Free fishing offered all weekend in Ohio

Free fishing offered all weekend in Ohio

COLUMBUS, OH (WOIO) - Ohio is known for its world-class fishing, and on May 2 and 3, you can experience it for free. All Ohio residents are invited to take part in the Buckeye State's annual free fishing weekend, without purchasing a fishing license, according to the


Ohio's Free Fishing Days are open to all Ohio residents and extend to all of Ohio's public waters, including Lake Erie and the Ohio River. An estimated 1.3 million people fish each year in Ohio, and the

stocked more than 43 million fish in 2014. Ohio's waters are populated with a wide variety of fish species so anglers might hook steelhead trout, walleye, saugeye, crappie, yellow perch, bass, bluegill and catfish.

The Free Fishing Days weekend offers Ohioans of all ages the chance to experience the fun of catching a fish.

Here are some helpful tips for taking a youngster fishing:

• Keep the trip simple by considering a child's age and skill level.

• Choose a pond, lake or stream where children will be able to easily catch a few fish.

• A spin-cast reel is usually the easiest for kids to use.

• Bring a camera, and keep the trip fun and short.

• Be patient – plan on spending time untangling lines, baiting hooks, landing fish and taking pictures.

Anglers 16 years and older are required to have a valid fishing license to take fish, frogs or turtles from Ohio waters, when not fishing on Ohio's free fishing weekend. An Ohio resident fishing license costs $19 a year and can be purchased at

Ohio residents born on or before Dec. 31, 1937 are eligible for a free license. Residents age 66 and older who were born on or after Jan. 1, 1938 are eligible for a $10 reduced-cost senior fishing license.

A one-day fishing license is available for $11, an amount that can later be applied toward the cost of an annual fishing license. 

The sales of fishing licenses, along with the Sport Fish Restoration program, continue to fund ODNR Division of Wildlife fish management operations. No state tax dollars are used for these activities. These are user-pay, user-benefit programs.

The SFR is a partnership between federal and state governments, industry and anglers/boaters. When anglers purchase rods, reels, fishing tackle, fish finder and motor boat fuel, they pay an excise tax. The federal government collects these taxes, and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service administers and disburses these funds to state fish and wildlife agencies. These funds are used to acquire habitat, produce and stock fish, conduct research and surveys, provide aquatic education, as well as acquire and develop boat access.

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