Tag Archives: Lake Erie

Family owned working waterfront fishing businesses displaced by waterfront developments on Great Lakes

For three generations, the Minor family, today brothers Carson and Landon and their father Paul, have been up before first light to board their fishing tug and make their way to their fishing grounds on Lake Erie. Most mornings, the Minors leave from Port Colborne, Ont., Each afternoon they return to the port to unload their fresh catch of perch and pickerel.,, Without warning, the unloading zone their family had used for more than 70 years was blocked off. They were forced to move to a new port further away from their fishing grounds, increasing travel time and putting them at greater risk during bad weather.,, The Minors’ story is not new, nor is it isolated. Working waterfront access is being affected by coastal gentrification, also called “coastal grabbing” >click to read< 16:47

‘15 minutes out mama’: The tragic story of Port Dover fisherman Michael Smith who drowned in Lake Erie

Frigid water shushing against the hull, spray peppering windows, as the fish tug bores through Lake Erie, clouds breaking to reveal the pale, fleeting blue of a mercurial March sky. On board, Michael Smith sent his wife a text like he always did to start the day: “Good morning beautiful, I love you.” They headed southwest around Long Point, the 40-kilometre sand spit that stretches nearly halfway across the lake. Smith recorded video: the wheelhouse, engine rumbling, tote boxes awaiting some of the first smelt of the commercial fishing season. He pulled open a steel door through which the trawling net is pulled, to show the water rolling by. He made it a ritual to kiss the net before releasing it to the lake. >click to read< 10:41

Offshore Wind Farms are new danger for Lake Erie through Governor Cuomo’s Green New Deal

The proposal to install offshore wind turbines on the Eastern side of Lake Erie was brought to my attention during the annual Woodlawn Beach cleanup last September. Since then I have learned much about how negative this would be for Lake Erie and the people and wildlife that depend on it, the protests around the world against these types of projects and the media paywalls that are stifling our knowledge of them. Global developers have called the Great Lakes the “Saudi Arabia of Wind,” and surprisingly, the Sierra Club and other environmental groups that oppose Peace Bridge reconstruction and shoreline development endorse the turbines. Can you see the dollar signs? Can you trust a global industry with our fresh water? By Mary Henson, >click to read< 14:22

Coronavirus devastating commercial fishing industry

Lifelong commercial fisherman Mark Weaver had anticipated a bumper season for his family-run commercial fishery before the COVID-19 pandemic left the industry almost dead in the water. Now, he and the rest of Ontario’s commercial fishing industry are facing a bleak future that could leave them struggling just to survive. “I don’t know how we’re going to pay the bills,” Weaver said. While Lake Erie would normally be dotted with commercial fishing vessels at this time of year, their boats aren’t leaving the docks in Port Stanley, Wheatley and other Southwestern Ontario ports this spring since there’s nowhere to sell their catch. “It’s a total supply chain challenge and crisis that we’re in,” said Jane Graham, executive director of the Ontario Commercial Fisheries’ Association. April has been one of the “most productive fishing months of the year,” Graham said. And it looked like this April would have been just as productive, Weaver said. >click to read< 22:01

U.S., Canadian coast guards rely on each other to save lives

Snowy, dark and difficult to see from a few hundred feet in the air — U.S. Coast Guard search and rescue pilot Lieutenant Aaron Jones recalls responding to three medical emergencies on Pelee Island, in southwestern Ontario, in the span of a month. In those cases, the U.S. Coast Guard Air Station Detroit was best suited to respond, highlighting the importance of the relationship between both countries’ coast guards. >click to read< 09:28

In the Great Lakes’ most productive fishing grounds, algae-fueled dead zones are eroding livelihoods

From his lakefront dock in Crystal Rock, 70 miles west of Cleveland, Dean Koch still gleefully reminisces on his career as a commercial fisherman in the heyday. At his first industry meeting in Sandusky in the late 1960s, fishing moguls booked the entire Holiday Inn and filled all the rooms. Back then, fishermen set hundreds of miles of gill nets and thousands of trap nets in Lake Erie.,, Now, Koch, 70, says, the number of fishermen who hold commercial licenses could sit around the small round table in his garage. >click to read<  08:22

