Bellefontaine Examiner

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Local license numbers show decline

While the number of fishing licenses being purchased in Ohio and across the United States is on an upswing, local numbers have been declining.

In information provided by the Ohio Department of Natural Resources, the number of fish- ing licenses sold in Logan County dropped by almost 2,000 between 2009 and 2012.

A total of 9,790 fishing licens- es were sold in 2009, but sales have decreased since. The num- ber dropped to 9,341 in 2010, 7,933 in 2011 and 7,922 last year.

One possible explanation for the drop locally could be the ongo- ing issues with the water quality at Grand Lake St. Marys in Auglaize and Mercer counties. The lake has long attracted local fishing interest, but high levels of toxic algae were discovered in 2010 and fishing has since suffered on the lake.

Fishing licenses in Mercer County dropped mightily, with only 3,519 being issued in 2011 after 6,444 were purchased in 2008. There has been an increase of late. In 2012, 4,092 licenses were issued in the county, more than 500 more than the previous year.

A similar drop-off occurred in Auglaize County. Over 6,000 fishing licenses were issued in 2008 and 2009, but fell to 5,210 in 2010 and 4,252 in 2011.

As was the case in Mercer County, the numbers picked back up in Auglaize County in 2012. Over 900 more licenses were sold in 2012 (5,157) than were issued in 2011.

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