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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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Ohio Spring Turkey Season Begins April 22

English: Eastern Wild Turkey

English: Eastern Wild Turkey (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

COLUMBUS, OH – The start of spring ushers in Ohio’s annual wild turkey hunt, and hunters can enjoy the warmer weather in pursuit of this popular game bird. According to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR), the 2013 Ohio spring hunting season opens Monday, April 22, with the youth wild turkey season opening Saturday and Sunday, April 20-21.

“Ohio has a good population of wild turkeys and offers some great opportunities for a spring hunt,” said ODNR Director James Zehringer. “The wild turkey is a true conservation success story in Ohio, and we hope to continue to build on our turkey hunting tradition.”

The 2012 hatch should produce more jakes (1-year-old male turkeys) this year and will help offset the poor 2011 hatch. However, the woods may be quieter with fewer 2-year-old toms (male turkeys). These turkeys are generally the most vocal gobblers and readily located by hunters.

Hunters harvested 17,657 wild turkeys during the 2012 youth and spring turkey seasons. The total checked in 2011 was 18,162 wild turkeys.

The ODNR Division of Wildlife anticipates as many as 70,000 licensed hunters, not counting exempt landowners hunting on their own property, will enjoy Ohio’s popular spring wild turkey season before it comes to a close on Sunday, May 19. The spring and youth turkey seasons are open statewide with the exception of Lake La Su An Wildlife Area in Williams County, which requires a special hunting permit.

In a new tagging procedure implemented this year, hunters will need to make their own game tag to attach to a wild turkey. Game tags can be made of any material (cardboard, plastic, paper, etc.) as long as it contains the hunter’s name, date, time and county of the kill. Go to the Turkey Hunting Resources page at wildohio.com for more information on changes to the game check process.

All hunters must report their turkey harvest using the automated game check system. Hunters have three options to complete the game check:

Game-check transactions are available online and by telephone seven days a week and during holidays. Landowners exempt from purchasing a turkey permit, and any other person not required to purchase a turkey permit, cannot use the phone-in option.

Hunters are required to have a hunting license and a spring turkey-hunting permit. The spring season bag limit is two bearded turkeys. Hunters can harvest one bearded turkey per day, and a second spring turkey permit can be purchased at any time throughout the spring turkey season. Turkeys must be checked by 11:30 p.m. the day of harvest.

The youth-only turkey hunt is April 20-21 for those possessing a valid youth hunting license and youth turkey permit. Youth hunters must be accompanied by a non-hunting adult, 18 years of age or older.

Legal hunting hours are one-half hour before sunrise until noon from April 22-May 5. Hunting hours from May 6-19 will be a half-hour before sunrise to sunset. Legal hunting hours are one half-hour before sunrise to sunset during the two-day youth season.

Hunters may use shotguns, longbows and crossbows to hunt wild turkeys. It is unlawful to hunt turkeys using bait, live decoys or electronic calling devices, or to shoot a wild turkey while it is in a tree. The ODNR 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.

Wild turkey breeding activity is primarily controlled by the increasing amount of daylight. Hens typically start incubating eggs around May 1 in Ohio. Ohio’s current wild turkey population is approximately 180,000.

Ohio’s first modern day wild turkey season opened in 1966 in nine counties, and hunters checked 12 birds. The total number of checked turkeys topped 1,000 for the first time in 1984. Turkey hunting was opened statewide in 2000.

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 State Oarks Free Camping April 18th

English: Turtlehead Cave in Strouds Run State Park

English: Turtlehead Cave in Strouds Run State Park (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

COLUMBUS, OH – Pull out the camping gear, grab the makings for s’mores and leave the wallet at home for a night of free camping with the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR). The night of free camping will be available at 54 campgrounds within Ohio State Parks on Thursday, April 18.

“I want to encourage Ohioans to start their weekend early by camping at one of our Ohio State Parks campgrounds for free,” said ODNR Director James Zehringer. “This is an excellent opportunity for families to explore new parts of Ohio and find out what is available within our state parks system.”

For this promotion, campers can make a free reservation for a stay that includes the Free Camping Day. To make the reservation, people must call the Ohio State Parks Reservation Call Center at866-644-6727. Customers can also reserve online but will pay the standard reservation fee. Walk-ins are also welcome on April 18, but space is limited.

For more information about Ohio State Parks campground availability, reservations and amenities, go to: http://bit.ly/freecamping.

