Lake Erie walleye bag limits still in danger of being cut for 2012
Back to Main MenuCelebrationsFraud PreventionManage Your AdPlace an AdSANDUSKY, Ohio Ohio’s fisheries experts report that the Lake Erie walleye population is a little better than a year ago, which just might allow the daily sport fishing bag limits to remain unchanged in 2012.It’s a far cry from a year ago, when the Lake Erie managers projected a major decline in the walleye population and lower bag limits.”The picture is a little rosier,” said Roger Knight, head of Lake Erie fisheries management for the Ohio Division of Wildlife. “A low walleye harvest last spring and early summer by Ohio sport anglers, combined with fair to good spawning success in 2007 and 2010, are indicating a low, but stable walleye population.”Lake Erie walleye and yellow perch quotas for the states and Ontario will be set at the Lake Erie Committee meetings on March 22 23 in Windsor, Ontario.Even if the bag limits don’t change, anglers shouldn’t be too optimistic about summer walleye success. Last year’s Ohio walleye harvest was about a half million fish, the lowest sport catch in more than three decades.Knight said today’s walleye population is dominated by a fairly good 2007 hatch, an average 2010 hatch and remnant numbers of trophy walleye from the spectacular spawning season of 2003. If there is a cut in the daily bag limit, the spring limit would remain at four fish per day. The summer limit would most likely be trimmed from six to five walleye per day starting May 1.It’s part of a formula dev adidas zx eloped by Ohio that would not cut the spring walleye limit unless the Lake Erie walleye population all but crashed.In 2011, a steady stream of storms brought chilly winds, big waves and plentiful rain to western Lake Erie’s spawning reefs from March through May. The nasty weather all but shut down sport fishing, and most wondered if there would be any walleye spawning success. Knight says test nets show some walleye hatched in 2011, but survival was mediocre. Those walleye will reach catchable size in 2013.The primary catch for western Lake Erie anglers this summer will be walleye in the 14 to 16 inch class from the 2010 hatch, fish expected to hang around the shallow waters west of the Bass Islands. Knight expects big walleye from the 2007 and 2003 hatches to head to the Central Basin in June and July to feed.Surprising winter: This is supposed to be the quietest time of year for outdoors sports, with little more available than ice fishing and late season hunting. It seemed a good time for a surgery that would sideline my coverage of the outdoors for a couple of weeks. Unfortunately, the recovery took a couple of months, and at a time when an incredibly mild winter resulted in rare outdoor opportunities.Now that I’m healthy again, typically bitter weather will probably return.Fishermen have been launching boats on western Lake Erie and trolling the reef complex lately for walleye, and with amazing success. Few could imagine adidas zx walleye would chase a lure in bitterly cold waters, no matter how slow it was swimming.Steelhead trout fishermen have enjoyed the most productive winter season since the steelhead trout program began, and the spring runs of trout are yet to come. The winter adidas zx ice fishing season never got off the ground, prompting anglers to fish local lakes from shore and small boats. The productive rainbow trout stockings around the Cleveland Metroparks have, as usual, been a big hit.”The steelhead trout fishing this winter has been the best I’ve seen since opening the store in 2 adidas zx 006,” said Dan Pribanic of Chagrin River Outfitters in Chagrin Falls. “We’re not seeing fishermen hook a dozen trout every day, but catches have been consistent.”Out and about: The Niles Sportsman’s Super Show Sale takes over the Eastwood Expo Center in Niles today through Sunday . . . . . . Whitetails Unlimited’s Hole in the Horn Chapter has its Hunters Night out on Saturday night at the American Legion in Kent. . . . The South Cuyahoga Sportsmen’s Association has begun its Sunday turkey shoots at its North Royalton grounds. . . .Quiz the experts: There are a lot of Ohio wildlife issues on the table right now. at the annual Open House events to provide the state’s viewpoint. The local Open House is at the DOW office, 912 Portage Lakes Drive, Akron. The sessions feature the proposed 2012 13 hunting regulations, but sportsmen can ask questions about the new licensing system, deer numbers, a lack of wildlife officers or the absence of fall trout stockings.