The 2011-12 steelhead run in Ohio is as strong as it's been in years. Nothing like a lot of rain and temps in the 40s to lure waves of rainbows up the tributaries of Steelhead Alley. Check out the reports from Mike Durkalec with the Cuyahoga County Metroparks if you doubt the strength of this year's run. (Sweet photos from swing king Jeff Liskay in this week's edition.)
That's the good news. Last night at the Emerald Necklace Trout Unlimited meeting at the Rocky River Nature Center Metroparks Lt. Sean Flanagan shared the bad news. Poaching is at an unprecedented level. He said the Metroparks police are making a concerted effort to arrest people seen snagging fish or keeping more fish than permitted.
The Lieutenant encouraged everyone to keep an eye out for poachers and to call the Metroparks Police, 440-331-5530, to report any violations. He noted it is helpful to know the license plate or type of vehicle being used by the poachers. He cautioned anglers not to approach poachers. A phone call will do the trick.
Poaching is one of the downsides of having a remarkable fishery in close proximity to so many people. Anglers that care about the future of the fishery can do a lot to limit the abusive practices of others. It is our responsibility. Make the call.