Month: May 2010

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Geocaching in McConnells Mill at Hell's Hollow

Sorry about the sound: I’m Still Learning.


Anyway, for more info, see our Hiking and Geocaching Page or visit

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Consumption Advisory Spreads to Tamarack Lake

Harrisburg, May 28 – The departments of Environmental Protection and Health, and the Fish and Boat Commission today issued a “Do Not Eat” consumption advisory for all species of fish taken from Tamarack Lake in Crawford County while officials investigate the cause of a large fish kill in the lake.

A “Do Not Eat” consumption advisory was issued for the neighboring Pymatuning Reservoir yesterday following a series of fish kills there.

Tamarack Lake is owned by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and managed by the Fish and Boat Commission.

The Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources manages Pymatuning State Park and has announced that the park is open and there are no fishing, swimming or boating restrictions in place during the Memorial Day holiday weekend.

Water samples are being analyzed at the DEP laboratory in Harrisburg, and fish samples are being tested by the Fish and Boat Commission and at Cornell University.

The “Do Not Eat” consumption advisory will remain in place until investigators complete their analysis of fish tissue samples.

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New Ohio State Park Reward Card: 25% discount, Stay for Free!

A campsite at the Iverhuron Prov. Park
Image via Wikipedia

COLUMBUS, OH – Just in time for the upcoming summer season, Ohio State Parks is offering a new rewards program for frequent campers and cottage guests, according to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR).

The Ohio State Parks rewards card is free of charge, and is available through the state parks website,, the reservation call center at 1-866-OHIOPARKS, and from local state park offices.

“The rewards program is our way of saying thanks to campers who come back year after year,” said Ohio State Parks Acting Chief John Hunter. “We want to help make an Ohio vacation a little more affordable, and encourage frequent camping trips and getaways in our parks.”

For each dollar spent on camping at one of Ohio’s 56 state park campgrounds, rewards card holders earn points toward a free night of camping. Rewards card holders who stay in the getaway rentals offered at numerous state parks, as well as the vacation cottages at Buck Creek, Cowan Lake, Dillon, Hocking Hills, Lake Hope, Mohican, Pike Lake and Pymatuning state parks, will also earn points toward a free stay.  Other activities earning Rewards card holders points include camp store purchases and shelter house rentals in Ohio State Parks.

In addition to earning points for future stays, those who enroll in the Ohio State Parks rewards program by June 30 will also receive points for their camping and cottage stays in 2009. Once registered, rewards card holders may check their balances on-line at

As an added bonus, several of Ohio’s state park lodges are offering special guest room rates for rewards card holders.  Card holders who book rooms at Burr Oak, Deer Creek, Hueston Woods, Maumee Bay, Mohican, Punderson, Salt Fork and Shawnee can enjoy a 25% discount on the regular room rate for overnight stays on the regular room rate for stays between now and June 11, and between August 23 and December 30.

More information on the Ohio State Parks rewards program is available on the official Ohio State Parks Web site,

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

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Pymatuning "Do Not Consume" Advisory Due to Unexplained Fish Kill

Public Warned Not to Eat Fish from Pymatuning Reservoir in Crawford County

Harrisburg – The Department of Environmental Protection, Department of Health and the Fish and Boat Commission have issued a “Do Not Eat” consumption advisory for all species of fish taken from the Pymatuning Reservoir in Crawford County while officials investigate the cause of a large fish kill that has occurred over the past two weeks.

The advisory was issued after approximately 2,500 dead fish were found in various locations in the reservoir beginning on Saturday, May 15.

Water samples have been collected and are being tested at the DEP laboratory in Harrisburg. Fish samples are being tested by the Fish and Boat Commission and at Cornell University. The Ohio Department of Parks is assisting in the investigation.

The Do Not Eat consumption advisory will remain in place until investigators can determine that there is not a danger to public health and safety.

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Akron Area Youth Fishing Ponds: Hidden Gems

AKRON, OH – Occupying the grounds of the old Akron fish hatchery, the Division of Wildlife District Three youth fishing ponds are open to anglers 15 and under beginning Memorial Day weekend and continuing through Labor Day. Equipment, bait, and assistance are provided at no charge thanks to the purchases of Ohio fishing licenses and federal contributions from the Sportfish Restoration Fund.

