Month: March 2011

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Ohio Spring Turkey Season Starts

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OLUMBUS, OH – Spring wild turkey hunting opens in all 88 Ohio counties on Monday, April 18, according to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR), Division of Wildlife. The season continues through Sunday, May 15.

“Hunters may see three-year-old gobblers this spring based on the strength of the 2008 hatch,” said ODNR Wildlife Biologist Mike Reynolds. “Overall, turkey numbers should be good across the state, but the harvest will likely not top last year’s kill — the second highest all-time.”

Hunters harvested 23,421 wild turkeys during last year’s youth and spring turkey seasons. Reynolds added that Ohio’s current wild turkey population is around 200,000. He anticipates as many as 70,000 licensed hunters, not counting private landowners hunting on their own property, will enjoy Ohio’s popular spring wild turkey season.

A special youth-only turkey hunt for those possessing a valid youth hunting license and youth turkey permit will be held on Saturday and Sunday, April 16-17. Young hunters must be accompanied by a non-hunting adult, 18 years of age or older. The young hunter’s turkey season is open statewide with the exception of Lake La Su An State Wildlife Area in Williams County which requires a special hunting permit. Legal hunting hours are a half-hour before sunrise to sunset each day during the two-day youth season.

All hunters must still report their harvest of turkeys, but they are no longer required to take their turkey to a check station for physical inspection. Hunters will have three options to complete the automated game check:

• On the Internet at www.wildohio.com or www.ohiogamecheck.com
• By telephone at 1-877-TAG-ITOH(1-877-824-4864). This option is only available to those who are required to purchase a turkey
permit to hunt turkeys.
• At all license agents

Game-check transactions will be available online and by telephone seven days a week and during holidays. Landowner hunters who are not required to purchase a spring turkey permit must use the Internet or any license agent to check their turkey. Hunters who tag their turkey as a landowner harvest cannot use the phone-in method. All authorized license sales agents will also check in your game. A list of these agents can be found at www.ohiodnr.com/wildlife/dow/regulations/vendor.aspx.

Legal hunting hours are one-half hour before sunrise until noon from April 18 to May 1, 2011. Hunting hours from May 2-15 will be a half-hour before sunrise to sunset. Hunters are required to have a hunting license and a spring turkey-hunting permit and can take one bearded turkey per day. A second spring turkey permit can be purchased allowing hunters to take a limit of two bearded wild turkeys.

Shotguns using shot, longbows, and crossbows may be used to hunt wild turkeys. It is unlawful to hunt turkeys over bait, to use a live decoy or electronic calling device, or to shoot a wild turkey while it is in a tree.

The Division of Wildlife advises turkey hunters to wear hunter orange clothing when entering, leaving or moving through hunting areas in order to remain visible to others.

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

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Ohio Lake Erie Fishing Forecast

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COLUMBUS, OH – Lake Erie anglers should experience another year of diverse fishing opportunities during 2011, according to biologists with the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR), Division of Wildlife.

“When you consider the variety of species and sizes of fish that are available to Ohio anglers, we are optimistic about Lake Erie fishing prospects this year,” said Roger Knight, Lake Erie fisheries program manager for the Division of Wildlife.  “Weather is always the wild card on Lake Erie, but anglers who take advantage of seasonal fishing opportunities have good odds at catching walleye, yellow perch, smallmouth bass, white bass, and steelhead, often in combination during many trips.”

Lake Erie walleye and yellow perch fisheries are managed through an interagency quota system that involves Ontario, Michigan, Pennsylvania, New York, and Ohio jurisdictions.  Each jurisdiction regulates their catches to comply with their agency’s quotas and minimize the risk of over-fishing these species.  Quotas for the upcoming fishing season are determined through consensus agreement by these jurisdictions through the Lake Erie Committee of the Great Lakes Fishery Commission, which were just recently announced for 2011.

