald's Meats on Route 20 in Girard (near the Overlake Golf Course) or by calling Lee Weaver at 922-3412 (area code 814 if needed) or any Club Officer. This is the sportsmen's social event of the season in Northwest Erie County. Tickets are limited to 200 couples so get yours now !!

Local Weather:

Wednesday Night...Mostly cloudy. A chance of snow showers in the evening. Colder with lows around 11. West winds 5 to 10 mph. Chance of snow 30 percent.

Thursday...Cloudy. A chance of snow in the afternoon. Highs in the lower 20s. West winds around 5 mph. Chance of snow 50 percent.

Thursday Night...Snow. Near steady temperature around 16. North winds 5 to 10 mph. Chance of snow 80 percent.

Friday...Snow showers likely. Highs around 20. Chance of snow 70 percent.

Friday Night...Cloudy with a 40 percent chance of snow showers. Breezy and cold with lows 5 to 10 above.

Saturday...Cloudy. Highs 15 to 20.

Saturday Night...Mostly cloudy with a 30 percent chance of snow showers. Cold with lows around 10 above.

Sunday...Mostly cloudy. Highs in the lower 20s.

Sunday Night...Partly cloudy in the evening...then becoming mostly cloudy. Lows 15 to 20.

Monday...Mostly cloudy with a 30 percent chance of snow. Highs in the mid 20s.

Monday Night...Mostly cloudy with a 30 percent chance of snow. Lows in the lower 20s.

Tuesday...Cloudy with a 30 percent chance of snow. Highs in the upper 20s.

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