Lake Erie Walleye
In 1988, there was an estimated walleye population of about 80 million fish; by 2002, that number was down to 20 million. As the number of walleyes has decreased, the number of anglers targeting walleyes has also decreased. The catch rate remains the same - about one fish for every 3 hours on the water - but biologists see reason to be optimistic.
The 2005 year-class has the potential of being one of the best in recent years. The 2001 year-class is carrying the harvest at present, and filling live wells with 18-inch fish.
Spring anglers will find roughly 80 percent of the walleyes in one of three places: the Maumee River, the Sandusky River or the reef complex north of Camp Perry. The remaining fish head towards the Detroit River.
"Spring offers an unmatched opportunity to catch trophy walleyes from shore in the rivers and in the near shore areas from a boat," said biologist Hartman. "Walleyes over 30 inches are caught every spring from March through May." Anglers can expect to tangle with some 18- to 25-inch fish this season.
Call 1-800-758-ERIE(3743) for reservations