This promotion will not be available at Jackson Lake State Park or Strouds Run State Park, as these are concession-operated campgrounds.

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

 

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2013 Walleye Migration Underway on Maumee and Sandusky Rivers

 

Daily bag limit is four walleye until April 30

COLUMBUS, OH – The annual appearance of migrating walleye in the Maumee and Sandusky rivers brings fantastic spring fishing opportunities,

according to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR).

An annual phenomenon in northwest Ohio occurs each spring when a portion of Lake Erie’s walleye population moves up the Maumee and Sandusky rivers to spawn. Although the fish caught represent a small portion of all Lake Erie walleye, the run brings hundreds of thousands of fish within casting distance of eager shore anglers.

Sunset on Lake Erie seen through a fishing net.

Walleye spawning normally occurs in these rivers anytime from mid-March through mid-April, but the peak activity usually occurs the first week of April when the water temperatures range from 40 to 50 degrees. Moderately-high water also increases the number of walleye in the rivers, especially if river temperatures are warmer than lake temperatures.

The best fishing areas in the Maumee River are from Orleans Park in Perrysburg upstream to the end of Jerome Road in Lucas County. Sandusky River anglers will find better success from Brady’s Island to Rodger Young Park in the city of Fremont. Fishing is prohibited upstream from Rodger Young Park to the Ballville Dam.

Anglers are reminded the bag limit for Lake Erie and its tributaries is four walleye until April 30. Anglers are also reminded that there is a year-round 15-inch length limit for walleye on Lake Erie and its tributaries to the first dam or designated landmark. Anglers can see the latest on the walleye biteor review the 2013-2014 Ohio Fishing Regulations at wildohio.com.

Fishermen who are wading also need to ensure they are prepared to experience an unexpected cold water immersion and should consider wearing a flotation device as well as fish with a partner. Though most anglers wade in the rivers while walleye fishing, some choose to fish from boats. ODNR advises boat anglers to always properly wear life jackets, take precautions against overloading their boats and capsizing, be well dressed to avoid the onset of hypothermia and be prepared to handle any emergency. Boats should never be anchored off the stern.

Special regulations are in effect for Maumee and Sandusky river walleye fisheries during March and April. Fishing is only allowed between sunrise and sunset in specified areas, and treble hooks are prohibited. Anglers may only use a single hook that is no larger than 1 inch from shank to point. Only fish that are hooked inside the mouth may legally be taken, and any snagged fish must be immediately released.

The sales of fishing licenses, along with the Sport Fish Restoration (SFR) program, continue to fund ODNR Division of Wildlife fish management operations. No state tax dollars are used for these activities. These are user-pay, user-benefit programs.

The SFR is a partnership between federal and state government, industry and anglers/boaters. When anglers purchase rods, reels, fishing tackle, fish finders and motor boat fuel, they pay an excise tax. The federal government collects these taxes, and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service administers and disburses these funds to state fish and wildlife agencies. These funds are used to acquire habitat, produce and stock fish, conduct research and surveys, provide aquatic education and acquire and develop boat accesses.

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

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Ohio Free Fishing Days May 5-6

The Black River at its mouth at Lake Erie in L...

The Black River at its mouth at Lake Erie in Lorain, Ohio (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

COLUMBUS, OH – Ohioans are encouraged to take advantage of “Free Fishing Days” on May 5-6 and experience the great fishing Ohio has to offer. 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 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 Dec. 31, 1937, can obtain a free fishing license at any license vendor. Residents age 66 and older who were born on or after Jan. 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 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 aswildohio.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 all Ohio residents and extends to all of Ohio’s public waters including Lake Erie and the Ohio River.

Great fishing exists around the state and throughout the year. An estimated 1.3 million people fish each year in Ohio. 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.

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 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. When people concentrate all of their attention on their young angler, they will likely be developing a fishing buddy for a lifetime.

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

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Ohio Fishing Licenses Available By Phone

COLUMBUS, OH – With spring fishing heating up, anglers can now purchase one-day and three-day fishing licenses over the telephone according the Ohio Department of Natural Resources’ (ODNR) Division of Wildlife.

Customers have two telephone options to purchase a “last-minute” fishing license by using a credit card:

Calling 866-703-1928 between 5 a.m. and midnight to reach a live operator who will walk the customer through the transaction; a $5.50 convenience fee is included with this option.