Lake Erie Walleye and Perch Limits

Ohio’s walleye and yellow perch bag limits were set after the March 25, 2011, LEC quota announcement, and will go into effect May 1, 2011.  As a result of the 2011 quota allocation, the walleye bag limit will be six from May 1, 2011 to February 29, 2012, and four from March 1, 2012 to April 30, 2012.  A 15-inch minimum size limit is in effect during the entire season.  The daily bag limit for walleye remains four fish per person during April 2011.  As a result of the 2011 quota allocation, the yellow perch bag limit will be 30 perch per angler in all Ohio waters from May 1, 2011 to April 30, 2012.  There is no minimum size limit on yellow perch.  Lake Erie anglers can find walleye and yellow perch bag limit information at ODNR offices, in special publications at bait and tackle shops, and on the Web at wildohio.com.

Lake Erie anglers have great access to fishing in the Western and Central basins due to the numerous public boat ramps, private marinas, and shoreline access areas.  Anglers also benefit from having access to the largest charter boat fleet on the Great Lakes.

Walleye

Ohio walleye anglers will catch fish mostly from the 2007 and 2003 hatches, with some contributions from the 2001, 2005, 2006, and 2008 hatches.  Walleye from the moderate 2007 hatch will range from 17-22 inches long and will complement the larger 22- to 28-inch fish from the strong 2003 hatch as the major contributors to the Ohio catch.  Fish from the fair 2005 hatch should be in the 20- to 25-inch range.  Fast growing fish from the 2008 cohort will begin to contribute to the fishery.  Large walleye from strong hatches in the mid-1990s still persist in the population, providing “Fish Ohio” award (greater than 28 inches) opportunities.

“Fish from the 2007 hatch grew faster than expected last year and showed up prominently in our fishery in 2010, and they should dominate the Western Basin catch this summer,” said Knight.  “The 2003 hatch is still out there, and it will likely contribute many fish in the Central Basin fisheries, particularly as the waters warm up and large fish migrate eastward to cooler waters.”

Yellow Perch

Perch anglers should encounter fish ranging from 7- to 13-inches from the 2007, 2008, 2005, and 2003 hatches in this year’s fishery.  Lake wide, yellow perch numbers should be similar to levels observed in 2010 in the Western and Central basins.  Small fish from the weaker 2009 hatch are not expected to contribute much to the fishery.

“Overall, we expect to have good perch fishing in 2011, with the largest fish coming from the eastern part of the Central Basin,” said Knight.

Smallmouth Bass

Smallmouth bass fishing in 2011 is expected to be fair.  Although bass abundance remains below desired levels, those caught should be of excellent size (15 to 22 inches, weighing 2 to 6 pounds).  Some small fish may be encountered from recent good hatches and must be released as quickly as possible.  Bass fishing is best in areas with good bottom structure, which is available across much of the entire Ohio near-shore area.  A closed season remains in effect from May 1 through June 24, 2011, during which all black bass (smallmouth and largemouth) must be immediately released.  Beginning June 25, 2011, the daily bag limit for bass will remain at five fish, with a 14-inch minimum length limit.

Steelhead

Steelhead anglers should enjoy another year of good fishing in Ohio’s Lake Erie open waters and in tributaries throughout the fall, winter, and spring months.  Peak summer steelhead action on Lake Erie can be found offshore from June through August between Vermilion and Conneaut, with catches measuring 17 to 29 inches.  Most Lake Erie anglers troll for steelhead in deep waters using spoons with dipsy divers or downriggers until fish move close to shore in the fall.  The daily bag limit remains at five fish per person from May 16 to August 31, and two fish per angler between September 1 and May 15, with a 12-inch minimum size limit throughout the year.

White Bass

White bass will continue to provide excellent seasonal fishing opportunities in the Maumee and Sandusky rivers and in the open lake.  The catch will be dominated by hatches from 2007 and 2008, which will include 13- to 16-inch fish.  The moderate 2009 and strong 2010 hatches should contribute many 10- to 14-inch fish to the fishery.  Anglers should focus on major Western Basin tributaries during May and June and near-shore areas of the open lake during summer months.  There is no daily bag or size limit on white bass.

