The application period is open until March 31 for special controlled wild turkey hunts and controlled fishing access in Ohio. — Courtesy of ODNR

ODNR Division of Wildlife accepting sign-ups for special spring hunting, fishing opportunities

The Ohio Department of Natural Resources Division of Wildlife is inviting all hunting and fishing enthusiasts to apply for spring 2023 controlled access opportunities available throughout the state. The online application period for special trout fishing and wild turkey hunting is open until March 31, according to a March 15 news release from the ODNR.

Successful applicants for each opportunity are selected through a random, computer-based lottery system, the release said. To apply, go to the Ohio Wildlife Licensing System webpage or submit information through the HuntFish OH mobile app.

A nonrefundable $3 fee is required for each application. Applicants must have all required permits and licenses prior to submitting their information. Apply over the phone by calling 1-866-703-1928 with an additional service fee of $5.50. Mail-in applications are not accepted.

Fishing opportunities

Cold Creek in Erie County offers trout fishing to anglers. The stream is one of Ohio’s most productive waterways. A half-mile section of the creek at Castalia State Fish Hatchery is open to lottery winners on select dates between May 1 and Nov. 24. Interested anglers can find more information about this popular event on the Controlled Fishing Access Lottery page at, the release said.

One season is available for adult anglers, with another for youth anglers ages 4-15. Up to 96 adult and 86 youth permits are available. Individuals selected to participate may bring two adults and three youths under age 16 — no more than six people total. All anglers ages 16 and older in each group must have a valid Ohio fishing license.

Hunting opportunities

Spring youth wild turkey hunts are held at Eagle Creek in Brown County, Killdeer Plains in Wyandot County, Lake La Su An in Williams County, and Mosquito Creek in Trumbull County wildlife areas, according to the ODNR release. Mentor-style and general applicant hunts are available. Interested hunters should visit the Controlled Hunting Access Lotteries page at for more information.

All hunters are required to have a valid Ohio hunting license and wild turkey permit prior to applying. Applicants for youth wild turkey hunts must be 17 or younger and accompanied by a nonhunting adult. Licenses and permits are available at, on the HuntFish OH app, or at any license vendor.

New hunters are eligible for the controlled hunts if they have not harvested a wild turkey within the past five years. Learners and mentors are both eligible to harvest a turkey during mentor-style hunts, provided the learner harvests a bird first. Either the learning hunter or the mentor may apply, and both must be properly licensed during the hunt.

Whether you are a new or experienced hunter or angler, check out the Wild Ohio Harvest Community to make the most of your outdoor adventures. Find information on getting started, hunting and fishing opportunities, and delicious wild game recipes, like this crunchy coconut fish or stuffed turkey breast.

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