Ohio State Fish Hatcheries brochure
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Photos by Karl Mechem
The London Fish Hatchery is on Roberts Mills Road, just north of Old Springfield Road. It is free and open to the public from 8 am to 3 pm on weekdays (closed weekends and holidays).
The site is very accessible, mostly gravel, and almost entirely flat. A roughly one-mile walk around the perimeter of the property takes you past ponds, along a dense stand of trees, and along multiple canals. Large cottonwood trees (in the northwest corner) attract many birds. One of the canals has a lot of growth around it and draws Green Herons, Eastern Phoebes, and other such birds. Be sure to walk up the road (behind the fish shed) to find a large pond and good sight lines into nearby trees.
A staff person has said the ponds are drained in October or November, creating good shorebird habitat for a while. A large pond on the other side of Roberts Mills Road remains filled and ice-free most of the winter, attracting waterfowl.
From Karl Mechem
About London Fish Hatchery
London State Fish Hatchery is located on over 80 acres in western Madison County, just west of London, Ohio. The facility was built in 1896 by the Ohio Fish Commission, a predecessor to the Division of Wildlife, and is the oldest of the six hatcheries. The hatchery has 34 ponds containing a total of almost 10 water acres. The facility also has one large outdoor raceway (a cement or earthen constructed canal with flowing water) and nine indoor rearing troughs. Water is supplied by several wells, which can deliver 2,000 gallons per minute. This cold-water supply and spring-fed ponds allow the hatchery to raise muskellunge, rainbow trout, and brown trout. The hatchery is involved in fish production year round, maintaining its own brown trout and rainbow trout breeding adults, and is the main production facility for brown trout. Muskellunge production starts in the spring, while trout production starts in the fall. London State Fish Hatchery also maintains several species of fish for displays at the Ohio State Fair, county fairs, and sports shows. The visiting public can enjoy viewing large adult trout and other display fish. To get to the hatchery, take OH-56 south off of I-70 to OH-40 west, then take Roberts Mill Road south four miles and the hatchery is on the right.
From Ohio State Fish Hatcheries brochure