COLUMBUS -- The Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) will stock four state-owned ponds, which are designated as family-friendly fishing areas, on Tuesday, Aug. 13. ODNR invites families to enjoy these fishing areas during the rest of the summer and throughout the fall.

"Family fishing trips are a great way to create memories for both parents and children," said ODNR Director James Zehringer. "By stocking these ponds, we hope to ensure that everyone has an enjoyable day at the lake and the opportunity to create a family fishing tradition in the process."

These state park ponds will be stocked with catchable channel catfish.

The designated family-friendly fishing areas are located at Sycamore State Park, west of Dayton; Delaware State Park, north of Delaware; Maumee Bay State Park, east of Toledo; and Caesar Creek State Park, southwest of Xenia. These ponds will be open throughout the week. Family-friendly fishing ponds are open to anyone that accompanies an angler aged 15 or under. See www2.ohiodnr.gov/youthfishing for information.

A fifth area for anglers 15 years and younger to enjoy is the Wildlife District Three youth fishing ponds that are open every weekend through Labor Day. Hours of operation are 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. every Saturday and Sunday as well as Labor Day, Monday, Sept. 2. Go to wildohio.com for more information on the youth-only fishing area.

Adults and children alike are encouraged to fish at these ponds. Picnic tables and restroom facilities are available, and young anglers are encouraged to wear hats and sunglasses to protect themselves while casting their lines.

These family-friendly fishing areas are partially funded by the purchases of Ohio fishing licenses and federal contributions from the Sport Fish Restoration (SFR) Fund.

Anglers 16 years and older are required to have a valid fishing license to take fish, frogs or turtles from Ohio waters. An Ohio resident fishing license costs $19 per year.

Ohio residents born on or before Dec. 31, 1937, can obtain a free fishing license at any license vendor or online at wildohio.com. Residents age 66 and older who were born on or after Jan. 1, 1938, are eligible for a $10 senior fishing license. A one-day fishing license is available for $11, an amount that can later be applied toward the cost of an annual fishing license. Fishing licenses are available at participating agents and wildohio.com.

The SFR is a partnership between federal and state government, industry and anglers/boaters. When anglers purchase rods, reels, fishing tackle, fish finders and motor boat fuel, they pay an excise tax. The federal government collects these taxes, and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service administers and disburses these funds to state fish and wildlife agencies. These funds are used to acquire habitat, produce and stock fish, conduct research and surveys, provide aquatic education and acquire and develop boat accesses.

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