Sunday, January 29th, 2023
Sunday, January 29th, 2023

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OH: Hatchery remodeling slows down trout stocking in Ohio

Castalia, Ohio – A remodeling project under way at the Castalia
State Fish Hatchery in Erie County will curtail the number of
catchable rainbow trout stocked in Ohio waterways this fall.

“Castalia is out of production,” said Elmer Heyob, hatcheries
administrator for the Ohio DNR.

That means the state will have only 4,000 to 5,000 rainbows
cultivated at the London State Fish Hatchery in Madison County
available for stocking in fall 2011. Most years, Castalia and
London together produce 25,000 trout, Heyob said.

It’s yet to be decided where the limited number of fish will
go.

“We’ll probably put them where there are scheduled fishing events
and the places where we’ve been doing it the longest,” Heyob
said.

The state’s 2011 spring stockings of rainbow trout remain
unaffected. About 80,000 fish will be headed to nearly 50 Ohio
ponds, lakes and reservoirs in March, April, and May. Each will be
a catchable 10 to 13 inches.

“The demand is in the spring,” Heyob said.

Improvements at the Castalia hatchery began more than a year ago
and are due for completion by September. They are aimed at helping
the facility grow bigger, healthier steelhead trout for annual
release in five of Ohio’s eastern Lake Erie tributaries. Estimated
cost of the renovation is $6 million.

The Castalia project includes a new, expanded hatchery building
that will eliminate the state’s need for Michigan to hold a portion
of Ohio’s incubating steelheads. Ohio currently obtains its
steelhead eggs from Michigan.

Renovations will also see metal and screen enclosures for the
facility’s existing open-air raceways. The facility near London
already has a similar raceway set up, Heyob said.

Capital improvements to the London hatchery are scheduled for
2012.

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