Along the east bank of Grand Lake St. Marys running parallel to State Route 364, is a set of ponds you may or may not have noticed as you drive by.
“There are a lot of people who drive by here all the time and don’t know what we do here,” said Jay Williams, Superintendent of the St. Marys State Fish Hatchery. The fishery was built in 1913 by the Western Ohio Fish and Game association before being transferred to the predecessor of the Ohio Department of Natural Resources in 1936. The fishery encompasses one-hundred-fifty-five acres of land, with forty-three of those acres being water in twentysix ponds.
Williams has been with the Ohio Department of Natural Resources Wildlife Division since 1996. His first position was as an entry level technician, until being promoted in 2005 to hatchery coordinator. Williams stayed in that role until 2021 when he was promoted to superintendent. As superintendent he oversees a crew of four, with a fifth position they’re hoping to fill, as well as seasonal
“We’re a tool in the toolbox of the Ohio Department of Natural Resources. Any depleted sport fish, we can be asked to prop up the diminished population,” said Williams. Sport fish can be depleted in a few ways which Williams said can range from habitat degradation to fishermen taking their catches.
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