Governor celebrates Ohio fishing


PORT CLINTON — Ohio Governor Mike DeWine and Lt. Governor Jon Husted celebrated the 44th annual Governor’s Lake Erie Fish Ohio Day alongside Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) Director Mary Mertz, ODNR Division of Wildlife Chief Kendra Wecker, and other leaders from the conservation and tourism industries. This annual event highlights the importance of protecting and improving Lake Erie and its great fishing.

“Fish Ohio Day is a celebration of the world-class fishing on Lake Erie and the dedication of those who work to improve the lake’s water quality, manage its fish populations, and bring visitors to the area each year,” said Governor DeWine. “This day provides a great opportunity to showcase The Walleye Capital of the World.”

The event was co-sponsored by the ODNR Division of Wildlife, Lake Erie Charter Boat Association, and Shores & Islands Ohio. Participants enjoyed walleye fishing on Ohio’s Great Lake thanks to 19 licensed charter boat captains who donated their boats for use during the event.

“Lake Erie is a popular outdoor recreation destination and drives a substantial amount of economic value for the region,” said Lt. Governor Husted. “Whether you visit for the day or stay for a lifetime, Lake Erie continues to draw you in time and time again.”

Lake Erie is renowned as ‘The Walleye Capital of the World’ and is a premier recreation destination. Ohio’s portion of the lake boasts the best walleye fishing in the country. Each year, the Division of Wildlife monitors Lake Erie’s walleye population to guide management decisions. Because of this intensive research, anglers can look forward to exceptional walleye fishing for many years to come.

“It’s thanks to conservation efforts and research that Lake Erie’s walleye population continues to boom,” said ODNR Director Mertz. “ODNR is proud of this work and the economic boost that fishing provides the state of Ohio.”

Walleye hatch success has been well above average for six consecutive years, including the three largest hatches ever surveyed. This summer, anglers will mostly catch abundant 2- to 6-year-old fish ranging from 15 to 24 inches. Larger fish from 2015 and earlier hatches will provide chances to reel in a Fish Ohio qualifying walleye (minimum 28 inches).

Fishing is enjoyed by millions of Ohioans annually. In 2022, Ohio’s 1.7 million anglers spent $5.5 billion and supported 34,000 jobs, according to a recent report released by the Wildlife Management Institute, Responsive Management, and Southwick Associates..

The health of Lake Erie is a top priority for Governor DeWine’s administration through the H2Ohio initiative which aims to develop long-term, sustainable solutions to improve water quality in Lake Erie and its tributaries.

Fish Ohio Day was started in 1979 by Governor James A. Rhodes. The event has remained focused on the conservation and management of the Lake Erie fishery. More information about Lake Erie fishing is available at

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