***Tuesday March 15 afternoon update: 650 pounds of trout were stocked today. 500 lbs in Wallace Lake and the remaining 150 lbs in the East Branch Rocky River on the upstream side of the Bonnie Park dam. As the water level recedes, I would greatly appreciate anglers reporting to me any trout they catch at Bonnie Park. I am trying to determine just how well the trout stay in a stretch of stream during high water. The Rocky River is currently high in level and very muddy from rain.***
***Friday March 11 morning update: The Rocky River is high in level and very muddy from rain. Anglers are advised to consult the flow data to determine when it's fishable again.***
In early spring, highlight species targeted by anglers in Cleveland Metroparks include steelhead, stocked trout largemouth bass, and panfish. Although fishable at the moment, area rivers are rising with more rain on the way. Weekend prospects will be dependent upon just how much more rain the region receives, so anglers would be wise to keep an eye on the flow data. Steelhead fishing has been good during windows of favorable conditions the past two weeks. Our local ponds and lakes are offering good opportunities for stocked trout, largemouth bass, and panfish. 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> (Note: the NEORSD monitoring station was damaged in a recent flood and the installation is being repaired).
Although they are still fishable at the moment, area rivers are on the rise with more rain on the way. Weekend steelhead fishing prospects will be dependent upon how much additional rain we receive, so wise anglers will check the flow data before embarking on a trip. Windows of good fishing conditions the past two weeks saw anglers catching quality size fresh steelhead in the Rocky, Chagrin, and other area streams, and anglers can expect a continued great outlook as we get further into spring. Dime to nickel size spawn sacks in brighter colors will be a top offering as the water first begins to clear from muddy to a greenish-brown stain. Steelhead are well distributed all the way up into both branches of the river at this time. Steelhead spawning activity will increase from this point on through the end of spring in shallow riffle areas, such as the reach just upstream of Cedar Point Road bridge on the East Branch of the river. There is a mix of fresh silver, darker/colorful, smaller skipper/jack, and handful of spawned out fish around in the rivers at this time. As expected, the first lake run white suckers of the season showed up recently, as well. Morley Ford just north of the Lorain Road bridge is a sucker hot spot, and they will gobble worms or grubs/maggots fished on the river bottom. Stray steelhead are being caught in the Cuyahoga River, as well. For a fantastic story about steelhead in this river check out this link: <Cuyahoga Steel by Matt Stansberry>.
Trout were stocked throughout the winter at Wallace, Shadow, Ledge, Judge's, and Ranger lakes, and a good number of these fish remain. Fishing pressure for these trout has been fairly high, and having several bait options to "change-up" between is always a good idea for when fish get finicky. Some offerings to consider 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. The first of many spring trout stockings in the East Branch Rocky River is planned for around mid to late March, depending on river conditions at that time. Keep posted to the fishing report blog for updates on that.
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.
Fly Tying Basics with Jeff Liskay offering on March 22nd. On Tuesday March 22nd from 6-9:00pm Cleveland Metroparks is offering an entry level fly tying course featuring Jeff Liskay at our Rocky River Nature Center. All materials and tools are provided with the $20 cost recovery fee. This is a capped attendance, RSVP event. For more info, or to register, check here <Fly Tying Basics>. If interested, I suggest registering soon, as two thirds of the spots are already claimed.
Barbie Rod Steelhead Derby on March 26th. On Saturday March 26th the we will be hosting the third annual Barbie Rod Steelhead Derby on the Rocky River. Trophies, prizes for three largest steelhead, raffles, and a cookout are all part of the day's festivities for this fun event where anglers must fish for steelhead with a kiddie fishing pole! Proceeds from the fundraiser event go to support the Cleveland Metroparks Fishing Fund. A website has been set up for the event <here>. The event has a Facebook page, as well. Don't miss this fun event for a great cause!
Big News: The Rocky River Is Meeting Clean Water Act Goals! A recent study conducted by Ohio EPA indicates that all 11.8 miles of the mainstem of the Rocky River are now in complete attainment of its Warmwater Habitat designated aquatic life use. This is the first time that the mainstem has met its Clean Water Act goals for biology! The West Branch is also in complete attainment, as well as the entire East Branch, except for a short segment near the Bonnie Park dam in Strongsville. Sincerest thanks and congratulations to all of our partners and volunteers whose tireless efforts on behalf of the Rocky River have made this achievement possible!
