This summer, the Aquatic Visitors Center will again open its doors to the public at Put-in-Bay.
The center joins Ohio States Stone Lab and the South Bass Island Lighthouse as landmarks operated by Ohio State in the Put-in-Bay area, giving visitors a variety of ways to explore history while learning more about Lake Erie science and research.
The Aquatic Visitors Center, formerly a state fish hatchery, will be open from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Thursday through Sunday, June 18 through Aug. 23 on South Bass Island.
Admission is free, with youth programs planned from 4 to 5 p.m. each Saturday. The public is invited to fish for free from the center's docks; children under age 16 can fish without a license.
In addition, science and history, tours of Gibraltar Island and Stone Laboratory will be held from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. each Wednesday, June 17 through August 19. A $10 tour fee supports Stone Lab student scholarships.
To get to Gibraltar, meet at the Boardwalk Restaurant Harbor Taxi Landing on South Bass Island by 10:45 a.m. to catch a water taxi at a cost of $6 round-trip. For an additional $10, participants can order a boxed lunch to enjoy after the tour. Orders must be placed when arriving on the island.
Visitors to Put-in-Bay also can check out the view from the South Bass Island Lighthouse tower and learn about Lake Erie issues and the area's historical shipwrecks from 1 to 4 p.m. every Thursday through Sunday starting June 18. The final tours for the summer will be held Friday, Aug. 21. Tickets are $2 per person to climb to the top of the lighthouse, free for children younger than six.
For information contact the Stone Lab Bayview Office at 419-285-1800 or visit stonelab.osu.edu/tripsandtours/island-tours/. Gibraltar Island, the South Bass Island Lighthouse and the Aquatic Visitors Center are owned and managed by OSU. For hotel reservations, call the Put-in-Bay Reservation center at 1-888-742-7829
Put-in-Bay is a popular vacation spot just 2 miles offshore of mainland Northwest Ohio in Lake Erie. While "Put-in-Bay" is technically the name of the village on South Bass Island, the name commonly is inadvertently used to refer to the entire island. A summer resort since the mid-1800's, the village can be considered the hub of tourism among the Lake Erie Islands, with its numerous taverns, wineries, restaurants, waterfront condos, rental homes, and hotels.