Article Posted: May 16, 206

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Favorable spring weather benefits both fish and anglers

COLUMBUS, OH - It appears plenty of people are taking the “Fish Ohio” message to heart this spring, according to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) Division of Wildlife. Sales of fishing licenses were up in four major categories through the end of April, compared with the same period last year.

Resident annual fishing license sales were up 10.6 percent; non-resident annual fishing licenses rose 14.7 percent, three-day tourist fishing licenses grew by 23.4 percent, while one-day fishing licenses reflected the greatest increase at 31.3 percent.

“It’s still early in the 2006 fishing season, but these numbers are very encouraging,” said Steven A. Gray, chief of the Division of Wildlife.

The mild spring weather and below average rainfall have combined to provide near-perfect fishing opportunities. Lakes, rivers and streams have been at normal levels and clear - conditions which are unusual during springtime in Ohio. In addition, the majority of March and April weekends were sunny and warm.

Headlining spring fishing opportunities this year is the 2003 year-class of walleyes in Lake Erie. These fish have pushed the walleye population of the big lake to the highest levels seen in the last 10 years. Steelhead fishing in the northeast Ohio tributaries also has been outstanding. On inland lakes, the spring crappie and white bass runs are in progress, and saugeye fishing has been good as well.

“Besides being good for anglers, conditions this spring have been almost ideal for spawning fish, giving us reason to be optimistic about future seasons,” said Gray.

An Ohio fishing license is still one of the best recreational bargains, with resident licenses costing just $19. Children under age 16 can fish for free. For more details on fishing licenses, general information on fishing in Ohio, and the Fish Ohio award program, pick up a copy of the 2006-2007 Ohio Fishing Regulations wherever licenses are sold, or go online to ohiodnr.com/wildlife

Source: ODNR

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