It’s that time of year when fish stocking begins at Ohio’s lakes and ponds.
The Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) 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).
Fishing techniques can be found on wildohio.gov.
Area stocking dates (for Crawford, Richland, and Morrow Counties) are as follows:
- Crossroads Industrial Ponds, near Bucyrus – will be stocked on April 29.
- The Malabar Farm Inn Pond – will be stocked on April 21.
- Mt. Gilead Lake State Park – will be stocked on March 17.
Special angler events will take place on stocking day at the Crossroads and Malabar Farm Inn locations.
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.
Anglers ages 16 and older are required to have an Ohio fishing license to fish in state public waters. An annual license is $25 and is valid for one year after purchase. A one-day fishing license costs $14 and may be redeemed for credit toward the purchase of a one-year fishing license. Licenses and permits can be purchased online at wildohio.gov, through the HuntFish OH app, and at participating license sales agents.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.