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PA Smallmouth Bass Populations Showing Improvement, But Caution Still Advised

HARRISBURG, Pa. (Dec. 8) – Following nearly a decade of poor recruitment due to disease affecting young-of-the-year, the smallmouth bass populations in the Susquehanna and lower Juniata rivers are showing signs of improvement, according to information released today by the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission (PFBC).

Surveys conducted from 2013-2016 reveal increasing numbers of adult smallmouth bass compared to severely reduced numbers collected from 2005-2012. Decreased prevalence of disease in young-of-the-year smallmouth bass, along with the implementation of mandatory catch-and-release regulations enacted in 2011, have resulted in better recruitment of young bass to the adult populations.
However, bacterial infections causing sores and lesions continue to be observed in young-of-the-year smallmouth bass, prompting a renewed call by PFBC Executive Director John Arway to list the river as impaired. Other abnormal effects such as melanistic black spots and intersex conditions in adult bass, along with unprecedented nuisance algae blooms continue to plague the smallmouth fishery.
“Although we are cautiously optimistic about the population numbers we have observed over the last four years, our sampling is still finding young-of-the-year smallmouth bass displaying clinical signs of disease,” Arway said. “We continue to urge the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to list the river as impaired in its final review of the 2016 Integrated Water Quality Monitoring and Assessment Report submitted by the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP).”
The DEP submits an updated report every two years to EPA Region 3 for approval. Adding the Susquehanna to the list as a “high priority” impaired water would trigger a two-year timeline requiring DEP to develop a comprehensive plan to identify the causes and sources of pollution and put a plan together to clean up the river consistent with the goals of the federal Clean Water Act.
DEP recommended against listing the river as impaired in the 2012, 2014 and 2016 reports. EPA is expected to review the 2016 report and issue a ruling by early next year, either accepting the report or requiring changes. Recently, EPA Region 3 exercised its authority and added 28 stream and river segments to West Virginia’s impaired waters list.
Last year, DEP and the PFBC released findings from a multi-year study (CADDIS) indicating that the most likely causes for the population decline of smallmouth bass in the Susquehanna River are endocrine-disrupting compounds and herbicides; and pathogens and parasites.
Arway says the next step should be to focus on identifying the sources of the endocrine-disrupting compounds and herbicides, which would be required with an impairment designation.
“The Susquehanna River’s smallmouth bass fishery once attracted anglers from all over the world,” he said. “I am confident that the results from last year’s study, along with a continued commitment by DEP to identify the causes and reduce the sources of pollution, will provide for the eventual recovery and return of that once world class recreational fishery.”
“The impairment designation is critical to this effort,” he added. “Our concerns continue to be driven by the need to conserve and protect our aquatic resources so they may be enjoyed by present and future generations as guaranteed by our state constitution.”
Click here to see the Susquehanna River survey results.

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ODNR Wraps Up the Year with Family-Friendly December Activities

COLUMBUS, OH – December is the perfect opportunity to enjoy spending time with family and friends at Ohio State Parks and Ohio State Nature Preserves. As we celebrate the holiday season, we want to encourage visitors to attend events at their favorite state park or state nature preserve.