Asian carp: Turning a nuisance into a commodity for the Great Lakes

One of the great myths about Asian carp is that the war against them will be won if the Great Lakes region succeeds in keeping them out of Lake Michigan. Indeed the stakes are high in that part of the Midwest, including in communities that wrap around the fertile fishing waters of Lake Erie’s western basin, and the rivers that feed into the lake.,, But the Great Lakes are the site of only one battle in the Asian carp war, and environmental experts contend there is no apparent end in sight to what has evolved over several decades into a slow-moving biological disaster cutting across the heart of North America, Video, photo’s, >click to read< 17:20

Erie man last commercial fisherman in Monroe County

It hasn’t been an easy summer for Dave Blair. The Erie native — who has long been the only continuously active commercial fisherman in Monroe County — says he was way off of his typical catch rates this year due to the higher-than-normal water levels of Lake Erie. Blair also blamed the runoff from area farms, which he says contributed to a bad spawn. “We did alright with certain species, but our main species of carp and buffalo we didn’t do nothing on them,” Blair said. This is just the latest hurdle Blair has had to overcome. >click to read< 15:07

Lake Erie walleye quotas up but ‘devastating’ drop for perch, says commercial fishery

The allowable catch limit for yellow perch in Lake Erie has dropped by as much as 32 per cent for the part of the lake near Chatham-Kent, Tim Tiessen, president of the Ontario Commercial Fisheries’ Association, said Monday. The quota is dropping by about 20 per cent for commercial fishing boats operating south of Essex County.,,, “That’s going to be hard for the fisherman,” On the plus side, the quota for walleye is going up about 20 per cent across Lake Erie. The binational Lake Erie Committee of fishery managers from Michigan, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Ontario recently decided the total allowable catch limits,,, >click to read<16:43

Fisherman Charged in Wife’s Lake Killing Despite No Body

A commercial fisherman’s story about his wife disappearing into the depths of Lake Erie on a boating trip isn’t adding up, and Pennsylvania authorities believe they know why. They say he’s the one who put her there. Christopher Leclair, 48, is jailed on a charge of criminal homicide in the presumed death of his wife of nearly 26 years, Karen, whose body has not been found. Erie County District Attorney Jack Daneri,  “If you don’t have a body, you’re going to have to have a strong circumstantial case,” he said. The prosecutor and Kline believe they do, including other statements from Christopher Leclair that also don’t jibe, according to police affidavits filed with search warrants and criminal complaints. click here to read the story 11:50

Updated: Husband Charged with Homicide After Reporting Wife Missing in Lake

Pennsylvania State Police have filed charges against the husband of an Albion woman who reportedly went missing in Lake Erie over the weekend. Erie News Now has learned Christopher Leclair, 48, has been charged with criminal homicide in the death of his wife Karen. Karen Leclair, 51, was reported missing Sunday afternoon. Christopher Leclair told the U.S. Coast Guard she had fallen off their commercial fishing vessel on Lake Erie Sunday afternoon. State Police tell us surveillance video catches Christopher Leclair and his wife heading onto the lake on Saturday and Christoper returning alone. Investigators say the video shows Christopher Leclair heading out on the water again Sunday. click here to read the story and related articles 0

Surveillance Video Helps Police Charge Husband in Wife’s Murder – When questioned by police, the other woman said Leclair spent the night at her house Saturday and the two discussed moving in together. click here to read the story 12:51

Woman Reported Missing in Lake Erie After Falling From a Fishing Boat

Pennsylvania State Police have issued search warrants as they are called in to assist in the case of a woman missing in Lake erie, after her husband reported she fell off a boat Sunday afternoon. She is identified as 51-year-old Karen LeClair of Albion. Her husband 48-year-old Christopher Leclair says it was the commercial fishing vessel he operates, the “Doris M.” that she fell from. According to Sgt. Brook Tolbert of the PA Fish and Boat Commission, Mrs. Leclair, a partner with her husband in a commercial fishing enterprise called, Lake Erie Fishing was not wearing a life vest. . “Mr. Leclair indicated that she was not wearing a life vest, there were plenty of life vests on board the vessel at the time, but she was not wearing it and she’s not required to wear it,” Video, click here to read the story 20:43

