Home of “The Hoover Fishing Report”


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The following reports have been collected from Lorraine Winters, WSM to alert anglers and boaters as to the type of situations that the Rangers have been encountering.  This is shared in an effort to minimize problems and educate all as to what is occurring at Hoover.

9/22/21 - The past week has brought several interesting occurrences to Hoover including reports of a lost cell phone, a medical emergency at Baldridge Ramp attended to by Genoa Township, and two days of Columbus Police Dive Team exercises around Smothers Bridge and the lower pool. Franklin County Sheriff's Office responded to a dead animal left in a purse near Redbank Boat Launch.  Rangers assisted a stranded boater, recovered a mostly submerged tire floating in the middle pool of Hoover, and intercepted an individual shooting a BB gun at Area T.  A large quantity of household waste was left at Oxbow, and several parking violations were encountered.  

9/15/21- As for the 2021 Hoover Litter Clean up, we have had several regular volunteers asking about the option to conduct a self-guided clean up like we hosted for 2020.  Watershed will have staff at the shelter house to distribute bags and directions as needed on September 25th from 9am to noon.  However we will also offer the option for volunteers to clean up on the day of their choice, and supply bags and directions as requested.  Volunteers interested in the self-guided clean up may contact the Watershed Management office at

Reservoir news of the week included a report of a kayaker swamped by the wake of a power boat.  The incident was reported to ODNR and is still under review.  Columbus Police Dive Team will be conducting an exercise this week in the southern pool of Hoover.  As precipitation has been sparse, and boating season winds down, those with docked boats are reminded to check their vessels to adjust lines and prevent dry docked vessels.

9/1/21 - With most students returning to school, combined with the blistering heat of the weekend, Hoover’s visitation was rather low.  Rangers responded to one report of suspected gas theft from a pontoon boat owner docked at the Hoover Marina.  The theft was reported on 8/25 and no other boats or equipment appeared to be affected.  Cooler evenings are bringing additional shoreline anglers to the reservoir.  As a reminder, shoreline fires are not permitted and present a safety risk.    

8/25/21 - This week rangers worked through some parking congestion at Oxbow and spoke to individuals who were found parked in loading zones, or striped areas associated with handicapped parking.  One group of evening kayakers were found to have several participants missing required lighting for evening boating.  Standard glow sticks are not an acceptable alternative to a 360 degree light source. This weekend, the Village of Galena will be hosting Summerfest which will likely result in traffic near the northern end of Hoover.

8/11/21 - Reservoir happenings over the last ten days have included the standard fare of curfew and parking violations, an unregistered boat attempting to launch, paddlecraft users missing safety equipment, a boater tied off to the Smothers Road Bridge and a few shoreline fires.  Westerville Fire Department and Blendon Township conducted a training out of Redbank last week with practice rescues of capsized kayaks and other on-water exercises.

The 2021 Hoover Litter Clean-up is currently scheduled to occur from 9am to noon on September 25th . This year volunteers will meet at the shelter house closest to the Hoover Marina to pick up bags and gloves.  We will be closely monitoring for any COVID-related restrictions that could limit our ability to host the event, as conditions could evolve over the next month.

7/28/21 - Watershed Management’s “lost and found” had a few new additions this week including a PFD found floating in the south end of the reservoir, and a black wallet dropped off by an unknown visitor. The wallet was given to Blendon Twp Police so if it might be yours, please notify them if you’ve not been contacted already.  Rangers encountered a variety of incidents around the reservoir including shoreline fires, swimming, and curfews, as well as a large hp motor in use, a boater who repeatedly tied up to a navigational buoy, and various pool/beach toys. 

7/14/21 - This past week brought a few challenges to the Watershed staff... A port-a-jon was tipped over at Mudhen Marsh, rangers provided one boat tow and cleaned up evidence of camping near Oxbow, and Blendon Twp Police assisted with possible incident of drug use in the Hoover Marina area.  Rangers also responded to a report of a duck with a fishing hook stuck in its bill, however the duck appeared healthy and flew away from all attempts to catch it.  High reservoir elevations are posing a problem for the Baldridge Ramp courtesy dock so please use other ramps such as Walnut or Oxbow as alternates.

7/7/21 - Watershed has two pieces of good news to share this week.  First, the Fourth of July holiday weekend was enjoyed by many, but crowds were manageable at Hoover with no major incidents to report.  The second bit of good news is that Watershed Management is looking forward to resuming the annual Hoover Reservoir Litter Clean-up as an in-person event this fall. Stay tuned for announcements on the clean-up date, which is always chosen to avoid conflicts with home OSU football games.

6/30/21 - In the last week, rangers encountered several curfew and parking violations, and provided assistance to boaters including capsized kayaks and other paddlecraft caught off guard by rough waters on an otherwise sunny Saturday.  Westerville Fire Department and Columbus Marine Park Police also provided assistance over the busy weekend. 

