Ohio anglers will have a chance to fish for rainbow trout in 25 waterways statewide this fall with the planned stocking of some 25,000 fish this month.
"Anglers of all ages look forward to these annual stockings, which provide excellent fall fishing opportunities across Ohio," said Jim Stafford, hatcheries program administrator for the Ohio Division of Wildlife. The stockings, similar to ones done in the spring, target such inland waters as state and community park lakes and other easy-access impoundments.
Following are the lakes and stocking dates scheduled for northwest Ohio:
Oct. 12 - Lima Lake, Allen County; Lamberjack Lake (Fostoria Reservoir No. 3), Hancock County; Norwalk Reservoir No. 1, Huron County.
Oct 13 - Swanton Reservoir, Lucas County.
In related fishing news, some anglers are picking up a few stray steelhead in the Maumee River and other area tributaries that are not normally stocked with these sleek lake-run rainbow trout. The nearest stream to Toledo that is annually stocked with steelhead is the Vermilion River.
Chris Martin at the River Lures shop in Grand Rapids checked a 31-inch steelie weighing 8 pounds, 2 ounces, over the weekend. In addition, he said, anglers are taking white bass in the river, and flathead catfish still are a challenge. Over the weekend he weighed flatheads of 32 and 36 pounds.
When weather and wind has permitted, Dan Tucker and company have been getting out for yellow perch between Davis-Besse and Niagara Reef, and while he was pleased with the 70 jumbo perch, up to 13 inches, that his crew collected on a recent trip, he was even more pleased with the smallmouth bass they caught and released.
Tucker said they landed three or four different year-classes, including some three to four-inchers, five to seven-inchers, and eight to 12-inchers - all legally undersized - "plus a few larger ones up to four pounds-plus."
Added Tucker: "All of these fish are very healthy and lively." Which in turn bodes well for the smallmouth fishery's future.
In the recent Huron Hawgfest walleye tournament run by the Western Lake Erie Sportfishing Association, a team of John Solecki of Westlake, Ohio, Matt Thompson of Rocky River, Ohio, and Karl Burris of Port Clinton bested an 80-team field with a catch of 32.62 pounds, reports WBSA's Marc Hudson.
The Solecki team also took the big fish award with a walleye of 10.1 pounds.
The event weighed 343 fish with an average weight of slightly more than three pounds, with fish being taken within a mile of the Huron River mouth to 25 miles northeast of the river mouth.
The winning team took fish on Dipsy Divers and spoons, taking the big 'eye just as they were readying to pull lines for the day.
September survey trawls in western Lake Erie by the Ohio Division of Wildlife essentially duplicated the poor result of August, confirming an initial forecast that the 2006 walleye crop will be nothing to write home about.
"We trawled something like 14 sites and consistently caught average to below-average numbers of young perch and caught zero walleye," summed Travis Hartman, a biologist with the division's Lake Erie Fisheries Research Station at Sandusky.
Last and not least, a new "Fish Lake Erie" license plate featuring a trophy walleye now is available through the Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles. Each set of plates sold will mean $15 designated for Lake Erie research and scholarships.
For details, visit online at http://bmv.ohio.gov/vehicle_registration/fish_lake_erie.htm.
The Northwestern Ohio Fur Traders, Inc., have scheduled a fall trapping clinic for 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday at the Junior Fair Building of the Wood County Fairgrounds, West Poe Road, Bowling Green.
A membership meeting also is set for the day. For details call Sam Dewyer, 419-352-0171.
In a related note, NWOFT has scheduled only two winter fur sales for 2006-2007, Jan. 13 and March 3. Call Dewyer for lot numbers Jan. 8 and Feb. 26. Fur grading will begin at 8 a.m. each sale, with the sale to begin at 9 a.m.
Trapping units on about 2,000 acres will be available for bid at Magee Marsh State Wildlife Area in western Ottawa County for the 2006-2007 season.
Units will be available for viewing Oct. 10, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., with bid opening set for 3 p.m. Oct. 17 at Magee's Sportsmen's Migratory Bird Center, 13229 West State Rt. 2, Oak Harbor, Ohio 43449. Trappers may bid in person or mail in a bid. Questions should be directed to Denis Franklin at Magee, 419-898-0960 extension 30.