TAC increase brings optimistic times for Lake Erie commercial fishery

The Canada-U.S. committee that manages the fishery likes the recent research data it has seen. As a result, the Lake Erie Committee has increased the amount of yellow perch and walleye commercial fishermen are allowed to catch this year. The total allowable catch for yellow perch has been pegged at 10.4 million pounds. This is a 13 percent increase over 2016. The numbers are even better for walleye, which is commonly served in lakeshore restaurants as pickerel. As a top predator in the lake, walleye are managed as individuals and not by weight. The Lake Erie Committee will allow 5.924 million walleye to be harvested this year. That’s a 20 percent increase over 2016. click here to read the story 09:38

Ontario needs fishing boat captains — and thus has called Newfoundland

Lake Erie needs boat captains. The fishery, one of Ontario’s relatively quiet but successful businesses, is facing the same problem as fisheries around North America: its labourers are ageing into retirement and too few young people are interested in replacing them. “We have boats right now that aren’t able to fish because there’s no one to captain the boat,” says Jane Graham of the Ontario Commercial Fisheries Association (OCFA). “People on the fishing tugs require specialized training, and we’re having a hard time finding them.” So who do you call when you need more fishing boat captains? Newfoundland and Labrador, it turns out. Read the story here 15:11

Lake Erie captain ordered to use GPS after pleading guilty to multiple counts under the Fisheries Act

kimmy-sue-lake-erieA Leamington commercial fishing boat captain with decades of sailing experience in Lake Erie has agreed to have his boat’s movements monitored by GPS during the next two years. Paolo Adragna, 50, pleaded guilty to multiple counts under the Fisheries Act in a Chatham court Monday, as part of a joint submission that he also pay $18,000 in fines and the family company, 149561 Ontario Limited, was assessed another $2,000 in fines for illegal fishing operations in 2015. Charges against the defendant’s elderly parents, who were jointly charged, were withdrawn. Crown attorney Demetrius Kappos said the defendant was the captain of the vessel Kimmy Sue and a director in the family business that holds two commercial food fishing licences to take fish from zones 1 and 2 in Lake Erie. Kappos said ministry staff conducted an inspection of the Kimmy Sue at the Port of Kingsville on Oct. 1, 2015 and found several trays containing undersized gill nets, a breach of a licensing condition. Read the story here 08:01

Meijer Partnership with Commercial Fishing Company Exemplifies Commitment to Local

The partnership between Meijer and Great Lakes commercial fishing company, La Nassa Foods, began on a handshake nearly two decades ago and continues to thrive today based on a mutual commitment to provide Meijer customers with the highest quality lake fish. As a result, the Grand Rapids, Mich.-based retailer is able to offer customers at each of its 230 stores across the Midwest with nearly 500,000 pounds of Lake Erie walleye, yellow perch and other lake species each year. Today, it’s the longest-running partnership Meijer has with a local fishing company, which harvests from Lake Erie daily and delivers the catch to the Meijer Distribution Facility in southeast Michigan four days a week. The partnership has also led La Nassa to grow from three fishing vessels and 35 employees to 11 vessels and 105 employees over the past 18 years, said Tony Giacalone, president of La Nassa Foods. Read the story here 10:48

Goldfish – A lucrative Great Lakes commercial catch

-45ec3f81f36359b7Whenever Dave DeLong brings in one of his Maumee Bay seine nets, there’s almost always one or two distinctive bright orange fish swimming around the writhing mass of bullhead, catfish and carp. DeLong, a Lake Erie commercial fisherman, makes a living hauling live fish to the Luna Pier Harbor Club, where his catch is weighed and sold. He’s been fishing for 45 years on Lake Erie and goldfish have been part of that catch every year.”We used to throw them away,” he said. Not anymore. Goldfish — larger versions of the species found in household aquariums — have been a part of the Great Lakes ecosystem for a long, long time. While that’s really no secret, most would be surprised to learn just how many actually inhabit the bi-national waters. Photo gallery, Read the rest here 13:16

