WCO Report and Photo for Erie County 09/28/2011: Erie area, PA,
WCO Report Posted: September 27, 2011

Brought to you by FishLakeErie.com

[FishLakeErie.com] [ PA Fish Reports ] [ News/Articles ] [ More WCO Reports & Photos ] [ Recent WCO ]

Posted by DWCO Randy Leighton on September 27, 2011 at 21:21:46:

One Happy Angler

September 28th, 2011

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

Conditions: September and early October often present a variety of of opportunities for area anglers and this year is no exception. Earlier this week temperatures soared into the eighties slowing the steelhead migration but at the same time allowing boaters to continue to take to the Lake for perch and the remaining walleye. The Walnut Creek Access was busy over the weekend with an overlap of steelhead anglers and boaters getting in some late season perch and walleye fishing

Steelhead continue to stage at the tributary mouths with only a few steelhead observed in the Trout Run Nursery waters. Boaters have had some luck trolling the shoreline as have the shore anglers. The "chorus line" continues to build along the shore at Trout Run with catches at daybreak are common. A number of anglers were casting spoons along the shoreline at Walnut Creek this past Sunday just east of the channel with surprising success. Water levels remain very low in the tribs however, a strong cold front is predicted to move through the area late this week and through the weekend bring cool and even cold night time temperatures along with some precipitation The coming weekend may be good if predictions hold up. Current Lake temperature is still a warm 69 degrees. Late night and early daybreak anglers are having luck on the wall at Walnut Creek and to some degree up to the access at Elk Creek. Spoons, tipped minifoo jigs, paste baits, single eggs, shiners, and crawlers have all been productive baits. As is typical, September continues to be a banner month for perch. 55-62' due north of Walnut Creek and north of the point at Presque Isle at the '886 and '490 location are the productive areas.
Boaters are limiting out in as little as a few hours catching doubles and triples of 12-inch-plus perch. If Emerald Shiners are not available, Fathead Minnows will work in a pinch.

Law Enforcement: Late night weekend patrols are finding many boaters and anglers using the Walnut Creek Access Area parking lot as a for overnight sleeping which is construed as camping. PFBC controlled property does not permit overnight camping. As of late, anglers and boaters using the lot for overnight sleeping have been issued warnings and citations will be issued if necessary to alleviate this problem should it persist. With the daytime crowds that this area is now experiencing, one could only imagine the kayos that would develop if this practice were allowed to continue. The Erie area offers many reasonably priced campgrounds and angler friendly motels for those staying overnight.

Can an angler keep fishing after having 3 trout on his stringer? (one of the most asked questions)
Yes, provided he releases any subsequent fish immediately & unharmed. This does not mean removing it from the water to admire, holding up while a friend fumbles with his camera to snap a pic, walking it up and down the bank to show it off, and then releasing it. After achieving your limit, you cannot pass off fish, cull the stringer, or hand the rod to a friend to reel a hooked fish in. It is recommended that if you plan to fish for a while that you stringer 2 fish and then catch & release until you are ready to quit. It would be rather tempting if a new state record was caught while you were already at your maximum possession limit. Another bad scenario would be killing one accidentally making it unable to meet the "unharmed" requirement.

If you plan on releasing a Steelhead:
Don't play the fish any more than is necessary to land it.
Do not remove deeply imbedded hooks ... cut the line.
Do not take fish out of the water any more than necessary.
Do not insert fingers in gill area
Return to the water as quickly a possible.

Why is there a 50 yard no fishing zone at Trout Run & Godfrey Run from 10 PM to 5 AM?
The regulation was put in place to protect fish returning to the nursery water areas. In the heyday of the salmon runs, the thousands of returning fish fell victim to anglers with no regard for fair play. It also provided a large amount of temptation to good sportsmen that normally followed the rules. (like the jelly donut to a dieter) It is well known that the spot by the mouth of these tribs is a prime place to be. Currently, officers have observed crowds arriving and wading out from shore at 3 AM to secure their spot & await the 5 AM starting time. Fishing in that time period is a violation but there is no violation for standing there.

I see a lot of people foul hooking fish, isn't that snagging? Unintentional foul hooking does occur and is legal provided the fish is released immediately unharmed. The difference between this and snagging lies in the intent of the angler. While certain fishing methods involve the jerking of particular lures, officers discerning a continued pattern of locating fish visually then ripping the line and hook toward the body of the fish will likely charge an individual with attempting to snag. Historically, we note the number of attempts, time observed, type of lure or hook, etc. Occasionally we do run across "uneducated" anglers that don't realize the spooky nature of the Steelhead in the streams and the proper method to fish for them. We usually advise them that their current tactics are bordering close on attempted snagging and provide some guidance.

A Few More Regulations Pertinent To The Walnut Creek Access
We so often hear an individual say "I didn't know" or "am I allowed" when it comes to regulations in our area. The following are a few more regulations directly affecting the Walnut Creek Access Area which is controlled by the PFBC. These are areas of concern and regulations that cover many of the typical problems we encounter with the large crowds and congestion in that area. All of these regulations are covered in the Summary booklet.

