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Walleye Abound in Lake Erie but COVID-19 Causes Some Fishing Restrictions

Walleye fishing is a popular tourist activity on Lake Erie, known as the walleye capitol of the world.
Walleye fishing is a popular tourist activity on Lake Erie, known as the walleye capitol of the world.

The coronavirus pandemic has upended many sectors of Ohio’s economy, including the Lake Erie tourism that comes with some of the country’s best walleye fishing.

Ohio has stopped issuing fishing licenses for non-residents. But fishing is still allowed under Gov. Mike DeWine’s stay-at-home order.

"You know a fishing pole is a great social distancing measuring stick," Ohio Division of Wildlife's Brian Banbury said. 

All state COVID-19 guidelines still apply to anglers in Lake Erie and beyond.

"Certainly during this time we need to take all the precautions we can to keep everybody healthy and safe."

As for non-Ohioans who already have state fishing licenses, Banbury said they can technically still fish in the state, but once they cross into Ohio they would have to self-quarantine for a full two weeks.

Lake Erie walleye numbers are expected to peak in May. Banbury said Ohio could see record breaking walleye numbers in the coming years.

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