BY D’arcy Egan.
They come in droves before the morning light, and they’re often gone before the sun sets.
They’re anglers, arriving from all around the country, eager to test Lake Erie’s waters and catch a six-fish daily bag limit of the big lake’s legendary walleye. It is an experience that consistently boggles their minds, and drives a thriving charter and tourism industry in Ottawa County.
The Ohio Division of Wildlife (DOW) recently proclaimed that Ohio’s portion of Lake Erie is the epicenter of the world’s largest population of walleye.
As a result, Ohio’s walleye catch rates are unparalleled.
Lake Erie’s angler harvest rate in 2019 was a record-setting 0.83 fish per hour in May, June and July. That is more than five times better than a harvest rate of 0.15 fish per hour, the standard for good walleye lakes around the country.
No lake in the world can match its walleye population, an estimated 116 million fish. The early estimate for the 2021 walleye population is even more astounding at 150 million walleye.
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