Month: April 2010

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West Branch Mountain Bike Group Wins Trail Award from ODNR

A hardtail mountain bike.
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COLUMBUS, OH – The Cleveland Area Mountain Bike Association (CAMBA) received the Ohio State Parks 2009 “Trail Partnership Of The Year Award” for the group’s efforts to build and maintain mountain biking trails at West Branch State Park in Portage County.  CAMBA representatives Craig Wood and Mark Reed accepted the award from the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) during a recent park managers’ conference at Hocking Hills State Park.

CAMBA is the first recipient of this new statewide award to recognize volunteer groups helping to build, improve and expand trails in Ohio State Parks.  CAMBA volunteers have contributed 5,941 hours over the past eight years to develop more than 7 miles of single track mountain bike trail at West Branch.

“Without dedicated trail partners like CAMBA, our state parks simply would not be able to offer such a large, high quality trail system for biking, hiking and horseback riding,” said John Hunter, acting chief of Ohio State Parks.  “They are creating a tremendous recreational resource for local trail users, and helping to put Ohio on the map as a destination for trails.”

In addition to providing labor, Wood, Reed and the other CAMBA volunteers who helped with the West Branch trail lent their expertise in trail design to build a sustainable trail system that can withstand weather and traffic, and offers features mountain bikers love. The West Branch trail has served as a model for other park systems building trails in the area.

Ohio’s 74 state parks offer more than 1,185 miles of trails, including 24 mountain biking trails, 25 bridle trails, 207 hiking trails and 156 multiple use trails.

The Ohio Department of Natural Resources ensures a balance between wise use and protection of our natural resources for the benefit of all. Visit the ODNR Web site at www.ohiodnr.com.

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Ohio Free Fishing Days, May 1st and 2nd, 2010

{{en|Walleye (Sander vitreus) from the USFWS. ...
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COLUMBUS, OH – Ohioans are encouraged to take advantage of “Free Fishing Days” on May 1 and 2 and experience the great fishing Ohio has to offer, according to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR), Division of Wildlife. For these two days only, Ohio anglers may fish in any of the state’s public waters without having to buy a fishing license.

During the rest of the year, anglers 16 years of age and older are required to have a valid fishing license to take fish, frogs or turtles from Ohio waters.  An Ohio fishing license is one of the best recreation bargains available, costing only $19 a year for residents.

Ohio residents born on or before December 31, 1937 can obtain a free fishing license at any license vendor. Residents age 66 and older who were born on or after January 1, 1938 are eligible to obtain a reduced cost ($10) senior fishing license. A one-day fishing license is also available for $11, an amount that later can be applied toward the cost of an annual fishing license.  Fishing licenses are available at bait and tackle stores, outdoor outfitters, major department stores, as well as on the Internet at wildohio.com.

Ohio’s Free Fishing Days were established in 1993 to promote fishing and allow Ohioans to experience fishing before buying a license. The offer is open to Ohio residents, and extends to all public waters including Lake Erie and the Ohio River. An estimated 1.3 million people fish each year in Ohio.

Great fishing exists around the state and throughout the year. In late winter and early spring, anglers reel in excellent catches of steelhead trout and walleye from northern Ohio streams. Spring also means great saugeye and crappie fishing.  During the summer months, the fishing heats up on Lake Erie for yellow perch, walleye and smallmouth bass, while anglers on the Ohio River enjoy excellent striped bass fishing.

Tips For Fishing with Children

The Free Fishing Days weekend offers Ohioans of all ages the chance to experience the fun of fishing.  For anyone taking a young angler, there’s nothing more rewarding than teaching a kid to fish.  Here are some helpful tips:

  • Keep it simple. Consider the child’s age and skill level.  If this is their first time, shore fishing is recommended.
  • Kids like to catch fish. The size of fish doesn’t matter to kids.  But catching a fish—any fish—does.   Choose a pond, lake or stream where they will easily be able to catch a few fish.
  • Use simple tackle. A good rod and reel for kids costs between $15 and $30.  A spin-cast reel is easy to use and, after a few practice casts, kids usually have mastered it.
  • Bring along a camera. Children love to show off pictures of their “big catch.”
  • Keep the trip fun and short. Let the child have a good time, even if it means taking a break.  Take time out to explore and enjoy the time together.
  • Be patient. Plan on spending some time untangling lines, baiting hooks, landing fish, and taking pictures of big smiles and wiggling fish.  By concentrating all your attention on your young angler, you’ll likely be developing a fishing buddy for a lifetime.

The Ohio Department of Natural Resources ensures a balance between wise use and protection of our natural resources for the benefit of all. Visit the ODNR Web site at www.ohiodnr.com.

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Ohio Turkey Season First Day Reports

COLUMBUS, OH – Ohio hunters harvested a preliminary total of 2,874 bearded wild turkeys on the first day of the spring turkey-hunting season, which is open statewide through May 16. Last year’s opening day harvest number was 1,712 turkeys, according to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) Division of Wildlife.

Top counties for wild turkeys killed were: Ashtabula-115, Guernsey and Meigs-94, Tuscarawas-93, Gallia-86, Harrison-83, Coshocton-82, Clermont-81, Adams-77, and Jackson-74.

The ODNR Division of Wildlife estimates that more than 70,000 people will hunt turkeys during the four-week season. Legal hunting hours are one-half hour before sunrise until noon from April 19 to May 2 2010. New this year, hunting hours May 3-16 will be a half hour before sunrise to sunset.  Ohio’s wild turkey population was estimated at 200,000 prior to the start of the spring season.

A special youth-only hunt for hunters age 17 and younger was held statewide on Saturday and Sunday, April 17-18. Young hunters killed 2,184 birds statewide. Top reporting counties were: Ashtabula-72, Harrison-70, Washington-68, Clermont and Coshocton-67, Guernsey-63, Trumbull-62, Ashland-57, and Lawrence, Monroe, and Ross-56. Last year, 1,814 birds were taken over the same two-day period.

Only bearded wild turkeys may be taken during the spring hunting season. A hunter is required to take a harvested turkey to an official check station for permanent tagging by 2 p.m. on the day of harvest from April 19 through May 2. From May 3 through May 16 the bird must be checked in any county by 2 p.m. the day following harvest. Hunters with the proper permits may take a limit of two bearded gobblers during the four-week season, but not more than one wild turkey per day.

Turkey hunters are reminded that hunting licenses purchased now are also valid during the 2010 fall hunting season. Spring turkey permits are good for spring season only.  Those participating in the fall turkey season will need to buy a fall turkey permit. The 2010-2011 licenses will not be printed on weatherproof paper. Sportsmen and women should protect their licenses and permits from the elements by carrying them in a protective pouch or wallet.

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