COLUMBUS — Exceptional trout fishing opportunities on Cold Creek, one of Ohio’s most unique streams, await fishing enthusiasts who enter and are drawn in a special lottery conducted by the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR).
A half-mile section of the creek, located at the Castalia State Fish Hatchery in Erie County, will again be open to a limited number of anglers on selected dates between April 14 and November 30.
Anglers interested in fishing the trout stream must submit an application and a non-refundable $3 application fee between March 1-31 to be eligible for the random drawing. Applications may be completed online at wildohio.gov or by calling 800-WILDLIFE (945-3543) to obtain a paper form, which must be returned via mail. Only one application is allowed per person. More information about the lottery can be found at wildohio.gov or by calling 800-WILDLIFE.
There will be one season for adults (May 7–Nov. 30), and one for youths (June 11–Aug. 10). Two bonus early-bird Fridays have been added on April 14 and April 21, with morning and afternoon slots to be filled. Morning and afternoon slots are also being filled on Fridays in May and June and during all youth event dates. Applicants of the youth lottery must be between the ages of 4 and 15 when they apply. Approximately 100 adult and 90 youth permits will be issued. Individuals selected to participate will be allowed to bring two adults and three youths under the age of 16 (no more than six people total). Participation is determined by a computer-generated random drawing, which will be held in early April.
The results of the adult drawing will be posted on the division’s website at wildohio.gov. Successful youth applicants will be notified by mail. This year, all permits will be mailed. Applicants not chosen will not be notified.
Special fishing rules are in effect for this event to ensure that a quality fishing experience is maintained throughout the season. One of these special rules prohibits catch-and-release fishing, with wildlife officials requiring anglers to keep all fish that they catch. The daily bag limit will be five trout per angler.
Anglers will be required to check in at the hatchery upon arrival, and check out at the end of their session. Fishing sessions will be open from 7 a.m. to noon for adult events, with the exception of Friday sessions in April-June, which will conform to the youth event time blocks. For the youth events, anglers will be assigned to one of the two sessions per day (7 a.m. – 11 a.m. or 11 a.m.–3 p.m.). All anglers age 16 and older will need a valid 2018 Ohio fishing license when fishing at Castalia.
An Ohio resident annual fishing license costs $19; a one-day fishing license costs $11. Those who purchase a one-day fishing license may later return it to a license agent to receive credit toward purchase of an annual fishing license.