Annual emerald shiner shortage rears its ugly head
Sandusky, Ohio — Lake Erie emerald shiners likely will be worth more than their weight in golden shiners again this year, and fisheries biologists lake-wide do not have a good handle as to why a dearth of them exists.
Indeed, biologists who intently study Lake Erie’s fisheries are not even sure of the scope of the emerald shiner population decline anymore than they do the “why.”
“I’ll be up front about it; I know very little about emerald shiner biology,” said Travis Hartman, head of the Ohio Division of Wildlife’s Sandusky Fisheries Research Station.
It would appear that no one else does, either, beyond a general acknowledgement that emerald shiner stocks are down lake-wide. This means that Lake Erie’s yellow perch anglers – especially those in Lake Erie’s Central Basin – are compelled to look to commercially raised golden shiners, a commodity that many anglers claim is an inferior substitute for emerald shiners.
“A New York perch fisherman will tell you the same thing,” said Donald Einhouse, Lake Erie fisheries manager for the New York State Environmental Conservation agency.
To read much more on this story, see the June 9 print edition of Ohio Outdoor News.