Saturday, November 19, 2016

Lake Metroparks (Ohio) likely hooks stellar Grand River steelhead- and muskie-fishing hole

Grand River steelhead and muskies will soon find 2,700 fewer linier feet of protection from anglers.

Lake Metroparks is set to acquire 75 acres of property in Perry Township that includes about one-half mile of Grand River frontage. This parcel lies across the Grand River from the agency’s 409-acre Indian Point Park at the confluence of Paine Creek, which provides the property’s rough half-way point up and down the Lake Erie tributary.

This fishing hole is one of the Grand River’s go-to late fall-winter-spring steelhead fishing sites, too. And more, if truth be told.

“I caught a very nice muskie there this spring,” said Paul Palagyi, Lake Metroparks’ executive director.

Palagyi’s muskie was no fluke, either. Just upstream – and within the sphere of influence of the soon-to-be-added property – exists one of the stream’s mid-section deeper holes that has long been heralded as a productive Grand River muskie-fishing hot zone.

Vince Urbanski is the parks system’s deputy director and he says that his agency will pay $335,000 for the 75-acre parcel. This heavily wooded block extends from the Grand River about one thousand to two thousand feet north to River Road, with a few private in-holdings carving out small niches, Urbanski said.

“Once the Vrooman Road bridge project is completed we should be able to in come in with an entrance from the west,” Urbanski said. “Right now there’s a something of a trail off River Road but it’s pretty steep and it certainly gets your attention when you climb it.”

Even so, the 75-acre property’s expected acquisition – which will cost the agency $335,000 – will help permanently secure the spectacular view that Indian Point visitors see when they reach the top of a ridge along the roughly one-mile long Point Overlook Loop Trail.

“That view is now going to be protected,” Urbanski said, who added that many Indian Point visitors come to the unit in autumn just so they can soak in the view that largely contains the anticipated land purchase.

Urbanski said as well that the parks system will seek to sell a conservation easement to the Western Reserve Land Conservancy for the property. If successful this easement will regenerate $65,000 to $70,000 back into the parks system’s General Fund.

“That will help stretch our dollars a little bit more,” Urbanski said.

If all goes well the land purchase should clear all legal hurdles and successfully navigate the protocols of a public entity buying private property by the end of the year, Urbanski added.
For now Indian Point Park and the expected land parcel are easily accessible from off Seeley Road that bolts from off Vrooman Road; itself available as an exit off Interstate 90.

- By Jeffrey L. Frischkorn

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