Last updated: March 07. 2014 8:03PM - 1005 Views
By Jim Freeman In The Open

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Assuming they can put the trout in through the ice, more than 98,000 rainbow trout will be released this spring in 63 Ohio public lakes and ponds.

The Ohio Department of Natural Resources’ Division of Wildlife says rainbow trout releases will take place across Ohio through May 16, and the stocking of these public lakes and ponds are excellent opportunities for families to fish together.

Some of the local lakes and stocking dates include Forked Run Lake on March 14, Dow Lake in Athens County on March 21 and Lake Alma in Vinton County on March 28.

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 measure 10-13 inches before they are released by the ODNR Division of Wildlife. The daily catch limit for inland lakes is five trout.

Usually on stocking day the shoreline and the lake around the stocking point is ringed with anglers on shore or in boats hoping to reel in one or more of these tasty fish.

Some of the stocking dates have already been pushed back so make sure to check on wildlife.com before you head out. Also don’t forget to purchase your new Ohio fishing license before you go. Anglers under 16 years of age do not require a fishing license.

New fishing and hunting licenses are on sale now.

Spring turkey season opens April 21 and closes May 18. Those weeks are a time of great change in the woods; around opening day the woods are generally open because the undergrowth has not yet come up, but by the end of the season the undergrowth is in full stride and the canopy closed up.

A statewide youth wild turkey season will be offered on Saturday and Sunday, April 19 and 20, immediately prior to the regular wild turkey season.

Turkey hunting hours from April 21 to May 4, 2014 are one-half hour before sunrise to noon. Turkey hunting hours from May 5 to May 18 are one-half hour before sunrise to sunset. A valid Ohio hunting license and spring turkey permit are required.

Also the annual Leading Creek Stream Sweep will be held Saturday, April 20 at Jim Vennari Park in Rutland. The Leading Creek Stream Sweep, modeled after the Ohio River Sweep, was first held in 2001 with the intention of cleaning and improving portions of Leading Creek and its tributary streams. It has been held every year since then.

Finally, the Meigs SWCD will continue to take orders for trees through Tuesday. For a list of prices and offerings check out meigsswcd.com

Jim Freeman is wildlife specialist for the Meigs Soil and Water Conservation District and a long-time contributor to the Sunday Times-Sentinel. He can be contacted weekdays at 740-992-4282 or at jim.freeman@oh.nacdnet.net

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