ODNR promotes youth fishing

The Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) and Columbus Recreation and Parks have announced a partnership to stock six ponds throughout the city to provide youth with more fishing and additional outdoor opportunities.

“Creating opportunities for young anglers to be successful and experience the joy that accompanies catching that first fish is truly priceless,” said ODNR Director James Zehringer. “We’re excited to have such a great partner in Columbus Recreation and Parks as we work to provide kids with more chances to enjoy the thrill fishing can provide.”

ODNR has traditionally stocked the lake at Antrim Park with rainbow trout. Beginning this year, the ponds at Whetstone, Big Walnut, Schiller, Krumm and Linden parks will be stocked with catfish and sunfish twice a year.

“Providing our youth with more opportunities to be successful in outdoor pursuits, such as fishing, will help create recreational traditions that can last for generations.” said Alan D. McKnight, Director, Columbus Recreation and Parks Department. “That’s why we welcomed the chance to partner with the state to help get our kids outside and learning a skill that will be fun no matter what age they are.”

The Columbus Recreation and Parks Department has numerous indoor and outdoor programs that keep residents active all year long. With 240 parks, 29 community centers, seven pools, 150 playgrounds, six golf courses and 51 miles of trails, the opportunities are almost endless for residents to lead a healthy life.

“Through our Outdoor Education Section, our Discover Boating program and several of our summer camps, we also offer archery, canoeing and kayaking,” said McKnight. “We have worked very closely with ODNR’s Divisions of Wildlife and Watercraft to create programs that educate and entertain.”

ODNR has designated the ponds at Sycamore, Delaware, Caesar Creek and Maumee Bay state parks as family-friendly Fishing Ponds, where an adult mentor may fish alongside a youth age 15 or under. These ponds remain stocked all summer long so young anglers have a better opportunity to experience success during their fishing outings. The ponds at the Wildlife District Three headquarters are designated as a youth-only fishing area. At this location, only youth 15 and under may fish and must be accompanied by a non-fishing adult. The youth-only fishing area is open Saturdays and Sundays from Memorial Day to Labor Day.