Calling 855-764-3474 any time for an Interactive Voice Response (IVR) system. Callers should be sure and have their nine-digit customer identification number, which can be obtained at no cost from the Wild Ohio Customer Center at www.wildohio.com. The IVR option includes a $3.25 convenience fee.

In both cases, the customer is issued a 10-digit license number and instructed to carry it along with a picture ID as proof that the angler is properly licensed. A printed copy of the license is not included. Convenience fees in either option can be avoided by purchasing licenses early at license agent outlets or online at www.wildohio.com. Customers should note $10 of the one-day fishing license can be exchanged for credit toward the purchase of an annual fishing license at any time within the license year. All license purchases include a $1 writing fee.

Also new this year, anglers have the option of buying in advance an $11 “Lake Erie Charter 1-Day Fishing License” allowing them to wait and validate the license at the dock the day of the trip. Waiting to sign and date the license allows for its future use in case the original fishing trip is cancelled due to weather or other circumstances. This license is not available for purchase over the telephone.

Customers should be aware that Social Security Numbers (SSN) will be required of all individuals, youth and adults, who plan to buy licenses and permits. United States Federal Statute 42 requires the collection of SSN of any individual to whom the state issues a recreational hunting or fishing license. When buying a license, customers are also required by law to give their full name, date of birth, gender, declaration of residency, mailing address, height, weight and hair and eye color.

For questions or clarification, contact the Division of Wildlife at 800-WILDLIFE (945-3543) or visit our website at www.wildohio.com.

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

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Ohio Spring Turkey Season Opens April 23rd

COLUMBUS, OH – This year’s spring wild turkey season opens in all 88 Ohio counties on Monday, April 23 and continues through Sunday, May 20,

Despite its distinct appearance, the Wild Turk...

Despite its distinct appearance, the Wild Turkey is actually a very close relative of pheasants (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

according to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources’ (ODNR) Division of Wildlife.

“Ohio has again experienced a record low wild turkey hatch, with last year’s nesting season negatively impacted by rainfall and flooding,” said ODNR Wildlife Biologist Mike Reynolds. “The early onset of spring-like weather and green vegetation could make it harder for hunters to see and hear turkeys, creating challenging hunting conditions this season.”

Wild turkey breeding activity is largely controlled by the increasing amount of daylight.  Typically in southeast Ohio, hens start incubating nests on May 1.

Hunters harvested 18,162 wild turkeys during last year’s youth and spring turkey seasons. Ohio’s current wild turkey population is more than 180,000. ODNR 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 April 21-22. 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 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:

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 fall turkey permit must use the website or a license agent to check their turkey, but cannot use the phone-in method.

Legal hunting hours are one-half hour before sunrise until noon from April 23 to May 6.  Hunting hours from May 7-20 will be a half-hour before sunrise to sunset.  An incorrect start date for the all day turkey hunting hours was printed in the 2011-12 Hunting Regulations booklet. The first day for all day hunting is May 7.

Hunters are required to have a hunting license and a spring turkey-hunting permit. They can also 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. Turkeys must be checked by 11:30 p.m. the day of harvest.

Hunters may use shotguns, longbows and crossbows to hunt wild turkeys; however, it is unlawful to hunt turkeys using bait, live decoys or electronic calling devices 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 website at ohiodnr.com.

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Ohio Furbearer Hunting and Trapping Seasons


Muskrat
Image via Wikipedia

COLUMBUS, OH – Ohio hunters and trappers preparing to pursue furbearers will find good populations of these animals during the 2011-2012 season. The season begins for most furbearing species on November 10, according to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR), Division of Wildlife.

“Food sources and habitat conditions for furbearers remain good this year across Ohio,” said Division of Wildlife biologist Suzie Prange. “Fur takers can expect another good season for most species.”

For the seventh year, 43 counties will be open for river otter trapping from December 26 to February 29. River otters were reintroduced into four Ohio watersheds between 1986 and 1993 and have increased their range in the state. They were removed from the state endangered species list in 2002. Full details of open counties, checking and permit requirements can be found in the Ohio River-Otter Trapping Regulations.

In most regions of Ohio, hunting and trapping seasons for fox, raccoon, opossum, skunk and weasel open November 10 and close January 31. The trapping season for mink and muskrat is open November 10 through February 29. Exceptions are Erie, Ottawa and Sandusky counties, and in Lucas County east of the Maumee River where raccoon, opossum, skunk, weasel, mink and muskrat trapping seasons will remain open through March 15,

Ohio’s beaver-trapping season opens statewide December 26 and ends February 29.

