***Wednesday March 25 afternoon update: The Rocky River flow gage is malfunctioning again. I contacted USGS to notify them of the situation.***
***Monday March 23 afternoon update: A total of 600 pounds of rainbow trout were stocked in the East Branch Rocky River this morning at 6 locations between Royalton Road (Rt. 82) and the ford crossing just south of Wallace Lake. The area on the upstream side of the dam at Bonnie Park received the most fish. The limit in the river this time of year is two trout per angler/day.***
In early spring highlight species targeted by anglers in Cleveland Metroparks include steelhead trout, stocked trout, and panfish. The big news over the past week has been the break-up and elimination of ice on the Rocky River. At this time the river is completely open all the way to Lake Erie and in great shape for fishing, and anglers reported decent catches of fresh steelhead yesterday afternoon and this morning. Weekend conditions will be contingent on how much rain we receive tonight into tomorrow. Anglers can check the latest river flows and temperature at the following links (the Rocky flow gage was repaired and brought back online Tuesday evening): <Rocky River flow gage data> <Chagrin River flow gage data>. WARNING: Ice fishing conditions are no longer safe on area lakes, although anglers are catching trout in open water and through thin ice from shore at Wallace Lake.
The Rocky River is currently exhibiting very good fishing conditions and the most of the modest number of anglers out this morning and yesterday afternoon experienced success. Several anglers reported hooking multiple steelhead on brightly colored (hot pink and chartreuse both being good) nickel to dime sized spawn sacks in the stained, but clearing, water. Most of the fish have been on the smaller side for steelhead, with most reported being between 16-23" in length. Conditions tomorrow and into the weekend will be contingent upon how much of the forecasted rain we receive. Fortunately, the Rocky River flow gage was repaired this week and anglers can follow the trend in flow before embarking on a trip. A good numbers of lake-run white suckers have also begun their spawning migration, with Morley Ford being a sucker "hot spot". A worm or small jig/flies fished near the river bottom will often catch plenty of suckers.
Ice on our inland lakes has melted substantially over the past week and ice fishing is no longer safe. But anglers are fishing the limited open water around Wallace Lake, as well as fishing through thin ice from the safety of shore. Wallace Lake was stocked with 600 pounds of rainbow trout on Tuesday since the East Branch Rocky River was high and muddy at the time, although I hope to stock that stretch of river this coming Monday if conditions cooperate. Shadow, Ledge, and Judge's lakes all still have trout remaining, and expect these trout to begin biting very well as ice cover disappears from the lakes in the coming few weeks. Daily trout limit is 3/day in these waters, with the exception of Shadow Lake which is 5/day. Trout often bite on small jigs tipped with bait (maggots, waxworm, minnow, corn) suspended under a float, spawn sacks, small to medium size jigging spoons (like Swedish Pimple or Forage Minnow), and Power Bait (rainbow and other bright colors have been best) about the size of a marble near the lake bottom with a small sinker.
Marinas at E55th, Edgewater, and Wildwood parks on Lake Erie are all still covered by thicker ice than the inland lakes. As the ice melts in the coming few weeks steelhead, crappie, largemouth bass, and northern pike will all be prowling the marinas and nearshore waters along the Cleveland shoreline.
2nd Barbie Rod Fundraiser Steelhead Derby Coming on March 28! Local angler Mark Warren has arranged the 2nd annual Barbie Rod Steelhead Derby as a Cleveland Metroparks Fishing Fund fundraiser. The fun event, which is open to all, is on the Rocky River on March 28 and requires that competitors fish with a kid themed fishing rod for an added challenge (such as a Barbie or Spiderman themed rod, as examples). There will be trophies for the three largest steelhead, as well as over $900 in prizes/raffle items and a cookout. For more information contact Mark at firstname.lastname@example.org or (440) 665-1815. There is also an event info page on Facebook which can be found <here>.
Beyer's Pond Management Plan. For anyone interested, the recently completed Beyer's Pond Management Plan, along with lots of other Natural Resources Division technical documents, can be found <here>.
Fishing Fund Donation from afar. Thank you to Louis Bozovich for his support of the Cleveland Metroparks Fishing Fund with a generous donation sent in all the way from California!
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 .
"Wild Bill" reported a hot trout bite at Wallace Lake this week (photos courtesy of Bill Keaton).
Nate and his dad were seeking steelhead while fly fishing the Rock this morning but received this white sucker as a consolation prize (photo courtesy of Sean Swatsky).
Check and Mike (pictured) were stalking the steelhead on a smaller Metroparks creek this week while they were waiting for the main rivers to drop and clear. They were rewarded with a couple of steelies on swung flies. The non-native parasitic sea lamprey in the bottom image was removed from one of the steelhead and disposed of (photos courtesy of Chuck Mechling).
It's hard to believe we were still ice fishing only a week ago! Frank caught this Wallace Lake bruiser on PowerBait (photo courtesy of Mark Fascione).
The conditions at Morley Ford were great this morning...and nobody was fishing there!
Richard caught this steelie ice fishing at Wildwood Marina late last week. He had just switched from spawn sacks to shrimp and the fish bit (photo courtesy of Richard Selman).
Anglers are fishing along the Wallace Lake shoreline in the limited open water or through thin ice and catching freshly stocked trout on various offerings.
In this installment of Know Your Fish can you name this chrome bright specimen caught in a smaller Metroparks stream this week? Hint: it is not a steelhead! Please post your guesses in the comments section (photo courtesy of Chuck Mechling).
Muddy water earlier this week did not spoil this families' attempt to catch some fish!
We just experienced another long, harsh winter which are tough on fish as oxygen can get very low in shallower, weedy lakes. This photo depicts some dead carp revealed this week as the ice melted along the Lake Isaac margin. Please report any dead fish you see as the ice melts from our lakes at the contact number or email in the report (photo courtesy of Jeff Deluca, Big Creek Park Manager).
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>