Some of the rules affecting catfish hunters at the Hoover Reservoir are on track to change in 2023.
Ohio’s Department of Wildlife Research shows that special regulations put in place to care for the growing numbers of blue catfish stored every two years in the tank touching Westerville and Galena are no longer needed.
“There are a lot of Hoover blue catfish, and they’re growing well and the population is producing cup-sized fish,” said Rich Zweville, supervisor of inland fisheries research for the department.
Proposed changes submitted to the eight-member Ohio Wildlife Council, which will accept public comment before a possible vote in October, are as follows:
• Eliminate the aperture limit that prohibits keeping any blue catfish or channel fish between 18 and 28 inches.
Eradicate the four catfish The daily limit of krill allows fishermen to keep three blue catfish or catfish shorter than 18 inches and only one of either species longer than 28 inches.
The department reports that “removing special regulations would improve fish growth, reduce the time it takes fish to reach cup lengths, and simplify harvest regulations by returning them to statewide rules.”
These statewide rules allow anglers to keep one channel catfish 28 inches or more each day and keep all channels shorter than 28 inches. Additionally, they set a limit of one fish per day for blue cats of 35 inches and over, and there is no limit to fishing on blues shorter than 35 inches.
The length and catch limits for flathead catfish, which are also a resident of Hoover, will remain 35 inches or more per day with no limit for fish less than 35 inches long.
Hoover is among the largest producers of catfish in Ohio by size and number.
Another proposal that could affect Central Ohio fishermen would allow three lines to be used in 2023, up from the current two. Three lines were previously allowed on Lake Erie, along the Ohio River and Lake Pematoning.
In a proposal unrelated to hunting, the department is asking the council to approve a change to the annual shooting range permit. The plan is to allow the permit to expire on the anniversary of the date the permit was purchased rather than the last day of February regardless of when it was purchased.
The end of the Hoover reporting era of fishing
Columbus resident Jim Horan, whose Hoover fishing report for years was a welcome weekly arrival to a batch of inbox during fishing season, has announced a pause.
“We are not saying this is the basis for (the report), but we are currently holding it down because interest in reporting has waned significantly,” Horan wrote in his July 12 email.
The report provided valuable information about what bites, where and what. Houran, a catfish fisherman of local renown, was also reporting news, events, and announcements, peppered with humor and punctuated by sly writing. Horan’s website is fishandtales.net.
Last week, a 36-mile section of the Portage River was officially designated as the state’s waterway, bringing the total of Ohio’s waterways to more than 1,000 miles. … The Bassmaster Classic Cup will be named in honor of Ray Scott, the founder of BASS, who died in May.