And fish and wildlife officials were standing ready to make it all happen.
The Ohio Department of Natural Resources Division of Wildlife will release nearly 81,000 rainbow trout into Ohio's lakes and ponds between mid-March and mid-May, including several thousand into Turkey Creek Lake for the annual Portsmouth Trout Derby.
The hatchery-raised rainbow trout, each measuring at least 10-13 inches long, will be released into 45 bodies of water.
The trout derby just west of Portsmouth is set for Saturday April 24. Fish are released into Turkey Creek Lake the day before.
The creel limit is five fish per day, with no size limit.
Anglers age 16 and older must have an Ohio fishing license to fish the state's public waters.
An annual resident fishing license, new ones of which were required after this past March 1, is available for $19 and is good through Feb. 28, 2011.
An annual nonresident license is $40. A one-day fishing license costing $11 may be purchased by nonresidents and residents alike. It can be redeemed for credit toward the purchase of an annual license.
Ohio residents born on or before Dec. 31, 1937, can get a free fishing license wherever licenses are sold.
People age 66 and older who were born after Jan. 1, 1938, and who have been a resident of Ohio for a least the past six months, can get a reduced cost resident senior license for $10.
Some locations where the trout are stocked, such as Jackson City Reservoir and Vesuvius Lake, will feature youth-only angler events on the day of the scheduled releases.
Vesuvius will hold its derby on April 15, while Jackson City Reservoir will hold its on April 17.
Adams Lake in Adams County will be stocked with rainbows this coming Friday. Timber Ridge Lake in Lawrence County will be stocked March 18.
Rocky Fork Lake will be stocked April 3 with youth only fishing scheduled for 1-4 p.m.
G. SAM PIATT can be reached at (740) 353-3101, ext. 236.