Amid another great spring fishing season on Lake Erie, anglers across the region received a dose of great news last week. The organization responsible for setting the creel limits across the lake has made no changes in in the daily bag limit for both Walleye and Yellow Perch in Michigan and Ohio waters of Lake Erie.
||Bag Limit per Person
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That group, Lake Erie Committee, a collection of government officials and fisheries managers from all municipalities around the region, meets each spring to determine the Total Allowable Catch (TAC). After using biological data to determine the TAC, they divvy up that lake wide total to all of the localities based on the percentage of the water that they control. Finally, they use that final set of data points to set the bag limits for each location, while following a strict set of guidelines.
The lake wide TAC for Walleye during the coming season is 4.114 million fish, up slightly from 4.027 million allowed during the 2014 season. Michigan will receive a TAC of 240,000 walleye, while Ohio gets the majority share of 2.103. Both figures represent that daily bag limit for walleye will remain unchanged at 6 fish per day during the coming season. The size limit of 15 inches will remain the same in each state.
As far as Yellow Perch go, the lake wide TAC has been set at 10.528 million pounds which is a slight decrease from the 2014 figure of 11.081 pounds. Of that total will 145,000 pounds will be allotted to Michigan waters while Ohio will be allowed to harvest 5.052 million pounds. Much like walleye, the daily bag limit for Perch will remain the same during the coming season. In Michigan the daily limit will be 50 fish per day while Ohio observes a 30 fish per day limit. Neither state has a size limit on Yellow Perch.
The system of using real time data as opposed to nearly year old data was adopted by both Michigan and Ohio a few years back. "This regulations process is critical to helping us manage walleyes in Lake Erie in a timely manner," said DNR Lake Erie Basin Coordinator Jim Francis. "In order to do that, we have to set regulations in March instead of the previous autumn."
All in all the numbers indicate that it should be another fine season on Lake Erie. Whether you take your own boat, go with a friend, or book a charter, you don’t want to miss out on this great fishery!
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