Just over 100,000 rainbow trout are expected to be released this spring in 64 Ohio public lakes and ponds, creating excellent fishing opportunities for anglers all across Ohio, according to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources. The first rainbow trout release is scheduled for Friday, March 11, at Adams Lake in Adams County. The Mount Gilead State Park Lake will receive their stocking on April 1.
Rainbow trout releases will take place across Ohio from March 11 – May 7 as long as areas are ice-free and accessible to anglers. Information about the trout releases, including updates to the schedule due to weather and stocking locations, is available at wildohio.gov or by calling 1-800-WILDLIFE (945-3543).
Stocking these areas across the state are expected to create opportunities for anglers of all ages to get out and enjoy quality spring trout fishing in a family friendly environment. Many stocked locations will feature special angler events, including youth-only fishing on the day of the trout release.
Rainbow trout are raised at state fish hatcheries and measure 10-13 inches before they are released by the ODNR Division of Wildlife. The daily catch limit for inland lakes is five trout.
Anglers age 16 and older must have an Ohio fishing license to fish in state public waters. The 2016-2017 fishing license is now available, and is valid through Feb. 28, 2017. An annual resident fishing license costs $19. A one-day fishing license costs $11 for residents and nonresidents. The one-day license may also be redeemed for credit toward the purchase of an annual fishing license. Licenses and permits can be purchased online at wildohio.gov and at participating agents throughout the state. A complete list of participating license sales agents can be found at wildohio.gov.
Sales of fishing licenses along with the Federal Sport Fish Restoration program continue to fund the operation of the ODNR Division of Wildlife’s fish hatcheries. No state tax dollars are used for this activity. This is strictly a user-pay, user-benefit program.
The SFR program is a partnership between federal and state government, industry, anglers and boaters. When anglers purchase rods, reels, fishing tackle, fish finders and motor boat fuel, they pay an excise tax. The federal government collects these taxes, and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service administers and disburses these funds to state fish and wildlife agencies. These funds are used to acquire habitat, produce and stock fish, conduct research and surveys, provide aquatic education to youth and secure and develop boat accesses.
• Whether reviled or revered, coyotes are very clever and adaptive animals. This is proven by their opportunistic and creative instincts to find food and habitat in a wide array of environments. Learn more about the lives of Ohio’s coyotes during a free public program on Wednesday, March 30 from 6-7:30 p.m. according to the ODNR. The program will take place at ODNR Division of Wildlife’s Lake Erie Unit, 305 E. Shoreline Drive in Sandusky.
Topics to be covered by ODNR Division of Wildlife officials include coyote biology, ecology, population trends and current status, dispelling myths about coyotes, and what to do if you encounter a coyote. Preventing, reducing, and eliminating conflicts with urban wildlife, including coyotes, will also be addressed. This program is best suited for ages 16 and up. The program is free but pre-registration is required as seating is limited. Call Division of Wildlife in Akron to pre-register at (330) 644-2293.
• Ohio wildlife biologists are frequently contacted by concerned residents who spot coyotes in urban or suburban areas. This is seldom a cause for alarm according to the ODNR. Coyotes are highly adaptable animals that live in a wide variety of environments thus there is no need to report sightings to wildlife officials unless the animal appears hurt, sick, or habituated (meaning the animal has lost its natural fear of humans). Here are a few steps to keep in mind when you encounter an urban coyote in the Buckeye State.
1. Understand that coyotes are common throughout Ohio’s 88 counties and are regularly seen within city limits. Read more about coyotes at wildohio.gov. Wolves are not a species found in the wild in Ohio.
2. If you spot a coyote on your property, make sure to remove all “attractants” to deter the coyote from returning. This includes properly securing garbage and removing outside pet food primarily before nightfall. Remember to clean up around the grill as well. Do not feed coyotes directly.
3. Coyotes prey primarily on small mammals such as rabbits and rodents. However, interactions with domestic pets do occur sometimes. Keep small dogs and cats inside (especially between sunset and sunrise) or leashed when outside. Motion-sensitive lighting tends to be helpful too at keeping wildlife away from your home.
4. Occasionally, an inquisitive coyote will stay put and watch you curiously. Make noise. Clap your hands and shout; the coyote will likely move on at this point. If it doesn’t, bang pots or pan together for louder noises. A coyote that loses its fear of humans could potentially become a threat.
5. If the coyote visiting your yard does not respond to harassment techniques such as loud noises or it is presenting a conflict even after attractants are removed, contact a nuisance trapper. You can locate a trapper at wildohio.gov or by calling the ODNR Division of Wildlife at 1-800-WILDLIFE. Nuisance trappers use highly regulated techniques to target individual animals and to reduce urban wildlife conflicts. Coyote populations in rural areas can be managed through legal hunting and trapping methods. Consult the yearly “Ohio Hunting and Trapping Regulations” digest for more information.
Until next time, Good Hunting and Good Fishing!
Ken Parrott is an Agricultural Science teacher with Northmor High School.