Marine News from the Great Lakes

Ohio Wildlife Council Approves 3rd Fishing Line for Lake Erie, Ohio River

Published: Thursday, October 31, 2019

Anglers may use a maximum of three fishing lines on Ohio’s portion of Lake Erie and the Ohio River starting on Jan. 1, 2020, following new regulations passed by the Ohio Wildlife Council, according to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) Division of Wildlife.

The council approved the use of three lines per person while fishing on Ohio’s portion of Lake Erie, including areas immediately upstream in creeks, rivers and tributaries, as well as the western and eastern units of Ohio River. Regulations allow a person to fish with up to two lines in the remainder of the state.

“This new regulation makes it easier for Ohioans to enjoy fishing on the two most iconic bodies of water in the Buckeye State,” said Division of Wildlife Chief Kendra Wecker. “Providing additional options increases the opportunities to have a great day on these wonderful resources.”

The council also approved moving Ohio’s free fishing dates to June 20-21, 2020. In the future, Ohio’s free fishing dates will be scheduled for the weekend that includes the third Sunday in June. Free fishing dates are open to Ohio residents. During those dates, a license is not required to experience fishing at Ohio’s public lakes, rivers, and reservoirs, including Lake Erie.

On the Ohio River, the council approved reducing the combined daily bag limit of sauger, saugeye and walleye to six fish. The sauger, saugeye and walleye length limit was set at 14 inches in the western fishing unit (from South Point west to the Indiana state line). These changes are designed to align Ohio River fishing regulations with bordering states. The bag limit changes take effect Jan. 1, 2020.

The Ohio Wildlife Council passed these regulations proposals at its regularly scheduled meeting on Oct. 9.

Additional regulations approved by the Ohio Wildlife Council:

  • Establishing existing fishing regulations on Jesse Owens State Park and Wildlife Area.
  • Hunting and trapping access to Eagle Creek Wildlife Area in Brown County is by special permit only from Sept. 1 through May 31 annually. Eagle Creek is maintained as an area where beginning hunters may participate in mentored hunts through a drawing system.
  • Sloan’s crayfish was removed from Ohio’s list of threatened species. A strong population of Sloan’s crayfish has been documented within its native Ohio range.

A complete list of approved proposals is available at

The Ohio Wildlife Council is an eight-member board that approves all Division of Wildlife proposed rules and regulations. The council voted on proposed rules after considering public input.

Council meetings are open to the public. Individuals who want to provide comments on a topic currently under consideration by the council are asked to register at least two days before the meeting by calling 614-265-6304.

The mission of the Division of Wildlife is to conserve and improve fish and wildlife resources and their habitats for sustainable use and appreciation by all. Visit to find out more.

ODNR ensures a balance between wise use and protection of our natural resources for the benefit of all. Visit the ODNR website at

tags: Fishing, Lake Erie, Law & Politics

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