More than 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 3, at Adams Lake in Adams County.
Rainbow trout releases will take place across Ohio from March 3-May 21 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 800-945-3543.
By stocking these water areas throughout the state, opportunities are created 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 Ohio’s 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 2017-2018 fishing license is now available and is valid through Wednesday, Feb. 28, 2018. 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 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.
For a list of trout stocking dates and locations, go to wildlife.ohiodnr.gov/fishing/trout-stocking-dates.
• Malabar Farm State Park in Richland County will host its 41st annual Maple Syrup Festival from 12-4 p.m. the weekends of March 4-5 and March 11-12. Visitors can take horse-drawn wagon rides to the Sugar Camp, witness live historical demonstrations and enjoy music and food. Maple products will be available for sale. Donations may be made to the group providing wagon rides. For more information, call 419-892-2784.
• The potential healing powers of the plants growing in your backyard, conservation of lady’s-slipper orchids and the flora and geology of Ohio’s only meteorite crater are just a few of the topics to be discussed at the 14th Ohio Botanical Symposium on Friday, March 24, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. The symposium will highlight alvars, lichens, the future of the eastern deciduous forest and exciting botanical discoveries being made in Ohio.
Sponsored by the ODNR, Cleveland Museum of Natural History, The Nature Conservancy and The Ohio State University, the event will be held at Villa Milano, located at 1630 Schrock Road in Columbus.
The symposium will feature two keynote speakers: Dr. Paul Catling with Agriculture and Agri-food of Canada and Dr. James Lendemer with the New York Botanical Garden. Catling will talk about alvars of the Great Lakes region. Created by glaciers thousands of years ago, these fascinating habitats are now home to many rare and fascinating plants and animals. Lendemer will discuss the biology, importance and diversity of lichens both in Ohio and in North America.
The event will also feature a multi-media show with scenic-related images and displays from a number of private and public conservation organizations and vendors offering conservation-related items for purchase.
The $45 attendance fee includes conference materials, continental breakfast, buffet lunch and break refreshments. Registrations will be accepted until Tuesday, March 21, or until the conference is full. For the registration form and more details, visit naturepreserves.ohiodnr.gov/obs or contact Rick Gardner at 614-265-6419.
Until next time, Good Hunting and Good Fishing!