Outdoors: Maumee run starts early, strong

Here’s what it said on the Maumee Tackle website one day this past week: “THE BITE IS ON! Get off the couch and come fish the Maumee River. We saw the first limit by 9 a.m. …”

That just about tells you all you need if you’re one of the many anglers asking when the annual walleye run will begin on Ohio’s Maumee and Sandusky Rivers.

“The warm weather we have been enjoying has really turned them (walleyes) on,” said Mario Campos, owner of Maumee Tackle. “We had a couple of brutally cold weeks at the beginning of March that slowed it down a bit, but lately it’s been on. We’ve been seeing limits (4) all day.”

He said the river has been “packed” with waders and shore anglers. Boaters usually wait until the river level rises, but that won’t be far away. The run lasts through April into early May with the peak around the third week of April.

This year’s run should be very successful for anglers, since the walleye population in Lake Erie is considered well above average. Walleyes run up the Maumee and Sandusky rivers at this time of year to spawn.

“We are seeing some large females and some very large jacks,” Campos said. He suggested the fish have been attracted to bright colors fished on a Carolina rig.

For daily fishing conditions, check the Maumee Tackle website: maumeetackle.net. For walleye run regulations and Sandusky River conditions, visit wildohio.gov.

Wind or no wind: Although it has been a few years now, they still haven't settled the issue of the Ohio National Guard constructing a wind turbine on the grounds of Camp Perry on the Lake Erie shore. Construction plans have been slowed by continued opposition from bird conservation groups.

Recently, another lawsuit was filed in Washington, D.C.

“We have many peer-reviewed studies documenting the impact of wind energy on birds and bats. And yet it takes a lawsuit to protect one of the most important migratory bird stopover habitats in the Western Hemisphere,” said Kimberly Kaufman, executive director of Black Swamp Bird Observatory. “It’s another sad commentary on the lack of wind energy regulations in this country.”

The area around the Camp Perry site is part of a major flyway between the U.S. and Canada. There are also numerous bald eagle nests in the area.

Food plots: Anyone interested in learning more about wildlife food plots can attend a workshop provided by the Division of Wildlife and the Darke County Soil and Water District on April 10, starting at 6 p.m.

Topics will include soil fertility, soil sampling, seed selection and how to determine food plot locations.

The workshop will take place at the Shawnee Prairie Preserve, 4267 State Route 502, Greenville. The workshop is free of charge but registration is required by April 5. Register by calling 937-548-1752. Registration is also being taken at the SWCD office, 1117 S. Towne Court, Greenville.

Casting: The Cincinnati Casting Club will be at the West Chester Cabela's on April 8 and 9 from 10 a.m.–3 p.m. both days, teaching kids to cast and hit targets. It's part of the annual Fishing Classic. The Bowfishing Association of America will also put on presentations.

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