  • Holiday Trail of Lights at Lake Hope State ParkEnjoy a short walk through the woods lit by the twinkle of holiday lights. This is a free event open to the public every night in December, and the hours are from 4-8 p.m. Lake Hope State Park is located at 27331 State Route 278, McArthur 45651. For more information, call 740-596-4938.
  • Fantasy of Lights at Alum Creek State ParkThe popular annual Fantasy of Lights will be held through Sunday, Jan. 1, 2017. From Sunday through Thursday, the hours are 5:30-9:30 p.m., and on Fridays and Saturdays, the hours are 5:30-10:30 p.m. The price is $20 per car, and the address for the tour of lights is 2911 S. Old State Road, Delaware 43015. The Santa House will offer free hot chocolate and cookies. For more information, call 740-369-2900.
  • Candlelight Holiday Tours at Malabar Farm State ParkTour Louis Bromfield’s Big House all decorated for the holidays. Visitors will also enjoy freshly baked cookies and hot cider. The Candlelight Holiday Tours will be held the first two weekends in December (Dec. 2-4 and Dec. 9-11). Visitors will enjoy the tours from 5-9 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays and then from 12-5 p.m. on Sundays. The cost is $5 for an adult and $3 per child (ages 2-12). For more information, call 419-892-2784.
  • Holiday Traditions at Caesar Creek State ParkMake holiday decorations and gifts out of natural material. This event will be held on Saturday, Dec. 10, at the nature center, and space and materials are limited. The cost is $15 to participate. Preregistration and prepayment are required for a spot in this workshop. To register, call 513-897-2437. The two time slots available for people to participate are either 10 a.m.-noon or 1-3 p.m. For more information, call 513-897-3055.
  • Christmas in Ash Cave at Hocking Hills State ParkStep away from the hectic holiday season and come bundled for the weather while enjoying a lighted stroll back to Ash Cave. Once visitors arrive at the cave, they can warm up with refreshments by an open fire. Listen to or join with our carolers, have the kids visit with an old fashioned Santa or help to decorate our Christmas tree for wildlife. This event will be held from 5-7 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 10. For more information, call 740-385-6842.
  • Winter Bird Hike at Stage’s Pond State Nature PreserveWant to know more about our resident birds during the winter? Participate in a warmup hike prior to the Christmas Bird Count. The public is invited to join preserve staff for a winter birding hike from 1-4 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 10. Dominated by glacial geology, the 3.5-mile trail system is mostly flat for easy hiking. Hikers should dress appropriately for winter weather. The trail system may have wet areas based on rain or snow melt. Waterproof or water resistant footwear will be more comfortable. Stage’s Pond is located in Pickaway County 5 miles north of Circleville on U.S. Route 23; proceed 1.5 miles east on Hagerty Road to the preserve parking lot and trail system. Meet at the large parking lot in front of the park office. We will feature refreshments after the hike, and hikers are encouraged to bring their favorite hot chocolate cup and spoon to help prevent waste. For more information, call 740-380-8918.
  • Winter Wonderings at Boch Hollow State Nature Preserve Ever wondered how the hundreds of Ohio creatures survive the long winter? Beyond hibernation, Ohio critters have sweet and savvy winter survival tricks. Join Naturalist Lauren Metcalf on Sunday, Dec. 11, from 1-3:30 p.m. for a 2-mile hike. We will find signs of life, both active and dormant. Kids of all ages can do a winter scavenger hunt. Afterward, we will warm up with hot chocolate and a craft for the smaller children. The program will start at the Boch Hollow office at 7211 Bremen Road, about 8 miles north of Logan. There is a limit of 25 participants, and RSVPs are required. People should RSVP to lauren.metcalf@dnr.state.oh.us or by calling 740-380-8918.
  • Ohio Frontier Holiday at Lake Hope State Park Enjoy a day of history on Saturday, Dec. 17, at the Hope Furnace for Frontier Days from 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Then visit the Lake Hope Dining Lodge from 4-7 p.m. for horse-drawn wagon rides and for children to meet Santa. For more information, call 740-596-4938.
  • New Year’s Eve Night Hike at Maumee Bay State Park Join us for our second annual New Year’s Eve Night Hike at Maumee Bay State Park Nature Center. Meet at the nature center at 7 p.m. on New Year’s Eve, and the night hike will go until 9 p.m. We will test our night vision on the boardwalk and bring in the New Year naturally. All ages are welcome, make sure to dress for the weather. The address for Maumee Bay State Park is 1400 State Park Road, Oregon 43616. For more information, call 419-836-7758.
  • First Day Hike at Caesar Creek State ParkMeet the park naturalist at the nature center on Sunday, Jan. 1, 2017, for a 3-mile guided hike to the park’s new swinging bridge and scenic Horseshoe Falls. Discover wildlife and park history along the way. This event will be held from 1-3 p.m. For more information, call 513-897-3055.

