New fishing regulations are now in place at American Electric Power (AEP) ponds and reservoirs, including AEP ReCreation Lands, Conesville Coal Lands and Avondale Wildlife Area for the 2013-2014 license year, according to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR).
Daily bag limits are enforced at all AEP ponds and reservoirs. The regulations apply to black bass and sunfishes in more than 350 ponds and lakes among more than 80,000 acres of AEP lands available for public fishing, hunting, hiking and camping in Ohio. New regulations are intended to help sustain the high-quality largemouth bass and bluegill fishing known in these waters.
The new black bass regulation is a 14-20-inch slot length limit developed by the ODNR Division of Wildlife that increases anglers’ chances of catching trophy bass. Anglers may keep two fish under 14 inches and one fish 20 inches or larger, for three fish per day (largemouth, smallmouth, or spotted bass, singly or in combination). However, anglers will not be allowed to keep any fish in the protected slot. This regulation applies to all AEP waters, and an angler’s daily limit will apply to all AEP lands collectively, and not just a particular pond or lake.
The new sunfish regulation is a 20-fish daily limit to ensure opportunities for a greater number of anglers to catch quality fish. This regulation will also apply to all AEP waters so an angler’s daily limit will apply to all AEP lands collectively, not just a particular pond or lake.
A permit is required to use AEP ponds and reservoirs. The permit is free and can be obtained from the AEP office in McConnelsville, AEP corporate offices, ODNR Division of Wildlife district offices, or any sporting goods and bait stores near the ReCreation areas.
New regulations were developed by the ODNR Division of Wildlife through review of data from fish surveys, creel surveys, consideration of management options, and extensive public input. More information can be found at wildohio.com in the 2013-2014 fishing regulations. Additional information about AEP lands is also available. An Ohio fishing license is required at all AEP ponds and reservoirs.
Image courtesy Ohio Department of Natural Resources