Ohio’s hunters and anglers are now able able to purchase their new state licenses. As of March 1, outdoorsmen and women are able to purchase their 2019-2020 hunting and fishing licenses at wildohio.gov and at hundreds of participating agents throughout the state, according to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources.
A new purchasing system launched two years ago, making it easier for hunters, anglers and conservationists to obtain licenses, permits or other products. Licenses and permits are grouped by category, such as hunting or fishing. After an online purchase, including by cellphone, anyone with an online account can obtain a free reprint of a valid license or permit at wildohio.gov (this option is not available at agents).
Ohio’s resident fishing and hunting licenses cost $19 each, unchanged from last year. Ohio’s 2019-2020 hunting licenses are valid immediately upon purchase through Feb. 28, 2020. New this year, Ohio’s annual fishing licenses are valid for 365 days from the date of purchase.
Ohio residents also have the option of buying multiyear licenses, and people may choose from 3-year, 5-year, 10-year and lifetime hunting or fishing licenses. All single-year and multiyear licenses can be purchased online at wildohio.gov and at hundreds of participating agents throughout the state if an Ohio driver license or state identification is associated with the customer’s account.
Those interested in purchasing a lifetime license may apply online or at any of the ODNR Division of Wildlife’s five district offices or headquarters in Columbus. Locations of ODNR Division of Wildlife offices can be found at wildohio.gov. Lifetime licenses cannot be purchased at license agent locations at this time.
• More than 100,000 rainbow trout will be stocked this spring in 66 Ohio public lakes, creating excellent fishing for anglers across Ohio, according to the ODNR. The first rainbow trout release is scheduled for Friday, March 8, at Adams Lake in Adams County.
Rainbow trout releases will take place across Ohio from March 8-May 19 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-WILDLIFE (945-3543).
By stocking these lakes throughout the state, good fishing is available 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 when they are stocked 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. Ohio fishing licenses are valid for 365 days from the date of purchase. An annual resident fishing license costs $19. A one-day fishing license costs $11. 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 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.
Until next time, Good Hunting and Good Fishing!
Ken Parrott is an Agricultural Science teacher with Northmor High School.