Home of “The Hoover Fishing Report”


This site owned and operated by Jim Horan and is copyrighted.  Copyright © 2019 All Rights reserved.


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.

10/9/19 - "Rangers have encountered reduced visitation at the reservoir as the season winds down.  Incidents in the last ten days have included boats missing PFDs and valid registrations, an untitled large horsepower motor at Oxbow, a motorized canoe missing navigational lights and other required equipment, and two reports of illegal shoreline fires.  The lack of rainfall over the last month not only increases the risk posed by campfires, but leads to lower water levels in the reservoir.  Boaters docked along shorelines should conduct frequent checks of their boats to prevent stranded or beached vessels.  On October 12th, Hoover will host a large rowing regatta with impacts to the Walnut Boat Ramp, southern pool, and western shoreline areas south of Smothers Road."

From Rec & Parks:

""We only took the one ramp off at Walnut Street due to it being moved and didn't believe the water level would come back up to get it properly back in place between now and removal.  We have no plans to remove the ramps at Red Bank early, so not sure where that rumor came from.  We also removed the north (right) side walkway at O'Shaughnessy due to the extremely low water levels last week.  A couple of the pieces from that walkway were added to the south (left) side walkway to extend it out in to the water for boaters to tie off to while loading / unloading."

Clint Phillips

Park Maintenance Regional Manager


9/25/19 - The eventful week at the reservoir included both positive and negative happenings, ranging from the unfortunate acts of theft and vandalism affecting Buckeye Boat Club, Hoover and Redbank Marinas, to the rescue of a runaway jon boat performed by Watershed Rangers on Saturday.  Saturday afternoon, Rangers responded to a report of an angler who had fallen out of his boat.  Rangers found the boat circling in the middle of pool two, spinning at nearly full-throttle.  Fortunately the boat's operator was able to safely swim to shore and seek help.  Rangers and the boat owner decided that the best maneuver would involve a carefully-controlled interception, followed by a disconnect of the outboard's emergency kill switch.  Executed well, the boat was intercepted with minimal damage and calamity avoided. Hope to see many of you at the Hoover Litter Clean-up this weekend.

9/18/19 - The beautiful dry weather has provided many opportunities to get out and enjoy an evening of boating, or some shoreline fishing.  Watershed is thankful for the patience of the Hoover Dam visitors who navigated around last week's pavement repairs.  This week, the roadway across Hoover Dam will experience a temporary closure on Thursday to accommodate planned maintenance.  

9/11/19 - The update for this week involves pavement work scheduled for the Hoover Marina areas which will present partial closures Wed and Thursday.  Half the lot will be closed each day, allowing for some parking.  Marina lots should be unaffected and fully open by Friday.

9/4/19- The last official week of summer served up a potluck of events at the reservoir.  On the water, rangers addressed swimming, missing navigation lights, bow riding, a boater assist near the Marina, and an overloaded kayak.  On land, a campfire was extinguished, a report of trees impounded near the boardwalk was investigated, and local police responded to a medical situation at the dam.  Though holiday visitation was low, Watershed was thankful for the patrol presence of ODNR, Blendon, and Columbus PD Marine Patrol who spent some hours keeping everyone safe.  One visitor inquired about a key fob lost along the bike path which brings up the reminder about Watershed's lost and found.  While not many items have been turned in this season, if you have lost or found an item, Watershed Management would be happy to check our inventory.  

8/28/19 - This week rangers provided two tows to safe harbor for stranded vessels, and addressed suspected camping, alcohol, and curfew violations.  A community festival in Galena inadvertently impacted access to Areas M and N at the very north end of the reservoir with overflow traffic and parking, however no major conflicts were reported.  ​

8/21/19 -As the peak summer season winds down with the start of school, reservoir visitation was lower than normal.  Rangers provided assistance to a capsized sailboater over the weekend, and have addressed several curfews and parking violations.  Hoover's lower water elevation provided an opportunity to fix minor issues at the Oxbow boat ramp, and inspect for other warranty repair issues.  After Labor Day, Watershed will initiate several parking lot maintenance projects. Stay tuned for information on affected areas and short term closure notices.

8/7/19 - This week Watershed reminds all Hoover boaters to stay attentive to any docked or tethered boats and adjust as needed when water levels in the reservoir drop.  This time of year, we see boats become beached or strained if they are not moved, or lines adjusted.  The USGS website offers daily readings of Hoover's water elevation.  Rangers assisted one boater at the Hoover Marina who had left a fuel tank incorrectly vented, creating the potential for fuel spillage.  Additionally, Westerville Fire Department conducted training exercises at Hoover on Tuesday.

7/31/19 - Rangers addressed a long list of issues this week including the unauthorized launch of an unregistered personal watercraft, missing navigational lights, a campfire, various parking violations, wildlife harassment near the dam, fishing in a nature preserve and curfews. Swimming violations were also more frequent over the weekend.  Last Thursday, some visitors received a notice on their parked vehicles thanks to efforts of a Franklin County Sheriff’s Office liaison.  The note cards cautioned visitors about the risk of leaving valuables in plain sight.  

7/24/19 -The past weekend was rather uneventful with no major highlights to share.  Other than some swimming violations, boating and general reservoir use was down due to the extreme heat.

7/17/19 - This week Watershed discovered vandalism to several port-a-jon units located at Redbank Marina.  Several units were knocked off their bases and sustained significant damage from what looks like a vehicle impact.  It is believed that the damage happened between 9am and 5pm on Wednesday, July 10th.  The units are in the process of being repaired or replaced as needed.  If anyone has information that may help identify those responsible, please contact Watershed Management or Genoa Township Police.  With the forecasted heat wave, Rangers will be keeping a close watch for swimming violations.