There are no daily bag limits or restrictions on hours for hunting and trapping furbearers, with the exception of river otters, where bag limits are dependent on the county where the trapping occurs. Special hunting regulations for coyotes apply during the one-week, statewide deer-gun season, November 28-December 4, and the deer-gun weekend of December 17-18.

A fur-taker permit is required in addition to a valid Ohio hunting license to hunt or trap furbearing animals, except for coyotes, which may be hunted or trapped year round without a fur-taker permit. A special ODNR Division of Wildlife permit is required to trap beaver and otters on state public hunting areas.

Otters that are accidentally captured, either in excess of bag limits or in closed counties, must be released unharmed. Otters that cannot be released must be turned over to the Division of Wildlife.

Beaver trappers in particular are advised to watch for otter sign and modify set placements where necessary. The Ohio State Trappers Association and the Division of Wildlife have published aguide on how to recognize otter sign and use various otter avoidance techniques while trapping for beaver in areas closed to otter trapping. A copy of the publication and reports about observing otters in Ohio can be ordered by calling 1-800-WILDLIFE.

Ohio is among the nation’s leading producers of raw furs. Currently, there are 70 licensed fur dealers and more than 11,000 licensed fur takers in the state.

Additional hunting information is contained in the 2011-2012 Ohio Hunting Regulationsbrochure, available where Ohio hunting licenses are sold, on the Internet at wildohio.com or by calling toll-free 1-800-WILDLIFE.

 

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Ohio Fall Turkey Season: Might be a Bad Year

Wild turkey in flight.

Image via Wikipedia

COLUMBUS, OH – Fall wild turkey hunting opens in 48 Ohio counties on Saturday, October 8, according to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR), Division of Wildlife. The season continues through Sunday, November 27.

“Record rainfall and regional flooding during the nesting season negatively affected wild turkey production this year,” said Wildlife Biologist Mike Reynolds. “Some renesting may have helped to offset early nest failures, but hunters will likely find fewer turkeys this fall. Brood production in two of the last three years (2009 and 2011) has been the lowest on record.”

Hunters harvested 1,425 wild turkeys during last year’s fall season. Reynolds added that Ohio’s current wild turkey population is approximately 180,000. He anticipates as many as 15,000 people, not counting private landowners hunting on their own property, will enjoy Ohio’s fall wild turkey season.

Only one turkey of either sex may be taken during the entire fall season. A Fall Turkey Hunting Permit is required. Hours are one-half hour before sunrise to sunset. Shotguns using shot, crossbows, and longbows are permitted. Hunting turkeys over bait is prohibited. Turkeys must be checked by 11:30 p.m. on the day the bird is shot.

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:

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 fall 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 or by calling 1-800-WILDLIFE.

The ODNR 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.

Additional details regarding fall wild turkey hunting and safety information can be found in Publication 85, Ohio Hunting and Trapping Regulations, or online at wildohio.com.

The 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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Oct. 1 Fall Colors and Weather Starts With a Bang: Ohio Fall Festivals

Ginkgo leaves shown in their fall color, yellow.

Image via Wikipedia

COLUMBUS, OH – The first week of autumn is ushering in an array of colors as Ohio begins its fall color transformation, according to Casey Burdick, Fall Color Forester for the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR).

“Many maple and ash trees are welcoming us into this year’s fall color season,” said Burdick. “The white ash are showing dark purples while the green ash are glowing with vibrant yellows and golden oranges. Various maples, especially along the edges of woods and in urban areas, are showing some early color; dogwoods are also showing some awesome dark reds.”

Trees in urban or wet areas, which are more prone to stress are starting to show a little color as well. The stress can be caused by extra heat, soil compaction, irregular watering, or even pollution.

Ohioans and out of state visitors who are waiting for peak fall color are encouraged to head outside and enjoy the crisp fall days leading up to it. Ohio state parks and nature preserves are offering a variety of activities that all can enjoy. The burst of color at the onset of the season provides a perfect backdrop for hikers, bikers or horseback riders who make their way across the hundreds of miles of publicly accessible trails. The brilliance of fall color will add to the excitement disc golf and golf, which can be played on beautiful, award-winning courses at several state parks. Anglers and boaters can also get priceless perspectives of amazing fall foliage as it reflects in the rippling water along miles of shoreline and waterways.