The youth fishing area is located at 912 Portage Lakes Drive in Akron.  The Area will be open for fishing from 9:00 A.M. until 7:00 P.M. every Saturday and Sunday as well as Memorial Day (Monday, May 31), Independence Day (July 4) and Labor Day (September 6). Species that be caught include but are not limited to bluegill, catfish, bass, crappie, and carp. Many fish meet or exceed Fish Ohio! length limits.

All young anglers must be accompanied by a parent or guardian while in the youth area, but adults are not required to have a fishing license. Adults are not allowed to fish in the youth area, but may assist their young anglers. Picnic tables and restroom facilities are available.

Questions may be directed to Wildlife District Three at 330-644-2293. For driving directions, click here

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Plan Your Father's Day Fishing Trip at

Grand Lake St. Marys.
Image via Wikipedia

COLUMBUS, OH – Searching for that perfect Father’s Day Gift?  Why not take your dad fishing wearing his new lucky fishing hat ordered on-line at, offered by the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR), Division of Wildlife.

Whatever outdoor pursuits your Dad enjoys, there is a hat or t-shirt made for him. An added bonus— save 20 percent on purchases made through June 20 when you visit and enter the code “WildDad” at checkout.

It’s not necessary to buy fancy, expensive fishing equipment to take your father fishing. This time of year, with fish hanging out in the shallows and preparing to spawn, a simple setup will do. An inexpensive rod and reel combo with tackle can be purchased at a local outdoor store for as little as $20.

Live baits work very well, such as night crawlers for catfish, perch, sunfish and bass or minnows for saugeye, walleye, perch and crappie. Maggots and wax worms are good choices for panfish.  Artificial baits will work just fine too. Visit and click on fishing for more details about choosing the right bait, places to fish, fish identification, and even how to fillet and cook the fish you take home. Recipes are also available at

Anglers age 16 and older are required to have a valid fishing license to take fish, frogs or turtles from Ohio waters. Fishing licenses are available at bait and tackle stores, outdoor outfitters, major department stores, and at An Ohio fishing license is one of the best recreational bargains available, costing state residents only $19 a year.

Ohio residents born on or before December 31, 1937 can obtain a free fishing license at any license vendor. Residents age 66 and older born on or after January 1, 1938 are eligible to obtain a reduced-cost senior fishing license for $10. A one-day fishing license is also available for $11, an amount that can be applied toward the cost of an annual license.

Fishing in Ohio has been great this year and there’s something to catch in every corner of the state. The Division of Wildlife suggests these places, listed by fish species, for a great day of fishing.
Walleye– Lake Erie is still the “Walleye Capital of the World” with the lake providing some of the best walleye fishing in the country.  Father’s Day weekend should be outstanding for walleyes in Lake Erie.  Other locations to consider include C.J. Brown Reservoir and Pymatuning Lake.

Crappie– Crappies are a very popular fish because they are fun to catch and good to eat.  Top places around Ohio include Pymatuning, Deer Creek Lake, Alum Creek Lake, Salt Fork, Indian Lake and Paint Creek Lake.

Bluegills– There are good places to fish for bluegills and other sunfish throughout the state.  Some of the best are AEPReCreation Land south of Zanesville, Acton Lake, Lake Loramie and Portage Lakes in Akron.

Saugeyes– June is a top saugeye fishing month. Some of  Ohio’s best saugeye waters are Indian Lake, Hoover Reservoir, SaltFork Lake and Buckeye Lake.

Largemouth  Bass– The AEP ReCreation Land is hard to beat for largemouth.  Other good spots are Knox Lake and SanduskyBay.

Perch– Lake Erie has been outstanding for perch in 2010.  Perch can be caught fishing from shore and from piers offshore in theCleveland area, Lorain, Huron, Fairport Harbor, Metzger Pier, the Bass Islands and off Vermilion.

CatfishChannel catfish can be caught in all of Ohio’s 88 counties. Some spots to try are Rocky Fork Lake, Caesar Creek Lake, the Ohio River and its tributaries, and Grand Lake St. Marys.

For more information on places to fish, go to and click on fishing. The Division of Wildlife can also be contacted at 1-800-WILDLIFE (945-3543).

