The Department of Natural Resources announced the daily limit for walleyes in Michigan’s waters of Lake Erie will remain at six through April 30, 2014.
In 2011 Michigan adopted a process for setting creel limit regulations that allows the DNR to use real-time population data instead of using year-old survey results. This process parallels one adopted by Ohio in 2010.
“This regulations process is critical to helping us manage walleyes in Lake Erie in a timely manner,” said DNR Fisheries Division’s Lake Erie Basin Coordinator Todd Kalish. “In order to do that, we have to set regulations in March instead of the previous autumn.”
Michigan’s daily creel limit for walleyes on Lake Erie is based on its share of the Total Allowable Catch (TAC) for the lake, which is determined by the Lake Erie Committee under the guidance of the Great Lakes Fishery Commission. The TAC is generally based on overall abundance of walleyes; the committee establishes quotas for each jurisdiction based on the percentage of habitat for adult walleyes in each jurisdiction’s waters of the lake. The daily limit is based on a formula that projects how many walleyes anglers can keep but still remain within the quota.
See the attached table for an explanation of the formula used to set the daily creel limit.
The Total Allowable Catch for Lake Erie for 2013 is 3.356 million fish, making Michigan’s quota 196,000 fish.
As a result of this regulations process, the creel limit for walleyes on Lake Erie is not set until TACs are determined each March, after the Michigan Fishing Guide goes to press. Anglers must check for changes annually. The DNR has developed a strategy to communicate the walleye creel limit that includes a statewide press release, informational flyers, updated online Fishing Guide, and a pre-recorded message at 888-367-7060 to inform anglers of the creel limit.
For 2013, there are no changes to either the fishing season or size limit for walleyes on Lake Erie.
Logo courtesy Michigan Department of Natural Resources