This coming weekend, check out the following events at one of your Ohio State Parks…

Fall Festival, Delaware (C) – Sept. 30 – Oct. 1 at the campground. Welcome fall with fall crafts, games, wagon & boat rides, movies, decorated campsite & costume contests. All reservable campsites are booked for this event; however, a limited number of non-reservable campsites are available on a first-come first served basis. Check campsite availability at www.ohiostateparks.org. For more information about the event, call (740) 548-4631.

Halloween Campout #1, East Harbor (NW) – Sept. 30 – Oct. 1. Get ready for Halloween with scarecrow & decorated campsite contests, kids’ crafts and games, hayrides, a haunted house, bonfire & cookout. All reservable campsites are booked for this event; however, a limited number of non-reservable campsites are available on a first-come first served basis. Check campsite availability at www.ohiostateparks.org. For more information about the event, call (419) 734-4424 ext. 2.

Fall Campout, Findley (NE) – Sept. 30 – Oct. 1. Enjoy seasonal crafts, trick or treating, hayrides and haunted trail.  All reservable campsites are booked for this event; however, a limited number of non-reservable campsites are available on a first-come first served basis. Check campsite availability atwww.ohiostateparks.org. For more information about the event, call (440) 647-5749.

Halloween Bash, Mosquito Lake (NE) – Sept. 30 – Oct. 1. This family friendly weekend of Halloween fun for campers includes trick or treating, movies, games, a decorated bike & stroller parade, campsite & costume decorating contests, and a potluck dinner. Check campsite availability and reserve your site at www.ohiostateparks.org. For more information about the event, call (330) 637-2856.

Pioneer Days, Beaver Creek (NE) – Oct. 1-2 at the pioneer village & Gaston’s Mill. Enjoy the backdrop of fall color for this heritage event featuring craft displays and demonstrations of pioneer life, including the working grist mill. (330) 382-9227. The nearby Beaver Creek Wildlife Education Center is open from 10 AM-5 PM, with fun duck races held at 3 PM on Sunday. For more information about the event, call (330) 385-3091or visit www.beavercreekwildlife.org.

Apple Butter Festival, Hueston Woods (SW) – Oct. 1-2 at the pioneer farm. Savor the sights, smells and tastes of fall with demonstrations of traditional apple butter making and pioneer crafts. Apples and apple products, pumpkins and decorative gourds are for sale. There is a $2 admission fee for adults; children under 12 are free. Proceeds benefit the Oxford Museum Association. For more information about this event call (513) 524-4250.

The ODNR fall color Web page is the premier guide to Ohio’s fall color season, posting weekly color updates and information to help plan leaf-peeping adventures. Weekly videos from Fall Color Forester Casey Burdick will highlight color hot spots around the state and provide informative tidbits about some of Ohio’s 100-plus tree species. This page also offers helpful links for leaf collecting tips,scenic road trips, and more. Looking for some great fall getaway ideas?  The Ohio Division of Travel and Tourism has numerous itinerary ideas at www.discoverohio.com under their Autumn Adventures feature. And don’t forget to fall ODNR on Facebook and Twitter all season long.

Ohio’s 75 state parks, 21 state forests and 134 state nature preserves provide excellent locations to view fall foliage. Here are the most current reports from selected locations:

Location Region Color Condition
Alum Creek/Delaware/Mt. Gilead Central Changing
Beaver Creek/Guilford Lake East Changing
Blue Rock/Dillon East Changing
Buck Creek West Changing
Burr Oak Southeast Changing
Caesar Creek Southwest Changing
Deer Creek Central Changing
Harrison Lake Northwest Changing
Hocking Hills Southeast Changing
Hueston Woods Southwest Changing
Indian Lake West Changing
John Bryan West Changing
Lake Hope Southeast Changing
Malabar Farm Northeast Changing
Mary Jane Thurston/Van Buren Northwest Changing
Mohican Northeast Changing
Paint Creek/Pike Lake Southwest Changing
Punderson Northeast Changing
Salt Fork Southeast Changing
Shawnee Southwest Changing
Sycamore West Changing
Tar Hollow Southeast Changing
Wing Foot Northeast Changing
Zaleski Southeast Changing

COLOR CONDITION KEY: Changing – Still mostly green, less than 25 percent color. Near Peak – Significant color showing – anywhere from 30 to 60 percent color. Peak – Peak colors – as much as 85 percent showing. Fading – Fading from peak conditions and leaves falling to forest floor.

 

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