April 19, 2024

Rainbow trout. ODNR photo.

Rainbow trout. ODNR photo.

Trout Fishing Back on at Forked Run

In a letter posted on House of Representatives Chairman Jay Edwards social media page, from the Ohio Department of Natural Resources Chief Kendra S. Wecker, ODNR has decided to continue to stock rainbow trout in Forked Run to better serve constituents in Meigs County. The Stocking dates will be March 30, 2023.
Representative Edwards said “I am happy to announce the Ohio Department of Natural Resources has decided to reverse their decision to stock Forked Run State Park with trout this year. Thank you to the many constituents that brought this to my attention. Without you I would not have known about this important issue. Thankfully, our collective advocacy worked”.

When ask about the ODNR reversing their decision to stock rainbow trout in Forked Run, Meigs County Commissioner Jimmy Will stated “We are thankful for the revision and will work to ensure we protect and preserve our traditions and education to our youth. Many in this area could not even begin to afford the travel to a metropolitan area to trout fish, or be able to take the time. I respect the ODNR vision but we are Ohioans too in Meigs County. Hundreds of folks fish the lake and partake in recreation here every year”.

The ODNR Division of Wildlife stocks approximately 100,000 rainbow trout to provide fishing opportunities directed toward youth, families, and senior anglers. Slightly more that 84,000 of these fish are stocked during mid March through early May in small lakes and ponds statewide. This program is intended to provide short-term “fish-in-a-barrel” situations where fishing access is exceptional, catch rates are good, and immediate harvest is expected.

Over the years the Division of Wildlife has collected information to determine how to do a better job of stocking these fish. It became clear catch and harvest of these rainbow trout was greater in waters less than 25 acres as compared to larger waters in nearly every case. Rainbow trout that are not caught and harvested soon after the stocking rarely survive beyond late spring or early summer, because they are non-native fish that do not tolerate warm water temperatures ( above 70 degrees). When these stocked fish are not harvested they go to waste and serve no one, the Division of Wildlife will engage in additional public outreach and education, should any stocking changes occur in the future the letter stated.

The updated rainbow trout stocking list, including stocking dates and directions to stocking locations can be found at https://ohiodnr.gov/buy-and-apply/hunting-fishing-boating/fishing-resources/trout-stockings