Anglers are also advised of numerous fishing opportunities in the bays and harbors on the Ohio shoreline.  These inlets offer excellent fishing for panfish including crappie and bluegill, as well as largemouth bass.  In early spring, anglers may also catch an occasional Northern pike or muskellunge in vegetated areas.

Anglers are reminded that fishing conditions on Lake Erie can change hourly and adjustments are often necessary to improve success.  Anglers should take into account factors such as water temperature, cloud cover, water clarity, boat traffic, wave action, structures, currents, and the amount of baitfish in the area.  Anglers are also reminded to carefully monitor Lake Erie weather and to seek safe harbor before storms approach.

Updated LAke Erie Fishing Reports Online

During the season, updated Lake Erie fishing reports are available online at wildohio.com and by calling 1-888-HOOKFISH.  Division of Wildlife staff members are available from 8 a.m.to 5 p.m. weekdays at our research station facilities at Fairport Harbor (440-352-4199) for Central Basin information and at Sandusky (419-625-8062) for Western Basin information.  For additional information on lodging, charter boat services and local launch ramps, contact one of the following lakeshore visitors’ bureaus:

Ashtabula County Convention & Visitors Bureau – 800-337-6746
Lake County Visitors Bureau – 800-368-5253
Convention & Visitors Bureau of Greater Cleveland – 800-321-1001
Visit Lorain County – 800-334-1673
Erie County Visitors Bureau – 800-255-3743
Sandusky County Visitors Bureau – 800-255-8070
Ottawa County Visitors Bureau – 800-441-1271
Greater ToledoConvention & Visitors Bureau – 800-243-4667
Ohio Division of Travel & Tourism – 800-BUCKEYE

Information on the Division of Wildlife’s Lake Erie research and management programs, fisheries resources, open lake and steelhead fishing reports, as well as maps and links to other Lake Erie web resources are available at wildohio.com: Be sure to choose the “Fishing” icon from the Division’s homepage, and then select “Lake Erie Fishing” from the list at the bottom of that page.

ODNR ensures a balance between wise use and protection of our natural resources for the benefit of all.  Visit the ODNR Web site atohiodnr.com.

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Ohio Peregrine Falcon Nesting Season

Peregrine Falcon Falco peregrinus

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COLUMBUS, OH – The 2011 peregrine falcon nesting season is underway in Ohio, according to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR), Division of Wildlife.

There are peregrine pairs at 30 to possibly 38 sites and eggs are being incubated at three sites in the state—Cleveland, Ironton and Lakewood. By April, most of Ohio’s adult breeding peregrine falcons will have paired with a mate and selected a nesting site.

Internet users can follow the progress of these and other peregrine nests at the Division of Wildlife’s peregrine falcon Web page atwildohio.com. As the nesting season progresses, key events such as egg laying, hatching and fledging will be noted on the Web page for each nest.

Because of successful restoration activities in Ohio and across the nation, the peregrine falcon was removed from the federal endangered species list in 1999, and in Ohio it was down-listed from endangered to state-threatened in 2008.

Along with several other Midwestern states, Ohio began reintroducing the birds in 1989. Several pairs were released in Ohio’s major cities between 1989 and 1992. Last year, 34 nesting pairs of peregrine falcons are estimated to have successfully hatched and fledged 67 young.

Federal funds for the peregrine falcon project and other wildlife diversity efforts of the Division of Wildlife are provided through the State Wildlife Grant Program, which targets species with greatest conservation need.

The division’s peregrine falcon management program has been supported by the sale of cardinal license plates, the Ohio Wildlife Legacy Stamp and contributions to the state Wildlife Diversity & Endangered Species Check-off Fund. Taxpayers may donate directly or designate all or part of their state income tax refunds to the effort by checking the box on line 25b of the 2010 Ohio Income Tax Form or line 18b on the Ohio1040 EZ form.  Individuals wanting to donate can do so online at wildohio.com.

