More steelhead trout on way to Ohio shores
Written by Cleveland Plain Dealer   
Monday, 25 April 2005 07:21
A new crop of steelhead trout is being planted this month.

The Castalia Fish Hatchery in Erie County, a few miles south of Sandusky, has been coddling young steelhead trout all winter and more than 400,000 of the 6- to 9-inch fish gleaned from Michigan's Little Manistee River are ready to become the darlings of Northeast Ohio anglers. Protected this spring by a 12-inch size limit, they will provide thrills next fall when they begin to return from Lake Erie to help make the area one of the top steelhead destinations in the country.

The first release will be Friday on the Vermilion River. Four trout trucks carrying a total of 40,000 fish will empty their loads at the Vermilion City Boat Launch. In the coming weeks, the Rocky, Grand and Chagrin rivers will each receive 90,000 trout. The Conneaut Creek stockings will total 75,000 trout, but that is just Ohio's contribution. Pennsylvania will also release 75,000 young steelhead trout in the upper stretches of Conneaut Creek.

"We've been electro-shocking the Grand River to survey walleye and smallmouth bass and finding surprising numbers of fresh-run steelhead," said Kevin Kayle, the head of the Ohio Division of Wildlife's Fairport Fisheries Unit. "The rivers have been crowded with fishermen and catches have been very good."

The walleye spawning season is just about over in the Grand River and smallmouth bass are starting to gather. Those fish seldom head further upstream than the Painesville Dam to spawn, Kayle said.

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