The fish are stocked at 239 Ohio locations in 2023

The fish are stocked at 239 Ohio locations in 2023

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

The Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) Division of Wildlife stocked 40.8 million fish of 11 species in Ohio waters in 2023. The fish were stocked during the spring, summer and fall at 239 sites 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 hatcheries raise 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 maintained through natural reproduction. However, stocking expands and diversifies fishing opportunities in waters where existing habitat does not support some fish populations.

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

Fry (less than one inch): Saugi (11.5 million), walleye (12.5 million), yellow perch (3 million) and hybrid striped bass (2.6 million).

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

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

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

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

Current and historical ODNR Division of Wildlife fish stocking records can be viewed via the DataOhio portal in the Fish Stocking Database. Use the data set to explore storage locations and plan your next trip. Anglers 16 years of age or older are required to have a valid Ohio fishing license on all public waters. Check the current hunting regulations booklet for more information.

Ohio 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. Open house dates are March 23 (St. Mary’s), April 6 (Hebron and Sincaville), April 13 (Castalia and Kincaid), and May 4 (London).

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