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 ohiodnr.com.

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Portage Lakes West Reservoir Dam to be Rehabilitated

AKRON, OH – The Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) has announced a plan to rehabilitate Portage Lakes State Park’s West Reservoir dam and spillway to enhance the safety of these historic structures.

Construction work on the West Reservoir project is slated to begin in June.  The earthen dam, which was built in the 1840s, will be armored with a sturdy concrete structure that will be covered with soil and revegetated with grass to maintain its historic appearance.  The existing spillway will also be replaced with a new concrete spillway.  The pedestrian bridge on the crest of the dam will be demolished and replaced with a new bridge.

Recreational activity at the West Reservoir, including boating and fishing, will remain open during the summer.  In mid September, the water level in the lake will be lowered three feet below the normal pool elevation to facilitate the project.  The water level will be allowed to gradually return to standard levels after the first of next year.  The project work is scheduled to be completed in June 2012.

The West Reservoir Dam project is part of an ongoing capital improvement program for the Portage Lakes to ensure that the dams and associated structures are safe.  Area residents may notice increased truck traffic along with some noise and dust while the construction is underway.  Residents are urged to keep children a safe distance from the construction site and equipment.

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 ohiodnr.com.

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Linesville Hatchery Open House April 2nd

The Pymatuning Reservoir, a man made lake in O...

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Meadville, PA – The Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission will hold its annual Open House at the Linesville State Fish Hatchery on Saturday, April 2, from 11a.m. – 3:30 p.m.
What to do and see:
  • Watch the walleye spawning process including fish sorting, removing/fertilizing eggs.
  • See native fish species in the 10,000 gallon viewing tank.
  • Learn how to: tell the age of fish; tie knots; tie flies and cast; rig a rod; fillet/cook fish.
  • Buy a $3 t-shirt and put a fish print on it.
  • Buy your PA fishing license, posters, patches, and books.
  • Practice your casting skills in the Kids Casting Area.
  • Visit the boating safety tent to stay current on boating regulations.
  • Talk to staff from the PFBC and other partner agencies at their booths.
Shuttle service from the parking areas to the Visitor Center will be provided.
There’s something for everyone, so follow the crowd to the hatchery.
Directions:Turn off of State Route 6 at the only light in downtown Linesville and go ½ mile to the entrance. The address is 13300 Hartstown Road, Linesville, PA 16424.
The mission of the Fish and Boat Commission is to protect, conserve, and enhance the Commonwealth’s aquatic resources and provide fishing and boating opportunities.  For more information about fishing and boating in Pennsylvania, please visit our website at www.fishandboat.com.

Meadville, PA – The Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission will hold its annual Open House at the Linesville State Fish Hatchery on Saturday, April 2, from 11a.m. – 3:30 p.m. What to do and see:Watch the walleye spawning process including fish sorting, removing/fertilizing eggs.See native fish species in the 10,000 gallon viewing tank.Learn how to: tell the age of fish; tie knots; tie flies and cast; rig a rod; fillet/cook fish.Buy a $3 t-shirt and put a fish print on it.Buy your PA fishing license, posters, patches, and books.Practice your casting skills in the Kids Casting Area.Visit the boating safety tent to stay current on boating regulations.Talk to staff from the PFBC and other partner agencies at their booths.Shuttle service from the parking areas to the Visitor Center will be provided. There’s something for everyone, so follow the crowd to the hatchery. Directions:Turn off of State Route 6 at the only light in downtown Linesville and go ½ mile to the entrance. The address is 13300 Hartstown Road, Linesville, PA 16424. The mission of the Fish and Boat Commission is to protect, conserve, and enhance the Commonwealth’s aquatic resources and provide fishing and boating opportunities.  For more information about fishing and boating in Pennsylvania, please visit our website at www.fishandboat.com.