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The Ultimate Airsoft Amphibious Battle Tank Weapon of Doom

Rechargeable Super R/C Land & Sea Amphibious Air Soft Battle Tank Rechargeable Super R/C Land & Sea Amphibious Air Soft Battle Tank

Fast moving on LAND and WATER! The Super R/C LAND + SEA Amphibious Tank!! Extremely Power Shooting! Fast Moving on LAND and WATER! This rechargeable R/C amphibious tank can TRANSFORM between TANK and SHIP in second! Also, the Powerful Cannon can shoot as far as 20 Meters. 20 Meters! That is almost 60 feet! While working on rough ground, like grassplot, sand, and carpet, the 4×4 precision-grip wheels can move extremely fast in ANY DIRECTIONS on all terrain. When run this water resistant tank into the water, you can transform into ship within several seconds. It comes with flashing LEDs indication light which let you run it in the dim/dark environment. What’s more, this tank can be a Soda Can Caddy in the beach! You may never experience such Crazy R/C Tank before! You Would Know the Huge Fun of this Tank!!

Wow, that first paragraph was fun. But just in case you got totally confused, we’ll say it again with a bit more grammar. Our R/C Land & Sea Tank drives great on all sorts of surfaces and transforms from tank to ship in mere seconds. It’s particularly fun for a day at the beach because you can drive it on the sand, over the people you’ve buried in the sand, and then into the water. You can also defend your plot of sand by shooting BB’s at people who attempt to put their towels in your zone. Once you’ve scared them all away, your tank can rest by your side and serve as a drink holder for your soda. Sweet.

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When Deer Collide: Motorist Safety

HARRISBURG –Pennsylvania Game Commission Executive Director Carl G. Roe today urged motorists to stay alert and slow down when driving after dusk and before dawn to reduce their risk of colliding with a .

“Each spring, deer congregate on the grassy areas along the state’s busy highways, and cover greater distances in search of food,” Roe said.  “This activity makes vehicle collisions with deer all but inevitable.

“For the sake of public safety, the Game Commission is asking motorists to watch for deer and to drive defensively after dark and before sunrise, which is when deer are most active.  Your efforts can help to keep accidents to a minimum, which, in turn, will reduce or eliminate hardships to your family and other Pennsylvanians.”

Roe noted that being more knowledgeable about deer can help Pennsylvanians steer clear of a deer-vehicle collision. For instance, in spring, young deer – last year’s fawns – are on the move as does chase them away to prepare to give birth to this year’s fawns. Yearling does usually travel no farther than necessary and will often later reunite with the doe after her new fawns begin traveling with her. However, young bucks typically disperse farther to set up their own home range.

“Unfortunately, these young deer make tragic mistakes when crossing roads in spring and moving through areas unfamiliar to them,” said Roe. “They’re no longer following the leader, they’re moving independently. And that increases the potential for an accident, especially in areas harboring large deer populations.”

If a deer steps onto a road, Roe said, motorists should slow down and come to a controlled stop as soon as possible, and turn on their hazard flashers.  Stopping may not be an option on busy highways, unless the driver can reach the shoulder of the road.

“Don’t risk trying to drive around a deer,” Roe said.  “Since deer usually move in single file, more deer may be following, so you should stop, or at least slow down, to make sure all deer have passed.

“Also, deer sometimes abruptly reverse their direction right after crossing a road.  This is a defensive mechanism that often kicks in when deer are startled, and they retrace their footsteps to other deer they’re traveling with or return to an area they’ve already checked for danger.”

Deer in northern counties spend a good deal of time in spring feeding on the tender shoots in grassy areas alongside busy highways. Motorists should slow down immediately whenever they see grazing deer along roads.  While deer dining next to busy highways and interstates are often not bothered by the traffic, deer along rural roads seem less tolerant and are more edgy.

“The only thing predictable about whitetails is that they’re definitely unpredictable,” Roe said. “The moment you think you have them figured out, they start showing you something new.

“However, we also know that deer are creatures of habit. If you see a deer-crossing sign posted along a road you’re traveling, it’s a good idea to slow down especially around dawn and dusk. These signs are placed in areas where deer have been crossing roads for years. Ignoring these signs is asking for trouble.”

Drivers who hit a deer are not required to report the accident to the Game Commission. If the deer dies, only Pennsylvania residents may claim the carcass.  To do so, they must call the Game Commission for a permit number within 24 hours of taking possession of the deer.

However, to report a dead deer for removal from state roads, motorists can call the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation at 1-800-FIX-ROAD.

The permit number issued by the agency lets meat processors and law enforcement officials know that possession of the deer is legal, and not the result of poaching.  Antlers from bucks killed in vehicle collisions must be turned over to the Game Commission.