ODNR ensures a balance between wise use and protection of our natural resources for the benefit of all. Visit the ODNR website at ohiodnr.gov.

Photo by Mark Spearman

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Ohio State Nature Preserves Highlighted During June Hikes

COLUMBUS, OH – The Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) is offering several hikes in June to highlight Ohio’s amazing trail system. From the hills of Appalachia, the river gorges of southern Ohio, the prairies of western Ohio and the coastline of Lake Erie, there are more than 1,000 miles of hiking trails to choose from to celebrate National Trails Day on the first Saturday of June and the rest of the month. Enjoy spending time outdoors and getting fit naturally during 2016.

  • Rhino Rush 5K at Portage Lakes State Park The Akron Zoo Chapter of Zoo Keepers is hosting this event on Saturday, June 4, for the conservation of rhinos in Kenya and Indonesia. Participants should meet at the Portage Lakes Shoreline Trail, Pheasant Run, High Point and Latham Lane areas. For more information, contact Matt Mills at 425-457-2982 or email m15mills@gmail.com.
  • 5K Run/Walk in the Park at East Harbor State Park Enjoy the beautiful trail at East Harbor in an event co-sponsored by the Friends of East Harbor State Park and Firelands Area Runners. The event will be hosted on Sunday, June 5, from 8-11 a.m. Applications and more information can be found at firelandsarearunners.org. The cost will be $20 and will benefit the Friends of East Harbor State Park.
  • Shrub Layer Hike at Rhododendron Cove State Nature Preserve Learn more about native and non-native shrubs on Sunday, June 5, from 1-3 p.m. An off-trail component of this hike limits participation to 15 people on an RSVP basis. To register, call Boch Hollow State Nature Preserve at 740-380-8918 or email jim.osborn@dnr.state.oh.us. The terrain is hilly so bring drinking water, and wear sturdy footwear.
  • National Trails Day at Mentor Marsh State Nature Preserve Take part in the long-standing celebration of America’s magnificent trail system and its countless supporters and volunteers on Sunday, June 5, from 2-3:30 p.m. Help spruce up the 2-mile section of the Buckeye Trail. Tools will be provided, but participants wear sturdy footwear, and bring gloves. The event is co-sponsored by the Buckeye Trail Association. Participants can meet at the Nature Center. RSVP by calling 440-257-0777, email rdonaldson@cmnh.org or check out the nature preserve’s Facebook page.
  • Hike at Kent Bog State Nature Preserve This guided hike through Kent Bog State Nature Preserve will be held on Wednesday, June 8, from 3-4 p.m. Hikers should meet at the preserve parking lot. For more information, call 330-527-5118 or emailadam.wohlever@dnr.state.oh.us.
  • Plant Detectives Hike at Mentor Marsh State Nature Preserve Ohioans will enjoy learning how to sharpen their plant identification skills, find out more about Project Budburst and discover out how to track the cycles of plants in their yards on Sunday, June 12, from 2-3:30 p.m. A hike will help participants practice newfound botany skills. Meet at the nature center. RSVP by calling 440-257-0777, email rdonaldson@cmnh.org  or check out the nature preserve’s Facebook page.
  • Showy Lady’s Slipper Hike (Registration Only) at Gott Fen State Nature Preserve Join ODNR staff for a special opportunity to view the state-threatened lady’s slipper orchids on Saturday, June 18, from 10 a.m.-12 p.m. Space is limited and only available to the first 15 registrants. To register, contact Adam Wohlever at 330-527-5118.
  • Play in Nature Hike at Mentor Marsh State Nature Preserve Venture off trail and engage in spontaneous, hands-on exploration on Sunday, June 19, from 2-3:30 p.m. Meet at the nature center. RSVP by calling 440-257-0777, email rdonaldson@cmnh.org or check out the nature preserve’s Facebook page.
  • Butterfly Count at Shawnee State Park Gaze upon these winged beauties on Sunday, June 26, from 9:30 a.m.-4 p.m. Meet at the lodge parking lot for the North American Butterfly Association’s 24th annual count.

