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“Free Fishing Days” offer chance to experience Ohio’s great fishing

AKRON, OH - Ohioans are encouraged to take advantage of “Free Fishing Days” on Saturday, May 5 and Sunday, May 6 to experience the great fishing Ohio has to offer, according to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) Division of Wildlife. For these two days only, anglers may fish in any of the state’s public waters without having to buy a fishing license.

“Fishing offers a great opportunity for families to spend time together in the outdoors,” said David M. Graham, chief of the Division of Wildlife. “Many lakes and rivers for fishing can be found close to home.”

During the rest of the year, anglers age 16 and older are required to have a valid fishing license to take fish, frogs or turtles from Ohio waters. Fishing licenses are available at bait and tackle stores, outdoor outfitters, major department stores, as well as on the Internet at wildohio.com.

An Ohio fishing license is one of the best recreational bargains available, costing only $19 a year for residents. Ohio residents born on or before December 31, 1937 can obtain a free fishing license at any license vendor. Residents age 66 and older born on or after January 1, 1938 are eligible to obtain a reduced-cost senior fishing license for $10. A one-day fishing license is also available for $11, an amount that can be applied toward the cost of an annual fishing license.

Ohio’s “Free Fishing Days” was established in 1993 to promote fishing by allowing Ohioans to experience the sport before buying a license. The offer is open to Ohio residents, and extends to all public waters, including Lake Erie and the Ohio River. An estimated 1.5 million people fish each year in Ohio.

Great fishing exists around the state and throughout the year. In late winter and early spring, anglers can reel in steelhead trout and walleye from northern Ohio streams. Spring also means great saugeye and crappie fishing. During the summer, the fishing heats up on Lake Erie for yellow perch, walleye and smallmouth bass, while anglers on the Ohio River enjoy excellent striped bass fishing.

Anglers are reminded that there has been a recent change in the bag limit for yellow perch on Lake Erie from 40 to 30 fish.
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