Ottawa Refuge pond hosts ‘adaptive’ anglers, veterans

Jul 28, 2021 | Ottawa Outdoors | 0 comments

The spacious pond at the Ottawa National Wildlife Refuge headquarters will host “adaptive” anglers who are using special equipment to cast a line despite loss of a limb or mobility issues. (Photo by Aimee Arent)

Ottawa National Wildlife Refuge on State Route 2 along the Lake Erie shoreline in Oak Harbor will host a free day of discovery and family fun on Saturday, Aug. 7, near the Visitor Center. From 10 a.m.—2 p.m. military veterans, adaptive fisherman and their families may enjoy stations on fish identification, boat safety, fishing techniques, and “gyotaku” (a Japanese art form using replica fish in painting).

“Adaptive” is a new term for helping people who have lost function of a limb, their mobility or have a handicap that can be offset by adaptive fishing equipment and adapted fishing techniques.

Participants may fish in the Visitor Center pond. This new catch and release fishing access point features three platforms, including one wheelchair accessible fishing station.

A free BBQ lunch will also be available for participants who register by Monday, Aug. 2. The first 50 to register will receive a goodie bag. To register, visit and click on Discover Ottawa Day: Celebrating Veterans and Adaptive Anglers.

Participants may also register by calling 419-707-7756. The event will be held rain or shine.

The Visitor Center Fishing Access was completed with the assistance of the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, Union Sportsmen’s Alliance, Ohio Department of Natural Resources, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Anderson’s Fund Supporting Organization, Sandusky County Communities Foundation, Ottawa County Community Foundation, Erie Concrete, James Crozier, the Tom Livingstone Family, UAW Local 12 Volunteers, Northwest Striping, LLC, and Friends of Ottawa National Wildlife Refuge supporters.

The Wildlife Drive will also be open during the event. Explore woodland, wetland, and prairie habitats on the 7-mile one-way route from your own vehicle.

You may see the bald eagles, trumpeter swans, beaver, and many more species of wildlife that call Ottawa National Wildlife Refuge home. The Wildlife Drive is open weekends through September from sunrise to one hour before sunset.

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