Thursday, March 24, 2011

Work to begin Monday on Conneaut Creek access site

Steelheaders on Conneaut Creek will soon enjoy an improved pull-off/parking lot near downtown Conneaut.

The Ohio Division of Watercraft is working with the Friends of Conneaut Creek and the Central Basin steelheaders in an effort to improve access to the popular trout-fishing stream.

Beginning Monday, March 2, a construction crew will begin leveling off and improving a parking area on Center Street where it crosses Conneaut Creek.

While the property is owned by the Watercraft Division’s Scenic Rivers program the work is being paid for by the Friends’ group.

Weather determining the project is expected to take three days to complete, perhaps a couple more if needed, says Matthew Smith, Northeast Region Scenic River manager for the Watercraft Division.

“I’m hoping on seeing 8 to 10 spaces but we actually didn’t lay it out with an engineering drawing,” Smith said. “It’s on an old parking area so we aren’t creating anything new. It’s been sort of a pull-off for paddlers or fishermen.”

It likely be used by more anglers than paddle sports users, however, Smith said also.

“I do expect that some use by paddlers, though,” Smith said. “The Scenic Rivers Program bought the land a few years ago and we want to keep as much of its wild as possible.”

With more favorable weather in the forecast for the rest of this week and at least the first part of next week, the lot very well could see usage by steelhead anglers even before construction work begins.

“We might have to shoo them out so the work can be done,” Smith said.

- Jeffrey L. Frischkorn

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