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More Lake Erie walleye caught in 2017 than in 30 prior years

Lake Erie fishermen last summer hauled in the biggest catch of walleye in three decades, the state Department of Environmental Conservation reported.

The DEC said its analysis of angler surveys revealed that anglers hooked more than 70,000 walleye last year on the lake.

That's three times more than the 30-year average catch rate for walleye.

And state environmental officials said they expect walleye fishing "should remain exceptional" in coming years.

"The New York State waters of Lake Erie are world-famous for outstanding angling opportunities for walleye, smallmouth bass and yellow perch," said Basil Seggos, DEC commissioner.

DEC officials attributed the fishing success last year to strong walleye reproduction rates over the last several years.

The walleye fishery generates an estimated $26 million in economic activity, the DEC added.

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