Wheelin’ Sportsmen Day April 16

Published 10:45 am Friday, March 27, 2009

PEDRO – The Wayne National Forest and Wheelin’ Sportsmen Fishing Day partners are inviting sportsmen and sportswomen with mental and physical challenges to Lake Vesuvius for a day of fishing, fun, and enjoying the great outdoors.

The sixth annual Wheelin’ Sportsmen Fishing Day is scheduled for Thursday, April 16, from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. at the Wayne National Forest Lake Vesuvius recreation area boardwalk.

Lake Vesuvius is located off Hwy 93, approximately one mile east on Lawrence County Road 29 (Paddle Creek Road).

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Those interested in participating in the event should contact the Wayne National Forest’s Ironton Ranger District at (740) 534-6500 to pre-register.

This annual event is in its sixth year and is held through a partnership that includes the South Hills Longbeards Chapter of the National Wild Turkey Federation (NWTF), the Wayne National Forest, Ohio University Southern Nature Center, Lawrence County Bass Club, and the Ohio Division of Wildlife (ODOW). The Lawrence County Commissioners have issued a proclamation naming April 16 “Wheelin’ Sportsmen Day.”

Ironton District Ranger Tim Slone said he is excited to see this community partnership continue — and excited because this will be his first year as a part of it.

“Within the first two weeks of my arrival here on the Ironton Ranger District, I heard about this event. Late one evening, I was jogging along the boardwalk at Lake Vesuvius and struck up a conversation with an elderly couple and were talking about the beautiful scenery at the lake and the different recreational opportunities the complex offers,” Slone said.

“They told me about the Wheelin’ Sportsmen Day and they really liked what the event meant to the community. It was a good first impression for me about what the event means to people.”

Robert Burcham, President of the Ohio State Chapter of the NWTF observed, “There are a lot of people who like to fish but haven’t been able to do so for many years because age or disabilities have kept them from getting out and enjoying the lake.

“The accessible boardwalk at Lake Vesuvius provides people of all mobilities access to enjoy the lake. This event is an opportunity for mentally and physically challenged individuals to enjoy a day of fishing at this wonderful community resource.”

The Wayne National Forest Wheelin’ Sportsmen Program was recently recognized at the NWTF National Convention in Nashville.

The NWTF presented the Ironton Ranger District the Making Tracks with the Forest Service National Award for Conservation Education.

Lake Vesuvius is a regional recreation attraction on the Ironton Ranger District of the Wayne National Forest, with picnic shelters, camping areas, boat rentals and lake access, and a swimming beach.