Lake Erie Region

Check out the Web site of the Great Lakes Environmental Research
Laboratory (www.glerl.noaa.gov) for satellite images of Lake Erie
and all of the Great Lakes. The only thing you can see in the
images, which are updated every day, right now is a solid ice cover
over most of Lake Erie, with the exception of the far Canadian
shoreline.

€ The walleye bag limit is six fish per day through Feb. 28.
From March 1 through April 30, the bag limit reduces to four fish
per day, returning to six fish per day on May 1. The minimum size
limit for walleye is 15 inches.

€ The daily bag limit for Lake Erie yellow perch dropped from 30
to 25 fish per angler effective July 1, 2008, in waters west of the
Huron pier. The daily bag limit will remain at 30 fish per angler
in Ohio waters from Huron eastward. Any boats landing west of Huron
will be subject to the 25-fish daily bag limit, while boats landing
at Huron or points east will be subject to a 30-fish daily bag
limit. Shore-based anglers west of the Huron pier are subject to a
25-fish daily bag limit, while those on the pier and eastward
remain at 30 fish daily.

€ Through May 15, the steelhead trout daily bag limit is two
fish. The minimum size limit for steelhead is 12 inches.

Western Basin

Ice fishing for walleye in the western basin has continued to be
good at times over the past few weekss. Most of the activity has
been in the Catawba and Bass Islands area. Success has varied from
day to day, but some limits are being caught. Good ice was reported
in the areas being fished, but anglers should still be extremely
cautious of isolated areas of poor ice. Walleye fishing success has
also been reported west of “A” can of the Camp Perry firing range;
however, there are also some areas of dangerous ice between the
mainland and “A” can. Check with local ice guides or tackle stores
before heading out. Remember that shifting winds can cause large
cracks to open up between sheets of ice. Currents below the ice can
also eat away at the thickness of the ice and cause thin areas that
aren’t obvious from the surface.

Steelhead: At Cleveland Metroparks, due to constraints of a
supplier coupled with the projected weather forecast, trout
stocking was scheduled for Feb. 6. Also, anglers have been catching
trout at first light in the morning and as it gets dark in the
evenings on jigging spoons such as Swedish Pimples. Some anglers
have reported the best fishing only a few feet down. The bite
during the day has been very slow. Additionally, a fair amount of
the Rocky River has been opening up, especially in the middle
reaches.

Open-water fishing opportunities on the Rocky River are
currently nearly nonexistent with the majority of the river being
completely frozen over. A few tiny open areas currently remain,
below ford areas in particular. Even though you will see a few
folks ice fishing on the river, especially near the marina area,
Cleveland Metroparks highly discourages this due to serious safety
concerns associated with this activity.

Anglers have been ice fishing Cleveland Metroparks ponds and
lakes for the past few weeks. Most reports have reflected that
fishing for stocked trout has been slow overall, with some reports
of good fishing activity toward evening and especially just after
dark (you can fish park water until 11 p.m.). Plenty of trout are
still present in Wallace, Shadow, Ledge, Judges, and Ranger lakes
from the stockings at the end of December (half of that 1,800
pounds of trout went into Wallace). Additionally, Shadow (350
pounds), Ledge (300 pounds) and Judges (250 pounds) lakes were all
stocked on Jan. 29. The plan to restock Wallace and Ranger lakes
was put on hold until early February due to the recent winter storm
delaying plans.

Stocked trout typically bite well on Power Bait in brighter
colors, salmon eggs, live minnows, and small jigs tipped with grubs
(wax worms or maggots). Some anglers have reported their best luck
working a small jigging spoon such as a Swedish Pimple. Offerings
can be fished under a small float or right on the lake bottom.

Cleveland Metroparks, www.clemetparks.com

Division of Wildlife, www.wildohio.com

Capt. Bud Gehring, ice fishing at the Bass Islands,
419-261-0165

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