LETTER: Killing the fish

What is happening to the FISH? The Western Basin is supposed to be richest fishing resource in the Great Lakes? Yet Western Basin of
Sandusky Register Staff
May 24, 2010

What is happening to the FISH? The Western Basin is supposed to be richest fishing resource in the Great Lakes? Yet Western Basin of Lake Erie faced a reduced bag limits in 2008 on yellow perch to 25 from the 30 that had been the limit for 2007 and continues to be for the balance of Ohio's Lake Erie waters. It looks like it will be the same for 2009.

My involvements with Great Lakes protection and restoration Issues has introduced me to an issue that makes sense and may be contributing significantly to the decline of the walleye (pickerel) in the late 1950s to mid-1960s and may again be a key contributor to the current declining or dwindling populations of yellow perch and walleye.

Imagine my chagrin at reading a headline in a newsletter of the Wisconsin Council of Sportfishing Organizations, "Lake Erie's Bayshore power plant big fish killer" with the first sentence stating "Lake Erie's First Energy Bayshore power plant may be the biggest fish killer in the Great Lakes".

The Bayshore plant is located on the Maumee River, which is considered by many to be the "Best Walleye Spawning Ground in the World!" and the main spawning ground for the Western Basin Walleye. The figures 2005-06 are staggering as to the number of juvenile and larval walleye and yellow perch that are being impinged (pinned against intake screens) and entrained (sucked through the cooling system -- destroyed).

Section 316(b) of the Clean Water Act requires that cooling water intake structures reflect the best technology available for minimizing adverse environmental impact to aquatic organisms. Why isn't First Energy doing something to improve this situation?

The Ohio Division of Wildlife must take action to bring all power plants affecting Ohio fish into compliance with current regulations.

Rick Graham

President, Ohio Division

Izaak Walton League of America

Monroeville