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May 5-6 is Ohio’s free fishing weekend

This weekend Ohioans can fish for free and without a license.

The Ohio Department of Natural Resources announced that Ohio’s Free Fishing Days are Saturday and Sunday. It is open to all Ohio residents and extend to all of Ohio’s public waters, including the Ohio River. This is the only weekend that does not require anyone 16-years-old or older to have a valid Ohio fishing license.

The ODNR Division of Wildlife’s six fish hatcheries stocked more than 66 million sport fish in public waters in 2017, including walleye, saugeye, steelhead, rainbow trout, brown trout, muskellunge, channel catfish, blue catfish and hybrid striped bass, which will provide opportunities for more than 1.3 million Ohio anglers.

On April 19, the ODNR released thousands of rainbow trout into Wayne National Forest’s Lake Vesuvius as part of the Wheelin’ Sportsmen fishing event.

The state parks are also offering a camping discount during Ohio’s Free Fishing Days.

Campers can receive a 20 percent off discount by using the promotion code 18ANGLER on new reservations only.

Normally, fishermen, 16 years and older, are required to have a valid fishing license to take fish, frogs or turtles from Ohio waters. An Ohio resident fishing license is only $19 a year for residents. Fishing licenses are available at participating agents and wildohio.gov.

The sales of fishing licenses, along with the Sport Fish Restoration program, continue to fund ODNR Division of Wildlife’s fish management operations. No state tax dollars are used for these activities. These funds are used to acquire habitat, produce and stock fish, conduct research and surveys, provide aquatic education, and acquire and develop boat accesses.