Article Posted: April 24, 206

Brought to you by

[ Return to Lake Erie Articles and News ]


“Fish Ohio” program recognizes trophy catches of 19 fish species

Columbus, OH - Lake Erie and dozens of Ohio’s inland lakes were among the best places to reel in “Fish Ohio” catches during 2005, according to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) Division of Wildlife. The “Fish Ohio” program recognizes noteworthy catches among 19 fish species.

With 2.25 million Lake Erie water acres, 451 miles of Ohio River, 40,000 miles of streams, and some 200 inland lakes and thousands of ponds, Ohio anglers have a wide range of opportunities to catch fish that qualify for the “Fish Ohio” recognition program. Among the state’s best “Fish Ohio” waters in 2005 were:

LAKE ERIE: Top spot for walleye, yellow perch and smallmouth bass
Trophy walleye received the highest number of entries of any fish with more than 2,100, and Lake Erie was the top place to catch them, followed by the Maumee and Sandusky rivers in northwestern Ohio. Catches of yellow perch were second with more than 1,800 entries, and again, Lake Erie led the way, followed by Pymatuning Lake in Ashtabula County, Mogadore Reservoir in Portage County, and Indian Lake in Logan County. Lake Erie also was the top lake for smallmouth bass, followed by Alum Creek Lake in Delaware County, Piedmont Lake in Belmont County, and the Grand and Licking rivers.

INLAND LAKES: Home of trophy saugeye and muskie
Indian Lake led the list for trophy saugeye catches followed by the Scioto River, Hoover Reservoir in Delaware and Franklin counties; Buckeye Lake in Fairfield, Perry, and Licking counties; and Alum Creek Lake. The No. 1 “Fish Ohio” lake for muskie catches was Leesville Lake in Carroll County, followed by West Branch Reservoir in Portage County, Salt Fork Lake in Guernsey County, Lake Milton in Mahoning County, and Clear Fork Reservoir in Richland County.

PRIVATE PONDS: Best places for panfish, crappie, channel cat and largemouth bass
While a majority of “Fish Ohio” entries for sunfish, crappies, channel catfish, and largemouth bass were caught in private ponds, these species also were plentiful in many public waterways. Of those, Mosquito Lake in Trumbull County led in the crappie category with Hoover Reservoir, Alum Creek Lake, Delaware Lake in Delaware County, and Pymatuning Lake completing the list. The top “Fish Ohio” lakes for sunfish were Lake La Su An in Williams County, Mogadore Reservoir, Portage Lakes, Indian Lake and AEP’s ReCreations Lands ponds in southeastern Ohio.

Lake Erie topped the list for qualifying catches of channel catfish in a public waterway. The Ohio River, Hoover Reservoir, Maumee River, and Findlay Reservoir in Hardin County also proved to be hot spots for channel catfish. The top “Fish Ohio” lake for largemouth bass was Mogadore Reservoir, with Portage Lakes and Nimisila Reservoir - both in Summit County - and AEP ReCreations Lands ponds.

During 2005, the “Fish Ohio” program recognized 11,990 anglers for trophy catches from Ohio and 39 other states. Each angler with a qualifying “Fish Ohio” catch receives a lapel pin. Certificates are available for download at The 2005 pin features a freshwater drum. The 2006 pin displays a yellow perch. There also is a Master Angler category for individuals who catch four “Fish Ohio” qualifying fish in a single year. The Master Angler pin is similar to the “Fish Ohio” pin, except it is gold in color. Since 1976, more than 370,000 anglers have been recognized for “Fish Ohio” catches.

Applications to submit a “Fish Ohio” entry can be found online at A hard copy of the form is available by calling 1-800-WILDLIFE.

The following is a list of species and the minimum length required to obtain “Fish Ohio” recognition: Brown Trout - 25 inches; Carp - 26 inches; Channel Catfish - 26 inches; Crappie - 13 inches; Flathead Catfish - 35 inches; Freshwater Drum - 22 inches; Hybrid Striped Bass - 21 inches; Largemouth Bass - 21 inches; Muskie - 36 inches; Northern Pike - 32 inches; Rainbow Trout - 28 inches; Rock Bass - 10 inches; Sauger - 16 inches; Saugeye - 21 inches; Smallmouth Bass - 20 inches; Sunfish - 9 inches; Walleye - 28 inches; White Bass - 16 inches; Yellow Perch - 13 inches.

Source: ODNR is a Trademark of Great Lakes Angler Online All rights reserved
Copyrights © 2000 Great Lakes Angler Online  All rights reserved