Near average hatches of both walleye and yellow perch in Lake Erie's Western Basin will continue to top off the angling tanks of fishers in that end of the lake.
Whether such good hatches will spill over into the Central Basin remains to be seen, though at least for the more migratory walleye, that chance is pretty much a given.
For yellow perch the question is more problematic.
That being said, efforts are underway from Lorain east to the Pennsylvania line to work toward ensuring that recreational perch anglers will find less interference from Ohio's small commercial fishing trap-netting fleet.
More than just talk is beginning to bubble and brew over still-developing plans to eliminate commercial fishing altogether in Ohio's share of Lake Erie. Whether that effort means working towards buying out the commercial fishermen or legislatively banning such activity is still undetermined.
However, meetings have been held in the Central Basin between sport angling activists, state legislators and others to get a move on in ridding Lake Erie of all commercial fishing. Or much more specifically, commercial fishing in Ohio's share of Lake Erie.
Until details are released by proponents of tighter restrictions on commercial fisherman or an outright ban is instituted, Ohio recreational anglers must satisfy themselves knowing that Lake Erie walleye and yellow perch stocks are both doing exceptionally well.
Here, then, is the Ohio Division of Wildlife's official take on this year's walleye and yellow perch hatch in the Lake's Western Basin:
"Each year in August, wildlife agencies from around the western basin of Lake Erie sample the waters using bottom trawls in search of young of the year walleye and yellow perch. Data from these bottom trawls are combined into a basin-wide index, and fisheries biologists compare the figures to previous years to estimate the success of the walleye and yellow perch hatches.
"Biologists from the ODNR Division of Wildlife conducted bottom trawling surveys at nearly 40 sampling locations across Ohio waters of the western basin. This information provide biologists with an estimate of how many young fish will enter the fishable population two years later.
"Information on the ODNR Division of Wildlife’s Lake Erie research and management programs, fisheries resources, fishing reports, and maps and links to other Lake Erie web resources are available at wildohio.gov."
- By Jeffrey L. Frischkorn