Sunday, October 29, 2017

Lake Metroparks' aggressive fish stocking program hooks eager anglers

Lake Metroparks has the perfect bait to lure anglers.

The Lake County-based agency has long maintained an aggressive fish stocking policy and this autumn has proven itself to be no exception.

In early October the parks system poured one-thousand pounds of largemouth bass and five-hundred pounds of keeper-size sunfish into four of its ponds and small lakes. All of the bass were at least 12 inches long while the sunfish measured six to eight inches.

If that were not enough, on October 25th Lake Metroparks stocked one-thousand pounds of rainbow trout – these fish averaging between one and one and one-half pounds each – into the parks system’s Granger’s Pond, located within Veteran’s Park in Mentor. At 33 acres Granger’s Pond is Lake County’s largest inland body of water.

And about the same time the agency officially dedicated is 200-foot long fishing pier at its Painesville Township Park; offering Lake Erie anglers a golden opportunity to cast for resident walleye, white bass, rock bass and smallmouth bass along with seasonally migrating steelhead trout.

Broken down the ponds receiving the warm-water species were the aforementioned Granger’s Pond, the 2.5-acre Blair Road Park Pond in Perry Village, the one-half acre pond at the Farmpark in Kirtland, and the 1.5-acre wetlands at the agency’s Concord Woods Park in Concord Township.

Lake Metroparks also has a score of other small, farm pond-type waters that receive stockings at other times of the year.

As for the rainbow trout, Lake Metroparks spent $3.80 per pound – or something on the order of $3,800 – for the fish which came from a private fish hatchery in Castalia, near Sandusky, said Tom Koricansky, the parks system’s natural resources manager.

“That’s about the same number of trout that we’ve been stocking in Granger’s for the past couple of years,” said Koricansky, who added in something of an understatement, “It’s been a popular program.”

Understatement it is, as the following morning more more than two dozen motor vehicles were observed occupying slots in Veteran’s parking lot while their owners and others were busy fishing from the three T-docks that jut into the small lake.

“What’s nice too is that some of the fish will over-winter in Granger’s and will still be available in the spring,” Koricansky said also.

- Jeffrey L. Frischkorn

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