Fish Stocked at 239 Ohio Locations in 2023

Jan 30, 2024 | Ottawa Outdoors | 0 comments

ODNR Fish Stocking: ODNR Division of Wildlife stocks millions of saugeyes each year that have the potential to grow to the size of this great fish.

The Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) Division of Wildlife stocked 40.8 million fish of 11 species in Ohio waters in 2023. Fish were stocked during spring, summer and fall at 239 locations statewide. These annual fish stockings play an important role in providing excellent fishing for Ohio’s 1.7 million anglers.

The Division of Wildlife operates six state fish hatcheries that raise sport fish for stocking in Ohio waters, enhancing recreational opportunities for anglers. Ohio’s hatcheries raise saugeye, walleye, yellow perch, rainbow trout, steelhead trout, brown trout, muskellunge, hybrid-striped bass, blue catfish, channel catfish and bluegill.

The majority of Ohio’s fish populations are sustained through natural reproduction; however, stocking expands and diversifies fishing opportunities in waters where existing habitats do not support some fish populations.

The 40.8 million fish stocked in Ohio last year were of five life stages: 29.6 million fry, 10.3 million fingerlings, 237,740 advanced fingerlings, 131,178 catchable fish and 483,597 yearling fish. These life stages included the following sport fish:

Fry (less than 1 inch long): saugeye (11.5 million), walleye (12.5 million), yellow perch (3 million) and hybrid-striped bass (2.6 million).

Fingerling (1 to 2 inches long): saugeye (5.5 million), walleye (1.6 million), yellow perch (2.3 million), bluegill (6,890) and hybrid-striped bass (954,260).

Advanced fingerling (6 to 12 inches long): blue catfish (130,153), channel catfish (88,264) and muskellunge (19,323).

Yearling fish (7 to 12 inches long): brown trout (18,699) and steelhead trout (464,898).

Catchable fish (6 inches or longer): channel catfish (12,748), bluegill (9,273), brown trout (421) and rainbow trout (108,736).

ODNR Division of Wildlife’s current and historical fish stocking records can be viewed via the DataOhio portal in the Fish Stocking Database. Use the dataset to explore stocking locations and plan your next outing. Anglers ages 16 and older are required to hold a valid Ohio fishing license on all public waters. Check the current fishing regulations booklet for more information.

Ohio’s state fish hatcheries are open to the public and offer activities such as birding, hiking, and archery. Each fish hatchery will host an open house this spring. Dates for the open houses are March 23 (St. Marys), April 6 (Hebron and Senecaville), April 13 (Castalia and Kincaid), and May 4 (London).

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