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Annual Wheelin’ Sportsmen fishing event set for April 14

PEDRO — In partnership with the National Wild Turkey Federation (NWTF), the Wayne National Forest will host the 13th annual Wheelin’ Sportsmen Fishing Event on Lake Vesuvius from 10:30 a.m.-2 p.m. on Thursday, April 14.

With help from the Ohio Department of Natural Resources-Division of Wildlife, thousands of rainbow trout will be released on event day to help increase anglers’ success.

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.

Accordingly, the fishing event is planned for those restricted by age or disabilities. The quarter-mile Lake Vesuvius boardwalk stretches along the shoreline and allows for improved accessibility by persons with wide-ranging abilities. That feature makes the lake an ideal site for hosting the event.

“Because of great partners, the event has continued to gain momentum over the years. It’s unique and fills a special niche in the local community — that’s reaffirmed annually by the increased turnout,” said Patrick Mercer, wildlife biologist on the Wayne National Forest. “Because of the location and amenities, about the only thing we can’t control out there is the weather and how many fish people catch. Above all else though, we’re hoping to help connect folks with nature. If the sun is shining and the fish are biting, all the better.”

The lead organizations involved in this year’s event include Wayne National Forest, the South Hills Longbeards Chapter of the NWTF, Ohio Department of Natural Resources-Division of Wildlife, and City National Bank.

For those unfamiliar with southern Ohio, Lake Vesuvius can be found seven miles north of Ironton, off State 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, there will be no boat trailer access during the event.

People interested in attending the event may pre-register by contacting the Ironton Ranger District at (740) 534-6500.

For more information, visit our website at www.fs.usda.gov/wayne. Follow the Wayne National Forest on Twitter: @waynenationalfs and also on Facebook.