ANNUAL "WALLEYE RUN" SET TO BEGIN ALONG SANDUSKY AND MAUMEE RIVERS |
COLUMBUS, OH - The coming weeks will bring one of Ohio's most unique
fishing opportunities as walleye begin their annual migration runs in the
Maumee and Sandusky rivers, according to the Ohio Department of Natural
Resources (ODNR) Division of Wildlife.
Each spring, as water temperatures warm and days grow longer, a
small portion of Lake Erie's walleye make their way up the two northwestern
Ohio streams. The resulting "run" brings hundreds of thousands of the fish
within casting distance of eager anglers who annually await this event.
Approximately 40,000 walleye were caught in the Maumee and Sandusky
rivers during last year's four-week run. This year, fisheries biologists
estimate that the walleye taken from the two rivers will equal that mark,
with the majority of the fish being taken from the Maumee River.
Walleye spawning normally occurs in these rivers from mid-March
through mid-April, but frequently the peak activity takes place during the
first week of April when water temperatures range from 40 to 50 degrees.
High, fast-moving water also increases the number of walleye in the rivers,
especially if river temperatures are warmer than those in Lake Erie.
Most of the river walleyes taken this spring will measure 18-22
inches, though some fish in both rivers will be much larger.
The best fishing areas on the Maumee River will be from the Conant
Street Bridge (St. Rt. 20) in the cities of Maumee and Perrysburg, upstream
to the end of Jerome Road in Lucas County. Sandusky River anglers will find
success from Brady's Island to Roger Young Park in the city of Fremont.
Though most anglers wade these rivers while fishing for walleye,
some choose to fish from boats. The ODNR advises boat anglers to always wear
life jackets, take precautions against overloading and capsizing their
boats, be well dressed to avoid the onset of hypothermia, and be prepared to
handle an emergency should one occur.
Legal fishing hours from March 1 through May 1 are sunrise to
sunset. The daily walleye bag limit is three, and walleye must be at least
15 inches long to keep. Only fish that are hooked inside the mouth may
legally be taken and any snagged fish must be immediately released.
Additional fishing information specific to the Maumee and Sandusky
rivers is available in the 2004-2005 Fishing Regulations publication (48),
which can be found on the Internet at ohiodnr.com. To find out the latest
fishing success and conditions during the walleye run, anglers may call
1-800-WILDLIFE, 1-800-BUCKEYE, or check the ODNR Division of Wildlife's web
page at ohiodnr.com. Anglers can request a newsletter and maps from the
ODNR Wildlife District Two Office in Findlay by calling 419-424-5000.