Governor Mike DeWine fishing

Ohio Governor Mike DeWine and Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) Director Mary Mertz are shown here at Hook Lake celebrating Inland Fish Ohio Day on June 12.

McCONNELSVILLE, Ohio — Ohio Governor Mike DeWine and Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) Director Mary Mertz celebrated Ohio’s outstanding inland fishing Saturday at the second Inland Fish Ohio Day at Hook Lake at Appalachian Hills Wildlife Area.

Appalachian Hills boasts more than 300 lakes and ponds teeming with bluegills, catfish, and largemouth bass.

“Ohio’s inland lakes offer wonderful opportunities to get out and enjoy a day on the water,” said Governor DeWine. “With hundreds of lakes and thousands of acres, Appalachian Hills Wildlife Area and Jesse Owens State Park and Wildlife Area are two of Ohio’s best public inland fishing locations.

"I encourage all Ohioans to experience the beauty and tranquility of these unique wild spaces.”

Appalachian Hills Wildlife Area is located in southeast Ohio. It provides public access to fish, hunt, and bird with 350 lakes, 63 million trees, 293 campsites, and 24 miles of the Buckeye Trail. The adjoining Jesse Owens State Park and Wildlife Area offers additional public access, and four primitive campgrounds are provided at no charge. Visitors to the Inland Fish Ohio Day enjoyed events at both locations featuring shore angling, kayak angling, and small boat fishing.

Although bluegill were primarily targeted, the biggest catch of the day was a 14-inch largemouth bass. Anglers caught more than 300 fish throughout the course of the day.

Governor DeWine and Director Mertz hosted the first Inland Fish Ohio Day at Cowan Lake State Park in Clinton County in 2019.

Ohio offers extraordinary fishing opportunities in its lakes, reservoirs, rivers, and streams. The Division of Wildlife’s six state fish hatcheries stocked 46 million sport fish in more than 200 locations in 2020, including walleye, saugeye, yellow perch, rainbow trout, brown trout, muskellunge, channel catfish, blue catfish, and hybrid-striped bass. An estimated 1.3 million Ohioans fish in the Buckeye State every year.

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