TOP 2003 "FISH OHIO" WATERS NAMED|
More than 13,500 catches recognized in 19 species categories
Columbus, OH - With 2.25 million Lake Erie acres, 451 miles of the
Ohio River, 40,000 miles of streams, some 200 inland lakes and thousands of
private ponds, Ohio anglers have great opportunities to catch fish that
qualify for the "Fish Ohio" recognition program, according to the Ohio
Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) Division of Wildlife.
The "Fish Ohio" program recognizes anglers for noteworthy catches in
19 fish species. Last year, 13,528 anglers from across Ohio and 38 other
states were recognized for their "Fish Ohio" catches. Since 1976, more than
350,000 anglers have been recognized.
LAKE ERIE: Top spot for walleye, yellow perch and smallmouth bass
Trophy walleye received the highest number of entries with more than
3,000 and Lake Erie is the top place to catch them, followed by the Maumee
and Sandusky rivers. Catches of yellow perch were second with more than
2,000 entries with Lake Erie again the leading area for catches followed by
Lake La Su An in Williams County, Pymatuning Lake in Ashtabula County, and
Mogadore Reservoir in Portage County. Lake Erie is also the top lake for
smallmouth bass, followed by Alum Creek Lake in Delaware County and the
INLAND LAKES: Home of trophy saugeye and muskie
Popular inland catches included saugeye and muskie. Buckeye Lake in
Fairfield, Perry, and Licking counties and Indian Lake in Logan County led
the list for saugeye catches followed by Piedmont, Atwood, and Alum Creek
lakes. The top "Fish Ohio" lake for muskie catches was Leesville Lake in
Carroll County, followed by Clear Fork Reservior, Salt Fork Lake, West
Branch Reservoir, and Alum Creek Lake.
PRIVATE PONDS: Best places for panfish, crappie, channel cat and largemouth
The majority of the entries for sunfish, crappies, channel catfish,
and largemouth bass were caught in private ponds. These species are also
plentiful in most public waterways. Mosquito Lake in Trumbull County led
the "Fish Ohio" entries in the crappie category with Hoover Reservoir, West
Branch Reservoir, Grand Lake St. Mary's, and Pymatuning Lake completing the
Lake Erie topped the list for qualifying catches of channel catfish
in a public waterway. In addition to Lake Erie, the Ohio River, Hoover
Reservoir, Atwood Lake, and the Grand River were hot spots for channel
catfish action. The top "Fish Ohio" lake for largemouth bass was Mogadore
Reservoir, with Portage Lakes, LaDue Reservoir, Clear Fork Reservoir,
Mosquito Lake, and Lake Erie noting catches of that species.
Each angler with a qualifying "Fish Ohio" catch receives a
certificate and lapel pin. The 2003 pin featured a channel catfish; the 2004
pin will display a walleye.
There is also a Master Angler category for individuals who catch
four "Fish Ohio" qualifying fish in a single year. The Master Angler pin is
like the "Fish Ohio" pin, except it is gold in color.
Anyone interested in submitting an entry in the "Fish Ohio" program
should fill out an application. Forms are available by calling
1-800-WILDLIFE or visiting www.ohiodnr.com .
Species List and Minimum Length Requirements To Obtain "Fish Ohio"
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; Saugeye - 21 inches; Smallmouth Bass - 20 inches;
Sunfish - 9 inches; Walleye - 28 inches; White Bass - 16 inches; Yellow
Perch - 13 inches.