Get Ready for Another Spectacular Fishing Year on Lake Erie
Apr 18th, 2019 by Keith Worrall 638
Modified Apr 18th, 2019 at 8:54 AM
The Lake Erie fishing forecast for 2019 calls for more of the same as last year – plenty of fish and superb fishing. That was the message that was handed out at N.Y. Sea Grant’s State of Lake Erie meeting held last Thursday at the Southtowns Walleye Association’s clubhouse in Hamburg.
For Lake Erie, the number one preferred target is walleye. Last year’s catch rate broke a record, the second year in a row. In 2018, the walleye population was estimated at better than 41 million fish lake wide. The population now is estimated at 45 million fish age 2 and older. With the western basin of the lake coming off another outstanding hatch in 2018, it appears the walleye fishing will be good for many years to come.
“Walleye fishing quality in New York waters has been at record levels for the past two years with 2018 being the highest catch rate in the 31-year creel survey,” said Dr. Jason Robinson, the Department of Environmental Conservation’s Lake Erie Unit Leader (taking over for long-time leader Don Einhouse who retired in August of 2018). “The walleye catch rate in 2018 was 0.74 fish per angler hour. To put that in perspective, the 31-year average catch rate is 0.2 per hour, so we are talking about a catch rate that is over 3.5 times higher than average.”
Rob Oram of Franklinville shows off a respectable Lake Erie walleye. The 2018 catch rate set another record for these popular fish and it could be just as good in 2019. (Photo by Bill Hilts Jr.)