a_d
Thursday, April 14th, 2011
By Nancy Allen
State nets roughly 3,000 pounds of fish
  GRAND LAKE - State workers collected more than 3,000 pounds of mostly rough fish from Grand Lake on Wednesday.
High winds Tuesday made the lake too choppy for workers to empty the six nets placed Monday on the lake's southwest shore in the state-protected Mercer Wildlife Area. The area is accessible only by boat.
Debra Walters, Ohio Division of Wildlife fish biologist, said workers lifted the nets alongside two boats and used dip nets to remove the fish and put them into containers and onto the bottom of the boat. Two day's worth of fish overflowed the containers.
Ideally, the nets will be emptied daily, weather permitting, she said. Any game fish alive in the nets are thrown back into the lake.
"We were catching quillback carpsuckers that weighed probably eight to 10 pounds," Walters said. "The whole bottom of two boats were filled because we didn't have enough containers."
Studies show that rough fish removal can help improve water quality. Bottom feeders such as carp constantly rile up the phosphorous-laden sediment. Carp also excrete high amounts of phosphorous, which feeds toxic blue-green algae blooms.
State officials estimate by weight 90 percent of the fish in the lake are rough fish, which do well in poor water quality conditions. Rough fish removal is one of several recommendations in a master plan for restoring the lake.
Walters said some game fish including crappie, perch, sunfish and channel catfish also perished in the nets, which is unavoidable. State officials will evaluate sport fish mortalities to determine if the approach is safe for that population, she said.
"When you have eight to 10-pound quillback in a net, they beat up the other fish," Walters said. "It's very, very crowded in those nets."
After removing fish Wednesday, workers only set three nets to help workers better handle the amount collected today.
"We'll see how it goes on a single day's catch today with three nets," Walters said.
On Fridays, all the nets will be left open for the weekend so fish can swim through.
"The quillbacks appear to be getting ready to spawn and will be moving more and be in the shoreline area where our nets are," Walters said. "When the carp and shad start to spawn in mid-May, our catches of them will probably go up."
The fish will be picked up daily by G.A. Wintzer & Son rendering facility in Wapakoneta to be turned into poultry feed.
Additional online stories for this date
Print edition only stories for this date
• Mayor ready to defend need for voted tax increase
• ODOT plans road projects
• Athletic commitee tackles drafting dual-sport policy
• Election board prepares for upcoming primary
• Roughriders' offense rolls in five-inning victory over Wildcats
• Webster joining former teammate at Findlay
• This week 50, 25 and 10 years ago
a_d
Monday Night
44°
Cloudy
10%
Tuesday
63°
Mostly Cloudy
15%
Tuesday Night
48°
Slight Chance Rain Showers
31%
Wednesday
58°
Chance Thunderstorms
46%
Wednesday Night
41°
Chance Rain Showers
30%
Thursday
57°
Slight Chance Rain Showers
23%
Thursday Night
43°
Partly Cloudy
14%
Friday
64°
Partly Sunny
10%
Friday Night
49°
Partly Cloudy
10%
Saturday
72°
Partly Sunny
10%
Saturday Night
54°
Chance Thunderstorms
27%
3 Day
Extended
a_d
a_da_da_d