COLUMBUS The Lake Erie Committee has announced the 2007 total allowable catch (TAC) for walleye and yellow perch fisheries in Lake Erie. Both the walleye and yellow perch TACs represent a decrease in allowable harvest from 2006.
The 2007 lake-wide TAC for walleye is 5.36 million fish, with Ohio's share or "quota" at about 2.75 million fish, a 54 percent decrease from last year's quota of 5.08 million fish for Ohio.
Ohio's yellow perch quota is 4.29 million pounds of the lake-wide TAC of 11.38 million pounds. This represents a 34 percent reduction from last year's quota of 7.48 million pounds in Ohio.
The Lake Erie Committee noted that weak walleye and yellow perch year classes in 2002, 2004, and 2006 necessitated the lower harvest in 2007 to protect the fishery.
"We're closely examining reasons for the apparent inability of the fish population to fully recover in recent years," said Sean Logan, director of the Ohio Department of Natural Resources. "We will work to take the necessary steps to protect the health and vitality of this great resource for future generations of Ohioans."
The Lake Erie Committee comprises fishery managers from Michigan, New York, Ohio, Ontario and Pennsylvania. The committee's work is facilitated by the Great Lakes Fishery Commission, a Canadian and U.S. agency on the Great Lakes. Each year the committee sets the total allowable catch for walleye and yellow perch. Total allowable catch represents the number of fish that can be caught by sport and commercial fishers without putting the stocks at risk.