As we move into mid fall, highlight species targeted by anglers along the Rocky River and other area streams include steelhead trout, walleye, and panfish. After a week of rough conditions things are lining up to offer a great weekend of fishing opportunities. Local streams are dropping into good shape after having been elevated and muddy for several days and offer a shot at fresh steelhead, and Lake Erie looks like it may be calming down after being kicked up and muddy all week. On Lake Erie, the multi-species bite at E55th breakwall has been a highlight. Anglers can check the latest river flows and temperature at the following links: <Rocky River flow gage data> <Chagrin River flow gage data>.
Following a tough week of low water followed by elevated and muddy conditions, local streams are dropping into perfect shape for the weekend. The Rocky River is fishable today, but will offer even better conditions tomorrow morning and into the weekend, although anglers will have plenty of leaves in the water to contend with. A few anglers reported seeing fresh steelhead rolling by the marina this morning, and some steelhead were reported caught from Euclid Creek today. A dime to nickel size pink spawn sack drifted under a float is always a top producer when the water is stained, although other colors of spawn sacks, jigs tipped with maggots, white tube jigs and streamer or egg pattern flies also account for plenty of fall steelhead. Spinners (Vibrax, Roostertail) and spoons (Little Cleos) are also popular for autumn steel, especially in the northern river reaches and in the lake. When water is elevated, tailouts just above faster water can be a productive spot, but as the water continues to drop and clear look for fish to primarily hole up in pools this time of year. There are an increasing number of minnows in the northern river at this time, which will draw in feeding steelhead. The fishing will only continue to get better as we move further later into fall.
The shoreline fishing at E55th breakwall has been a highlight lately and will only get better in the coming weeks. Although the water was still murky there today, anglers caught steelhead, trophy size white bass, a few jumbo yellow perch, and even three walleyes. Small jigs tipped with emerald shiner minnows and a few maggots 2-4 feet under a bobber account for many of the steelhead caught there this time of year, and minnows fished on the bottom account for the other species. The night walleye bite at E55th and E72nd is also getting good, with rattle type shad crankbaits being a top producer. White bass can also be targeted with small jigs or spoons fished behind agitator style bobbers. As the lake calms, look for hot fall fishing opportunities of the rocks at Edgewater and Wildwood parks, too.
Fishing prospects at the Ohio & Erie Canal fishing area are currently excellent. Last week 600 pounds of farm raised channel catfish and 1,000 pounds of rainbow trout were stocked at this location for Outdoor Odyssey on Saturday October 11, and plenty of these fish remain to be caught. Trout bite well on PowerBait, small jigs tipped with a few maggots and spinners , and catfish bite well on chicken liver and raw shrimp. Either species can be taken on a nightcrawler fished on the canal bottom with a small sinker. The trout limit at this site is 5 fish per angler per day.
As the lake calms, boating anglers will be out chasing yellow perch and night walleye again. Before things got kicked up and muddy anglers were reporting a good bite of large perch off Gordon Park/E72nd Street in 40', although anglers will likely need to find the schools again after the shake-up in conditions. The ODNR Division of Wildlife weekly Lake Erie fishing report can be viewed <here>. Anglers/boaters can view current lake conditions off Cleveland at the following link: <City Of Cleveland Water Intake Crib Cam>.
'Tis Fish Transfer Season Once Again. Every fall for the past several years Cleveland Metroparks has collected sportfish from non-public fishing areas, such as in-house brood stock ponds and private lakes through special arrangement, and stocked them in public fishing areas. The fish are primarily quality size largemouth bas and sunfish. Fall is a prime time for this type of activity because cool water temperature reduces stress on the fish, they require less oxygen, and they are in prime shape following a summer of heavy feeding. On Wednesday (Oct. 22), my crew and I electrofished the lake at the Zoo to remove larger bass, at the request of the Animal Curator, because these predators were preying upon and competing for food with certain collection waterfowl and other birds. In a half day we collected 224 largemouth bass, sunfish, and bullhead catfish which were released in Wallace Lake (see photos below). Stay tuned to the fishing report this fall for further updates on future fish transfer projects.
If you have a photo that you would like to contribute to the fishing report, or if you have any further questions regarding fishing in the Cleveland Metroparks, you may contact Aquatic Biologist Mike Durkalec at (440) 331-8017 or firstname.lastname@example.org .
Today anglers caught a diversity of gamefish species off the E55th breakwall, including steelhead, trophy size white bass, a few jumbo yellow perch and even 3 walleye in the morning. If the lake stays relatively calm this weekend the bite there should continue.
