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Wheelin’ Sportsman fishing day set for Thursday at lake


PEDRO — On Thursday from 10:30 a.m. to 2 p.m., the Wayne National Forest will host the 9th Annual Wheelin’ Sportsmen fishing day, sponsored by the National Wild Turkey Federation (NWTF). With help from the Ohio Department of Natural Resources Division of Wildlife, Lake Vesuvius will be stocked with nearly 1,000 rainbow trout to help increase the anglers’ success.

The Wheelin’ Sportsmen fishing day is planned for those restricted by age or disabilities, by utilizing the accessible boardwalk spanning Lake Vesuvius from the boat dock to the dam. The Wheelin’ Sportsmen outreach program, established by the NWTF, intends to provide physically challenged individuals opportunities to participate in outdoor activities such as fishing, hunting, bird watching and others.

The fishing day is the result of multiple partnerships between the Wayne National Forest (WNF), the South Hills Longbeards Chapter of the NWTF, Ohio Department of Natural Resources Division of Wildlife, Ohio University Southern Nature Center, Lawrence County Bass Club, and City National Bank.

“This event is a set-aside day for special needs folks to help provide a safe and enjoyable day at the lake,” says Patrick Mercer, wildlife biologist on the Wayne National Forest. “We hope the event helps people reconnect with nature and that it’s a rewarding experience for all.”

Several years ago, Lake Vesuvius was outfitted with a boardwalk that stretches along one of its shorelines, allowing for improved accessibility by persons with wide-ranging abilities. Because of the ideal features of the site, the event has been offered at the lake for several years in a row, with prior attendance confirming that the event is valued by many in the area.

Lake Vesuvius is north of Ironton, off Route 93, approximately one mile east on Lawrence County Road 29 (Paddle Creek Road). The boat ramp parking lot will be utilized for mobility impaired arrivals and parking at the dock is reserved for those individuals, allowing for easier loading and unloading of wheelchairs and scooters. For safety reasons, no private boats will be allowed in the area during the event.

Anyone interested in attending the Wheelin’ Sportsmen fishing day may pre-register by contacting the Ironton Ranger District at (740) 534-6500.

The mission of the U.S. Forest Service is to sustain the health, diversity, and productivity of the nation’s forests and grasslands to meet the needs of present and future generations. Recreational activities on our lands contribute $14.5 billion annually to the U.S. economy. The agency manages 193 million acres of public land, provides assistance to state and private landowners, and maintains the largest forestry research organization in the world.

Follow the Wayne National Forest on Twitter: @waynenationalfs