Lake Erie perch and walleye hatches down last year

PORT CLINTON, Ohio (AP) — Ohio wildlife officials say Lake Erie's perch and walleye hatches were below average last year — but fishing should still be plenty good this year.

It takes two years for walleye and perch to grow big enough to be caught and kept by fishermen, officials say — and there are still plenty of good-sized fish out there from better years.

Walleye and perch are among the most popular sport fish in Lake Erie, drawing thousands of anglers. Fishing in Ohio brings in about $1.1 billion annually.

Officials found last year's average after conducting checks for juvenile fish in Lake Erie's western and central basins in August.

The Columbus Dispatch (http://bit.ly/14LH0rs ) says this year's fishing outlook in the lake is helped by strong walleye and perch hatches from previous years.

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Information from: The Columbus Dispatch, http://www.dispatch.com

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