The Star Beacon; Ashtabula, Ohio

Sports

March 3, 2013

Outdoors Insider, with Dale Sunderlin: Critters, critters everywhere!

More than 98,000 rainbow trout will be released this spring at 63 Ohio public lakes and ponds.

The first release was last Friday at Adams Lake in Adams County, according to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR).

Rainbow trout releases will take place through May 3, and the stocking of these public lakes and ponds are excellent opportunities for families to fish together. Fishing for catchable-sized trout is a great way to introduce young people to the outdoors. Rainbow trout are raised at state fish hatcheries and are 10-13 inches before they are released by the ODNR Division of Wildlife. The daily catch limit for inland lakes is five trout.

Some locations will feature special angler events, including youth-only fishing, on the day of the scheduled trout release. Contact the nearest wildlife district office for specific information. Additional information about trout releases is available at www.wildohio.com or by calling 800-WILDLIFE.

Anglers age 16 and older must have an Ohio fishing license to fish state public waters. The 2013-14 fishing license is available now and is valid through Feb. 28, 2014. An annual resident fishing license costs $19. A one-day fishing license costs $11 for residents and non-residents. The one-day license may also be redeemed for credit toward the purchase of an annual fishing license.

Ohio residents born on or before Dec. 31, 1937, may obtain a free fishing license where licenses are sold. Persons age 66 and older who were born on or after Jan. 1, 1938, and have resided in Ohio for the past six months are eligible to purchase the reduced-cost resident senior license for $10.

Sales of fishing licenses along with the Sport Fish Restoration (SFR) 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 is a partnership between federal and state government, industry and anglers/boaters. When anglers purchase rods, reels, fishing tackle, fish finders and motorboat 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 acquire and develop boat accesses.

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