ODNR ensures a balance between wise use and protection of our natural resources for the benefit of all. Visit the ODNR website at ohiodnr.gov.

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Wildlife Watchers Asked to Report Turkeys, Wild Grouse

COLUMBUS, OH – The Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) is asking the public to participate in surveying wild turkeys and ruffed grouse by reporting sightings of these two species.

Every year, the ODNR Division of Wildlife conducts a turkey and grouse brood survey to estimate population growth. The brood survey relies on the public to report observations of all wild turkeys and ruffed grouse seen during May, June, July and August. Wildlife watchers and hunters can report observations at the Turkey Brood Survey page at wildohio.gov.

Information submitted to the brood survey helps to predict future population changes and helps guide the state’s hunting regulations. More than 7,900 turkeys were reported during the 2015 survey, with an average of 1.82 young turkeys (poults) per adult hen turkey. This average was lower than the long-term average of 2.5 poults per adult hen.

State and county information is available from past wild turkey or ruffed grouse observations online under the Forest Species Overview page at wildohio.gov. Biologists began tracking summer observations of wild turkeys in 1962. Ruffed grouse were added to the survey in 1999.

ODNR ensures a balance between wise use and protection of our natural resources for the benefit of all. Visit the ODNR website at ohiodnr.gov.

Photo by Bobolink

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Trout Fishing Opportunities Await Anglers at Castalia State Fish Hatchery

Annual Castalia Lottery Post

Applications may be submitted March 1-31

COLUMBUS, OH – Controlled trout-fishing opportunities on Cold Creek, one of Ohio’s unique streams, await fishing enthusiasts who enter a special lottery conducted by the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR). A half-mile section of the creek, located at the ODNR Division of Wildlife’s Castalia State Fish Hatchery in Erie County, will be open to a limited number of anglers on selected dates from May 2–Nov. 30. Anglers interested in fishing the stream must submit an application form and a nonrefundable $3 application fee between March 1–31 for the random drawing. Applications may be completed online at wildohio.gov or by calling 800-WILDLIFE to obtain an application form. Only one application is allowed per person. Application information can be obtained from the ODNR Division of Wildlife at wildohio.gov or by calling 800-WILDLIFE.

The adult fishing season will run May 2–Nov. 30, and a youth season will run June 13–Aug. 12. Applicants of the youth lottery must be under the age of 16 when they apply.

Approximately 90 adult and 90 youth permits will be issued. Individuals selected to participate will be allowed to bring two adults and three youths under the age of 16 (no more than six people total). Participation is determined by a computer-generated random drawing, which will be held in early April. The results of the adult drawing will be posted on the division’s website at wildohio.gov. Successful youth applicants will be notified by mail of their fishing dates. Applicants not chosen will not be notified.

Special fishing rules will be in effect to ensure that a quality fishing experience is maintained throughout the season. One of these special rules prohibits catch-and-release fishing, with wildlife officials requiring that anglers keep all fish they catch. The daily bag limit will be five trout per angler.

Anglers will be required to check in at the hatchery upon arrival and check out at the end of their session. Fishing sessions will be open from 7 a.m.–12 p.m. for adult events. For the youth events, there will be two sessions per day, 7–11 a.m. and 11:30 a.m.–3:30 p.m. All anglers age 16 and older will need a valid 2016 Ohio fishing license.

An Ohio resident annual fishing license costs $19; a one-day fishing license costs $11. Those who purchase a one-day fishing license may later return it to a license agent to receive credit toward the purchase of an annual fishing license.

ODNR ensures a balance between wise use and protection of our natural resources for the benefit of all. Visit the ODNR website at ohiodnr.gov.

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2016-2017 Ohio Deer Hunting Proposals Remain Mostly Unchanged

COLUMBUS, OH – Proposals for Ohio’s 2016-2017 deer season dates and bag limits to remain mostly unchanged were presented at Wednesday’s Ohio Wildlife Council meeting, according to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR).

