SALEM TWP. — A recent property acquisition in Champaign County will provide improved fishing access to the Mad River, a popular brown trout fishery, according to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) Division of Wildlife.
The access lies at the intersection of state Routes 29 and 296, just north of Urbana. The purchase of 1.2 acres adds to existing Division of Wildlife-owned property along the river. The property currently has a parking lot and primitive steps for anglers and those with small boats to reach the river. Plans are underway to provide improved access at the location, including a boat launch.
The purchase was made possible through Sport Fish Restoration funds, as well as generous donations from partners, including Trout Unlimited Madmen Chapter, Trout Unlimited Ohio State Council, Buckeye United Fly Fishers, Miami Valley Fly Fishers and Central Ohio Fly Fishers. The acquisition was finalized in December 2019.
The Mad River receives an annual stocking of 12,000 brown trout from Division of Wildlife fish hatcheries. The fish are typically 6 to 8 inches long and stocked in early October. Fishing for brown trout is excellent on the Mad River from Springfield north to West Liberty. When targeting brown trout, use fish-imitating baits, traditional artificial flies, as well as live bait. Late winter and early spring are often productive times to fish because the river rarely freezes. Other fish in the river include mottled sculpin, white suckers, creek chubs, blacknose dace, American brook lamprey and state-endangered tonguetied minnow.
The Sport Fish Restoration program is a partnership of federal and state government, industry, anglers and boaters. When anglers purchase rods, reels, fishing tackle, fish finders and motor boat fuel, they pay an excise tax. The federal government collects these taxes, and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service administers and disburses these funds to state fish and wildlife agencies based on license sales. These funds are used to acquire habitat, produce and stock fish, conduct research and surveys, provide aquatic education to youth, and secure and develop boat accesses.
To learn more about Ohio’s wildlife areas and recreational opportunities, visit the Division of Wildlife website at wildohio.gov.
Submitted by the Ohio Department of Natural Resources.