ST. MARYS — A mild winter so far this season has resulted in better-than-normal fishing at Grand Lake St. Marys.
“The fishing has been really good both in the lake and below the spillway,” Grand Lake St. Marys Park Manager Brian Miller told The Evening Leader. “In the lake have been crappie and blue gill and below the spillway, people are catching crappie and walleye. We are seeing very good numbers in both areas.”
In addition to people fishing on the lake, Miller said he witnessed one person recently ice fishing — an activity he cautioned against given the current weather patterns.
“It was nervy, he was over at Windy Point,” Miller said. “While I have seen ice on the lake, it is nothing close to what I would deem safe. We have some ice on the lake but it’s bad ice because we’ve had warmer temperatures. Now it’s going to cool off again and it’s hard to say if or when we will get some decent ice.”
Traversing onto unsafe ice is dangerous.
“The dangers of going through the ice and exposure are hypothermia,” Miller said. “You have a very short time to be rescued or rescue yourself before hypothermia sets in. Hypothermia is one of the largest killers of outdoor recreationalists.”
Miller noted he heard fishermen are hauling in crappie of all sizes. The current bag limit is 30 in the lake and all fish must be at least 9 inches.
“We have the resources out here and the opportunity is here for people to take advantage of it,” Miller said of the lake. “It’s good to see that activity. It’s mostly local fishermen catching these fish but hopefully we will get the word out there that there are good crappie. You are going to have good years, better years and down years so we are on the rise of that cycle. I hope people will come out next spring and take advantage of the resource available to them.”
Miller said the campground and park are set to undergo some improvements in the coming weeks.
“A lot has to do with maintenance — we’ll be removing trees affected by the emerald ash borer and maintenance on our heavy equipment and getting the dredges ready for next season,” Miller said. “We also awarded a bid on a new restroom in the campground ... And we’ll bid out the East Bank launch ramp renovation project, that’s $250,000 to also expand and resurface the parking lot.”