Among the noteworthy proposals was to move the two-day deer-gun season to Wednesday and Thursday, Dec. 28-29.

Overview of proposed deer hunting seasons for 2016-2017:

  • Deer archery: Sept. 24, 2016-Feb. 5, 2017
  • Youth deer gun: Nov. 19-20, 2016
  • Deer gun: Nov. 28-Dec. 4, 2016; Dec. 28-29, 2016
  • Deer muzzleloader: Jan. 14-17, 2017

The county bag limits were proposed to remain the same. The statewide bag limit was proposed to remain at six deer, only one deer may be antlered and a hunter cannot exceed a county bag limit.

In other proposals, the ODNR Division of Wildlife proposed to move the line which separates the north and south waterfowl hunting zones farther north. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service allows states to change their waterfowl zones once every five years. After public input from open houses, the waterfowl summit and waterfowl surveys, it was proposed to move the boundary line between the north and south waterfowl zones along a route similar to 2006-2010. The Lake Erie Marsh Zone is proposed to remain unchanged.

The Ohio Wildlife Council will vote on all proposals after receiving public input. Open houses to receive public comments about hunting, trapping and fishing regulations and wildlife issues will be held on Saturday, March 5. Open houses will be held at the ODNR Division of Wildlife District One, District Two, District Three and District Four offices and the Greene County Fish and Game Association clubhouse in Xenia. Directions to the open houses can be found at wildohio.gov or by calling 800-WILDLIFE (945-3543).

Open houses give the public an opportunity to view and discuss proposed fishing, hunting and trapping regulations with the ODNR Division of Wildlife officials. For Ohioans who are unable to attend an open house, comments will be accepted online at wildohio.gov. The online form will be available until Sunday, March 6.

A statewide hearing on all of the proposed rules will be held at the ODNR Division of Wildlife’s District One office on Thursday, March 17, at 9 a.m. The office is located at 1500 Dublin Road, Columbus, Ohio 43215.

The Ohio Wildlife Council is an eight-member board that approves all of the ODNR Division of Wildlife proposed rules and regulations. The council will vote on the proposed rules and season dates during its meeting on Wednesday, April 13, after considering public input. Small game, migratory bird and wild turkey hunting season dates were proposed at the January council meeting and will also be voted on by the council on April 13.

Council meetings are open to the public. Individuals who want to provide comments on a topic that is currently being considered by council are asked to register at least two days before the meeting by calling 614-265-6304. All comments are required to be three minutes or less.

ODNR ensures a balance between wise use and protection of our natural resources for the benefit of all. Visit the ODNR website at ohiodnr.gov.


Photo by Keith Riley-Whittingham

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Be Careful on the Ice

COLUMBUS, OH – Winter appears to have finally arrived for good in Ohio, and the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) wants to encourage eager ice anglers to be cautious and aware of the conditions before ice fishing on Ohio waters. While Ohio offers an unparalleled fishing experience, it’s important to remember that no ice is safe ice, and any ice that is covered by snow should always be presumed to be unsafe.

Ice Fishing Safety Tips

  • Ice anglers should file a “float plan” to let people know when they will be out on the ice, where they will be fishing, where they will park their vehicles and when they will return home.
  • Always fish with a partner or in an area where several other anglers are present.
  • Contact a local ice guide or bait shop to ask about ice conditions.
  • Put a cellphone in a plastic bag to protect it from getting wet.
  • Adequately check the ice thickness before traveling onto the ice.
  • Dress properly for conditions, which should include wearing an approved life vest.

Staying Safe and Warm While Enjoying the Winter Weather

  • Dress warmly in layers. Start with insulating fabrics and use a final layer of protective fabrics.
  • Come prepared, be aware and know when to go indoors.
  • Keep your head, neck and hands covered, and wear waterproof boots.

Additionally, ice anglers should make sure they have a valid Ohio fishing license. Licenses expire on Feb. 29 so anglers should purchase a new license by March 1. Ice anglers should also know the size and daily limits for the fish they hope to catch.

