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Wheelin’ Sportsmen fishing returns

Gives physically challenged chance to fish at Lake Vesuvius

The Wheelin’ Sportsmen fishing event will return for the 16th time next week to the Wayne National Forest.

The event is from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. on Thursday, April 19.

And to improve the chances of catching a fish or two, the Ohio Department of Natural Resources-Division of Wildlife will release thousands of rainbow trout.

Sponsored locally by the South Hills Longbeards Chapter of the National Wild Turkey Federation, the event provides physically challenged individuals an opportunity 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 abilities.

The National Wild Turkey Federation hosts the event across the United States and Tim Slone, the district ranger for the Ironton Ranger District, said last year that the Lake Vesuvius fishing day is one of the largest in the nation.

Locally, the event has grown since the first one in the early 2000s, when about 100 people showed up. In 2017, there were about 100-150 participants and probably an equal number of volunteers and helpers.

To pre-register, contact the Ironton Ranger District at (740) 534-6500.

Fishers will be able to use the quarter-mile long Lake Vesuvius boardwalk, which stretches along the shoreline and allows for improved accessibility. This feature makes the lake an ideal site for hosting the event.

Lake Vesuvius can be found seven miles north of Ironton, off of State Route 93, approximately one mile east on 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.

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

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