Month: February 2016

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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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Protecting Northeast Ohio's Wetlands

KENT, OH – Ohio State Nature Preserves are beautiful natural areas where many of the state’s endangered species are thriving and rare geologic features are protected, thanks to the generosity of Ohioans who have donated a portion of their state tax refunds to the State Nature Preserves Fund.

Donations to this fund protect the best of Ohio’s natural areas, including bogs and fens, prairies, old growth forests and rare geologic formations. The fund supports new land purchases, educational opportunities and scientific research. Tax refund donations are also critical for enabling preserve managers to battle invasive plant species threatening native habitats.

Across the state, 136 state nature preserves, totaling 30,000 acres, are open year-round for the enjoyment and benefit of all Ohioans. In northeast Ohio, donations help preserve Ohio’s remaining bogs and fens, which are rare and unique wetlands. The Cooperrider-Kent Bog State Nature Preserve, located outside of Kent in Portage County, is an excellent example of how tax refund donations can benefit Ohio’s natural areas.

In 1985, Cooperrider-Kent Bog was the first state nature preserve to be purchased with funds donated by the citizens of Ohio through the State Nature Preserves tax refund donation program. Since then, tax refund donations have helped to fund the installation of a half-mile boardwalk trail, parking area, interpretive signage and a new entrance sign for the preserve.

The preserve is a living relict formed during the most recent glacial period ending some 12,000 to 16,000 years ago. During the glacier’s retreat northward, a huge block of ice likely broke free from the main glacier and came to rest at the preserve site. The ice block eventually melted, forming a deep kettle-hole lake about 50 acres in size.

As the climate warmed, plants more common to northern Canada colonized the lake shoreline, encroaching upon the open waters, and a lush carpet of sphagnum moss blanketed the lake, forming a lovely bog meadow.

Cooperrider-Kent Bog supports one of the largest southernmost stands of tamarack (Larix laricina) in the continental United States. This tree was important to Native Americans who used the roots to make both cordage, which was used to sew plates of birch bark to canoes, and medicinal tea. It is also unusual in that, unlike most conifers, it is deciduous; its needles turn bright yellow before dropping in mid-November.

In addition, Cooperrider-Kent Bog protects many other important boreal species, including the state-threatened small cranberry, tawny cotton-grass and few-seeded sedge.

Visiting the Cooperrider-Kent Bog State Nature Preserve is easier to access and enjoy because of Ohioans’ donations to the State Nature Preserve Fund. It’s easy to become a partner in future preservation projects at Ohio’s state nature preserves.

Ohioans can donate all or a part of their state income tax refund by making a contribution on line 26c of the 2015 Universal IT 1040 Income Tax Return. To learn more about becoming a partner in preservation or visiting any of Ohio’s 136 state nature preserves, visit naturepreserves.ohiodnr.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.


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Protecting Northwest Ohio's Unique Wetlands

MONCLOVA, OH – Ohio State Nature Preserves are beautiful natural areas where many of the state’s endangered species are thriving and rare geologic features are protected, thanks to the generosity of Ohioans who have donated a portion of their state tax refunds to the State Nature Preserves Fund.

Donations to this fund protect the best of Ohio’s natural areas, including bogs and fens, prairies, old growth forests and rare geologic formations. The fund supports new land purchases, educational opportunities and scientific research. Tax refund donations are also critical for enabling preserve managers to battle invasive plant species threatening native habitats.

Across the state, 136 state nature preserves, totaling 30,000 acres, are open year-round for the enjoyment and benefit of all Ohioans. In northwest Ohio, donations help preserve one of the rarest and most significant natural areas in the Midwest—the Oak Openings Region, which is a 130-square-mile region featuring a landscape of wet prairies, oak savannas and sand barrens that developed on sand and clay deposited by glacial Lake Warren, the ancient predecessor of present day Lake Erie.

Louis W. Campbell State Nature Preserve, a rare and beautiful example of this region, preserves a variety of rare habitats including wet prairie and sedge meadows, swamp forest, sand barrens and oak savannas. The site protects more than 40 state-listed rare species. Located 10 miles west of Toledo in Lucas County, it is an excellent example of how tax refund donations can benefit Ohio’s natural areas.

A newly constructed observation deck overlooking the marsh offers visitors a chance to glimpse native waterfowl and the vibrant wetland sedge meadow. This and other amenities including the parking area, interpretive signage and 2.3 miles of trail were made possible by donations to the State Nature Preserves Fund.

In recent years, donations have also supported ongoing restoration and invasive species management at the preserve. Removing non-native plants and using prescribed burns allow the native plant community to thrive, while re-establishing the globally rare habitats. This, in turn, benefits endangered wildlife, including the frosted elfin and silver-bordered fritillary butterflies, which thrive at Louis W. Campbell State Nature Preserve.

Lovely in any season, the preserve is especially beautiful in late-spring. Rare plant communities thrive, providing a parade of colors for visitors, including the blaze of purples from wild lupine as well as the pinks, purples and yellows from plains puccoon, grass-pink orchid, spathulate-leaved sundew, Canada frostweed, blue flag iris and lance-leaved violet.

Visiting the Louis W. Campbell State Nature Preserve is easier to access and enjoy because of Ohioans’ donations to the State Nature Preserve Fund. It’s easy to become a partner in future preservation projects at Ohio’s state nature preserves.

Ohioans can donate all or a part of their state income tax refund by making a contribution on line 26c of the 2015 Universal IT 1040 Income Tax Return. To learn more about becoming a partner in preservation or visiting any of Ohio’s 136 state nature preserves, visit naturepreserves.ohiodnr.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.


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