Ice, debris along Maumee River create concerns for anglers looking to reel in walleye

MAUMEE, Ohio (WTVG) - On the banks of the Maumee anglers are waiting for the walleye to run.

"We saw our first walleye couple days ago," said owner of Maumee Tackle Fishing Outfitters Mario Campos.

At Campos' store it's evident as those eager to get in the water are stocking up on supplies to reel in the perfect catch.

"As we see more and more fish come in that'll [mean] more anglers coming out," said Campos.

Along with waiting for the fish another thing that's keeping fishermen at bay are huge chunks of ice and debris that litter the river's edge.

"It's been a concern because some of those icebergs are really big," said Campos. "It's dangerous to get down there in that river."

Back in February flood waters pushed the ice on land--blocking access to the river while damaging everything in between.

"[The] roadway is our main concern," said Maumee Public Service Commissioner Howard Brebberman. "Back and forth. Through traffic."

In Maumee the ice sliced up River Road and knocked over headstones in Riverside Cemetery. While repairs are in the works leaders can't guarantee they'll be done when the walleye invade.

"It's going to be 'at your own risk' type of thing," said Brebberman.

On the Wood County side of the river cleanup is also well underway after the ice left the parking lot at Orleans Park a muddy mess.

"This was the worst I've seen in 36 years," said Perrysburg Operations Manager Gregory Kuhr.

Clean up crews finally accessed the park last week when the water and ice receded. They say the priority now is patching up the parking lot before fishermen flock to the popular spot.

"Right now we've got about 20 loads of stone down, and they're going to continue through the week," said Kuhr.

As work continues on land conditions still need to improve in the water, and anglers hope it all shakes out when the walleye start to run.