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Reps. Sheehy, Sobecki testify on bill designating Walleye as Ohio's state fish

February 15, 2022
Michael Sheehy News

COLUMBUS - State Reps. Michael Sheehy (D-Oregon) and Lisa Sobecki (D-Toledo) today provided sponsor testimony on House Bill (HB) 484, which would designate the Walleye as the State Fish of Ohio.

“People travel from far and wide to catch walleye in Lake Erie. I hope my colleagues will recognize the great impact the walleye has on the state’s culture and economy by naming it the official state fish,” said Rep. Sheehy.

“The walleye plays an important role in Ohio’s economy, whether it is prepared as delicious food, a target for sport fishing, or as an athletic team mascot. It is time to recognize the walleye as Ohio’s State Fish,” said Rep. Sobecki. 

Lake Erie is home to 95 million walleye, and walleye can also be found in the Ohio River. Additionally, the walleye is among the most sought after fish for anglers, and Lake Erie sport fishing and associated expenditures generate $1 billion a year.

Ohio is one of only three states in the U.S. without an official state fish. A Columbus news station, NBC4 WCMH-TV, conducted an online poll for the public to nominate and vote for the fish that they thought best represented the state of Ohio. The walleye ended up winning the poll, tallying 27.5% of the votes cast.  Receiving the second most votes was the yellow perch, with smallmouth bass finishing right behind in third place. 

HB 484 now awaits further hearings in the House Agriculture and Conservation Committee.