COLUMBUS A recently completed stocking of more than 9,100,000 fish in state waterways by the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) Division of Wildlife will provide anglers with many great fishing opportunities in future years.
Fifty-five reservoirs around Ohio each received a share of 7,800,000 fingerling saugeye and more than 1,300,000 fingerling walleye were stocked into an additional 15 lakes. Fish were stocked from mid-May through the first week of June.
"These releases will enhance anglers' chances of success in the upcoming years," said Elmer Heyob, administrator for the division's fish hatchery program.
Saugeye are a hybrid cross between a female walleye and a male sauger.
These hardy hybrids obtain consistently better survival rates than walleye and have replaced walleye stockings in many reservoirs to provide better fishing opportunities. Saugeye fishing is a year-round pursuit and is productive in many lakes, as well as in the tailwaters below dams.
Saugeye were stocked in a number of popular fishing spots, including Alum Creek Reservoir, Hoover Reservoir, Deer Creek Lake, Buckeye Lake, and Indian Lake in central Ohio.
C. J. Brown Reservoir at Buck Creek State Park in southwest Ohio, and Berlin and Mosquito reservoirs in northeast Ohio were some of the more popular locations stocked with walleye.
Adult saugeye and walleye can be caught with both artificial and live bait.
Jigs tipped with minnows or night crawlers and night crawler harnesses probably account for most of the inland saugeye and walleye caught by anglers.
Another popular and effective method is to troll shad-imitating crankbaits, especially during the late spring to early-summer months.
The Division of Wildlife also raises and releases muskies, channel catfish, hybrid striped bass, yellow perch, steelhead trout, brown trout and rainbow trout.
About 1.4 million people fish in Ohio annually. Recreational sportfishing contributes an estimated $1.8 billion to the state's economy.
The ODNR Division of Wildlife also raises and releases non-sportfish species such as shovelnose sturgeon, which has not been found naturally in Ohio waters for many years.