At its quarterly business meeting Thursday, the Fish and Boat Commission purchased three easements and one property along Erie County’s Elk Creek, further expanding the public fishing corridor along the popular steelhead stream, and an updated Trout Management Plan.
“The steelhead fishery in Lake Erie and its tributaries is a popular destination for anglers and generates tremendous economic benefits to the region,” said PFBC Executive Director John Arway. “And our Fishing and Boating Access Strategy ranks this watershed as the top priority for access improvement statewide. With the addition of these easements today, we’re greatly increasing the opportunities for anglers to fish this stream.”
The access areas include:
-- Easements of 1,175 and 870 linear feet along Elk Creek in Fairview Township, Erie County. The easements are located off of Elk Valley Road downstream of Fairview Township’s Struchen Flats property and were acquired for $18,000 and $13,500 respectively. The addition of these two easements creates a 1-mile corridor of connected public access.
-- An easement of 410 linear feet along Elk Creek in McKean Township, Erie County, acquired for $5,500. The easement area is located off of Rick Road upstream of the PFBC’s Rick Road access.
-- Approximately 1,600 linear feet of frontage on Elk Creek on eight acres of land in McKean Township, Erie County. The PFBC purchased the land for $100,000.The property is located immediately west of Interstate 79 at the end of Skinner Road near McKean.
To date, the PFBC has acquired more than 20 miles of public fishing access in the Erie watershed through easements and land purchases under the Erie Access Improvement Program.
The Commission also adopted an updated trout management plan for 2016-17. Some of the key issues addressed in the plan include the prioritized sampling of unassessed waters; protection of Class A wild trout waters; stocked trout efficiency; management of waters through fingerling stocking; in-stream flow and habitat protection and improvement; public access to trout waters and the Lake Erie steelhead and brown trout stocking program.
The plan was developed based on input from a work group consisting of PFBC staff, anglers affiliated with a variety of sportsmen’s organizations, and independent anglers not affiliated with a sportsmen’s organization.The final plan is expected to be placed on the PFBC website within the next week.