***Tuesday April 12 morning update: 600 pounds of trout were stocked this morning: 300 pounds in the East Branch Rocky River at 4 locations upstream of Bonnie Park, and 300 pounds in Wallace Lake. The river is currently elevated and muddy, but the coming forecast looks dry and the trout will be ready to bite when the water drops and clears. An osprey has been hanging out feeding on fish at Wallace, and I'd love a good photo of the bird catching a fish if anyone is up for the challenge!***
***Friday April 8 afternoon update: The Rocky River remains elevated and muddy and steelhead fishing prospects for tomorrow morning are poor. Anglers are advised to keep an eye on the flow trend to determine if conditions improve later into the weekend.***
In spring, highlight species targeted by anglers in Cleveland Metroparks include steelhead, stocked trout, largemouth bass, and panfish. The Rocky River elevated and muddied with overnight rain, but should be fishable by the weekend if further rain holds off. Wise anglers will check the flow data to keep up with the trend in river conditions before planning a trip. The Rocky River had sustained a good flow all week and the steelhead fishing was very good accordingly. Trout stocked in Hinckley Lake yesterday by ODNR and in the East Branch Rocky River are also biting. Our local ponds and lakes are offering good opportunities for stocked trout, largemouth bass, and panfish and yellow perch fishing is starting to heat up around the Cleveland shoreline. To monitor the most recent river water level, temperature, and clarity (turbidity) you can check the following links: <Rocky River USGS flow gage data> <Chagrin River USGS flow gage data> <Rocky River NEORSD station with turbidity>
Steelhead fishing in all local streams has been very good this past week, with the larger streams all sustaining a good flow. The river elevated and muddied with overnight rain, but weekend prospects should be good if further rain holds off. The good flows earlier this week had drawn a bunch of fresh steelhead into the streams, with a healthy proportion of larger fish. In fact, I don't recall seeing/hearing reports of more 30" trout all season. In the streams are a mix of fresh, spawning, and post-spawn ("dropback" or "spent") steelhead. Spawning steelhead (and suckers) can be found in shallower riffle and tailout (ends of pools) areas, while pre and post spawn fish can be found in holes and runs, especially just downstream of spawning fish. Fly fishers, bait anglers, and hardware chuckers have all been taking a share of the fish, although it's tough to beat a brightly colored dime to nickel size spawn bag in stained water conditions, as we'll have entering the weekend. Steelhead are distributed all the way up into both branches of the river at this time, as well as everywhere in between, with reports this week of a few of the big trout all the way up to Valley City on the West Branch. In a typical year, steelhead numbers peak in late March through mid April, so this is prime time.
Last week we stocked 650 pounds of rainbow trout in the East Branch Rocky River, which were released at 4 locations between Route 82 (Royalton Road) and Bonnie Park. These complement the 850 pounds of trout stocked in the river since mid-March We are not stocking this week, but plan to release trout the last 3 weeks in April. Additionally, the ODNR Division of Wildlife stocked 2,500 trout in Hinckley Lake yesterday and 500 trout in Shadow Lake on March 30. The rainbow trout from ODNR average 10-14", which are a great size for kids, and slightly smaller than the ones Cleveland Metroparks stocks. Also note that trout were stocked throughout the winter at Wallace, Shadow, Ledge, Judge's, and Ranger lakes, and a good number of these fish remain.
Some offerings to consider for trout include PowerBait in a variety of color, small jigs tipped with maggots or waxworms, salmon eggs, worms, waxworms, minnows, and small lures (such as RoosterTail spinners). Please note the current seasonal trout regulations: Lake Erie and all streams 2/day minimum size 12" (this includes steelhead), 3/day no size limit at Wallace, Ledge, Judge's and Ranger lakes, and 5/day no size limit at Shadow Lake and Ohio & Erie Canal.
Spring is a good time of year to pursue pre-spawn panfish and largemouth bass at our inland lakes and ponds, as well as at protected areas along the Lake Erie shoreline of Cleveland, like Edgewater boat ramps area and Gordon Park. Northern pike may also be found prowling weedy nearshore areas of the big lake. A white spinnerbait or Husky Jerk are good offerings for spring bass and pike, while a few waxworms suspended under a small bobber works well for sunfish. Crappie bite well on live minnows or small jigs. The boat ramp docks are in at Gordon Park, and will be installed at Edgewater within the next week or so if all goes as planned. Spring boaters have been making good catches of yellow perch around the E72nd lighthouse and anglers at E55th breakwall have even been catching catching a few jumbo perch from shore using emerald shiners on crappie rigs. Anglers are reporting a successful night bite for walleye around Lorain, and that should follow here in Cleveland soon.
