By 1812Blockhouse; Special to 1812Blockhouse

As the frost of winter thaws and the first signs of spring emerge across Ohio, the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) Division of Wildlife is gearing up for an annual event that has anglers statewide marking their calendars. Starting Wednesday, March 13, the skies will clear not just for sunshine but for 85,000 rainbow trout, ready to make a splash across the state’s waters. With 95 locations chosen specifically for accessibility and high angler success, this event promises a reel-y good time for families, seasoned anglers, and newbies alike.

A Rainbow Over Ohio’s Waters

The carefully selected stocking locations are a testament to the ODNR Division of Wildlife’s commitment to enhancing recreational fishing in Ohio. By dispersing these vibrant fish in March, April, and May, the initiative aims to bring high-quality fishing opportunities to a broad audience. Richland County, known for its picturesque landscapes and outdoor activities, is set to host one of these exciting release events, with another in neighboring Morrow County. Locations such as the Malabar Farm State Park Pond and Mt. Gilead Lake are gearing up to welcome the rainbow trout — and anglers from all over — to their tranquil waters.

Fishing for Fun and Success

Fishing for rainbow trout is not just about the catch; it’s about the experience. The Division of Wildlife has ensured that the selected locations offer the perfect backdrop for memorable fishing adventures. The stocked rainbow trout measure between 10-13 inches, promising a satisfying challenge for anglers. The best time to catch these fish is within two weeks of their release, as they thrive in the cooler temperatures of early spring.

The event also features special youth-only fishing days, making it the perfect family outing. State park youth ponds will exclusively welcome young anglers 16 years and younger in the first week following the trout release. This initiative not only promotes outdoor activities among the younger generation but also ensures a safe and encouraging environment for them to hone their fishing skills.

Gear Up and Get Involved

Anglers aged 16 and older are reminded to obtain their Ohio fishing license, a small investment that goes a long way in supporting fishery management, habitat restoration, and educational programs across the state. Licenses are available online, through the HuntFish OH app, and at various sales agents, ensuring easy access for all.

This trout stocking event is more than just a fishing opportunity; it’s a community event that brings together families, friends, and fishing enthusiasts. It reflects the Division of Wildlife’s mission to conserve and enhance Ohio’s fish and wildlife resources for sustainable enjoyment. So, whether you’re a seasoned angler or looking to cast your line for the first time, these waters await with the promise of tight lines and good times.

Prime Spots

For those in Richland and Morrow Counties looking to participate, mark your calendars for these key dates and locations:

Mt. Gilead Lake on March 20
Malabar Farm State Park Inn Pond on April 26 — a special angler event is planned for this trout release.

Each site offers its unique charm and fishing prospects, ensuring that every angler, regardless of age or skill level, finds their perfect fishing spot this spring.

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