Commercial fisherman pulls a grass carp from his net in Lake Erie

On Thursday, September 17, 2015 a commercial fisherman had an interesting find when he pulled a grass carp from his net in Lake Erie .The Grass carp is a species of the Asian carp, which feeds on aquatic vegetation. The fish was caught west of Point Pelee Thursday morning and weighed in at about 23 pounds (10.5 kilograms), though they have been known to grow upwards of 99 pounds (45 kilograms). The carp was sent to the Department of Fisheries and Oceans in Burlington for testing. This specific testing will include whether the fish was fertile or sterile,,, Read the rest here 12:22

As Our Oceans Degrade, The Environmentalist Network Stays Focused on their Overfishing Bread and Butter

Canadian scientists warn of artificial sweeteners in oceans. It means that up to 72 metric tonnes (160,000 pounds) of sweetener are pouring into Lake Erie. Because the sweeteners — used in products like diet soda, chewing gum, yogurt and as sugar replacements in tea and coffee to avoid weight gain — cannot be broken down by the human body, the artificial sweeteners pass right through. They cannot be broken down by wastewater treatment plants either, meaning the undiluted sweeteners enter the water supply used as drinking water for humans and animals. Read the rest here 10:08

Port Clinton Fish company owner invests $170,000 into business

The business, located by the Madison Street dock, has new windows, steel siding and signage. A new roof was installed about a year earlier. Rich said he believes the site has housed a fishing company since the 1920s. “It was the largest freshwater fish company in the world,” said Rich, a Castalia resident. “Railroad cars came right out here where we park and would take the fish to Chicago and New York.” The Stinson family has owned the Port Clinton Fish Co. since Rich’s dad, Lee, purchased it in 1974. Read the rest here 13:31

Huge ice cap on Lake Erie puts arrival of spring on hold

The large ice cap still encrusting most of Lake Erie would cover all of Long Island, Connecticut and Rhode Island combined. It’s two feet thick in many places, and melting oh-so-slowly. Last year, it wasn’t completely gone until May. The lake ice is the biggest, whitest sign that spring’s arrival is again delayed. And the temperature is not going to warm up any time soon. This will be the longest it has taken to reach 60 degrees since 1980. Read the rest here 15:24

Video: Frozen Lake Erie – Record temps keep commercial fishermen off lake

 The winter months are normally slow times for those at Euclid Fish Company when it comes to expecting fresh water fish, such as yellow perch, to fill their freezers. This winter’s haul has hit a wall of ice. All winter Euclid Fish Company’s suppliers from Canada truck in boxes of frozen stock caught by commercial fishermen meeting quotas on Lake Erie. Often they can fish somewhere on the lake that hasn’t iced up, still meeting commercial demands. That isn’t the case this year and in 2013. Read the rest here 21:45

Understanding the Canadian Commercial Fishing Industry on Lake Erie

The natural resources that Lake Erie provides are valuable to millions of people. That is why conversations get heated with the topic of Lake Erie fisheries management. Distrust and blame are often beseeched upon neighboring management agencies. Canadian commercial fishermen are looked upon with disdain by many Americans for their use of gill nets and harvest rates. Read the rest here 16:57

Understanding the Canadian Commercial Fishing Industry on Lake Erie by Jonathan Shoemaker

863a4ac9dc_64635696_o2The natural resources that Lake Erie provides are valuable to millions of people. That is why conversations get heated with the topic of Lake Erie fisheries management. Distrust and blame are often beseeched upon neighboring management agencies. Canadian commercial fishermen are looked upon with disdain by many Americans for their use of gill nets and harvest rates. [email protected]

Bill to ban Lake Erie oil, natural gas drilling reintroduced into legislature

That’s a NO BRAINER, huh? [email protected]