Rainbow trout to be released


The Ohio Department of Natural Resources Division of Wildlife will release 84,000 rainbow trout in 88 lakes and ponds beginning Thursday, March 16. Locations have changed this year to bring more people an opportunity to catch these feisty fish in March, April, and May. Trout releases are designed for high angler success and harvest.

All fish are stocked during the date listed for each location. Some locations feature a special event on the day of the scheduled release, including youth-only fishing. Information about the trout releases, including a complete list of dates, stocking locations, event information, and any changes to the schedule because of weather is available at wildohio.gov or by calling 1-800-WILDLIFE (1-800-945-3543). Find a complete list of release dates and locations at ohiodnr.gov/troutstockings.

By stocking these and other water areas across the state, the Division of Wildlife provides anglers the opportunity to enjoy quality spring rainbow trout fishing in a family-friendly environment. The daily limit is five rainbow trout per angler.

Rainbow trout are raised at Ohio’s state fish hatcheries and measure between 10-13 inches when they are released by the Division of Wildlife. Rainbow trout are coldwater species and are stocked primarily near metropolitan areas and where they are likely to be caught within two weeks of release. Trout are sensitive to warm temperatures and typically do not survive through late spring.

Sales of fishing licenses along with the federal Sport Fish Restoration program support the operation of Division of Wildlife fish hatcheries. The Sport Fish Restoration program is a partnership between federal and state governments, the fishing industry, anglers, and boaters. When anglers purchase rods, reels, fishing tackle, fish finders, and motorboat fuel, they pay an excise tax. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service administers and disburses funds from these taxes to state fish and wildlife agencies. These funds are used to acquire habitat, produce and stock fish, conduct research and assessment surveys, provide aquatic education, and secure fishing access.

• Hunting and fishing licenses for 2023-24 are on sale now. Spring weather is here, and with it comes plentiful outdoor recreation opportunities.

Licenses can be purchased with ease at wildohio.gov, on the HuntFish OH mobile app, or at participating agents statewide. A hunting or fishing license opens the door to boundless hunting and fishing in Ohio and contributes financially to wildlife conservation.

License sales fund the Division of Wildlife’s projects and programs that benefit wildlife and people. The Division of Wildlife manages or cooperatively manages more than 2 million acres of water and 750,000 acres of diverse wildlife areas. These habitats support popular game species such as deer, turkey, and walleye as well as key species such as bald eagles and monarch butterflies.

In 2023, the Division of Wildlife celebrates 150 years of professional fish and wildlife conservation since it was founded as the Ohio Fish Commission in 1873. Ohioans were first required to purchase a hunting license in 1913. In 1925, a resident fishing license was added to the regulations. Since then, license sales have helped make possible the return of deer and turkey, saugeye and muskie fishing opportunities on inland lakes, steelhead fishing on Lake Erie tributaries, and much more.

Ohio’s resident fishing licenses are $25, are valid for one year from the date of purchase, and can be purchased up to 30 days prior to the expiration date. A fishing license is required to fish in Ohio public waters for anyone 16 and older.

Ohio’s annual resident hunting licenses for the 2023-24 seasons are $19 for adults ($10 for youth) and are available now. Hunting licenses are valid immediately after purchase through Feb. 29, 2024. All hunters, regardless of age, are required to carry a valid hunting license to hunt or trap in Ohio.

Customers also have the option of choosing automatic renewal when purchasing a license online or when using a smartphone. The selected license renews automatically once the previous year expires. Multiyear hunting and fishing licenses are also available, with three-year, five-year, 10-year, and lifetime licenses on sale.

Download the free HuntFish OH mobile app to buy your license. Deer and turkey hunters can use the app to check their harvest, even without a cell phone signal. Anglers can find boat ramps, public waters, and wildlife areas on the map. App users can also purchase permits, report wildlife sightings, and read current regulations.

Funds from the sale of hunting and fishing licenses, along with excise taxes on hunting and fishing equipment, directly benefit wildlife management and habitat conservation efforts here in Ohio. Funds also support improvements to fishing access, shooting ranges, and wildlife areas. Visit wildohio.gov to learn more.

Until next time, Good Hunting and Good Fishing!

Ken Parrott is an Agricultural Science teacher with Northmor High School.

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