Ohio’s first couple, Governor Ted Strickland and First Lady Frances Strickland, were joined by members of the media, representatives of the tourism industry, elected officials and conservation leaders to draw attention to Lake Erie during the 31st Annual Fish Ohio Day on Monday, July 12.
For the first time in event history, both the governor and his first lady were in attendance, which added some good-natured rivalry to the mix. No one went without bragging rights—Governor Strickland caught one of the first walleye of the day and the first lady’s boat caught more fish than a number of other boats, including the governor’s boat. A total of 165 fish were caught.
Reeling in fish wasn’t the only focus of yesterday’s events. Governor Strickland touted the importance of taking care of Ohio’s great lake, which will continue to help strengthen the state’s economic outlook. After a half-day of fishing under excellent conditions, attendees gathered to applaud local tourism efforts as well as discuss immediate threats like Asian carp and responsible land use.
“Ohio’s future can never be separated from the future of Lake Erie, Ohio’s greatest natural resource,” said Governor Strickland. “Lake Erie is a great example of how the conservation of our resources and the growth of our economy can be compatible goals.”
“Fish Ohio Day helps us focus attention on all that the lake represents, all that it means to our economy and our quality of life, and its importance to Ohio’s future,” added Governor Strickland.
Ohio’s 1.1 million anglers spend an estimated $1.1 billion on fishing-related expenditures annually. Anglers contribute to local economies through the purchase of goods and services, as well as special taxes, licenses and other fees. Anglers support local jobs and wages, along with hotels, cottages and other lodging, marinas, charter boat services, restaurants, grocery stores, bait and tackle stores, marine suppliers and other local businesses. Their expenditures spur a $480 million sport fishing industry along Lake Erie and create nearly 10,000 jobs (Source: American Sportfishing Association).
“Statistics measure the benefits of the lake; but numbers don’t tell the whole story,” said ODNR Director Sean Logan. “Just as important as numbers, the memories we have of time spent on the lake, afternoons fishing or boating, and just the sights and sounds of Lake Erie build quality of life and a sense of community. Fish Ohio Day is one way to remind people of all that is at stake in the Lake Erie watershed.”
Lake Erie is a magnificent recreation area and the resource is vital to economic development. Years of water quality restoration and wise use management are paying off for Ohio. Fish Ohio Day brings needed attention to one of the state’s top tourist draw and greatest natural resource.
Fifteen charter captains from the Lake Erie Charter Boat Association volunteered their boats so state leaders, members of the media, representatives of the tourism industry and conservation leaders had an opportunity to experience fishing the lake’s Western Basin. All of the participating boats brought in fish, making it one of the more successful Fish Ohio days in recent history.
The 495 pounds of fish caught at this event were donated to the Victory Temple Food Bank. Located in Sandusky, this food bank serves families from the Port Clinton and Sandusky area.
Sponsored by the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR), Division of Wildlife, Lake Erie Charter Boat Association and Lake Erie Shores Islands, Fish Ohio Day celebrates Lake Erie as a destination for numerous recreational activities, such as fishing and boating, which showcases Ohio’s high-quality natural resources.
source: Ohio DNR