Wildlife News January 28, 2000|
Ohio Department of Natural Resources
Division of Wildlife
305 E. Shoreline Dr.
Sandusky, Ohio 44870
Contact: Melissa Hathaway: (419) 625-8062
Shanty Towns Popping Up on Lake Erie
SANDUSKY, OHIO -- Consistent cold temperatures with overnight lows
in the single digits for more than a week have formed ice across western
Lake Erie bringing out hardy ice anglers, according to the Ohio Division of
Wildlife. The ice fishing season officially gets underway this weekend with
area ice guides now scheduling ice fishing parties.
Ice shanties began dotting nearshore areas this week off Put-In-Bay
on South Bass Island, Catawba State Park east of Port Clinton, and on
Sandusky Bay off White's Landing. Ice anglers also began fishing off Crane
Creek State Park on Friday. Anglers are expected to soon be fishing at
other traditional winter spots on Lake Erie and Sandusky Bay.
As of Thursday, ice was reported to be 7 to 8 inches off Catawba
State Park, Crane Creek State Park, and Sandusky Bay, and 7 1/2 to 8 1/2
inches at South Bass Island. So far only a few fish have been reported
Anglers are in pursuit of Lake Erie's most popular sport fish --
walleye and yellow perch. Anglers use ice jigs or jigging spoons tipped
with live minnows for walleyes and perch spreaders baited with minnows for
yellow perch. These can be still fished or gently jigged just above the
Lake Erie fishing regulations require a current 1999/2000 fishing
license, valid through February 29. Anglers may use holes no larger than 12
inches in width. They may not use more than 6 tip-ups and 2 rods per
Anglers using ice shanties and tip-up rods must display the name and
address of the owner or user. Bag limits remain in effect; 10 walleyes per
angler per day, and 30 yellow perch per angler per day.
Anglers should check for safe ice conditions before venturing out.
The Division of Wildlife reminds anglers that no ice is ever 100 percent
safe, especially on bodies of water as large as Lake Erie. Sun, warm air,
southwest winds, and current all affect ice conditions.
Anglers should never jump cracks in the ice. During the last ice
fishing season on Lake Erie in 1997, which lasted about a month, the United
States Coast Guard and local rescue teams retrieved a group of 30 anglers
from an ice floe on one occasion. A working crack may be only a few inches
but quickly spread because of currents, leaving anglers stranded. Anglers
should watch wind speed and direction, which play a part in opening a crack.
Anyone venturing out on the ice should be prepared for cold water
emergencies. Anglers should wear a life jacket and have available an extra
change of clothes in case of a fall through the ice. Anglers should never
go on the ice alone, and should inform someone of the location they will be
fishing and estimated time of return.
Novice and first-time ice fishermen may want to consider using the
services of a licensed ice fishing guide. Ice guide and lodging information
can be obtained from the Sandusky/Erie County Visitors Bureau at
1-800-255-3743; and the Ottawa County Visitors Bureau at 1-800-441-1271.