Stricter perch restrictions looming
Written by The News Herald   
Friday, 06 April 2007 14:41

Faced with deep cuts in the quota of Lake Erie yellow perch, the state moved Wednesday to place further restrictions on the taking of the species by both sport anglers and commercial fishermen.

The cuts will reduce a sport angler's daily allowable catch from the published 40 Lake Erie-caught yellow perch to 30.

Commercial fishermen also will experience cuts in their share of the lake's yellow perch stocks.

These restrictions come despite the fact that daily bag limits were set and published months ago.

The eight-person Ohio Wildlife Council approved the reduction request presented Wednesday by Sean D. Logan, the director of the Ohio Department of Natural Resources.
Gov. Ted Strickland is likely to establish the restrictions by emergency executive order. That means the action will take effect upon Strickland's command and not after 90 days, as is the case with the council's rule-making authority.

"We are making the decision to manage the perch harvest in order to assure the long-term viability of this important resource," Logan said.
"Our goal as managers is to stay flexible, stay informed and always be ready to adapt when change is needed."

In speaking with Ohio Division of Wildlife officials, Logan said the agency doesn't anticipate there will be any economic impact as a result of the change.
"The governor's office understands the urgency, and everyone is in concert," Logan also said.

All of which stems from quota changes established last month by the Lake Erie Committee, which is made up of fisheries managers for the states bordering Lake Erie.

Ohio's share of Lake Erie yellow perch is now 4.29 million pounds - a 34-percent reduction - from a lakewide total allowable catch of 11.38 million pounds.
Also reduced was the quota for walleye caught in Lake Erie.
However, Ohio's sport anglers seldom approach, let alone exceed, their annual quota on Lake Erie walleye.
Ohio's commercial fishermen are not permitted to catch walleye.
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