Fans of inland walleye fishing should have plenty of fun in 2005 at Mosquito Creek Reservoir, Ohio's 64,000-fish lake.
Phil Hillman, Ohio Division of Wildlife fish management supervisor in Akron, rates Mosquito's walleye prospects for '05 as "excellent" based on '04 counts.
Ohio stocked 15,556,647 fry in Mosquito in 2004. "No, I didn't count them," he said anticipating the question such a precise number begs. The number is based on estimates calculated by fish scientists.
Long popular with this area's walleye anglers, Mosquito will continue to yield good catches. Hillman pegs the lake's walleye population at 64,808, with good numbers of fish between 13 and 21 inches.
Mosquito has a nutrient base conducive to fry survival and capable of sustaining a large walleye population. Of course, the vast majority of the 15.5 million fry are eaten by predators or otherwise meet their doom. Hillman said many walleyes escape through the lake's dam.
Hillman also forecasts good fishing for walleyes in Berlin, Milton and LaDue reservoirs, all of which were stocked with 1- to 2-inch fingerlings in 2004. Fingerlings were stocked in those lakes rather than fry because they tend to survive better, Hillman said.
Berlin's adult walleye (larger than 13 inches) population is estimated at 25,282. "Berlin was stocked with 398,822 fingerlings in 2002 and we had an especially good natural hatch there in 2003," he said. "We see good numbers of fish 15 to 20 inches."
Milton is a walleye "sleeper," Hillman said. "Walleye emigrate to Milton from Berlin regularly." The 2003 year-class walleyes at Berlin have served to bolster Milton's population, which was helped by the stocking of 171,428 fingerlings.
LaDue, on U.S. 422 in Geauga County, is an electric-motor-only lake and thus receives relatively light walleye fishing pressure, Hillman said. Some 151,993 fingerlings were stocked there in 2004 and he forecasts satisfactory numbers of 15-inch walleyes for anglers this year.
We'll report Hillman's forecasts for 2005 bass and crappie fishing here next week.