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Ohio Invites You to Get Hooked on Fish Hatchery Open Houses This Spring


Columbus, Ohio (March 11, 2024): Calling all fishing enthusiasts and families looking for a fun and educational outing! The Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) Division of Wildlife is hosting open houses at all six of their state fish hatcheries this spring. These free events are a fantastic opportunity to learn about fish production and get an up-close look at the fascinating world of raising fish for Ohio’s lakes and rivers.

Raising Fish for Future Generations

The ODNR Division of Wildlife is a dedicated steward of Ohio’s aquatic life. In 2023 alone, their hatcheries raised and stocked a staggering 40.8 million fish! These hatcheries focus on a variety of sport fish species, categorized by their preferred water temperature: cold-water (rainbow trout, steelhead, brown trout), cool-water (saugeye, walleye, yellow perch, muskellunge), and warm-water (hybrid-striped bass, channel catfish, blue catfish, bluegill). By cultivating these fish populations, the hatcheries significantly enhance fishing opportunities for anglers across the state.

Open House Schedule: Get Your Fish On!

Mark your calendars! The ODNR Division of Wildlife is hosting open houses at each of the six state fish hatcheries from 10:00 am to 2:00 pm on the following dates:

  • Saturday, March 23rd: St. Marys State Fish Hatchery (St. Marys)
  • Saturday, April 6th: Hebron State Fish Hatchery (Hebron) & Senecaville State Fish Hatchery (Senecaville)
  • Saturday, April 13th: Castalia State Fish Hatchery (Castalia) & Kincaid State Fish Hatchery (Latham)
  • Saturday, May 4th: London State Fish Hatchery (London)

Dive Deeper: Tours, Activities, and Fun for All Ages

These open house events offer something for everyone. Division of Wildlife staff will be on hand to provide informative tours and answer any questions you have about fish production and fisheries management. Visitors will have the unique opportunity to see fish at various stages of life, from delicate eggs and fry in production buildings to older fish thriving in ponds or raceways. Some locations will also feature family-friendly activities and displays, including archery trailers and BB gun ranges. Be sure to check with your nearest hatchery to see what specific activities they’ll be offering.

The Importance of Stocking and Sustainability

While natural reproduction plays a vital role in maintaining Ohio’s fish populations, stocking is another crucial tool used by the Division of Wildlife. Strategic stocking helps to expand and diversify fishing opportunities in bodies of water where natural habitats may not support certain fish species. It’s important to remember that stocking is just one piece of the puzzle. The Division of Wildlife employs a variety of fish management strategies to ensure healthy and sustainable angling experiences for all.

Learn More: Funding, Economic Impact, and Conservation Efforts

To learn more about Ohio’s state fish hatcheries, fish stocking locations, and the Division of Wildlife’s ongoing conservation efforts, visit their website at https://ohiodnr.gov/buy-and-apply/hunting-fishing-boating/fishing-resources/fish-stocking-records. State fish hatchery operations are funded through the sale of Ohio fishing licenses and the Sport Fish Restoration Act, a federal program that supports sport fish conservation through various taxes and fees associated with fishing equipment and recreational boating.

The economic impact of fishing in Ohio is significant. A recent report revealed that in 2022, anglers generated a staggering $5.5 billion in economic spending within the state. Furthermore, the research indicated that nearly 18% of Ohio’s adult population, roughly 1.7 million individuals, participate in fishing.

The Mission of the Division of Wildlife

The Ohio Division of Wildlife is dedicated to the vital task of conserving and improving fish and wildlife resources, along with their habitats. They strive to ensure the sustainable use and appreciation of these resources for generations to come. Visit https://ohiodnr.gov/buy-and-apply/hunting-fishing-boating/fishing-resources/fish-stocking-records to learn more about their important work.

So, grab your family and head to a fish hatchery open house this spring! It’s a fun and educational experience you won’t want to miss!