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PA Fish and Boat's New Media Resource Page, Trout Stocking Schedule

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Harrisburg, PA – With the opening days of trout season just around the corner, the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission has created a new media resources web page containing web banners and high resolution photos for graphic artists and reporters to use.

The page – http://www.fishandboat.com/media-resources/trout-opener.htm – provides various sizes of web banners which can be placed easily on web pages to highlight the state’s two opening days. Stock photos are also available for media use, either in stories or as additional images on websites.

April 2 marks opening day for 18 southeastern counties. April 16 is the regular opening day for trout statewide.

For stocking schedules in your area visit: http://pfbc.state.pa.us/pfbc_webgis/TroutStockingDetails.aspx.

For more information on how you can help with a stocking, please visit:http://www.fishandboat.com/stock_help.htm.

The mission of the Fish and Boat Commission is to protect, conserve, and enhance the Commonwealth’s aquatic resources and provide fishing and boating opportunities.  For more information about fishing and boating in Pennsylvania, please visit our website atwww.fishandboat.com.

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Cold Water Safety for Ohio Hunters and Anglers

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COLUMBUS, OH– The Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) has good advice for the thousands of anglers who soon will be wading in and boating upon frigid waterways in hopes of landing a prize catch—dress for the water temperature instead of air temperature.

“Recreational boaters and anglers are among those most at risk of sustaining hypothermia due to a cold water immersion if they are not dressed properly for the water temperature,” said Pamela Dillon, chief of the ODNR Division of Watercraft. “Boating and fishing safety begins with the choices people make before getting on the water; it is critical to take steps to reduce the risks of hypothermia exposure at this time of year.”

Hypothermia is a condition in which body temperature drops below normal due to exposure to cold temperatures and requires medical treatment. Unexpected immersion into cold water can result in drowning and often contributes to hypothermia for those persons who are unprepared for extremely cold water.

People are usually inclined to dress for the air temperature instead of water temperature when enjoying outdoors recreation on or near the water. Generally, the water temperatures of Ohio’s waterways remain bone chilling and are very slow to warm during March, April and early May.

The following are some safety tips to help reduce exposure to the risks of hypothermia while boating and fishing:

  • Dress for the current water temperature and not the air temperature when boating in early spring. Wear layers of protective clothing including neoprene, polypropylene, wool, synthetic fleece and Goretex. Avoid 100 percent cotton and denim garments, such as blue jeans, sweatshirts and flannel shirts. The final layer of protective clothing should always be a U.S. Coast Guard approved life jacket or vest.
  • Carry a cellphone inside a plastic bag in case an emergency should arise.
  • Avoid alcohol consumption to help prevent the onset of hypothermia symptoms.
  • Avoid capsizing and swamping by ensuring that boats are not overloaded, but are properly loaded and balanced before leaving the launch ramp or dock.
  • Properly and safely anchor a boat from the bow when using a single line.
  • File a float plan with a person of responsibility so that assistance may be requested if boaters are significantly overdue in their return from the water.

Additional information on boating safety tips and education programs may be found online at www.ohiodnr.com/watercraft or by following the Division of Watercraft on Facebookor Twitter. You may also call toll-free (in Ohio only) 1-877-4BOATER.

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

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Ohio Spring Trout Release Calendar

COLUMBUS, OH – Public fishing opportunities will be enhanced this spring when more than 80,700 rainbow trout, each measuring 10 to 13 inches long, are released into 48 Ohio lakes and ponds, according to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) Division of Wildlife. The releases will take place between mid-March and mid-May; anglers are reminded that the daily catch limit for inland lakes is five trout.

Some locations will feature special, youth-only angler events on the day of the scheduled releases. Anglers age 16 and older must have an Ohio fishing license to fish the state’s public waters. Once the youth-only events have concluded, all other anglers may fish.

The 2011-2012 fishing license can be purchased now and is required on March 1. An annual resident fishing license costs $19 and is valid through February 29, 2012. A one-day fishing license is available and may be purchased for $11 by residents or non-residents. The one-day license may also be redeemed for credit towards purchase of an annual fishing license.

