It’s probably the most sought-after fish for eating, the yellow perch is probably the second most popular fishing target on Lake Erie (behind walleyes). In April, a Mentor resident tossed a shiner into the water and pulled up a record that had lasted more than three decades.
Ohio has a new a new record yellow perch, replacing the old record that lasted 32 years.
David Berg, a 46-year-old machinist from Mentor, caught the new record, a 2.86-pound beauty on April 18 from Lake Erie, at Lake County.
“It was the first warm day of the spring and we were fishing off of the dock at the HTP Marina in Fairport Harbor. I had shiners on a crappie rig and thought we might catch smallmouth in that spot at that time of year,” Berg said. “When it first hit, it gave a huge tug and when I got it up, I thought it was a smallmouth when I saw that large girth. I didn’t realize it was a huge perch until my brother (Fred Berg) got it in the net.”
The fish measured 15.75 inches with a 13-75-inch girth. (Ohio records are determined by weight.)
Fisheries biologist Carey Knight from the Ohio Division of Wildlife Fairport Harbor Research Station confirmed the identification of Berg’s catch. After being weighed on a certified scale, it was then submitted to the Outdoor Writers of Ohio record fish committee, which certifies all state fish records.
“I knew it was Fish Ohio right at the beginning, but I kept looking at the fish and decided to look up on my phone what the record is. It said it was 14.5 inches in length and I had measured my fish and knew it was longer than that.” He figured it had to weigh more, too.
He caught the perch on a light St. Croix spinning rod with 8-pound test braided line. “It pulled on the drag several times. On that light rod it was quite a fight,” he said.
Berg’s catch replaces the previous state record yellow perch which was caught from Lake Erie by Charles Thomas on April 17, 1984 weighing 2.75 pounds and measuring 14.5 inches long. For more information, visit outdoorwritersofohio.org.
Learn about Pollinators and Habitat
The public is invited to attend a workshop that will cover all aspects of pollinators on June 29 from 5-8:30 p.m. in Shelby County. The idea is to educate citizens about creating ideal pollinator habitat on land they might own or control.
According to the Ohio Division of Wildlife, pollinating insects attract upland birds, like ring-necked pheasants, bobwhite quail, wild turkeys and many songbird species. Habitat provides year-round cover and nectar sources. Perhaps the most important reason to have the right habitat for pollinators is the preservation of crops that feed the nation.
There will be a $10 fee for the workshop that includes dinner and reference materials. It will take place at the Scheer farm in Maplewood. A flyer with details and a registration form is available at ShelbySWCD.org or the Shelby SWCD office. The registration deadline is June 24.
Lake Trout Stocked in Lake Erie
Unless the water turns inexplicably cold, you are not likely to see one of these creatures while fishing the Western Basin of Lake Erie this summer. But they’re in there.
Starting in 2012, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the Ohio Department of Natural Resources have been stocking lake trout in Lake Erie.
If you fish the colder Central Basin, you might just run into one. In May, the wildlife services chartered a Miller ferry, stopped over a few reefs and distributed some 40,000 yearling lake trout. An additional 36,000 were stocked at the Fairport Harbor boat ramp.
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Open this year’s hunting season with a trip to Olde English, proud to sponsor outdoors columnist Jim Morris on Press Pros Magazine.com!