Lake Erie Walleye Management Plan

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Fishery managers from Michigan, New York, Ohio, Ontario, and Pennsylvania have released an updated walleye management plan for Lake Erie.

The plan, which is an update of the original plan of 2005, sets new fishery goals and objectives for walleye (also known as pickerel), one of Lake Erie’s most important commercial and recreational species.

The plan is the result of extensive stakeholder and manager input through a process known as the Lake Erie Percid Management Advisory Group, or LEPMAG.

The Lake Erie Walleye Management Plan provides a brief history of walleye management in Lake Erie and reports on the status of the species. The plan also defines key reference points and harvest control rules to be used by the Lake Erie Committee to establish an annual total allowable catch recommendation, or “TAC.”

The overall goal is to ensure the long-term sustainability of the walleye fishery on Lake Erie. The plan and objectives were developed through the LEPMAG progress and represent the consensus of commercial and recreational fishers and management agencies.

In Lake Erie, walleye are managed under a quota-setting process that takes into account natural fluctuations of fish stocks and the socio-economic needs of the five state and provincial jurisdictions that share the lake.

Lake Erie walleye are managed as common fish stocks, and the jurisdictions, through management and technical committees, meet on a regular basis to understand the state of walleye in the lake, to share science and data, and to reach consensus on a TAC.

The individual jurisdictions are free to allocate their fishery as they see fit, pursuant to the TAC. Ontario allocates most of its portion of the TAC to the commercial fishery while American states allocate their portion to the recreational fishery.

The TAC-setting process occurs through a bi-national forum called the Lake Erie Committee, which operates under the Joint Strategic Plan for Management of Great Lakes Fisheries as facilitated by the Great Lakes Fishery Commission.

The plan is available at:

source: Great Lakes Fishery Commission