Frye: Outlook good for steelhead season
TribLIVE Sports Videos
Chuck Murray is expecting big things this fall and into winter.
A biologist in the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission's Lake Erie research unit and an avid steelhead fisherman, himself he's predicting a better-than-average steelhead season.
That would be a change from the recent past.
“I think we kind of hit a low point in 2010. But I also think things are on their way back up,” Murray said. “The runs have been looking real good early, so I'm optimistic.”
Others agree this year's season is off to a relatively good start.
“There were fish in the streams as early as August,” said Shelley Moore of Poor Richard's Bait and Tackle in Erie.
“Guys have been doing pretty good so far, catching a lot of fish.”
“Now that we've got more water in the creeks over the last week or so, it's really starting to look like we could get a good run,” said Elaine Gaczkowski of Folly's End Campground.
“I've seen a lot of fish caught already, and they've been from just legal all the way up to some really nice sizes.”
That rain she spoke of has been the key to getting more fish in the streams.
“That's what initiates those large pulses of fish coming back into the streams. If we get a wet fall, it should be a good season,” Murray said. “There seem to be lots of fish out there.”
That can be attributed to a number of factors.
The commission has been stocking bigger steelhead smolts; they were nearly 7 inches long this year, just about the optimum size and the biggest since 2001, he noted. That's led to better survival rates. At the same time, the sea lamprey population in Lake Erie is down, meaning there's been less wounding of steelhead, and a decline in the lake's walleye population has meant less predation.
The best time for catching them is typically from mid-November through January, he said.
“One of the old-timers I know always told me that the best time to fish was right around bear season, so I always look for that date on the calendar,” he said.
So the only question is, what are you waiting for?
Bob Frye is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org or via Twitter @bobfryeoutdoors.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
Subscribe today! Click here for our subscription offers.