FISHING REGULATIONS APPROVED TO PROTECT LAKE ERIE WALLEYE AND SMALLMOUTH BASS|
Regulations to take effect March 1, 2004
COLUMBUS, OH -- Conservation measures designed to provide long-term
stability for Lake Erie's walleye and smallmouth bass populations have been
approved by the Ohio Wildlife Council, according to the Ohio Department of
Natural Resources (ODNR) Division of Wildlife.
"Over the past six months, we've attended meetings, held hearings
and listened to what anglers had to say about the protection of Lake Erie's
walleye and smallmouth bass populations," said Steven A. Gray, chief of the
ODNR Division of Wildlife. "We believe we are taking the right steps to
conserve this important fishery for future generations."
For walleye, the daily bag limit between March 1 and April 30 will
be reduced from four fish to three. For all other times, the bag limit for
walleye will remain at six fish per day. Other new walleye regulations
include a year-round size limit of 15 inches and the elimination of treble
hooks in the Maumee and Sandusky Bays during the March-April spawning runs.
State fisheries biologists say these approved regulations will help
Ohio meet an anticipated 40 to 60 percent reduction in total allowable
catches lakewide for walleye in 2004, set last March by the Lake Erie
Committee of the Great Lakes Fishery Commission.
To help boost smallmouth bass reproduction, a closed season was also
approved for the months of May and most of June, when the popular sport fish
are laying eggs and guarding nests. Anglers will be able to legally possess
smallmouth bass beginning the third Saturday in June.