skip navigation and jump to page content The Library of CongressThe American Folklife Center 
Community Roots: Selections from the Local Legacies Project
Collage of Local Legacies
 Home >> OHIO
Fisherman wading in Maumee River, April 1999
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).

link to www.loc.govMore Local Legacies...

The Local Legacies project provides a "snapshot" of American Culture as it was expressed in spring of 2000. Consequently, it is not being updated with new or revised information with the exception of "Related Website" links.

disclaimer for external linksLearn More About It...
 Home >> OHIO
  The Library of Congress 
The American Folklife Center
Contact Us
AFC Icon