A half-mile section of Cold Creek at Castalia State Fish Hatchery in Erie County will be open to a limited number of anglers on selected dates for controlled trout fishing, according to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR).

Controlled trout fishing is offered by the ODNR Division of Wildlife at the Castalia State Fish Hatchery from May 6-Nov. 29. No weekend or holiday fishing is available. Anglers interested in this event must apply online and pay a non-refundable $3 application fee from March 1-31 in order to be eligible for a random drawing. Applicants can apply at wildohio.com.

Only one application is allowed per person. Anglers age 16 and older must hold a valid fishing license in order to apply and participate in this event.

Two seasons will be offered. Adults and teens 16 and older can fish from May 6-June 14 and from Aug. 19-Nov. 29. A second season will be held for those 15 and younger from June 17-Aug. 16.

Youth sessions are 7-11 a.m. and 11:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m. Successful applicants will be assigned a session. Adult sessions are 7 a.m.-12 p.m. Individuals selected to participate can bring two adults ages 16 and older and three youths 15 and younger (no more than six people total).

Random drawings for permit selection will be held in April. The results of the drawing will be posted at wildohio.com. Applicants not chosen will not be notified.

Special fishing rules will be in effect for this event to ensure a quality fishing experience. This includes a no catch-and-release rule; anglers keep all fish they catch. The daily bag limit is five trout per angler. Anglers are required to check in at the hatchery upon arrival and check out at the end of their session.

An Ohio resident annual fishing license costs $19; a one-day fishing license costs $11. Those who purchase a one-day fishing license may later return it to a license agent to receive credit toward purchase of an annual fishing license.

Sales of fishing licenses along with the Sport Fish Restoration (SFR) program continue to fund the operation of the ODNR Division of Wildlife’s fish hatcheries. No state tax dollars are used for this activity. This is a user-pay, user-benefit program.

The SFR is a partnership between federal and state government, industry and anglers/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 acquire and develop boat accesses.

Image courtesy Ohio Department of Natural Resources

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