***Tuesday April 3 afternoon update: This morning 600 pounds of rainbow trout were stocked in the East Branch Rocky River at six locations between Rt 82 (Royalton Road) and the ford (river crossing) just south of Wallace Lake.***
In early spring, highlight species targeted by anglers in Cleveland Metroparks include stocked trout, steelhead trout, largemouth bass, and panfish. The Rocky River and other area streams are elevated and muddy with more rain in the forecast. Weekend conditions will depend on how much more rain we receive, but the river outlook is not very good. To keep a handle on stream conditions anglers can check 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: the NEORSD station sustained some ice damage and is being repaired). A total of 291 coho salmon were stocked in Wallace Lake on Monday and today ODNR stocked rainbow trout in Shadow (816 fish) and Hinckley (2,759 fish) lakes. The Lake Erie marina and harbor areas
are also offering steelhead trout, northern pike, largemouth bass, and panfish.
Area streams are elevated and muddy with more rain on the way. Wise anglers will follow the trend on the flow gage before embarking on a trip to the river. Fish are very well distrubuted all throughout the Rocky, Chagrin, Cuyahoga, and several smaller river/stream systems at this time. One water levels recede angler can expect a run of fresh steelhead to complement the actively spawning and spawned out (spent) fish in the system. As trhe water first begins to clear a bright pink or chartreuese nickel size spawn bag is tough to beat, with other offerings like flies, jigs tipped with maggots, minnows, and lures (spoons, spinners, and crankbaits) producing as the waters further clear. In a typical year March and April are prime months in terms of numbers of steelhead present in the rivers.
The white sucker run is underway on local streams, with Morley Ford north of the Lorain Road bridge being a hot spot. A leadhead jig with twister tail, nymph flies or worm and small sinker fished near the river bottom will all take their share of suckers. Suckers are perfect for kids and less experienced anglers, although experienced anglers can find the fast action they afford to be lots of fun, as well. For some anglers, harvesting suckers for use in making fish patties is a spring tradition. Recipes can be found online if you want to give this a try. Here is a <link> to a past sucker fishing article from D'Arcy Egan. Please send in some sucker photos this week!
Cleveland shoreline breakwalls, marinas and harbors on Lake Erie are currently offering anglers a shot at catching steelhead, along with northern pike, largemouth bass, and panfish. Productive spots include Edgewater, Wildwood, and East 72nd/Gordon Park boat ramp areas. For steelhead a medium size Little Cleo spoon (or similar) or jig tipped with minnow or maggots suspended under a float are top producers. For northern pike and largemouth bass a white and silver spinnerbait is often a producer.
On March 16 and 19 a total of 1,200 pounds of rainbow trout were stocked in the East Branch Rocky River between Route 82 (Royalton Road) and the river crossing ford about a mile south of Wallace Lake. Of the six spots we routinely stock, Bonnie Park (on both the upstream and downstream side of the dam) recieves the lion's share of these fish. We did not stock the river this week due to elevated water levels but hope to stock again around mid-next week. We will continue stocking trout in the river up until the end of April.
Our inland lakes are offering very good trout fishing opportunities at this time. On Monday 291 coho salmon were stocked in Wallace Lake as a bonus spring fishery. Stockings like this are made possible by proceeds from the Cleveland Metroparks Fishing Fund. This morning the Ohio Division of Wildlife stocked 816 rainbow trout at Shadow Lake and 2,759 rainbow trout at Hinckley Lake. These fish avarage about 3/4 lbs each. Additionally, we stocked 6,000 pounds of trout this past winter, as follows: January 22nd Shadow (1,500 lbs), Ledge (1,200 lbs) and Judge's (300 lbs) lakes and on January 24th Wallace (2,800 lbs) and Ranger (200 lbs) lakes.
Trout typically bite well on PowerBait, jigs tipped with a few maggots/waxworms, and smaller spinners (such as Rooster Tail). 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, Judge's and Ranger lakes, and 5/day no size limit at Shadow Lake and Ohio & Erie Canal. Please note: Ledge Lake is posted as catch and release fishing only until further notice.
5th Annual Barbie Rod Steelhead Derby Fundraiser on April 7.
On Saturday April 7th we will be hosting the fifth 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! I didn't think we would be able to top last year in terms of the amazing prize packages, but lead organizer Mark Warren and his friend Greg Young have already rounded up prizes and <sponsors>
for the event that exceed last year- and they are still adding to them weekly! Proceeds from the fundraiser event go to support the Cleveland Metroparks Fishing Fund. A <website>
has been set up for the event, as well as a Facebook page. Local angler Andy Wahl put together this outstanding <video>
detailing last year's event. Don't miss this fun event for a great cause!
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
#18-003 Josh Trammell, Steelhead Alley Outfitters, www.steelheadalleyoutfitters.com (888) 453-5899
#18-004 Joseph Beno, On The Swing, Joseph93935@hotmail.com (440) 667-2278
#18-005 Daniel Bennett, Steelhead Alley Outfitters, www.steelheadalleyoutfitters.com (888) 453-5899
#18-006 Brad Dunkle, Wildwood Anglers LLC, email@example.com (419) 540-8585
#18-007 Nathan Miller, Steelhead Alley Outfitters, www.steelheadalleyoutfitters.com (888) 453-5899
#18-008 Justin Pribanic, Chagrin River Outfitters, firstname.lastname@example.org (724) 799-5011
#18-009 Patrick Robinson, Steelhead Alley Outfitters, www.steelheadalleyoutfitters.com (888) 453-5899
#18-010 Travis Larson, Hatch Run Fly Fishing, email@example.com (814) 706-1958
#18-011 Mario Chance, Chagrin River Outfitters, firstname.lastname@example.org (330) 984-3086
#18-012 Don Mathews, Steelhead School, www.steelheadschool.com (330) 565-5457
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>