Record-breaking walleye fishing in Lake Erie could continue in months to come, wildlife officials forecast

FILE - In this Sept. 17, 2003 file photo, a walleye is shown after being taken during a fishing...
FILE - In this Sept. 17, 2003 file photo, a walleye is shown after being taken during a fishing trip in Lake Erie near Marblehead,Ohio. One of Michigan's leading commercial fishermen is suing Michigan to try to overcome a decades-old policy that keeps walleye off limits to people who work the Great Lakes for profit. (AP Photo/Daniel Miller, File)(Daniel Miller | ASSOCIATED PRESS)
Updated: May. 22, 2020 at 9:24 AM EDT
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CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) - The Ohio Department of Natural Resources has an optimistic outlook for Lake Erie anglers.

For the second year in a row, walleye harvest rates set records in 2019, according to the state’s wildlife agency, and numerous large hatches in Lake Erie indicate that the pace will continue.

In 2019, the top Lake Erie walleye catch rates were recorded in June, July, and May, respectively, leading fish experts to believe that the best months for fishing in 2020 are still yet to come.

“The outlook has never been brighter for Lake Erie walleye fishing, with a strong future that has been built by consistently successful hatches since 2014, and solid science-based management,” said Division of Wildlife Chief Kendra Wecker.

According to surveys conducted by the Ohio Division of Wildlife, an estimated 116 million walleye over the age of 2 years old are believed to be found in Lake Erie; many are expected to reach the 15-inch minimum size length for the daily bag limit of six per angler.

Lake Erie walleye update
Lake Erie walleye update(Source: ODNR)

Smallmouth and largemouth bass are also expected to be in abundance for 2020 fishing, while yellow perch is expected to be less popular in Lake Erie.

Fishing is an activity that can be enjoyed safely while practicing social distancing, the ODNR reminded the public.

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