Additional fish stocked at Lake Vesuvius

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, September 14, 2004

PEDRO - Small fish now mean big catches later.

"This week the St Mary's State Fish Hatchery stocked another 7,900 largemouth bass in Lake Vesuvius," Gloria Chrismer, District Ranger on at the Wayne National Forest's Ironton post, said in a written release.

Chrismer announced that the September 8th stocking of fingerling-size bass should bring the bass population up to full stocking levels.

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"The fish stocked this week were slightly larger than those that the Ohio Division of Wildlife stocked last spring," said Chrismer.

"These averaged about four to five inches long."

Chrismer said it will still be about three years before the bass will be "keeper" size so anglers will still need to be patient.

Although the Ohio Division of Wildlife had stocked bass last year, Chrismer said additional stocking was needed.

"The additional stocking was done to supplement those stocked in the spring and bring the population up to a full compliment of bass and bluegill," she said. "We feel like we now will have a good manageable population."

When asked about future stocking additions, Chrismer said she expects catfish to be added to the population mix in the future.

The Wayne National Forest cautions lake users against doing their own restocking of the lake. Ohio Fishing regulations state it is unlawful to transport and introduce any aquatic species (fish, invertebrate, plant) from one body of water to another.

Stocking of other species or larger sizes of largemouth bass and bluegill could negatively affect the balance of the fishery. The Vesuvius restocking project is managed by the Ohio Division of Wildlife with the goal of providing quality-fishing opportunities for lake anglers for many years to come.

Lake Vesuvius is a 143-acre recreational complex north of Ironton. The lake was drained in 2001 in order to rehabilitate the dam.

Work on the dam was completed and the lake began to refill in January 2004.