Christopher reports "This past Saturday was a pretty big day - it was my 9yr old daughter's first time in waders for steelhead fishing (my good luck charm's name is Meri) - within 15 minutes of picking our starting spot, I set the hook and handed the rod to Meri - she fought the steelie for a minute or so, and insisted that I take the rod back because the fish was stronger than she thought it would be. Photo credits this week belong to Meri, as she was in charge of the camera...we took turns fishing; while I fished, she snapped a few pictures of the rock that are quite impressive!" (photos and report courtesy of Meri and Christopher Darr).
On Wednesday 224 sportfish were transferred from the lake at the Zoo to Wallace Lake (see report highlight section for more on this). We also turned up some gargantuan grass carp that were released back into the lake. The gorgeous sunfish in the bottom image is Part 1 of the Know Your Fish challenge this week, and it may be the toughest one to date! Please post your guesses (please be as specific as possible) in the comments section below and I will post the answer there in a few days.
Richard Piar caught his limit of steelhead at E55th breakwall this week (photo courtesy of Ranger Sgt. Owen Conroy).
Jim caught this chromer drifting a white tube jig on his fly rod (photo courtesy of Jim Chapek).
A fish population survey at Judges Lake on Tuesday this this week turned up a few trophy largemouth bass up to 21", although most were in the 10" range. We also sampled white and black crappie, bluegill, pumpkinseed sunfish, channel catfish, warmouth sunfish, and even two yellow perch. Fish were measured, weighed, recorded, and released and the data will be used in a lake management plan to be written this winter. As is our policy, the person who nets a big bass has the right to name it. Our Aquatic Research Coordinator, Claire Weldon, netted the two largest bass of the survey, and dubbed them "Count Bassula" and "The Werebass" (left to right, top bass photo) in honor of the Halloween holiday. After making my crew work in the cold rain I made it up to them by having pizza delivered to the lake for lunch. Boss of the year nominations are always welcome.
Outdoor Odyssey on October 11 had over 800 attendees, most of whom fished (photo courtesy of Owen Lockhart).
"Professor Frog" (Tyler Lawson) of Baldwin Wallace University brought his biology class to the Rocky River to join us for a fish collection field outing on Monday afternoon. These outings help cultivate an interest in fish and stream ecology from local students, which is a good thing in this world full of environmental challenges.
I am expanding the Know Your Fish challenge this week to be Know Your Aquatic Critters. This lil fella was collected during the fish sampling at Judges Lake this week. Part 2 of the challenge this week is to name the type of turtle, as well as one of the species' nicknames, in the comments section below. I will post the answer there in a few days (photo courtesy of Owen Lockhart).
And on a parting note, I leave you with a positive message. Catch and release works! This trophy 21" bass sampled at Judges Lake this week showed evidence of having been caught and released recently via fresh hook marks in the mouth. She was fat and healthy, too. Thank you to the sportsman/sportswoman who released this fine gamefish specimen to make another angler's day!
Note: The fishing report is updated monthly in June, July, and August and weekly every other month
2017 Cleveland Metroparks Registered Fishing Guides (name, company, contact)
17-001 Mario Chance, Chagrin River Outfitters, email@example.com, (330) 984-3086
17-002 Justin Pribanic, Chagrin River Outfitters, firstname.lastname@example.org, (724) 799-5011
17-003 Joseph Beno, On The Swing, email@example.com, (440) 667-2278
17-004 Jeffery Liskay, Silver Fury Guide Service & Schools, firstname.lastname@example.org (440) 781-7536
17-005 Monte Casey, The Steelhead Guide, http://steelheadguide.com
17-006 Nathan Miller, Steelhead Alley Outfitters, http://steelheadalleyoutfitters.com
17-007 Patrick Robinson, Steelhead Alley Outfitters, http://steelheadalleyoutfitters.com
17-008 Justin Shillaci, Steelhead Alley Outfitters, http://steelheadalleyoutfitters.com
More information on Cleveland Metroparks Fishing Guide Permit requirements, including the permit application, you may check the following link: Fishing Guide Permit Program
Cleveland Metroparks Fishing Fund
Cleveland Metroparks Fishing Fund helps provide a rewarding fishing experience to Northeast Ohio anglers through the stocking of rainbow trout, channel catfish, largemouth bass, and other sport fish. The Fund also supports children's fishing derbies and creation and restoration of essential habitat in the ponds, lakes, and rivers within Cleveland Metroparks.
For more information or to make a gift to Cleveland Metroparks Fishing Fund, including a web donation option, please visit: <Fishing Fund Donations Online>