This gentleman is pictured fishing at a past Trout Festival.

JACKSON — The Jackson County Trout Festival, sponsored by the Fraternal Order of Police (FOP) #96, is slated for Saturday, April 17, at Hammertown Lake in Jackson.

The gates will open at 6 a.m., and the final weigh-in will be at 4 p.m. at the shelter house. There will be trophies for the largest trout and largest game fish. There will be two age brackets (youth and adult divisions) for these trophies.

There will also be a fishing pole casting contest for the kids (boy and girl divisions) with three age brackets. There will be hourly drawings starting at 9 a.m. through 4 p.m. when the grand prize will be drawn as the final prize.

There will be food and fun all day for the entire family.

Event organizers ask everyone to wear a mask and to social distance while at the shelter house.

Before the festival, the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR), will be stocking the lake also known as the Jackson City Reservoir, with rainbow trout.

ODNR reports that just over 80,000 rainbow trout are expected to be released throughout the month of April and May across Ohio public lakes and ponds.

By stocking these water areas throughout the state, opportunities are created for anglers of all ages to get out and enjoy quality spring trout fishing in a family-friendly environment. Many stocked locations will feature special angler events, like Jackson’s Trout Festival.

Rainbow trout are raised at Ohio’s state fish hatcheries and measure 10-13 inches before they are released by the ODNR Division of Wildlife. The daily catch limit for inland lakes is five trout.

Anglers age 16 and older must have an Ohio fishing license to fish in state public waters. Fishing licenses are now available. Annual fishing licenses are valid for 365 days from the date of purchase. An annual resident fishing license costs $25.

Last year, the annual Trout Festival was canceled as a precautionary measure due to the growing concern over the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19). A year ago, many local activities had either been canceled, postponed, or limited.

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