Lake Erie walleye limit will remain at six through April 30, 2015

The Department of Natural Resources today announced that the daily possession limit for walleye in Michigan’s waters of Lake Erie will remain at six through April 30, 2015.

In 2011, Michigan adopted a process for setting creel limit regulations that allows the DNR to use real-time population data instead of using year-old survey results. This process parallels one adopted by Ohio in 2010.

“This regulatory process is critical to helping us manage walleye in Lake Erie in a timely manner,” said Jim Francis, DNR Fisheries Division’s Lake Erie basin coordinator. “In order to do that, the department has to set regulations in March instead of the previous autumn.”

Michigan’s daily possession limit for Lake Erie walleye is based on its share of the Total Allowable Catch (TAC) for the lake, which is determined by the Lake Erie Committee under the guidance of the Great Lakes Fishery Commission. The TAC is generally based on overall abundance of walleye. The committee establishes quotas for each jurisdiction based on the percentage of habitat for adult walleye in each jurisdiction’s waters of the lake. The daily limit is based on a formula that projects how many walleye anglers can keep but still remain within the quota.

See the table below for an explanation of the formula used to set the daily creel limit.

The Total Allowable Catch for Lake Erie for 2014 is 4.027 million fish, making Michigan’s quota 235,000.

As a result of this regulatory process, the daily possession limit for walleye on Lake Erie is not set until the TAC is determined each March, which is after the annual Michigan Fishing Guide goes to press. Anglers, therefore, must annually check for changes. The DNR has developed a strategy to communicate the walleye creel limit that includes a statewide news release, an updated online Fishing Guide and a pre-recorded message at 888-367-7060 to inform anglers of the creel limit.

For 2014, there are no changes to either the fishing season or size limit for walleye on Lake Erie.