Lake Erie Region

Few walleye fishing attempts have been made due to recent wind,
snow, ice, and cold temperatures, according to the Division of
Wildlife research stations at Sandusky and Fairport Harbor. A large
percentage of the western basin of Lake Erie is subject to ice
cover. However, ice conditions are not allowing for ice fishing due
to recent winds. The lake is still accessible in places, but
anglers should anticipate icy marinas and muddy water on the main
lake.

For steelhead, the Rocky River is currently exhibiting good
winter fishing conditions with moderately high flow and a brownish
stain transitioning to green. As of Dec. 17, there was no ice on
the river. Based on the current extended forecast, though, muddy
conditions could be persistent. Before planning a trip anglers
would be wise to monitor the most recent river water level and
flows. River flow and temperature readings can be erratic at times
due to effects of ice on the gauge probes.

Modest numbers of fresh steelhead have continued to trickle into
the Rocky and Chagrin rivers over the past week. A mix of silver
and darker trout have been well distributed throughout both
watersheds from the marina areas all the way into upstream reaches.
River fords and tailouts immediately upstream of rough water tend
to concentrate steelhead during elevated flow conditions, with
holes traditionally producing well in winter as the water levels
drops. Don’t discount faster flow areas either, though, as these
Little Manistee strain fish are quite active under winter
conditions, according to Mike Durkalec, aquatic biologist for
Cleveland Metroparks.

Anglers the past few days have been taking the lion’s share of
steelhead on spawn sacs in brighter colors. Fly-fishers have been
hooking up using larger streamers in contrasting colors and bright
egg patterns. Minnows, jigs tipped with grubs, wobbling plugs, and
nymphs can also be expected to produce some fish under our current
conditions.

Additionally, the prospect of catching a few of the remaining
rainbow trout at the Ohio and Erie Canal Reservation fishing area
remains fair to good. Stocked trout tend to bite especially well on
PowerBait, salmon eggs, and small spinners.

As a final note, the first installment of winter stockings of
catchable rainbow trout in Metroparks lakes and ponds is
tentatively planned for the week immediately following Christmas,
according to Durkalec.

Cleveland Metroparks, www.clemetparks.com

Division of Wildlife, www.wildohio.com

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