Support Lake Erie with your trip to the Cleveland Mid-America Boat & Fishing Show on Lake Erie Day, Monday, Jan. 18, when one dollar from each ticket purchased will benefit the research, education, and outreach efforts of The Ohio State University’s Ohio Sea Grant College Program and Stone Laboratory. The Mid-America Boat & Fishing Show runs Jan. 15-24 at the I-X Center, 6200 Riverside Dr. in Cleveland.
This one-day event will feature a visit from Kristin Stanford, the Island Snake Lady from "Dirty Jobs" with one or two of her squirmy friends; a Lake Erie scavenger hunt; microscopes to observe Lake Erie microscopic life; and instruction on fly tying.
Talks are scheduled with Sea Grant speakers, including Stanford, who will bring along her squirmy friends, Brutus and Chocolate the fox snakes. Other speakers include:
- 2 p.m., Dave Kelch, OSU Extension Agent, Lorain County, Putting Some Science in Your Tacklebox
- 4 p.m., Stanford, Lake Erie Watersnakes and Gobies: A Good Relationship for Anglers!
- 6 p.m., Tory Gabriel, OSG Fisheries Program Coordinator, Changing Lake, Changing Opportunities: Lake Erie’s Overlooked Sport Fish
- 8 p.m., Kelch, Asian Carp: What’s The Real Threat to Lake Erie?
As the warmest, shallowest, and biologically most productive of the Great Lakes, Lake Erie is Ohio’s most valuable natural resource. More than 50% of all fish caught in the Great Lakes come from Lake Erie. The Ohio Sea Grant College Program, part of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, led the effort to create 10 artificial reefs to provide additional habitat for sport fish. These reefs, which dot the lake floor north of Lorain and Cleveland, attract more than 60 times as many fish as the surrounding non-reef areas and pay for themselves 2.75 times each year.
"Many people don’t realize what an important role Lake Erie plays in our regional ecosystem," said Show Manager Ken Alvey. "We want to spread the word about all the great things going on at Sea Grant and are happy to donate part of our admission price to the program. Our show is locally owned and operated, and we are always looking for ways to give back to the community."
Stone Laboratory, the nation’s oldest freshwater biological field station, located at Put-in-Bay on Gibraltar Island, OSU’s island campus on Lake Erie, was the base for the research that saved Lake Erie in the 1970s. Scientists working from the lab have been able to unlock the mystery of the Dead Zone-the bottom area with little or no oxygen that occurs in the summer months-and determine the cause of harmful algal blooms that affect fish and people alike.
"If you enjoy Lake Erie today, you benefit from the work of Ohio Sea Grant and Stone Lab," says Dr. Jeff Reutter, Director of the Ohio Sea Grant College Program. "This is your opportunity to give back to the lake and to students, the next generation of Lake Erie managers."