Lima area waters to receive trout

By Al Smith - Guest Columnist

Five Limaland bodies of water are among several across the state that will receive catchable trout during the Ohio Division of Wildlife’s (DOW) annual put-and-take stocking over the next two months.

Lima (April 18) and Schoonover (April 12) lakes in Allen County are among that group as is Davis Lake (April 11) in Auglaize County, Van Wert Reservoir 1 (April 18) in Van Wert County and Giertz Lake (May 5) in Hancock County.

More than 100,000 rainbow trout measuring 10-13 inches and raised at state fish hatcheries are expected to be released in 64 Ohio public lakes and ponds. Theses releases create opportunities for anglers who normally would not go to trout streams. The daily catch limit for inland lakes is five trout.

By stocking these water areas throughout the state, opportunities are created for anglers of all ages to get out and enjoy quality spring trout fishing in a family-friendly environment. Many stocked locations will feature special angler events, including youth-only fishing on the day of the trout release.

The DOW stressed that sales of fishing licenses along with the federal Sport Fish Restoration (SFR) program continue to fund the operation of the wildlife agency’s fish hatcheries. No state tax dollars are used for this activity. This is a user-pay, user-benefit program.

The SFR program is a partnership between federal and state government, industry, anglers and boaters. When anglers purchase rods, reels, fishing tackle, fish finders and motor boat fuel, they pay an excise tax. The federal government collects these taxes, and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service administers and disburses these funds to state fish and wildlife agencies. These funds are used to acquire habitat, produce and stock fish, conduct research and surveys, provide aquatic education to youth, and secure and develop boat accesses.

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Local turkey and duck call expert Ted Peters will be the feature speaker at the monthly March meeting of the Allen County Sportsmen and Farmers Association.

Peters will discuss using turkey calls in preparation for the upcoming spring turkey season at the March 29 meeting , which begins at 7 p.m. The public is invited to attend. The clubs 1001 S. Kemp Road.

The Club will hold a turkey shoot on March 18th beginning at 12 p.m. with pork loins and chickens will be awarded as prizes. Breakfast starts at 10:30. For additional information, call Ron Parr at 419-231-5488.

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Following a winter when smaller or shallower bodies of water have had ice and snow cover for prolonged periods, “winterkills” are not uncommon.

A couple of years ago when we had a cold and rough winter, I remember seeing hand-sized bluegills and several largemouth in the 4, 5 and 6-pound category floating on the surface as ice went out from one of my favorite lakes. The lake is only 40 acres and 10 feet at its deepest. Along with those fish, a plethora of dead gizzard shad floated along the lake’s edge. All of these fish left quite a smelly affair for those fishing the lake.

Such winter die-offs are fairly common in Ohio from late April through mid-June and during prolonged periods of hot summer weather, according to the DOW.

The wildlife agency says winterkills are caused when persistent ice forms a surface barrier between water and air that prevents circulation of oxygen and blocks sunlight. If these conditions continue long enough, the oxygen fish need to survive may be depleted and result in some or all of them suffocating. Lacking sunlight, plants stop making oxygen and eventually start to use oxygen as they die back and decompose.

According to DOW fisheries biologists, minor fish kills do not significantly affect fish populations or sport fishing opportunities in lakes and reservoirs.

Concerned citizens should not attempt to rescue stressed or dead fish, the wildlife agency says. Handling stressed fish significantly reduces their chance of survival, and attempts to capture these fish may present a safety hazard to people attempting to help the fish.

Large numbers of dead fish should be reported by calling 800-945-3543.

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The first two FLW tournaments have not gone the way Limaland bass angler Kyle Weisenburger had planned.

The Ottawa angler did catch limits on each of the first two days of the tourney on the Harris Chain of Lakes in Leesburg, Florida, but he did not get the quality fish he was hoping for. Thus, he was not among the top 30 who qualified for the final two days of the tourney, which ran Feb. 22-25.

Weisenburger ended with 10 bass that weighed 19 pounds, 1 ounce.

“It’s very frustrating when you don’t perform to what you feel your capable of. I just have to try and keep the confidence and keep striving to get better everyday on the water,” he said,

During the season’s first tourney in late January on Lake Okeechobee in Clewiston, Florida, Weisenburger seven bass that weighed 15 pounds, 6 ounces during the first two days, but that was not near enough to qualify him among the top 30 to fish the final two days of the tourney.

The next stop on the FLW Tour is March 8-11 on Lake Lanier in Gainesville, Florida.

By Al Smith

Guest Columnist

Al Smith is a freelance outdoor writer. You may contact him at [email protected] and follow him on Twitter @alsmithFL

Al Smith is a freelance outdoor writer. You may contact him at [email protected] and follow him on Twitter @alsmithFL

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