Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) officials did an experimental stocking of yellow perch at Grand Lake St. Marys on May 23. The goal of the stocking was to provide more angler opportunities while improving the self-sustaining yellow perch population.
“We believe the stocking, in conjunction with improvements in water quality, may promote recovery of yellow perch fishing at Grand Lake St. Marys,” said Rich Carter, executive administrator of Fish Management and Research with ODNR Division of Wildlife.
The 100,408 yellow perch recently stocked were raised at the Division of Wildlife’s St. Marys State Fish Hatchery and released at Behm’s Landing. All stocked fish were 1.5-2 inch “fingerlings” marked with a technique that will allow biologists to determine the difference between naturally reproduced and stocked fish. A naturally reproducing population still exists in the lake, however with a dwindling number, state officials wanted to stock the lake in hopes of increasing yellow perch fishing in the area.
This stocking represents the first time since 1944 that yellow perch were stocked in Grand Lake St. Marys, and this stocking was the largest ever one-time stocking of yellow perch in the lake.