From the Editor 

As the dawn of the new millennium finally has arrived I’m reflective of what the future holds for the sport fishermen of Lake Erie.  I’m hopeful that Man will continue to respect this Great Lake and do whatever is necessary to properly manage its fisheries so that all future generations can enjoy what we do today. 

Through the middle of this past century we witnessed Man’s negative impact on the ecology and fisheries of Lake Erie.   In the 1950’s we looked the other way as the Blue Pike vanish from Erie’s waters due to overfishing, by both commercial and sport fishermen.  Yes, remember the stories of weekend fishermen filling their boats with ‘buckets’ of Blue Pike?  It is now an extinct species.  

During this same time we saw Erie ravaged by Man’s excesses, driven by profit and greed, as hundreds of factories lined the lake dumping every waste chemical in the book into it.  This pollution killed off the perch and walleye fisheries during the 50s, 60s and early 70s.  What few fish remained in the lake were unsuitable for eating with their flesh tainted by deadly chemicals. 

In more recent years, Man has attempted to atone for his ecological sins by legislating against pollution and forming fisheries agencies to manage Erie’s resources.   These efforts have paid dividends by seeing a rebirth of Erie’s fisheries during late 70s, 80s and 90s.   I’m hopeful that Man will continue this work well into the next millennium.  Let’s not ever repeat our ecological mistakes of the past. 

The most recent fisheries management efforts come from our friends on the North Shore.  In January of this year the Canadian Minstry of Natural Resources (MNR) announced a Five-Year Plan to improve fishing in Eastern Lake Erie.  The plan calls for protecting walleyes from gill netters and sport fishermen during the spawning season from March through Mid-May.  Protecting walleyes from gill netters?  Now there’s an oxymoron for you.  The plan also calls for reduced quotas of commercial harvests and reduced bag limits for sport fishermen, both for walleye and perch.  Many sport fishing advocates say the plan, although a good start, does not go far eneogh to protect the eastern basin fishery, which has been in rapid decline the past two decades.  I would agree with this assessment and will continue to wonder why our Canadian neighbors won’t just bite the bullet, as we did here, and simply BAN ALL GILL NETTING ONCE AND FOR ALL!!! 

On a lighter note, as editor and publisher of this magazine, I took great pride in preparing our computer systems for the Year 2000 and took every possible precaution to guard against the now infamous millennium bug.  I tested our systems and software, purchased a new “Y2K” compliant computer etc., etc.   So confident was I that everything would work just right come January 1st, I didn’t even bother to stand watch over my computer in my home office during the “Midnight Rollover”.  Did all my painstaking efforts pay off?  Uh, No!  On that early January 1st morning I discovered that a large contingent of very loyal subscribers showed up on a report with subscription expiration dates of  September 1, 1900!!   Don’t panic.  All is well now as the expiration dates were quickly changed back to September 1, 2000.  

With the new Millennium we also are ushering in a new look to our Magazine cover.  The original “Fish in the Lake” cover (since 1995) has finally been replaced with a new logo.  Hope you like it! 

With this issue we welcome Mark Hicks and Mark Martin to our staff of writers.  Both Marks are well known outdoors writers and bring years of experience and knowledge of Lake Erie and walleye fishing with them.  Welcome aboard guys! 

Till next time, good fishing!