In winter highlight species targeted by anglers in Cleveland Metroparks include steelhead trout, stocked trout, and panfish. Area rivers are icing up again with the recent arctic blast. Anglers can check the latest river flows and temperature at the following links (be aware ice on the flow gage sensors can cause erroneous readings): <Rocky River flow gage data> <Chagrin River flow gage data>. Anglers have been out ice fishing on local inland lakes and Lake Erie marinas this week catching trout, largemouth bass, and panfish. An update on trout stocking can be found below. The Ice Fishing Fundraiser Derby will be this Saturday February 14 at Wallace Lake (see details below).
Steelhead fishing opportunities in local rivers are rapidly diminishing due to the artic blast we are in the midst of receiving. The river was offering significantly increased open water with a nice flow and stain following the thaw last weekend, but expect slush and shelf ice to form rapidly over the next several days given the forecast As a tip, the dam off Station Road in Brecksville Reservation (below the Route 82 bridge) is a popular and often productive spot on the Cuyahoga River in winter, with Cleveland Metroparks owning most of the west bank (with the railroad tracks) and Cuyahoga Valley National Park owning the east bank. Please note: Using live bait, including salmon/trout eggs, is NOT permitted on Cuyahoga Valley National Park land, and their Rangers have been out checking anglers.
Ice fishers have been out on our inland lakes doing well this week. Wallace Lake was stocked with 1,000 lbs of trout last Wednesday, and Shadow (500 lbs), Ledge (400 lbs), and Judge's (100 lbs) lakes were stocked this past Tuesday. Ranger Lake will not be stocked this time. Daily trout limit is 3/day in these waters, with the exception of Shadow Lake which is 5/day. Winter trout bite on Power Bait (rainbow and other bright colors have been best) about the size of a marble near the lake bottom with a small sinker, small jigs tipped with bait (maggots, waxworm, minnow, corn) suspended under a float, spawn sacks, as well as small to medium size jigging spoons (like Swedish Pimple or Forage Minnow). It is always a good strategy to try a variety of offerings when pursuing trout on our lakes until you find what they are in the mood for.
Reports from the Lake Erie marinas and harbors indicated slow fishing recently. Marinas at E55th, Edgewater, and Wildwood parks on Lake Erie can all be worth a look from ice fishers. Much of the ice around Edgewater Marina is rougher from breaking up and refreezing. Ice in these windswept areas along the lakefront is thicker than most inland areas at this time. Anglers are pursuing panfish such as bluegill, crappie, and yellow perch using small jigs tipped with waxworms or maggots. The most successful anglers move often and use electronics (ie- Vexilar unit) to find the fish. Steelhead can also be found roaming the marinas, and will bite on the same baits they will in the rivers. A few quality size northern pike are also always around in winter. One strategy is to use one or two jigging/bait rods and then set up to six tip-ups per angler using larger live minnows for predators like steelhead and pike. Unlike inland Metroparks waters, you can fish the Lake Erie marinas 24 hours/day.
Cleveland Metroparks Fundraiser Ice Fishing Derby this Saturday February 14! We will be hosting a Metroparks ice fishing derby at Wallace Lake on Saturday February 14 from 9-2:00pm. THIS IS OPEN TO ANGLERS OF ALL AGES! A $10 entrance fee for each participant will benefit our Metroparks Fishing Fund. Some live bait will be available for purchase onsite, also to benefit the fundraiser. Please plan to get there early to register onsite (starting at 8:00am) at the tent on the lake near the swimming area parking lot. Prizes will be awarded for 1st, 2nd, and 3rd largest trout. Prize packages details are outlined at the link below. Prize donors/sponsors include Erie Outfitters, Butcher & The Brewer, Stink's Bait & Tackle, Rodmaker's Shop, and Cleveland Metroparks. Tip-ups will not be allowed for this competition, but sonar/electronics will be allowed. Anglers may use two fishing rods per entrant. Complete event info page <here>.
Sportfish Donation Program Recognized in Ohio Parks And Recreation Association Awards. Six Cleveland Metroparks projects, including the sportfish transfer program, were recognized recently by the Ohio Parks and Recreation Association awards. You can read more <here>.
Fly Fishing Film Tour Coming Back to Cleveland on March 6. The popular Fly Fishing Film Tour (F3T) will be coming back to the Cleveland Museum of Natural History on March 6. More info <here>.
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 email@example.com .
John just took up ice fishing this year and has been having fun catching trout at Wallace and Ledge lakes. He uses a combination of jigs, redworms, maggots, and PowerBait until he finds what the trout want. John is now retired, but in 2012 his assistance as a Strongsville police sergeant was instrumental in the Rocky River fish kill investigation and eventual successful prosecution of the responsible party (photos courtesy of John Hall).
This nice catfish was caught at Wallace Lake this week. In the bottom photo some of the regulars chew the fat while waiting for a bite (photos courtesy of Steve Nyetrae).
Billy, Mike and others were catching the trout really well when we stocked Ledge Lake on Tuesday.
Hinckley Reservation Manager Jeremy Peppeard isn't afraid to help with manual labor! Here he assists by pulling a sled of trout onto Ledge Lake for release.
Staff carry a barrel of trout onto Wallace Lake during stocking last week (photo courtesy of Andy Young).
Brian Bull from IdeaStream joined us for trout stocking at Shadow Lake this week. Read/listen about that <here> (photo courtesy of WCPN IdeaStream).
IdeaStream also took this <video> detailing trout stocking at Ledge Lake this week (video courtesy of WCPN IdeaStream).
*SUPER COOL LATE DERBY PRIZE ALERT!!!*
Beth Landers, who happens to be the Portage River Watershed Coordinator, custom knit this nifty fish stocking cap for a fundraiser ice fishing derby prize. The prize will be awarded to the first angler to submit a golden rainbow trout on Saturday. If nobody catches a golden rainbow trout then it will be awarded for the fourth largest trout caught. Thanks Beth!
The crew was hard at work this morning packing thousands of waxworms, maggots, and redworms which will be offered for a $2/pack donation to our Metroparks Fishing Fund at the ice fishing derby coming up this Saturday February 14. Thanks again to Anthony and Heidi Avancini at Stink's Bait and Tackle for the bait donation!
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, firstname.lastname@example.org, (330) 984-3086
17-002 Justin Pribanic, Chagrin River Outfitters, email@example.com, (724) 799-5011
17-003 Joseph Beno, On The Swing, firstname.lastname@example.org, (440) 667-2278
17-004 Jeffery Liskay, Silver Fury Guide Service & Schools, email@example.com (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>