Annual walleye run is behind schedule - 13abc.com Toledo (OH) News, Weather and Sports

Annual walleye run is behind schedule

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This is the time of year when a lot of anglers are usually dropping their lines in the Maumee River for the annual walleye run, but the tough winter has pushed that back. The question is how long will it be delayed? That all depends on when the water temperature comes up a bit and the water level comes down. The season will likely be delayed a couple weeks. However, some say we could see a few fishermen out as early as this weekend.

Eric Kraus is a lifelong angler, "You look at the calendar and it tells you that you should be out there, but mother nature decides when you fish." Swift currents, ice and high water are making the Maumee River only fit for fish and waterfowl at this point. This is usually the start of the busy season at Maumee Bait and Tackle but owner Gary Lowry says the season is a bit behind schedule this year, "This is the latest I've ever seen it start and I've had this store for 24 years and I've been fishing the river for more than 40 years. Every year plays out a little different but overall every year we have a good run." Kraus is anxious to get on the river, but he is delaying his first trip to the Maumee,"It's not safe right now? I wouldn't recommend going in with the high water and all the ice that's flowing. I am holding tight until conditions improve."

Lowry says the walleye make their way to the Maumee from as far away as Lake Huron year after year,"They're here to spawn, to lay their eggs and when they're done they go back to the lakes they came from." That is if the fisherman don't get them first and many, like Kraus, are predicting a good run this year, "The river is only as good as the lake and Lake Erie is in pretty good shape right now as a whole, so it should be a good run."

Lowry says even though the run is delayed it should be worth the wait, "The Division of Wildlife says it's going to be a really good run. Something to do with the late stat to the season, I don't know the science behind it, but it sounds good to me." Lowry says a good run obviously means good sales for a lot of local businesses, "We get people from every state and even other countries for our world class fishing. You can go up and down the river during fishing season and see plates from everywhere and you meet a lot of interesting people. It doesn't just help our business. Of course, it also helps the local hotels and restaurants."

Since things are a bit behind schedule Lowry is recommending fisherman get stocked up on supplies and a license before the busy season starts. He says once walleye fishing is over, the white bass run will pick up. However, it will probably be delayed a bit too because of the weather. After that is the small mouth bass season, which runs into the fall. 

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