Outdoors: Trout releases begin in southwest Ohio

Early March marks the beginning of rainbow trout fishing in southwest Ohio. Statewide, the Ohio Division of Wildlife will stock more than 100,000 rainbows from Ohio hatcheries in 64 Ohio public lakes and ponds. More than 13,000 are scheduled to be released in this part of the state.

Following are the scheduled release dates and the approximate number allocated to that location:

• March 17: Rush Run Lake (Preble County) 2,900 fish;

• March 24: Clark Lake (Springfield) 2,500 fish;

• April 1: Rocky Fork Lake (Highland County) 1,625 fish;

• April 5: Sycamore State Park (Trotwood) 800 fish;

• April 12: Davis Lake (St. Marys) 500 fish;

• April 20: Tawawa Lake (Sidney) 650 fish;

• May 6: Stonelick Lake (Clermont County) 2,900 fish.

The first release of the year was Friday at little Adams Lake in Adams County where about 2,000 rainbows were stocked.

The release dates are subject to change, depending on weather. Before heading to one of the above locations, it’s a good idea to check wildohio.gov or 800-WILDLIFE (945-3543).

The trout stocked measure 10-13 inches, so they are large enough to keep. Anglers use a variety of baits, including waxworms, redworms, mealworms, prepared trout baits and corn. You can also use a small Mepps or Roostertail. There is a daily bag limit of five trout.

There is a youth-only fishing restriction for several hours on the day of the release at Rocky Fork.

Fishing instructors: Do you like to fish? Would you also like the opportunity to teach others, especially kids, about fishing?

The Division of Wildlife will host a Passport to Fishing instructors’ workshop Thursday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Wildlife District Five Headquarter, 1076 Old Springfield Pike, Xenia.

The workshop is a free one-day instructor training program that qualifies individuals to become Division of Wildlife certified fishing instructors, similar to a hunter education instructor. Pre- registration is required as seating is limited. Participants will also be required to take part in a background check. Bring a lunch and dress for the weather; some of the clinic will take place outside.

To register for the workshop, email Brittany.Kessler@dnr.state.oh.us or call (937) 372-9261. Registration deadline is Tuesday.

Stiff sentence: Well whadda ya know? A judge has actually meted out a stiff sentence in a wildlife case. That usually doesn't happen. Most are dismissed with light fines and suspended sentences.

But on Feb. 6 a judge in Wood County sentenced a 36-year-old man to four years in prison for poaching and the illegal sales of wild game. He also ordered the man to pay more than $5,500 in restitution and took away his right to hunt, trap and fish in Ohio for 18 years. The judge also ordered the man to forfeit more than 50 items of evidence seized during the investigation, including firearms, cash, white-tailed deer antlers, venison and a vehicle.

This was part of an investigation that brought several others to justice in northwest Ohio for breaking wildlife laws.

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