7/10/19-Ranger highlights from the past week included parking and curfew violations, missing navigation lights, alcohol, swimming, and several stand up paddle boarders deterred for not having PFDs.  An incidence of boat vandalism was reported to occur near Redbank, but not on city property.  Rangers provided a tow to safe harbor, extinguished a trashcan fire, and prevented the launch of an oversized vessel at Twin Bridges.

7/3/19 - Watershed has answered several calls this week from visitors concerned about algae growing in Hoover Reservoir. The Columbus Division of Water routinely monitors reservoir water quality, including algae and related toxins.  As of late Tuesday (July 2), samples analyzed for algal toxins were below recreational advisory levels.  Should future monitoring indicate a toxin level at or above the recreational public health advisory level, orange or red warning signs will be posted around marinas and boat launches.  In the meantime, Watershed will be posting educational signage in those areas to provide the public with more information about algal blooms. Algae populations naturally occur in all inland water bodies and can become concentrated in coves or through wind action.  It's advisable to navigate around these areas and avoid contact with blooms when observed.  More information can be found at 

6/26/19 -The beautiful weekend weather brought many visitors to Hoover to fish, boat, picnic, or partake in the disc golf event.  Rangers addressed various issues at all ends of the reservoir from swimming, overloaded boats, and missing PFDs, to parking in boat prep lanes, and speed/wake violations.  Rangers also recovered a second paddle board found adrift in a cove.  On Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday of this week, ODNR will be sampling fish from a pontoon boat using electrofishing equipment.  

6/19/19 - This week rangers took advantage of a break between rain events to tackle a large amount of fishing line tangled within the boardwalk.  Working from the water, they removed most of the debris, preventing entanglement and clearing the wildlife hazards.  As a follow up to last week's post on bow fishing, it is also necessary to mention that only "rough fish" or "forage fish" may be taken by this method.  Catfish are not to be taken by bow fishing.  Please see ODNR and Ohio Revised Code rules for sport fishing for further information.  Given the high water we have seen fewer boats venturing out, and those who are should exercise caution when boating to avoid swift water and hidden underwater hazards.  This weekend a disc golf event will take place at the course near Hoover Dam bringing extra visitation to this area.

6/12/19 - This week rangers found several boaters missing sufficient PFD's, many curfew violations, a kayaker fishing in the Mudhen Marsh nature preserve, and a few instances of swimming.  Other violations addressed included illegal parking, a campfire at Twin Bridges, and alcohol usage near Walnut Ramp.  Several people have recently asked if and where they can bowfish.  Bowfishing is allowed at Hoover, but only in the most northern pool, north of Sunbury Road Bridge.

6/5/19 - The past week was relatively uneventful at the reservoir with the exception of an accident at the Hoover Marina involving a dock customer who slipped into the water.  Reportedly, the man fell between the boat and dock and was safely rescued with the help of a companion and the Westerville Fire Department.

5/29/19 -Shoreline and boat-based fishing is still keeping the reservoir very busy and ramp areas full.  In the last week Rangers have encountered attempted use of high-horsepower engines, several instances of fishing off of the courtesy docks, and some continued parking issues.  This week we would like to share a theft-prevention message reminding visitors to keep valuables stored securely out of sight when leaving their parked vehicles.  Several thefts from vehicles have taken place during daylight hours in lots near the dam, and most involved purses or other tempting items left on seats or plainly visible.  Watershed is supporting efforts of Blendon Township Police to identify the individual(s) and would ask visitors to be alert and pass along any information to local police.  Thank you.

5/22/19 - Boat ramps were packed over the last week with many boaters embarking on their first splash of spring.  Rangers encountered a wide variety of boating issues including missing navigational lights, missing safety equipment, overloaded boats, and parking congestion at the ramps.  One topic worth repeating, especially for newer boaters on Hoover, is the 10hp motor restriction and the 10mph speed limit.  Boaters with engines greater than 10hp must have those motors tilted with the prop visible, or remove the prop before boating on Hoover.  This helps to ensure that the larger engines are not being used and facilitates inspection by a ranger or ODNR officer.  Hoover also has a 10mph speed limit so please be mindful of those rules and the impact that boat wakes can have on paddlecraft and shoreline erosion.  Speaking of paddlecraft, Rangers recovered an adrift paddleboard this month so if you lost yours, please contact the Watershed Management Office.  With many boaters using the renovated ramps of Oxbow and Twin Bridges, we are seeing parking issues and would ask that cars, when possible, use the car spaces and save the trailer spaces for those with trailers.  Some people car-top or transport their vessel inside a truck bed and need the extra space provided by the trailer spot for maneuverability.  That aside, we’ll advise boaters to bring their safety equipment, and a dose of patience when responding to apparent breaches of boat ramp etiquette.

5/8/19 - Watershed Management is once again happy for the invitation to share news and Hoover happenings through the HFR.  As we begin to ramp up for the busy summer season, the soggy spring has left us with a full reservoir, and a challenging combination of tall grass and soft ground in park areas maintained as turf.  Visitors will notice several recent park improvements at Hoover including redefined parking at Area F and vegetation in place of the abandoned roadbed in Area G.  Though the change was made last fall, we also wanted to spread word to those visiting the upper east dam area that cars should now enter/exit through the Cubbage Road entrance. The Central College entrance will serve the lower parking lots, and the pedestrian-only hill will separate the two areas and prevent cut-through traffic.  For those who like to plan early, the 2019 Hoover Reservoir Litter Clean-up is scheduled for September 28th from 9am to 12pm, with more details to follow.