If a deer is struck by a vehicle, but not killed, drivers are urged to stay their distance because some deer may recover and move on.  However, if a deer does not move on, or poses a public safety risk, drivers are encouraged to report the incident to a Game Commission regional office or other local law enforcement agency.  If the deer must be put down, the Game Commission will direct the proper person to do so.

Other tips for motorists:

  • Stay alert and don’t count on deer whistles or deer fences to deter deer from crossing roads in front of you. Deer can’t hear ultrasonic frequencies and there is no scientific evidence that deer whistles are effective.
  • Watch for the reflection of deer eyes and for deer silhouettes on the shoulders of roads. If anything looks slightly suspicious, slow down.
  • Slow down in areas known to have a large deer population; where deer-crossing signs are posted; places where deer commonly cross roads or are struck by motorists; areas where roads divide agricultural fields from forests; and whenever in forested areas between dusk and dawn.
  • Deer do unpredictable things. Sometimes they stop in the middle of the road when crossing. Sometimes they cross and quickly re-cross back from where they came. Sometimes they move toward an approaching vehicle. Assume nothing. Slow down, blow your horn to urge the deer to leave the road. Stop if a deer stays on the road; don’t try to go around it.
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Gulf Oil Spill: Disaster Fund to Aid Endangered Areas


National Park Foundation Logo
WASHINGTON, D.C. (May 24, 2010) – The ongoing Gulf oil spill poses an
historic challenge to the national parks in the Gulf region, and beyond.
The National Park Foundation, official charity of America’s national parks,
today launched the National Parks Disaster Recovery Fund.  The public
outreach and fundraising campaign will support the National Park Service’s
response to the Gulf oil spill, and will also serve to create lasting
capacity to help national parks recover from future natural and man-made
disasters.  No funds raised will be used to mitigate the liability of any
responsible parties for the injuries caused by the oil spill.

“The federal government’s unprecedented response to the environmental
disaster in the Gulf is matched only by the desire of the American people
to help,” said Tom Strickland, Assistant Secretary for Fish and Wildlife
and Parks of the U.S. Department of the Interior.  “Thanks to this effort
by the National Park Foundation, those who wish to help us protect national
parks threatened by the oil spill can do so.”

Strickland continued, “While donated funds will be available to affected
parks for immediate needs throughout the disaster as well as long-term
monitoring of the health of the damaged ecosystems, donated funds will not
reduce the financial obligation of those responsible for the spill.”

“This is a defining moment in the history of our national parks.  The
public is eager to support their national parks and the National Parks
Disaster Recovery Fund is an important way to take action,” said Neil
Mulholland, president and CEO of the National Park Foundation.  “With an
increasing number of natural disasters like flooding, fires and hurricanes,
combined with man-made catastrophes like the Gulf oil spill, it is time
that we move strategically to make sure that our national parks have the
resources they need to recover.”

To support this effort, visit or text “PARKS” to
90999 on your mobile device to make a $10 donation.  Funds raised between
now and July 1, 2010, will go directly to the impacted parks in the Gulf
and support critical and immediate needs as well as sustained scientific
study of maintenance of impacted ecosystems.

Parks in the projected path of the Gulf oil spill include:

Big Cypress National Preserve
Biscayne National Park
De Soto National Memorial
Dry Tortugas National Park
Everglades National Park
Gulf Islands National Seashore
Jean Lafitte National Historical Park and Preserve
Padre Island National Seashore

To learn more about ways you can help visit or

For information about the national parks’ response to the oil spill please

You are the part-owner of 84 million acres of the world’s most treasured
landscapes, ecosystems, and historical sites — all protected in America’s
nearly 400 national parks.  Chartered by Congress, the National Park
Foundation is the official charity of America’s national parks.  We work
hand in hand with the National Park Service to help connect you and all
Americans to the parks, and to make sure that they are preserved for the
generations who will follow.  Join us – This is Your Land.


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BuddyPress Community Beta

Image representing BuddyPress as depicted in C...
Image via CrunchBase

Do you see that little drop Down Bar at the top? The menu on the left?

I’ve been trying to turn Steel Valley Outdoors into a Community Site ( So I Don’t have to work so hard) and I’ve finally figured out how to ger BuddyPress up and Running.

I’ve still got some kinks to work out: for some reason I can’t get avatars to load properly. But it seems to be working and I need to see how it works.

So, If you’re a member play around with the Bar and take a look at the new personal pages. If you’re not a member, take a second to sign up. Steel Valley Outdoors is just me, and I promise I won’t sell your personal Information.

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