CLEVELAND, Ohio – Western Lake Erie anglers are getting a Christmas present that should be ready for action come spring. The popular Mazurik Access Area on the Marblehead Peninsula, adjacent to the popular East Harbor State Park, has recently seen progress on both a new bathroom facility at the Mazurik Boat Launch and a fish cleaning station barracuda
It will coincide with the popular Barracuda Station built by Cleveland Metroparks at Cleveland Lakefront State Park in Cleveland Harbor.
One of the most used boat access sites in busy Lake Erie bass and yellow perch waters, the Mazurik Baths and Fishing Cleaning Station should be in use by next spring. East Harbor State Park is the largest state park in Ohio.
Barracuda swims and cleaning stations will also be constructed at the public launch areas of Lake Avon and Lake Huron. Expect all seasons to be popular, especially on weekends, said Cleveland Metroparks aquatic biologist Mike Durkalec.
“The Barracuda Fish Cleaning Station in Cleveland Harbor has been busy since the day we completed it in 2020,” Durkalec said. “The unit cost about $40,000, plus the necessary infrastructure. With industrial-strength grinders designed to last forever, it’s been worth it.”
The stations can serve half a dozen fishermen at a time, and the grinders dump the fish bones, guts and heads into a sewer system. Despite the crowds that use the station from early spring to late fall, there has been no vandalism or downtime, Durkalec said.
“The station has met or exceeded our expectations,” he said.
The improvements to Marblehead, Huron and Avon Lake will be funded by the Wildlife Boater Angler Fund, which provides the Ohio Division of Wildlife with one-eighth of a percent of the gas tax for fishing and access by boat in the Buckeye State.
Steelhead trout fishing takes a while, but not for long: The winter storm roaring through Ohio and the Lake Erie area this weekend should effectively shut down fishing everywhere on the North Shore.
While single-digit temperatures are forecast, along with major league small boat advisories on Lake Erie, the storm will only be the beginning of a rollercoaster ride for anglers. Air temperatures are expected to rise after the Christmas holiday, rising into the mid-to-upper 40s by New Year’s Eve, and pre-storm rains should raise tributaries around of Northeast Ohio and attract new steelhead trout runs.
Rain and warmer weather next week should reopen the rivers, and hopefully start the winter season. If it’s as good as the fall river fishing for big trout, this could be one of the best years for steelheaders.
Rainbows have been released, but watch out: Fresh averages of about 3,000 rainbow trout in the Cleveland Metroparks will be a boon for shore anglers in the coming weeks, especially on Berea’s popular Lake Wallace . With single-digit temperatures forecast for the Christmas weekend and the possibility of ice cover on Wallace, Ranger, Shadow, Ledge and Judges lakes, take extra care before walking on ice that may not be thick enough to support the fishermen.
To add some spice to the trout stocks at the Cleveland Metroparks lakes, some exotic trout were added to the plethora of foot-long rainbow trout. A dozen colorful tiger trout were included, as well as golden rainbows and brook trout.