FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 13, 2009
Ohio Wildlife Council Hears Proposed Fishery Management Changes
New Lake Erie Walleye and Yellow Perch Regulation would take effect May 1
COLUMBUS, OH – The Ohio Wildlife Council is considering proposals that will affect Lake Erie walleye and yellow perch, crappies in 44 inland lakes, and Ohio River catfish according to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR), Division of Wildlife.
A proposed change to the timing of when bag limits are set for Lake Erie walleye and yellow perch will be discussed. This proposal would make new bag limits effective on May 1 instead of March 1. Changing this effective date allows for the walleye and yellow perch quotas set by the Lake Erie Committee to be considered prior to setting the bag limits.
The Lake Erie Committee comprises fishery managers from Michigan, New York, Ohio, Ontario, and Pennsylvania. The committee's work is facilitated by the Great Lakes Fishery Commission, a Canadian and U.S. agency on the Great Lakes. Each year the committee sets the total allowable catch for walleye and yellow perch from Lake Erie. Total allowable catch represents the number of fish that can be caught by sport and commercial fishers without putting the stocks at risk. From the total allowable catch for the lake, individual state quotas are calculated.
A proposal to add 38 lakes to the current list of six lakes that have 9-inch minimum size limits on crappies is being considered. The proposal will also include setting a bag limit of 30 for crappies on all lakes with 9-inch size limits, which would now equal 44 lakes.
Alum Creek, Caesar Creek, Deer Creek, Seneca, and Tappan Lakes have had the 9-inch minimum regulations since 2001, with Delaware Reservoir having the limit since 1997. Catches from these lakes indicate the numbers of large crappies have increased and both black and white crappies have maintained good growth rates.
A 2008 on-line angler survey indicates 81 percent of crappie anglers favor the 9-inch length limits. An on-the-water creel survey from the spring of 2009 lends solid support for daily crappie limits, with 80 percent of the anglers favoring a daily bag restriction.
The 38 new reservoirs are Acton (Butler and Preble counties), Atwood (Carroll and Tuscarawas counties), Berlin (Stark, Mahoning, and Portage counties), Buckeye (Fairfield, Licking, and Perry counties), C.J. Brown (Clark County), Clear Fork (Morrow and Richland counties), Clendening (Harrison County), Dillon (Muskingum County), East Fork (Clermont County), Ferguson (Allen County), Grand Lake St. Marys (Auglaize and Mercer counties), Griggs (Franklin County), Hargus (Pickaway County), Hoover (Delaware and Franklin counties), Indian (Logan County), Kiser (Champaign County), Knox (Knox County), Loramie (Auglaize and Shelby counties), Milton (Mahoning County), Leesville (Carroll County), Madison (Madison County), Mosquito (Trumbull County), Nimisila (Summit County), O’Shaughnessy (Delaware County), Portage Lakes: East, Long, North, Turkeyfoot, and West (Summit County), Paint Creek (Highland and Ross counties), Piedmont (Belmont, Guernsey, and Harrison counties), Pleasant Hill (Ashland and Richland counties), Rocky Fork (Highland County), Rush Creek (Fairfield and Perry counties), Salt Fork (Guernsey County), Springfield (Summit County), Veterans Memorial (Hancock County) and West Branch (Portage County).
An extension of the statewide catfish regulations to the Ohio River is being proposed. Ohio River anglers would be allowed only one channel catfish 28 inches or longer with no limit for channel catfish under 28 inches. In addition, only one flathead and one blue catfish 35 inches or longer may be possessed with no limit for flathead and blue catfish under 35 inches.
Open houses will be held at the same day and time in Akron, Athens, Columbus, Findlay, Port Clinton, and Xenia on Saturday, August 29, 2009; from 12:00 noon until 3:00 p.m. Information recorded at these open houses is forwarded to the division's central office in Columbus, where proposed rule changes to the Ohio Administrative Code are considered.
For more information or directions to the open house, please call 1-800-WILDLIFE (945-3543). Proposals and directions can also be accessed via the Internet at wildohio.com.
A statewide hearing on all the proposed rules will be held at 9 a.m. on Thursday, September 10 at the wildlife division's District One Office, located at 1500 Dublin Road in Columbus. After considering public input, the Ohio Wildlife Council will vote on the proposed rules during its October 7 meeting.