Division of wildlife stocked more than 52 million fish

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Lake trout fingerlings
Lake trout fingerlings raised at the U.S. Fish Hatchery in Allegheny, Pennsylvania. (Jamey Emmert, Ohio Division of Wildlife, photo)

COLUMBUS — The Ohio Department of Natural Resources Division of Wildlife stocked 52.3 million fish of 11 species in Ohio waters throughout 2022. Fish were stocked during spring, summer, and fall at 203 locations statewide. 

The total represents a 15% increase over the annual production and stocking goal of 44 million fish, thanks to excellent production conditions that resulted in surplus walleye, saugeye and yellow perch fry. 

The division of wildlife operates six state fish hatcheries that raise sport fish for stocking in Ohio waters, enhancing recreational opportunities for anglers. Ohio’s hatcheries raise saugeye, walleye, yellow perch, rainbow trout, steelhead trout, brown trout, muskellunge, hybrid-striped bass, blue catfish, channel catfish and bluegill. 

The majority of Ohio’s fish populations are sustained through natural reproduction; however, stocking expands and diversifies fishing opportunities in waters where existing habitats do not support some fish populations. 

The 52 million fish stocked in Ohio last year were of five life stages: 38.2 million fry, 13.1 million fingerlings, 293,513 advanced fingerlings, 140,852 catchable fish and 522,842 yearling fish. 

These life stages included the following sport fish: 

  Fry (less than 1 inch long): saugeye (19 million), walleye (12.5 million), yellow perch (4.2 million), and hybrid-striped bass (2.5 million). 

  Fingerling (1 to 2 inches long): saugeye (5.6 million), walleye (5.2 million), yellow perch (1.7 million), brown trout (17,719) and hybrid-striped bass (505,961). 

  Advanced fingerling (6 to 10 inches long): blue catfish (210,414), channel catfish (59,198), muskellunge (20,505) and yellow perch (3,396). 

  Catchable fish (8 inches or longer): channel catfish (10,514), bluegill (26,094) and rainbow trout (104,244). 

  Yearling fish (8 to 12 inches long): brown trout (21,200), channel catfish (30,730) and steelhead trout (470,912). 

The division of wildlife’s current and historical fish stocking records can be viewed via the DataOhio portal in the Fish Stocking Database. Anglers can explore a map of stocking locations and use stocking data to plan their next outing. Find fishing reports and forecasts, species specific information, and learning modules through wildohio.gov.

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