A half-mile section of Cold Creek, located at the Castalia State Fish Hatchery in Erie County, will again be open to a limited number of anglers on selected dates between May 24 and November 26. Participation is determined by a random drawing, which will be held this year in April.
Anglers interested in fishing the hatchery grounds on Cold Creek can apply online only between March 1 and March 31 in order to be eligible for the random drawing. Applications must be submitted online by March 31 to be considered. To apply, visit the Ohio Wildlife Licensing System and click on “Licenses & Permits.” The application fee is $3, and anglers may apply once annually. If the same name appears on multiple applications, all applications will be disqualified and the fee forfeited.
Independent drawings will be held for the youth season (summer), which includes applications of those anglers 4-15 years old, and an adult season (late summer and fall) for those applicants 16 years old and older. Application fees are non-refundable.
Successful anglers will be notified by mail and can check their customer account in the Ohio Wildlife Licensing System. Approximately 100 adult and 90 youth permits will be issued. Applicants not chosen to participate will not be notified. Anglers chosen to participate will receive their permit and an instruction packet, including the fishing date and times, in the mail in May.
Permit holders may bring two people over the age of 16 and three youths (under 16), and you may participate only once per season as either the permittee or a partner. Participants age 16 and older must hold a valid Ohio fishing license. The permit to fish applies to the successfully-drawn applicant and his/her partner(s), and the permits are transferable.
Anglers will be required to check in with hatchery personnel upon arrival and check out at the end of their session. COVID-19 guidance and restrictions such as safe-distancing, mask wearing, and disinfection cleaning protocols will be in place at the hatchery facilities. For all youth events (June – August) and adult events in May and August through mid-October, there will be two sessions per day (7 a.m. – 11 a.m. and 11:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.). Fishing sessions will be open from 7 a.m. to 11 a.m. for adult events in mid-October through November.
Special fishing rules will be in effect for this event to ensure that a quality fishing experience is maintained throughout the season. One of these special rules prohibits catch-and-release fishing, with wildlife officials requiring that anglers keep all fish they catch. The daily bag limit is five trout per angler.