With the vernal equinox right around the corner, anglers are getting ready to hit their favorite springtime fishing spots. Thanks to a collaborative effort between several groups in Northeast Ohio, there are more opportunities where anglers can wet a line this year.

This past winter, crews from the ODNR Division of Wildlife, along with several other conservation-minded organizations, recycled 2,000 holiday trees into fish concentration structures for anglers. A total of 614 structures were placed in the Yellow Creek area of Berlin Reservoir, a 3,280 acre lake that spans across Mahoning, Portage, and Stark counties. These trees will serve as excellent spots for crappie and other panfish, and they should be fishable for several years.

“This project is beneficial to all Ohioans since it keeps these trees out of landfills and turns them into hot spots where anglers can catch fish,” said Matt Wolfe, fish biologist who oversees this project for the ODNR Division of Wildlife.

Tree structures were placed over a half mile stretch in the bay, from depths ranging from three to eight feet deep at normal pool. GPS coordinates for the structures are:

N 41 o 0’ 25.6” / W 81 o 4’ 42.4”  to

N 41 o 0’ 20.1” / W 81 o 4’ 49.0”  to

N 41 o 0’ 22.3” / W 81 o 4’ 19.3”

The map datum on the GPS unit should be set at NAD 83 to find the structures and the coordinates provided are in degrees, minutes, and seconds.

The goals of this project are to increase angler participation by concentrating fishes in identified areas and to increase angler catch rates. The ODNR Division of Wildlife would like to thank the Mahoning County Green Team and a multitude of tree vendors across Northeast Ohio for recycling the holiday trees. R.W. Sidley’s of Thompson graciously provided the block to help sink the trees and the Mahoning County Sheriff’s Office kindly transported materials. Also, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the Portage Lakes Bassmasters assisted by placing some of the structures.

A downloadable Google Earth file containing all of the structure placements throughout Northeast Ohio is available by contacting the Wildlife District Three office at (330) 644-2293. To view some pictures of the structure placements, please go to the Wildlife News Release page at www.wildohio.com.

Logo courtesy Ohio Department of Natural Resources

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