For more information about dressing for the winter weather in Ohio, go to parks.ohiodnr.gov/winter. To learn more about ice fishing in Ohio, go to wildlife.ohiodnr.gov/fishing/ice-fishing.

ODNR also licenses fishing guides in the Lake Erie region. For people interested in going on an ice fishing trip with a guide, go to wildlife.ohiodnr.gov/fishing/ice-fishing/ohio-ice-fishing-guides.

ODNR ensures a balance between wise use and protection of our natural resources for the benefit of all. Visit the ODNR website at ohiodnr.gov.


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Ohio Hunters Harvest more than 188,000 Deer during 2015-2016 Season

COLUMBUS, OH – Hunters checked 188,335 white-tailed deer throughout Ohio’s 2015-2106 deer season, according to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR). Last year, 175,745 deer were checked during the 2014-2015 season.

To help stabilize deer populations, bag limits were reduced this year, and antlerless permit use was eliminated in most counties. This year’s increase can be attributed to the poor mast crop throughout much of the state, particularly the eastern half where many species of wildlife, including deer, rely heavily on acorns as an important source of food. Other reasons for the increase include the more favorable weather for hunters compared to last year and the earlier harvest of agricultural crops.

Deer Management Goals

The ODNR Division of Wildlife remains committed to properly managing Ohio’s deer populations. The goal of Ohio’s Deer Management Program is to provide a deer population that maximizes recreational opportunities, while minimizing conflicts with landowners and motorists.

Until recently, deer populations in nearly all of Ohio’s counties were well above goal. In the last few years, through increased antlerless harvests, most counties are now at or near goal.

The ODNR Division of Wildlife is in the process of revising Ohio’s population goals and is asking hunters who received the survey to help by completing and returning their surveys as soon as possible. Hunters for this year’s survey were randomly selected from list of those who purchased a license and deer permit by Nov. 16. Landowner surveys have already been completed, and hunter surveys were mailed early in December. Public input is an important part of Ohio’s deer management program, and survey participants are asked to complete and return their surveys to ensure that hunters have a clear voice in helping to decide the direction of deer management in Ohio.

Hunting Popularity

Hunting is the best and most effective management tool for maintaining Ohio’s healthy deer population. Ohio ranks fifth nationally in resident hunters and 11th in the number of jobs associated with hunting-related industries. Hunting has a more than $853 million economic impact in Ohio through the sale of equipment, fuel, food, lodging and more, according to the National Shooting Sports Foundation’s Hunting in America: An Economic Force for Conservation publication.

Find more information about deer hunting at wildohio.gov.

ODNR ensures a balance between wise use and protection of our natural resources for the benefit of all. Visit the ODNR website at ohiodnr.gov.

Photo by BobMacInnes

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Ohio State Parks Host Statewide Job Fair

COLUMBUS, OHIO Looking for seasonal employment and love working outdoors? Attend one of two job fairs being held at multiple sites across the state by the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) on Saturday, Feb. 13, and Saturday, Feb. 20, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Interested applicants will be given information on vacancies and how to apply for seasonal positions at each job fair for state park and watercraft job openings. Additionally, staff will be available to answer questions and provide information. Most positions require a valid driver’s license and ability to work weekend hours, as needed.

Job Fair Locations

Northwest Ohio

Feb. 13, 20 – Maumee Bay State Park Lodge
1750 State Park Road #2
Oregon, Ohio 43616

Northeast Ohio

Feb. 13, 20 – Wingfoot Lake State Park Office
993 Goodyear Park Blvd.
Mogadore, Ohio 44260

Central Ohio

Feb. 13 – Alum Creek State Watercraft/Park Office
3305 S. Old State Road
Delaware, OH 43015

Feb. 13, 20– ODNR Columbus Headquarters
2045 Morse Road
Columbus, Ohio 43229

Feb. 20Hocking Hills State Park Dining Lodge
20020 State Route 664 S.
Logan, Ohio 43138