Nearly 1,400 bluegill and largemouth bass were stocked in Oxbow Lagoon in Rocky River Reservation (the majority) and Wallace Lake over the past week and a half, as well. Photos of a few of these fish are offered at the bottom of this report.
Call For assistance: Aquarium Equipment Needed! Grafton Correctional is looking to expand their inmate program to raise fish with proceeds helping support the Cleveland Metroparks public fishing program via the Fishing Fund. Any size tanks and associated equipment in working order is much wanted. I can deliver to the facility, but please contact me to coordinate pick up or drop off. Thank you!
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.
Cory "Corndog" Delewski was fishing the Rocky with his dad and landed this nice white sucker (photo courtesy of Craig Delewski).
Dominic braved the cold, sleet, and elevated water conditions on the Rock this past weekend, but was rewarded with some fine chromers (photos courtesy of Dominic Charlot).
Mike caught this blimp shaped carp by the marina this week (photo courtesy of Mike Reed).
Daniel and his buddy landed a few steelies over the magical 30" mark on the Rocky (photos courtesy of Daniel Zukie).
JJ and his brother Jarred caught a bunch of nice largemouth bass along the lakefront, topped by this 17 incher (photo courtesy of JJ Bugg).
Tom and a few other buddies caught some bruiser fresh run steelies in the Rocky during the OCBS tournament on Sunday (photo courtesy of Tom Krause).
Ryan and 3 buddies caught their limits of great sized walleye off the Lorain shoreline one recent evening. Ryan was using a Husky Jerk (photos courtesy of Ryan Simmons).
Charlie swung up a few spring steelies (photos courtesy of Charlie Seibolt).
Captain Rich shared "Been a great spring so far. Limited on perch out of Cleveland last 3 trips. Several 14.5 inch perch. Have released several walleye. Some egg laden white perch a couple sheepshead, too. These (second photo) were in the mouth of some of the perch caught fishing out of east 72nd last week. They were approximately a half inch in length." Can you identify the critters in the bottom image? Please post your guesses in the comments section and I'll post the answer in a few days (photos courtesy of Captain Rich).
Dan, Brion, and Jesse landed some impressive chrome bright specimens in the northern Rock over the past several days (photos courtesy of Dan McCutcheon).
I hope this is the last image with snow in it that I'll be posting for awhile! (photo courtesy of John Fay).
Nate loves spring on the Rock (photos courtesy of Nate Adams).
Pat caught this steelhead with a sea lamprey attached (by the lower left fin) at Rockcliff yesterday. Unfortunately the reports of these non-native parasites have been coming in regularly this spring (photo courtesy of Pat Cramer).
On three dates over the past week and a half a total of 1,384 largemouth bass and bluegill sunfish were transferred to Oxbow Lagoon in Rocky River Reservation (most of them) and Wallace Lake from a private source through special donation arrangement. This reflects a ?��win-win-win?�� proposition for all involved, with the landowner receiving documentation necessary for a tax write-off, Cleveland Metroparks obtaining valuable sportfish at minimal cost of time and equipment and local anglers are offered enhanced fishing opportunities. This is just the latest in Cleveland Metroparks novel fish donation program. Since 2008, Cleveland Metroparks has acquired just over 26k quality sportfish valued at $116.7k in this manner, which complement the channel catfish and rainbow trout purchased annually for angler enjoyment.
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, Joseph93935@hotmail.com (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, www.steelheadguide.com
#17-006 Nathan Miller, Steelhead Alley Outfitters, www.steelheadalleyoutfitters.com (888) 453-5899
#17-007 Patrick Robinson, Steelhead Alley Outfitters, www.steelheadalleyoutfitters.com (888) 453-5899
#17-008 Justin Shillaci, Steelhead Alley Outfitters, www.steelheadalleyoutfitters.com (888) 453-5899
#17-009 Daniel Bennett, Steelhead Alley Outfitters, www.steelheadalleyoutfitters.com (888) 453-5899
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>