COLUMBUS – Controlled trout-fishing opportunities on Cold Creek, one of Ohio’s unique streams, await fishing enthusiasts who enter a special lottery conducted by the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR).
A half-mile section of the creek, located at the ODNR Division of Wildlife’s Castalia State Fish Hatchery in Erie County, will be open to a limited number of anglers on selected dates from May 2–Nov. 30.
Anglers interested in fishing the stream must submit an application form and a nonrefundable $3 application fee between March 1–31 for the random drawing. Applications may be completed online at wildohio.gov or by calling 800-WILDLIFE to obtain an application form. Only one application is allowed per person. Application information can be obtained from the ODNR Division of Wildlife at wildohio.gov or by calling 800-WILDLIFE.
The adult fishing season will run May 2–Nov. 30, and a youth season will run June 13–Aug. 12. Applicants of the youth lottery must be under the age of 16 when they apply.
Approximately 90 adult and 90 youth permits will be issued. Individuals selected to participate will be allowed to bring two adults and three youths under the age of 16 (no more than six people total). Participation is determined by a computer-generated random drawing, which will be held in early April. The results of the adult drawing will be posted on the division’s website at wildohio.gov. Successful youth applicants will be notified by mail of their fishing dates. Applicants not chosen will not be notified.
Special fishing rules will be in effect to ensure that a quality fishing experience is maintained throughout the season. One of these special rules prohibits catch-and-release fishing, with wildlife officials requiring that anglers keep all fish they catch. The daily bag limit will be five trout per angler.
Anglers will be required to check in at the hatchery upon arrival and check out at the end of their session. Fishing sessions will be open from 7 a.m.–12 p.m. for adult events. For the youth events, there will be two sessions per day, 7–11 a.m. and 11:30 a.m.–3:30 p.m. All anglers age 16 and older will need a valid 2016 Ohio fishing license.
An Ohio resident annual fishing license costs $19; a one-day fishing license costs $11. Those who purchase a one-day fishing license may later return it to a license agent to receive credit toward the purchase of an annual fishing license.