Ohio Fishing Structure: Where the Habitat Is

The Pymatuning Reservoir, a man made lake in O...
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Andover, OH- Many things have changed in Ohio since the early 1900’s. Ohio’s deer herd has gone from scarce to world class, and the bald eagle, once on the edge of extinction, has rebounded dramatically. But, for most of Ohio’s lakes, the past century has not been so kind. Most of the natural habitat in Ohio’s reservoirs has disappeared due to natural causes. Fish naturally relate with habitat, and anglers typically key in on these spots, but what happens when the habitat disappears?

Thanks to the Ohio Division of Wildlife and numerous other state agencies and conservation clubs, anglers who fish Pymatuning have another hot spot to try out.  This past week, these groups collaborated on their annual structure placement project on Ohio’s largest inland lake. “The Short Plank Vertical Structures are ideal for shallow water that lacks natural habitat, while the rock reefs can be used at a variety of depths,” says Matt Wolfe, Fisheries Biologist for the Ohio Division of Wildlife, who oversees this project. “Both structure types are ideal for the fisheries that are available in Pymatuning,” added Wolfe.

The Plank Structures can be found from N 41o 39’ 58.9” / W 80o 29’ 57.9” to N 41o 40’ 2.4” / W 80o 29’ 59.7” to N 41o 40’ 3.6” / W 80o 29’ 52.9”  in about 6 – 7 feet of water. The rock reefs can be found at N 41o 32’ 12.9” / W 80o 30’ 45.5” in about 6 feet of water and at N 41o 32’ 1.3” / W 80o 30’ 49.0” in about eleven feet of water. The map datum on your GPS unit should be set at NAD 83 to find the structures.

The goal of this project is to introduce 500 structures into the waters of Northeastern Ohio annually. With limited funding available, none of this would be possible without the help of local organizations who have contributed to this effort. The Pennsylvania Fish and Boat CommissionOhio State Parks,Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, and the Pymatuning Lake Association partnered up with the Division of Wildlife on this particular project in its attempt to recruit the next generation of anglers and retain the anglers who already enjoy the sport of fishing.

View video slideshow of structure placements

View a Pymatuning Lake fishing map

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