Annual rainbow trout stocking scheduled

By Al Smith - Guest Columnist

Seven Lima area bodies of water are among the 71 public lakes and ponds that will be stocked with catchable rainbow trout from March into early May. Almost 80,000 trout will be stocked across the state.

This is the annual put-and-take stocking of trout 10-13 inches long that are raised at Ohio’s state fish hatcheries by the Division of Wildlife (DOW) .

The area waters that will receive trout and the dates of the stocking include: Lima Lake on April 18, Davis Lake near St. Marys on April 20, Giertez Lake in Findlay on May 7, Van Wert Reservoir #1 on April 6, Willshire Quarry near Van Wert on April 16, Shelby Reservoir on April 4 and Tarawa Lake in Shelby County on April 18.

Lima Lake is located just off I-81 just east of I-75.

Davis Lake is located at 15500 Saint Marys River Road. From U.S. 33 and Ohio 66 in St. Marys, head north on Ohio 66 for two miles. Turn left onto Glynwood Road. Follow Glynwood Road for two miles then turn left onto St. Marys River Road. The entrance to the lake will be .5 of a mile on the left.

To get to Giertz Lake, take Ohio 568 (Sandusky Street) east out Findlay for about three miles. Turn right (south) on Township Road 241 at the sign for Riverbend Hancock County Park. Go a short distance across the bridge and turn left on Township Road 208. Giertz Lake is on Township Road 208 at Riverbend Park. The lake is closed to fishing until the children’s fishing festival. During the festival, which is the morning of first Saturday after stocking, the lake is open to children only until after the festival is over (around noon). It is open to all anglers after the festival has concluded.

The entrance to Van Wert reservoirs is located off of U.S. 127 on the south side of the city. Willshire Quarry is located south of Van Wert off of U.S. 33.

The entrance to the Shelby reservoir is on London West Road, about 1 mile east of Ohio 61.

To get to Tarawa Lake from the I-75 and Ohio 29 interchange, take Ohio 29 east about 2.2 miles to downtown Sidney. Follow Ohio 29 east across the Great Miami River. Turn left onto Ohio 47 East/North. Follow Ohio 47 one half mile and turn right onto Tawawa Drive at Tawawa Park.

The daily catch limit for trout in inland lakes is five per angler with no minimum size limit.

Schoonover Lake in Lima will not be stocked again this year due to the dam rehabilitation work that was done there.

According to Mike Wilkerson, fish management supervisor for Wildlife District Two, the city of Lima had difficulty refilling the lake last summer and, “We had extensive weed/brush growth in the lake bottom while the work was being done. If we were to restock this year we would run into issues with that vegetation interfering with fishing and possibly dissolved oxygen issues despite the cold temps.”

He expects Schoonover will receive a stocking next year.

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Houston Wireman has been named the Shelby County wildlife officer. He replaces the recently retired Timothy Rourke.

Wireman, who is a Hocking College and Wapakoneta High School graduate, began working for the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) as a natural resources specialist at Wolf Creek Wildlife Area. He later worked as a natural resources officer with the Ohio Division of Parks and Watercraft. Wireman graduated from the Wildlife Officer Academy in 2019 and was assigned to Adams County until 2021. He most recently served in Champaign County.

Wireman can be reached at 937-545-5849.

According to the DOW, Ohio wildlife officers have statewide authority to enforce wildlife regulations and protect state lands, waterways and property. They also contribute to public safety locally and in the state’s vast outdoors. Each year, Ohio’s wildlife officers speak to hundreds of clubs and groups about conservation and wildlife programs, perform fish and wildlife surveys and provide technical advice and instruction about hunting, fishing and other outdoor-related recreation.

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Sydnee Brown of Logan County is among 18 new natural resources officers, recently commissioned by the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR), and will begin on-the-job training in their newly assigned Ohio State Parks. Brown has been assigned to Deer Creek State Park.

Natural Resources officers are responsible for enforcing laws, education and emergency response in various state parks, forests, waterways and other natural areas. The new officers will continue their training by working closely with experienced officers in their assignment areas for the next several months, according to the ODNR.

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Persons interested in controlled access opportunities for fishing and hunting in Ohio have through March 31 to apply. Those interested must apply online by going to the Ohio Wildlife licensing system webpage or by submitting information through the FishHunt OH mobile app. No mail-in applications are accepted.

A random computer-based lottery system will select successful applicants.

There is a nonrefundable $3 fee for each opportunity. According to the DOW, applicants must have all required licenses and permits prior to submitting their information. Phone applications can be submitted by calling 866-703-1928. There is an additional service fee of $5.50 for this service.

Among fishing opportunities is the highly popular chance to fish Cold Creek for trout near Castalia. Those selected are able to fish a half-mile section of the creek at the Castalia State Fish Hatchery. Lottery winners get to fish selected days on the creek between May 24 and Nov. 26.

Among hunting opportunities are spring youth turkey hunts scheduled for Eagle Creek Wildlife Area (Brown County), Killdeer Plains Wildlife Area (Wyandot County), Killbuck Marsh Wildlife Area (Wayne County), Lake La Su An Wildlife Area (Williams County) and Mosquito Creek Wildlife Area (Trumbull County).

There are separate youth and adult opportunities at Cold Creek with approximately 86 youth permits and 96 permits available. Youth applicants must be between 4 and 15 years old.

One season is available for adult anglers and another for youth anglers. Youth applicants are required to be between 4 and 15 years old. If selected, individuals can bring two adults and three youths under the age of 16 (no more than six people total). All anglers aged 16 and older are required to possess a valid Ohio fishing license.

Additional information for anglers can be found on the fishing lotteries and events page at

There are mentor style and general applicant hunts for the youth wild turkey hunts at Eagle Creek, Killdeer Plains and La Su An wildlife areas.

All hunters are required to have a valid hunting license and wild turkey permit to apply. Applicants for the youth wild turkey hunts are required to be 17 years old or younger and accompanied by a nonhunting adult.

The mentor-style hunts are open to learners of all ages. New hunters are eligible for the controlled hunts if they have not harvested a wild turkey within the last five years. Learners and mentors are both eligible to harvest a wild turkey, provided the learner harvests their bird first. Either the new hunter or the mentor may apply, and both must be properly licensed during the hunt.

Additional information for hunters can be found on the Controlled Hunting and Trapping Events page at

By Al Smith

Guest Columnist

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

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

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