In winter, highlight species targeted by anglers in Cleveland Metroparks include stocked trout, steelhead trout, panfish, and walleye. The Rocky River and other area streams are largely covered in ice following a sustained cold snap. When the streams are not frozen anglers can monitor the most recent river water level, temperature, and clarity (turbidity) at the following links: <Rocky River USGS flow gage data> <Chagrin River USGS flow gage data> <Rocky River NEORSD station with turbidity>.
(Note: ice can interfere with reliable flow gage readings). A combined 3,000 lbs of rainbow trout were stocked at Wallace, Shadow, Ledge, Judge's, and Ranger lakes in mid to late December and ice fishers have been out in full force pursuing them. The Lake Erie shoreline is now locked in by ice.
Area streams are ice covered following a sustained cold snap. The Lake Erie shoreline is also now locked in by ice. Don't expect much of a chance in this regard until we experience a significant thaw. Cleveland area marinas on Lake Erie, such as E55th, Gordon Park, and Edgewater all offer decent ice fishing opportunities for steelhead, panfish, walleye, and a shot at a northern pike.
Ice fishers are out in full force this week pursuing rainbow trout on our lakes and ponds. On Wednesday December 13th we stocked rainbow trout in Wallace (1,400 lbs) and Ranger (100 lbs) lakes and on Tuesday December 19th we stocked Shadow (750 lbs), Ledge (600lbs), and Judge's (150 lbs) lakes. The size of the trout averages from 1-2 pounds, with a few larger. The second (and final) round of winter trout will go into the same lakes around late January/early February. Trout are also available at Ohio & Erie Canal fishing area down the hill from CanalWay Visitor Center off E49th Street.
Trout have been biting on PowerBait, jigs tipped with a few maggots/waxworms, and smallish jigging spoons (such as Forage Minnow and Swedish Pimple). 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. A second (and final) round of winter trout will be released in about a month.
Most state conservation agencies recommend at least 4" of solid ice before anglers should venture out to ice fish, and in Cleveland Metroparks it is the angler's responsibility to check that. One method is to use a spud bar near shore and check the ice thickness, and if it is >
4 inches then walk out a little further and check again. Ice is often thinnest right at the water's edge and around inlets and outlets of the waterbody. If the spud bar goes through in one hard strike it is a red flag that you need to get out of that area immediately. Other safety tips are to carry a set of ice spikes on a cord around your neck, fish with a friend, let someone know where you'll be, and focus on areas near where other anglers are already fishing. If we continue to get good ice this winter I plan to coordinate an ice fishing fundraiser derby, likely in February. Stay tuned for details on that.
Winteriffic Ice Fishing Offering This Sunday.
Cleveland Metroparks annual Winteriffic event will be held on Sunday January 7th and we will be hosting two ice fishing sessions associated with the event. All gear, bait, and instruction is provided free. The two offerings are from 1:30-2:30pm and again from 3:00-4:00pm. You may find more info here: <Winteriffic Ice Fishing>.
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
Note: The fishing report is updated monthly in June, July, and August and weekly every other month
2018 Cleveland Metroparks Registered Fishing Guides (name, company, contact)
#18-001 Monte Casey, The Steelhead Guide, email@example.com www.steelheadguide.com
#18-002 Jeffery Liskay, Silver Fury Guide Service & Schools, firstname.lastname@example.org (440) 781-7536
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>