6/23/21 - This upcoming weekend, Hoover will host a large disc golf tournament near the dam.  Given that several parking areas are still closed for the dam construction project, parking will be congested at the marina and south end of the reservoir.  This week, rangers encountered a boat temporarily abandoned at Walnut Ramp, and a converted school bus which was attempting to camp in the marina lot. 

6/16/21 - With the exception of two boats (an oversized inboard and a 200hp motor) which were deterred from the reservoir Saturday evening, it has been a relatively quiet week. Rangers encountered several curfews, fishing off docks, and required equipment violations and intercepted  swimmers near the marina.  Several paddlecraft and kayak users had a tough time navigating in windy conditions, and rangers provided a tow to one paddleboat after the occupants were unable to make headway against wind/waves.  Youth boating education programs are occurring in greater numbers this summer, so please keep any eye out for novice paddlers and sail boat operators.

6/9/21 - Hoover Reservoir boaters will notice a few new floating objects which have appeared over the past week.  Just north of the dam, the Division of Water's yellow floating water quality monitoring device has been deployed for the season.  On the opposite, or far north end of the reservoir, new navigational buoys mark a zone to keep boaters away from the osprey nests.  Rangers report active use of the osprey platforms, so please observe both at a safe distance.

6/2/21 - Hoover was relatively quiet for most of the holiday weekend, given the cooler weather.  However, shelter houses and boat ramps were busier on Sunday and Monday, and with most schools wrapping up for summer break, we anticipate an uptick in reservoir use.  Rangers addressed one issue of high horsepower, a handful of swimming and curfew violations, and advised a boater not to tie up to a navigational buoy.  Several other boaters were found without adequate PFDs, which is always a concern. Please check ODNR's boating safety webpages for a list of required safety equipment while boating.

5/26/21 - As temperatures edged near record highs for the end of May, Hoover rangers encountered several groups of swimmers and inflatable pool toys.  High horsepower engines and a jet boat were escorted from the water after being found in use, and warnings were given to boaters without sufficient PFDs and for wake violations.  Parking issues along the Oxbow causeway and upper east dam area are a sure sign the reservoir is experiencing high visitation, and Memorial Day weekend crowds are expected to be large.

5/19/21 - This week the Hoover rangers addressed various violations including high horsepower motors in operation or in an untilted position, camping and alcohol use, and vehicles parking along the shoreline or in a boat prep lane.  A visitor accidentally left a fishing rod while visiting Twin Bridges this weekend.  If found, please contact the Watershed Office at 614-645-1721 for help returning it.  It is always a sad day to lose any fishing gear.  With that in mind, we encourage visitors to secure belongings and not leave valuable items in unattended cars or docked boats.  If fishing after dark, it's a good idea to bring a flashlight to avoid inadvertently leaving items, or litter, behind.

5/12/21 - As the spring boating season kicks off, Rangers have provided several boat tows, and assistance to a capsized boater, who overturned in windy conditions last week.  Though early in the year, rangers have already seen incidents of excessive hp use, campfires, off road driving, and various parking and curfew violations.  This past weekend, there were two vehicle accidents on reservoir property as a car drove off road near Mudhen Marsh, and another car rolled into a bioswale near the Walnut St. intersection (Area B). 

4/28/21 -Watershed Management is again thankful for the chance to share Hoover news and updates through the HFR. Last year, the pandemic led many people to discover the great "social distancing" opportunities available at the reservoirs. This year, we expect the popularity will continue, especially for those newly bitten by the fishing or kayaking bug.  Watershed has been preparing for a busy spring recreational season, placing portable restrooms and beginning spring mows, and CRPD is nearly finished with the installation of Hoover Marina.  Due to the ongoing maintenance project at Hoover Dam, Walnut Street Boat Ramp served as an off-season storage area for Marina docks, and should be fully-open for use shortly.  Watershed Rangers have been placing and adjusting navigational buoys and have already provided assistance this week to an overturned skiff in the north end of the reservoir. Yesterday, a large dead tree, entangled in a buoy anchor line near Redbank, was carefully removed.

4/21/21 - From Chad Karg - Cols. Rec. & Parks - Hoover Boardwalk to Remain Closed

We identified a failure in the handrail system making the boardwalk unsafe for public occupancy.  We are engaging a structural engineer to evaluate the system to develop a repair plan.  The evaluation and repair plan work will probably take several months to complete.  We will reopen the boardwalk as soon as we can safely do so. 

Marina and Launch Ramp Dock Installation

Docks at Hoover are being installed as you read this.  There was a delay in installation this year as the dock loader broke down and the part was on back-order.  We rented a replacement loader and are making up for lost time.  All docks at marinas and boat launches will be installed by May 1st.