Did you know? Lake Erie fishing is unique for several reasons

May 23, 2019

It is looking like a great fishing year on Lake Erie and a large group of anglers turned out Wednesday evening at the Woodlawn Beach State Park Lodge to hear how it is going.

The NYS DEC says the finest smallmouth bass fishing in New York State and arguably the entire United States can be found in the waters of Lake Erie.
Credit New York State Department of Environmental Conservation

Fishing in and around Lake Erie is managed by a group representing all the states along the shore and the Province of Ontario, rare in the world of freshwater fishing.

Also unusual is that most of the fish species in the lake are not just dumped in from a hatchery by state agencies. Instead, most of the fish are born the natural way, which can make them more attractive to those fishing from the shore or out on one of the many boats on the lake.

New York State Department of Environmental Conservation Lake Erie Unit Leader Jason Robinson said another part of local fishing is the large commercial industry.

"Lake Erie is one of the largest freshwater commercial fisheries operations in the world, really. It's not the largest, but it's one of," Robinson said. "New York doesn't have a strong commercial fisheries presence, but the Canadians certainly do. They don't have the population centers in terms of recreational angling, so they focus primarily on commercial fishing."

Robinson said it will be a great year for fishing, perhaps exceeding the best in the 30 years his agency has been monitoring fish catches.

It was a full house at Woodlawn Beach State Park Wednesday evening.
Credit Mike Desmond / WBFO News

Various people attending the meeting said there are a couple of different species they can catch right now under the rules  - and they are doing that. Andy likes the variety.

"I keep changing," he said. "When I first moved into the area, my case was for the perch, the walleyes came better. I do a lot of bass fishing, I went by. I keep changing."

Bruce Wager said he is seeing evidence of a really good year.

"We are getting a lot of fish," Wager said. "I was out a few weeks ago, chasing perch. We had a ball. We boxed out with a hundred perch. We went out the other night walleye fishing and came home with nine walleyes. So fishing has been great. It's been really good. For a couple of years, it's been really good."