walleye as Ohio state fish

Ohio's Walleye Swims Closer to State Fish Status

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Lawmakers cast their votes, propelling the walleye toward official recognition as Ohio's state fish.

The House bill, introduced by Representatives Sean Brennan and D.J. Swearingen, garnered overwhelming support with a 93-4 vote.

Proponents argue Lake Erie's reputation as the "walleye capital of the world" makes the choice clear.

Not everyone is biting, however, with some legislators and fishing enthusiasts preferring alternatives like the smallmouth bass.

Previous attempts to designate a state fish have floundered, including a 2003 effort favoring the smallmouth bass.

Ohio remains one of three states without an official fish, despite boasting unique symbols like two state fossils and a state rock song.

A recent poll showed the walleye leading other fish contenders, including yellow perch and smallmouth bass.

The bill now faces Senate approval and the governor's signature to become law.

Conservation efforts have bolstered Lake Erie's walleye population, with estimates placing it in the top quarter of the past three decades.

Governor Mike DeWine recently highlighted the walleye's importance during Fish Ohio Day, emphasizing its economic impact on the state.


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