PORT CLINTON, OH (Toledo News Now) - It's been another successful day of walleye fishing on Lake Erie for Rich Galvin, and he brought his catch to the Port Clinton Fish Company to be cleaned and processed.
"The quest for the big fish" Galvin proudly says.
However, there is a new warning for anglers. Anyone cleaning fish must peel back the skin and leave it attached until they reach their permanent residence.
That warning began so The Ohio Department of Natural Resources Division of Wildlife can keep fisherman from reeling in more than their daily limit.
"They can't go out, get their limit, cut it into little pieces so the game warden can't tell how many they got then go back and get a second limit" says fish cleaner Tom Scott.
That's no problem for Galvin:
"If it's the law, you got to go by it. What can I say."
Folks at Balboa Fish Cleaning though say the new regulation will kill business.
"There's going to be less people wanting to get their fish cleaned or even go out fishing because basically what they have to do is come in here, get the fish cleaned, pay for it to get cleaned and finish cleaning it when they get home" says Gidget Balboa.
Balboa adds the fish will become slimy by the time you get home if you leave the skin attached to it.
"Nobody wants to deal with slimy fish. That's the whole purpose of getting it cleaned. A lot of customers don't know how to do that."
Scott says there's a way to deal with the slime, though.
"The skin is a little slimy when they put it in. But if you take it home, rinse it off real good, that slime comes off."
Fish cleaners plan a petition drive to get the regulation repealed. Meanwhile, wildlife officials say just a handful of citations have been issued in Ottawa County.