Regarding the Walnut Creek Access Area: Boats have the absolute right of way over fishing from boat launch areas or boat docks. It is unlawful for persons fishing from a boat launch area or boat dock to permit their fishing activity to interfere with boat traffic into and out of the boat launch area or boat dock.
Overnight camping, (this includes overnight sleeping in vehicles, motorhomes and boats), building or maintaining open fires, swimming, and picking, cutting, or digging flowers, plants, shrubs and trees is prohibited. As we have mentioned in previous reports, overnight sleeping in a vehicle falls into this category.

The leaving or disposal of any rubbish on Commission property is prohibited unless placed in containers, if provided for this purpose. Disposal of any refuse accumulated off Commission property is prohibited.

Any personal, organizational or commercial use other than normally intended fishing and boating activities is prohibited, except that the executive director or his designee may issue permits to organizations for the use of Pennsylvania Fish & Boat Commission properties, when it is determined that such use will not damage Commission property and will not interfere with normal usage by others.

The removal or defacing of any sign, poster or property is prohibited, and it shall be unlawful to damage in any manner any lands or to interfere with any device or structure, or to alter or interfere with the flow of water over or through any structure. Vehicles must be parked in designated areas only. Blocking or obstructing driveways, access roads or launch ramps is prohibited.

No person may construct, place or maintain any structure, fixture or any other tangible property on or in Commission-owned or Commission-controlled property or waters without a permit from the executive director or his designee. Persons are further prohibited from encroaching upon Commission property in any manner incompatible with public use.

A vehicle properly registered and operated in conformance with the Vehicle Code (except all-terrain vehicles) is permitted on Commission-owned or Commission-controlled property on those areas that are open to vehicular traffic such as roadways, driveways, launch ramps and designated parking areas. It is unlawful to operate a vehicle on Commission property on:

(a) roads not open to the public,
(b) in a negligent or reckless manner,
(c) in a manner that obstructs or impedes public access to driveways, access roads and launch ramps,
(d) in a manner not in conformance with the posted traffic control signs or devices,
(e) on forested areas, grasslands, wetlands and lands under cultivation, and
(f) on frozen lakes, ponds, rivers or streams.

The use of off-road motorized vehicles, including trail bikes, Tote Gotes, all-terrain vehicles (ATVs), air-cushioned vehicles, track vehicles, hydrofoils, golf carts and the like, is prohibited.

Walnut Creek Access, Channel and Basin- Fishing from boats is prohibited in channel and basin. Shore fishing is allowed in the basin ONLY at places and times designated.

Great Lakes Steelhead Expo: The Great Lakes Steelhead Expo will be taking place on Saturday, November 5th, 2011 at the Rainbow Gardens Convention Center in Erie, Pa. The expo will run from 1:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. This event will be centered on the steelhead fishing experience in the Great Lakes region. Top vendors and companies will be on hand to show the latest and greatest fishing products, guides will speak on their fisheries and there will be local clubs doing fly tying and casting demonstrations. Folks from various fish and wildlife services that represent the Great Lakes region will also be on hand. This is a well sponsored event and should be a wealth of information for the novice and expert alike. For more information please go to Great Lakes Steelhead Expo or call 814-440-4725

Support Your Local Sportsmen's Clubs:
The Pennsylvania Steelhead Association will hold its next meeting on Wednesday September 12th at the American Legion on West 12th street (route 5 near the Airport) at 7:00 PM. The public is welcome.

Local Weather:

Wednesday Night...Mostly cloudy. Showers likely...mainly in the evening. Lows in the mid 50s. Northeast winds around 5 mph... Becoming southwest after midnight. Chance of rain 60 percent.

Thursday...Showers likely. Highs in the upper 60s. Southwest winds 10 to 15 mph. Chance of rain 70 percent.

Thursday Night...Showers likely. Lows in the mid 50s. Southwest winds 15 to 20 mph. Chance of rain 70 percent.

Friday...Showers likely. Breezy and cooler. Near steady temperature in the mid 50s. Chance of rain 70 percent.

Friday Night...Showers likely. Breezy and cool with lows in the mid 40s. Chance of rain 70 percent.

Saturday...Showers likely. Breezy with highs in the lower 50s. Chance of rain 70 percent.

Saturday Night...Partly cloudy. Cool with lows in the lower 40s.

Sunday...Mostly sunny. Highs in the upper 50s.

Sunday Night...Mostly clear. Cool with lows in the lower 40s.

Monday...Mostly sunny. Highs in the lower 60s.

Monday Night...Mostly clear. Lows around 50.

Tuesday...Mostly sunny. Highs in the mid 60s.

[FishLakeErie.com] [ PA Fish Reports ] [ News/Articles ] [ More WCO Reports & Photos ] [ Recent WCO ]