Guide Spencer Berman, left, and a happy client hoist one of Lake St. Clair's monster muskies. Berman is a Sylvania native who is now one of the top muskie guides and pro tournament anglers in the country.
After the algae scare and all of the issues with the Toledo drinking water, it is important to remind anglers that Lake Erie fish is safe to eat. Extensive testing of fish tissues has taken place, and there are no indications that the toxins produced by the huge algae blooms are present in the meat. Anglers are reminded that after the fish are cleaned, the entrails should be disposed of and the fillets should be rinsed well.
The public can view the operation at the Castalia State Fish Hatchery during an open house scheduled for Aug. 16 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. The event is free. There will be fish feeding demonstrations, archery activities, an educational session on Ohio’s bald eagles, and an electrofishing boat on display. The hatchery, which two years ago had a $7 million upgrade and renovation, produces 400,000 yearling steelhead and 90,000 catchable-size rainbow trout annually. The Castalia facility is located at 7018 Homegardner Road, just north of Castalia. More information on the open house is available by calling 419-684-7499. More information on Ohio’s six fish hatcheries is available online at the wildohio.com website.
Toledo angler Scott Kozak, a Whitmer grad, was awarded the “Leas International Angling Trophy” by Florida’s West Palm Beach Fishing Club earlier this year. The trophy goes to the club member who “makes the most outstanding catch in international waters” in each calendar year. Kozak, who operates Manchester Roofing, is shown with a Pacific sailfish he caught in the waters off Guatemala.
His full story is in the Sunday, August 3 Toledo Blade sports section.
The Ohio Water Sentinel Program is looking for volunteers to help restore, improve and protect Ohio’s waterways. The Sierra Club will provide interested parties with the necessary education to perform this vital function. The Sierra Club will host this training 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturday, July 26 at the Way Public Library, Conference Room C/D, 101 E Indiana Ave. in Perrysburg. An optional hands-on one-hour training will be offered in the afternoon at the river, weather permitting.
The Clean Water Act requires states to test their waterways regularly, but Ohio does not have the capacity to monitor all of its 199,000 miles of rivers and streams. That makes it critical for citizen scientists to assist in this task.
Questions on the volunteer water quality monitoring program can be directed to Ann Keefe, Sierra Club, at 419-619-4436 or email at Ann.Keefe@sierraclub.org.
Captain Bob Brown Jr. aboard “Sundance” reports that the walleye fishing on Lake Erie has been productive in recent days, despite the fluctuations in the weather. He said that the mayfly hatch is waning, but the recent run of cooler weather possibly slowed that trend a bit.
Brown added that some of the shallow-water areas are just starting to perk up as walleyes work the rocks searching for minnows. In recent days, Brown’s parties have been dodging the wind while drifting and casting with Weapons in gold, orange and yellow, along with other weight-forward rigs, and finding fish northwest of North Bass Island and south of East Sister, along the international border.
The trolling contingent is focusing its efforts for walleyes to the east, towards Vermilion. Brown said there have been decent catches of perch coming from the south side of Kelleys Island in about 26 feet of water, and in deeper water off Ballast Island.
The Nature Conservancy is again helping sell the wonders of the Buckeye State. The organization is staging another round of the “Natural Treasures” sweepstakes it ran in 2012, and encouraging Ohioans to get outdoors, do some exploring, and experience the state’s most beautiful places.
The evidence is substantial – Hocking Hills, the Lake Erie Islands, Oak Openings, Mohican State Park, Amish country, the Blue Hole, the old growth forest of Dysart Woods, the Great Serpent Mound – all places that reinforce the notion that Ohio has a lot of natural beauty to showcase.
This year’s challenge won’t start until Aug. 1, but the scouting and planning is already underway. Any site that reflects Ohio’s natural beauty is fair game. The challenge runs through the end of September, with the winner receiving a new Honda Civic Hybrid. The full set of rules and the contest description can be found at the nature.org/naturaltreasures website.
In the Sunday Blade on July 13 we will feature Wauseon graduate Riley Tedrow, a junior at Case Western Reserve who was part of a research team working in Rwanda when he came across an unusual insect. Turns out that Tedrow discovered a new species of praying mantis. Seems Riley had the "bug" to collect insects from a very early age. He is pictured below at about five, collecting bettles at Oak Openings.
Sen. Rob Portman said recently that he shares the frustration of many in Ohio and the Great Lakes region over the lack of physical action to prevent the invasive Asian carp from entering the Great Lakes. These fish have dominated large stretches of the Mississippi River system since escaping from southern fish farms during a flood decades ago, and are pushing toward the Great Lakes on several fronts.
Under intense pressure from Congress, the Army Corps of Engineers issued a report in January on the options for keeping the carp and other invasives out of the Great Lakes, but for many the report failed to identify the best solution or solutions, and did not adequately detail costs.
“That’s my frustration, that we still have so many options out there, and some of them don’t have costs attached to them either,” the Ohio Republican said. “What we’re looking for is the best science, but also what the cost-benefit analysis was, because it’s expensive, and we’re going to have to figure out a way to sell some of our colleagues who don’t live on the Great Lakes on this, and why it’s so important.”
Sen. Portman said he and Democrat Sen. Carl Levin from Michigan have asked the Corps for a preferred option, and more input on the costs associated with the various options.
Ohio native Adam Grimm, winner of the 2013 Federal Duck Stamp competition and the 2013 Ohio Wetland Habitat Stamp competition, will be displaying his artwork and signing both stamps at the Bass Pro Shop in Rossford on Saturday, June 28, at 2 p.m.
The traditional First Day of Sale ceremony for Federal Duck Stamp is held in Washington D.C. This appearance at Bass Pro is a special arangement for Grimm, who will have his artwork on display beginning at 11 a.m. Officials from the Ohio Division of Wildlife, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and Ducks Unlimited will be on hand.
Stamps will be available for purchase, and a collectable program with three of Grimm’s winning stamps can be “cancelled” and signed by the artist, who will be available at the store until 4 p.m.