|HARRISBURG, Pa. – The Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission (PFBC) is reminding anglers targeting walleye and yellow perch in Lake Erie that 2011 creel limits remain in effect until approximately mid-April, when the agency is expected to implement a new adaptive management plan and set the 2012 limits.
Under current daily creel limits, anglers can harvest six walleye and 30 yellow perch. The 2012 daily creel limits will be set by April 15. Size limits are unchanged from 2011 and as listed in the 2012 Summary Book.
Last summer, the board of commissioners approved a proposal to allow for adaptive creel limits for walleye and yellow perch based on annual quotas established each spring by the Lake Erie Committee, which consists of fisheries managers from Pa., Ohio, N.Y., Michigan and Ontario, Canada.
Each year the committee recommends a total allowable catch for walleye and yellow perch. Total allowable catch represents the number or weight of fish that can be caught by sport and commercial fishers without putting the stocks at risk. The panel typically releases its official recommendation near the end of March or early April.
“In the past, we would evaluate the data each spring, but due to the standard PFBC regulatory process, the new limits wouldn’t go into effect until the following year,” said PFBC Lake Erie Biologist Chuck Murray. “Under the new rules, we will set daily limits by April 15 of each year and those limits will go into effect immediately, right at the onset of the fishing season.”
Murray says the change will allow the PFBC to apply regulations in a timely manner, synchronized with the current condition of fish stocks.
Eric Levis, Press Secretary