Ohio residents born on or before December 31, 1937 may obtain a free fishing license where licenses are sold. Persons age 66 and older who were born on or after January 1, 1938, and have resided in Ohio for the past six months, are eligible to purchase the reduced cost resident senior license for $10.

Additional information about spring trout releases is available by calling toll-free 1-800-WILDLIFE. Information is also available from Division of Wildlife district offices in Akron, Athens, Columbus, Findlay, and Xenia.

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 ohiodnr.com.

Lake County Date/Notes
ADAMS LAKE ADAMS 3/18/2011
ANTRIM PARK LAKE FRANKLIN 4/22/2011
ASHLEY UPGROUND DELAWARE 5/7/2011 (youth only 10am – 1pm)
BARNESVILLE RES. #3 BELMONT 3/24/2011
BELMONT LAKE BELMONT 3/18/2011
BLUE LIME STONE PARK DELAWARE 4/1/2011
CANAL FULTON (OH CANAL #4) STARK 4/30/2011 (youth only 8am – 11am)
CENCI PARK POND FAIRFIELD 4/9/2011 (youth only 10am – 11:30pm)
CLARK LAKE CLARK 4/1/2011
DAVIS AUGLAIZE 4/21/2011
DELTA RESERVOIR #2 FULTON 3/31/2011
DOW LAKE ATHENS 3/31/2011
EAST HARBOR STATE PARK POND OTTAWA 4/23/2011
EYMAN PARK PONDS FAYETTE 4/30/2011 (youth only)
FOREST HILL POND CUYAHOGA 4/1/2011
FORKED RUN STATE PARK LAKE MEIGS 3/24/2011
GIERTZ LAKE HANCOCK 5/7/2011
HINCKLEY LAKE MEDINA 4/14/2011
JACKSON CITY RESERVOIR JACKSON 4/23/2011
JEFFERSON LAKE JEFFERSON 4/8/2011
LITTLE TURTLE POND SUMMIT 4/16/2011 (youth only 9am – 2pm)
MCKARNS LAKE WILLIAMS 4/21/2011
MILL CREEK LAKE MAHONING 4/21/2011
MONROE LAKE MONROE 3/17/2011
MT. GILEAD STATE PARK LAKE MORROW 4/8/2011
NEW LEXINGTON RESERVOIR PERRY 3/11/2011
OLANDER LAKE LUCAS 4/30/2011
PEARSON METRO PARK LUCAS 4/16/2011
PUNDERSON LAKE GEAUGA 4/16/2011 (youth only 9am – Noon)
QUARRY PARK POND MARION 3/25/2011
ROCKY FORK LAKE HIGHLAND 4/2/2011 (youth only 1pm – 4pm)
ROSE LAKE HOCKING 4/22/2011
RUSH RUN LAKE PREBLE 3/25/2011
SCHOONOVER LAKE ALLEN 4/14/2011
SHADOW LAKE CUYAHOGA 4/1/2011
SHELBY RESERVOIR #3 RICHLAND 3/31/2011
SILVER CREEK LAKE SUMMIT 4/15/2011
STONELICK LAKE CLERMONT 3/26/2011 (youth only 11am – 3pm)
SUNBURY DELAWARE 5/7/2011 (youth only 9am – 2pm)
SYCAMORE STATE PARK LAKE MONTGOMERY 3/24/2011
TIMBER RIDGE LAKE LAWRENCE 3/31/2011
TURKEY CREEK LAKE SCIOTO 4/30/2011
VAN WERT RESERVOIR #1 VAN WERT 4/30/2011 (youth only)
VESUVIUS LAKE LAWRENCE 4/14/2011
WEST LAKE RECREATION CENTER CUYAHOGA 4/1/2011
WHITE STAR QUARRY SANDUSKY 4/23/2011
WOLF RUN STATE PARK LAKE NOBLE 3/17/2011
YOCTANGEE PARK LAKE ROSS 3/26/2011 (youth only)
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