The Castalia Fish Hatchery in Erie County will open a half-mile section of Cold Creek for controlled trout fishing events. This opportunity is limited to a designated number of anglers and will held during select dates during the 2014 fishing season, according to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR).
Controlled trout fishing is offered by the ODNR Division of Wildlife at the Castalia State Fish Hatchery from May 5-Nov. 28. No weekend or holiday fishing is available. The trout stocked in Cold Creek measure between 10-12 inches. Most of the fish are rainbow trout, although brown trout are available.
Anglers interested must apply online March 1-31 and pay a non-refundable $3 application fee in order to be eligible for a random drawing. Only one application is allowed per person. Anglers 16 and older can fish from May 5-June 13 and from Aug. 18-Nov. 28. A second season will be held for those 15 and younger from June 16-Aug. 15.
Youth sessions are 7-11 a.m. and 11:30 a.m-3:30 p.m., and successful applicants will be assigned a session. Adult sessions are 7 a.m.-12 p.m. Individuals selected to participate can bring two adults 16 and older and three youths 15 and younger (no more than six people total).
Random drawings for permit selection will be held in April. The results of the drawing will be posted at www.wildohio.com.
Special fishing rules will be in effect to ensure a quality fishing experience. This includes a no-catch-and-release rule; anglers keep all the fish they catch. The daily bag limit is five trout per angler. Anglers are required to check in at the hatchery upon arrival and check out at the end of the session.
An Ohio resident annual fishing license costs $19 a day; a one-day fishing license costs $11. Those who purchase a one-day fishing license may later return it to a license agent to receive credit toward purchase of an annual fishing license.
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 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 to obtain and develop boat accesses.
ODNR ensures a balance between wise use and protection of our natural resources for the benefit of all. Visit the ODNR website at www.ohiodnr.gov.