Lake Erie Shores & Islands, the Lake Erie Charter Boat Association and Ohio’s Department of Natural Resources partnered for the 40th annual Fish Ohio Day on the lake. The celebration also took place on land: at the Lake Erie Shores & Islands Welcome Center on Southeast Catawba Road.
Gov. Mike DeWine, First Lady Fran DeWine and other members of the governor’s family attended the event along with many other state and local government officials, including Lt. Gov. Jon Husted; outgoing state Rep. Steve Arndt, R-Port Clinton; former state senator and current state higher education Chancellor Randy Gardner; and state Sen. Theresa Gavarone, R-Bowling Green.
At a presentation, after a day of fishing, DeWine and other speakers spoke about Lake Erie as an economic boon to the region. Lake Erie Shores & Islands president Larry Fletcher said Lake Erie tourism contributes about $2.1 billion to economies of Erie and Ottawa counties each year.
“We want the lake to not only be an economic engine, but we want people to come out and enjoy themselves,” ODNR director Mary Mertz said. “This is a fun thing to do.”
Speakers praised DeWine’s administration for the H2Ohio initiative, a part of which calls for the construction of wetlands along Lake Erie which would help fight harmful algal blooms. DeWine said his administration will continue to address algal blooms on the lake.
“We didn’t get into this problem overnight and we’re not going to get into this overnight. We’re going to work on this every single year,” he said. “I’m optimistic about Lake Erie, we’re heading in the right direction.”