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Walleye catch rates highest recorded in 20 years, population set to increase in Lake Erie

Posted: 6:07 PM, Dec 21, 2018
Updated: 2018-12-21 18:07:02-05
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Preliminary results are in and walleye population in Lake Erie will continue to increase.

The Ohio Department of Natural Resources conducted a fall trawl survey in Ohio’s portion of the central basin of Lake Erie that showed an exceptional hatch of walleye and an average hatch of yellow perch.

The young-of-the-year walleye catch rates in 2018 were the highest recorded in the past 20 years of the fall trawl survey, according to ODNR.

This survey, in addition to the results of the excellent 2015 year-class, ensures adult walleye abundance in the area will continue to increase, ODNR said.

Yellow perch in the central basin had the highest hatch since 2014, according to the survey.

Because of low oxygen conditions in the central basin, trawl surveys are conducted later in the year. Specific target species for the fall surveys include young-of-the-year and yearling yellow perch and walleye.

These surveys, in addition to outside resources, provide biologists with an estimate of the number of young fish that will enter the fishable population two years later.