Southwest Ohio

Feb. 13Caesar Creek State Park Office
8570 E State Route 73
Waynesville, Ohio 45068-9719

Feb. 20East Fork State Park Office
3294 Elklick Road
Bethel, Ohio 45106

Southeast Ohio

Feb. 13Salt Fork State Park Golf Course Pro Shop
14755 Cadiz Road
Lore City, Ohio 43755

Feb. 20 – Shawnee State Park Lodge
4404B State Route 125
West Portsmouth, Ohio 45663

Available positions include natural resource specialists, lifeguards and naturalist aides. Duties for natural resource specialists include general cleaning, boat ramp and building maintenance, minor repair work, as well as landscape and trail maintenance. Applicants interested in applying for a life guard position must show proof of lifeguard training and cardio-pulmonary resuscitation certification.

Naturalist aides will be responsible for developing nature interpretive and educational programming for park visitors. Qualified applicants must have a combination of biology, botany, zoology and outdoor recreation work experience or college credits.

For more information regarding the ODNR Job Fairs, call 614-265-6561.

ODNR ensures a balance between wise use and protection of our natural resources for the benefit of all. Visit the ODNR website at ohiodnr.gov.

Photo by Seluryar

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Second Annual Ohio Boating Summit Set for March

COLUMBUS, OH – The Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) will hold the second annual Ohio Boating Summit on Wednesday, March 23, at the Nationwide and Ohio Farm Bureau 4-H Center, located at 2201 Fred Taylor Drive on the Columbus campus of The Ohio State University (OSU). People interested in paddling, fishing or boating in Ohio are encouraged to attend this summit offered by the ODNR Division of Watercraft.

“Ohio is a boating destination for families that enjoy boating together, but don’t always have the time to travel far from home,” said Mike Miller, chief of the ODNR Division of Watercraft. “We are excited to provide them with a conference to learn more about improved boating opportunities and innovative trends in recreational boating.”

The summit will provide an opportunity for a number of experts to share their experiences and create a dialogue between ODNR boating constituents, boating partners and the public. This summit will encourage a forum for networking while educating attendees on the current topics and trends in boating in the Buckeye State.

The keynote speaker will be Brewster Rhoads, former executive director for Green Umbrella, an organization that has worked to combine the efforts of many environmental and outdoor organizations in the Greater Cincinnati region.

Presentation topics include:

  • Paddling Destinations and Activities
  • The Ohio River: Unveiling Ohio’s Best Kept Boating Secret
  • Life Jacket Trends and the Wear It! Campaign
  • Innovations in Side Scan Sonar
  • Examining Factors of Recreational Boating Accidents
  • Caesar Creek Marina Project
  • Post-Summit OSU Student and Professional Networking Reception

The one-day conference will be held from 8:45 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. New this year, immediately following the summit, is an OSU and ODNR natural resources networking reception that is free for all interested students and professionals. Registration is $25 for individuals, $10 for groups of six or more and students are free with a valid student ID. The opportunity to earn continuing education units (CEU) credits for this event is available. Lunch may be purchased for $11.50 for people who preregister for the summit.

Registration is available online or by credit card, check or cash the day of the summit beginning at 8 a.m. or by contacting Dawn Potter at 614-265-6412 or dawn.potter@dnr.state.oh.us or Susan Sheley at 614-265-6485 or susan.sheley@dnr.state.oh.us. Doors open at 8 a.m. For more information on the 2016 Ohio Boating Summit or registration, go to http://watercraft.ohiodnr.gov/boatingsummit.

The ODNR Division of Watercraft is responsible for boating safety, education and law enforcement on all waters of the state. This statewide area includes the near shore area along 451 miles of the Ohio River, approximately half the entire surface area of Lake Erie, more than 605 inland lakes and more than 60,000 miles of inland streams, rivers and other waterways.

ODNR ensures a balance between wise use and protection of our natural resources for the benefit of all. Visit the ODNR website at ohiodnr.gov.

Photo by Ryan Stanton

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