Fisherman wading in the Maumee River north of Interstate-475 bridge, April 1999 Photo: Tim Daniel
Maumee River Walleye Run
As winter comes to an end and the Great Lakes begin
to thaw, nature signals tens of thousands of walleye, some from
Lake St. Clair and some from the Western Basin of Lake Erie, to
start their annual migration to the place their life began: the
Maumee River. The Maumee boasts the largest population of migrating
walleye east of the Mississippi River.
Fishing begins in early March and continues through
early May, when thousands of fishermen from across the country
flock to Lake Erie for the walleye run. While migrating up the
river the vast majority of walleye will gather at the first few
miles of rapids, which provide the well-aerated water and rocks and
gravel that are ideal for walleye spawning. At peak spawning, as
many as 6,000 anglers crowd the spawning area which stretches from
Orleans Park in the town of Perrysburg, Ohio, to Side Cut Metropark
in the city of Maumee. Water temperature and current are the
determining factors for good fishing: warmer temperatures and
swifter current favor larger catches. Fishing is done from boats,
while wading, and from the shore, and is allowed only from sunrise
to sunset. Anglers harvest approximately 50,000 walleye and 35,000
white bass from the Maumee annually.
The 1999 walleye run was reported to be the best
ever; some lucky anglers caught the limit (10 fish) in less than an
hour's time. A new official state record was set on November 23,
1999, when angler Tom Haberman caught a 16.19-pound fish. (Not only
good for walleye fishing, the Lake Erie region in northwest Ohio
offers great fishing opportunities for white bass, channel and
flathead catfish, smallmouth and largemouth bass, northern pike,
steelhead and brown trout.) Anticipated by thousands of anglers
each year, the Maumee River Walleye Run offers beautiful scenery,
abundant wildlife, and a sense of camaraderie among fishermen whose
only goal is to catch that perfect 10-pound-plus walleye.
Project documentation includes six pages of text,
local newspaper coverage, six color slides, 23 color photographs of
various sizes, "Keep the River Safe," a Toledo Area Metroparks
publication, description sheet for the 9th Annual Maumee Valley
Walleye Tournament, and "Walleye Fishing in Maumee and Sandusky
River," a publication of the Ohio Division of Wildlife.
Originally submitted by: Marcy Kaptur, Representative (9th District).
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