PORT CLINTON — Ohio Governor Mike DeWine and Lt. Governor Jon Husted, on Tuesday, July 2, commemorated the 40th anniversary of the Governor’s Fish Ohio Day on Lake Erie, along with Ohio Department of Natural Resources Director Mary Mertz and many from Ohio’s conservation community.
The event was co-sponsored by the Lake Erie Charter Boat Association, Lake Erie Shores & Islands, and the Ohio Department of Natural Resources’ Division of Wildlife.
“Lake Erie fishing is like nothing else in the world,” said Governor DeWine. “Protecting this lake is a top priority for my administration, and I’m honored today to be able to continue the tradition of celebrating all that Lake Erie represents to Ohio and the Great Lakes region.”
“Fishing on Lake Erie is one of my favorite things to do. It is a world-class fishery and a great way to make memories with family and friends,” said Lt. Governor Husted. “Time spent on the lake with my dad and my kids have been some of my favorite days. We need to make sure we protect the lake for future generations of Ohioans to enjoy.”
“Ohio’s portion of Lake Erie is known as the ‘Walleye Capital of the World,’ and for good reason,” said Director Mertz. “In 2018, walleye were harvested at the highest rates recorded in nearly 40 years. More than 40 percent of walleye trips produced a limit for anglers. This year, the walleye fishing has been phenomenal.”
The 2019 walleye population is estimated to be 45 million fish ages 2 and older, according to ODNR Division of Wildlife Chief Kendra Wecker.
Fish Ohio Day began in 1979 when former Governor James A. Rhodes wanted to promote Lake Erie’s world-class fishing. The event’s focus has remained about conservation and management of the Lake Erie fishery.
Twenty-six licensed charter boat captains donated their boats for the event.