Despite this good news, there?�+s still work to be done, as many of the tributaries continue to be in full or partial nonattainment of their designated aquatic life use, including all or portions of Abram Creek, Baldwin Creek, Blodgett Creek, Cossett Creek, Granger Ditch and both Plum Creeks. Also, bacteria pollution continues to be problematic throughout the watershed, especially during high water periods. With your continued help we can and will restore the Rocky River Watershed to full health. Thank you to all of you who support Cleveland Metroparks, the Rocky River Watershed Council, and other watershed stakeholders who have helped make this positive change on the river we love possible!
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.
Doug, Justin, and 7 year old Jonah had a great Sunday on the Rocky (photo courtesy of Doug Czarnecki).
Joyce caught a couple of steelies on the Rock this week (photos courtesy of Joyce Smith).
Miles and his son also found success on the Rocky this week (photos courtesy of Miles Boozer).
Nathan decided that it was the right time to introduce a new angler to the world (photo courtesy of Nathan Klier).
Mike went to Rockcliff Springs right before dark on Monday and got this beauty on his second cast (photo courtesy of Mike Petruska).
Al Vazquez landed this buck steelie while fly fishing the Rock on Saturday morning. Can you believe we still had snow on the ground that recently? (photo courtesy of Bernie Bellar).
Fabio swung up a few nice steelies in the Chagrin this week (photos courtesy of Fabio Malaspina).
Joe tied into this gorgeous chromer swinging a streamer in the Rocky last week (photo courtesy of Joe Beno).
Congratulations to Jarred on his Fish Ohio bluegill from Wallace Lake (photo courtesy of Jarred Bugg).
Mike has been catching steelhead casting spoons into the Cuyahoga River. Wow, that bottom one is chunky! For a great story about steelhead in this river check out this link: <Cuyahoga Steel by Matt Stansberry> (photos courtesy of Mike Reed).
John displays a colorful buck steelie caught this week. We will dub this the Know Your Streams challenge. Can you name the spot pictured here in the comments section below? Hint- it is a smaller stream in Cleveland Metroparks (photo courtesy of Jeff Deluca).
Bill and his son Andy fished the Rocky this past weekend and reports "Saturday was one of the best days this year!! Seems like a bunch of larger fish showed up after the rain and melt! The late bite was on as well!" (photos courtesy of Bill Wahl).
John caught this Rocky River beauty on Saturday a home tied "Elvis jig" (photo courtesy of John Fay).
Tim caught this gleaming chrome missile in the Rock on Saturday (photo courtesy of Tim Fischer).
Jeff reports "First one of the year, first trip of the year. Caught on a golden jointed minnow after her bigger brother broke me off minutes before." (photos courtesy of Jeff Schimelpfenig).
Tim went 10 for 12 on steel in the Rock by the Nature Center yesterday, including this 27" hen. He was using frosted peach color beads (photo courtesy of Tim Maher).
Pat reports that he had a fine Sunday catching steelhead and socializing with his buddies at Rockcliff Springs. As you can see in the photos, a number of offerings produced for him (photos courtesy of Pat Cramer).
Dan and Tony had a great week on the local streams (photos courtesy of Dan McCutcheon).
Nate reports a good fishing lesson learned on the Rock last Friday "It was a good day on the Rocky today. Got off to a slow start they just weren't on egg sacks switched to some black jigs that I tied and went 3 for 3 in just under an hour. In the same holes I had just fished. Got to give them what they are looking for I guess." (photos courtesy of Nate Strader).
The bald eagle that is recovering from a wing injury at the Medina Raptor Center wants to thank the local anglers that donated fish to feed him. Please contact me to arrange a trout or steelhead donation for the majestic bird (photo courtesy of Medina Raptor Center).
As a teaser here are the cool trophies that local angler Mark Warren had made for the upcoming Barbie Rod Steelhead Derby coming up on March 26. Check this <link> for event info and rules. So, who is gonna win em? (photos courtesy of Mark Warren).
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>