Ever wonder where that walleye or channel cat came from? Was it born in a hatchery in Ohio or another state?
How do wildlife biologists gather fertilized fish eggs or, more specifically, how do they catch the adult fish that provide the eggs and milt.
Does it take days, weeks, or months for the eggs to hatch — or do they hatch at all?
Is a minnow a baby fish?
Answers to those questions and dozens of additional questions are there for the asking when Ohio wildlife officials open the door to visitors at the Senecaville Hatchery later this month. The hatchery is a long way from everywhere, but the opportunity to learn about fish production is well worth the drive.
Interested anglers and others have the chance to see Ohio’s fish hatchery operations firsthand when the Ohio Department of Natural Resources hosts an open house from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. June 28 at Senecaville State Fish Hatchery. This event is free and open to the public.
A number of activities will be held to entertain kids, including a free youth fishing event for kids 17 and younger hosted by the ODNR Division of Wildlife. Bait will be provided and fishing poles for those who don’t have tackle.
Anglers between 16 and 17 must have a valid Ohio fishing license. Youth under 16 are not required to purchase a fishing license in Ohio.
Other activities will include: opportunities to view the electrofishing boat; archery activities for youth in attendance; and an interactive wildlife learning area featuring Ohio’s bobcats.
Walleye, saugeye, hybrid striped bass and channel catfish are raised at the Senecaville State Fish Hatchery and these fish are stocked in more than 50 reservoirs, lakes, and pools of the Ohio and Muskingum Rivers.
The hatchery also provides 400,000 channel catfish fry for the Hebron and St. Marys hatcheries, and 2,000 to 3,000 pounds of fathead minnows, which are used as forage food for the muskellunge raised at the London and Kincaid fish hatcheries.
More than 32 million walleye and saugeye eggs were collected from Mosquito Lake in 2013 and produced 2.1 million saugeye fry and 10.8 million walleye fry.
Production efforts also resulted in 1.4 million saugeye fingerlings, 657,000 walleye fingerlings, 1.1 million hybrid striped bass fingerlings, 800,000 channel catfish fry, 48,000 channel catfish yearlings, and more than 4,000 catchable channel catfish.
Senecaville Fish Hatchery is located at 57199 Seneca Dam Road, Senecaville, OH 43780.
To learn more about the open house, call 740-685-5541.
Find more information about all six of Ohio’s state fish hatcheries at wildohio.com.