Tag: Ohio Department of Natural Resources

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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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New Fishing Regulations for AEP Ponds in Ohio

English: Largemouth Bass Fishing

English: Largemouth Bass Fishing (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

COLUMBUS, OH – New fishing regulations are now in place at American Electric Power (AEP) ponds and reservoirs, including AEP ReCreation Lands, Conesville Coal Lands and Avondale Wildlife Area for the 2013-2014 license year, according to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR).

Daily bag limits are enforced at all AEP ponds and reservoirs. The regulations apply to black bass and sunfishes in more than 350 ponds and lakes among more than 80,000 acres of AEP lands available for public fishing, hunting, hiking and camping in Ohio. New regulations are intended to help sustain the high-quality largemouth bass and bluegill fishing known in these waters.

The new black bass regulation is a 14-20-inch slot length limit developed by the ODNR Division of Wildlife that increases anglers’ chances of catching trophy bass. Anglers may keep two fish under 14 inches and one fish 20 inches or larger, for three fish per day (largemouth, smallmouth, or spotted bass, singly or in combination). However, anglers will not be allowed to keep any fish in the protected slot. This regulation applies to all AEP waters, and an angler’s daily limit will apply to all AEP lands collectively, and not just a particular pond or lake.

The new sunfish regulation is a 20-fish daily limit to ensure opportunities for a greater number of anglers to catch quality fish. This regulation will also apply to all AEP waters so an angler’s daily limit will apply to all AEP lands collectively, not just a particular pond or lake.

A permit is required to use AEP ponds and reservoirs. The permit is free and can be obtained from the AEP office in McConnelsville, AEP corporate offices, ODNR Division of Wildlife district offices, or any sporting goods and bait stores near the ReCreation areas.

New regulations were developed by the ODNR Division of Wildlife through review of data from fish surveys, creel surveys, consideration of management options, and extensive public input. More information can be found at wildohio.com in the 2013-2014 fishing regulations. Additional information about AEP lands is also available. An Ohio fishing license is required at all AEP ponds and reservoirs.

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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Apply Now for Ohio Wildlife Officer Training

Antrim Lake Trout Stocking (4)

Antrim Lake Trout Stocking (4) (Photo credit: gsbrown99)

COLUMBUS, OH – Applications are being accepted through Sunday, March 24, for the next wildlife officer training academy, according to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR). The ODNR Division of Wildlife is seeking to fill approximately 18-20 new wildlife officer positions throughout Ohio.

“We are looking for individuals who possess a passion for law enforcement, wildlife conservation and public service,” said Scott Zody, chief of the ODNR Division of Wildlife.

Wildlife officers have statewide jurisdiction to enforce wildlife regulations, investigate allegations of waterway pollution, protect state property and make arrests. They conduct educational programs, perform fish and wildlife management duties and advise landowners about wildlife. Wildlife officers also serve an important role as a point of contact with law enforcement and other agencies on topics of mutual interest, providing assistance and expertise.

To be considered for the wildlife officer training academy, applicants must be at least 21 years of age by April 1, 2014, and have a valid driver’s license. An associate degree or completion of an undergraduate core program in fish and/or wildlife management, criminal justice, environmental law enforcement or related fields is required by the end of August 2013.

Applicants must also be able to demonstrate physical fitness according to standards developed by the Ohio Peace Officers Training Commission, as well as pass a swimming test.

Candidates who meet the minimum qualifications will be invited to take a state proficiency examination May 4 in central Ohio.

Top scoring candidates will then undergo interviews and pre-employment evaluations. Those selected as cadets will attend the wildlife officer training academy for about six months. During the academy, cadets will study law enforcement, fish and wildlife management techniques and learn informational and educational skills. The academy will commence in early January 2014.

Visit wildohiocareers.com for more information.

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
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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 Waterfowl Hunting Seasons Sneaking Up Fast

Geese Standing in Spokane River, near Spokane,...

Image via Wikipedia

COLUMBUS, OH – Ohio hunters should have good opportunities to take some of the most popular species of waterfowl, based on the findings of biologists at the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

The spring pond index for the prairie pothole region of North America (Kansas to central Saskatchewan) and breeding duck surveys indicate a better than average reproduction year for most duck species. Ponds are housing above normal numbers and good production has been noted from most of the primary breeding range.

Closer to home, the Upper Great Lakes states and eastern Canadian provinces showed good to excellent mallard nesting and brood rearing habitat conditions and breeding populations similar to 2010. The Upper Great Lakes are the primary breeding range for mallards harvested in Ohio. Mallards are Ohio’s most harvested duck and can be found throughout the state.

Wood ducks, which are the second most harvested duck in Ohio and the state’s number one breeding duck, appear to also have had a good production year.

Canada geese are overall the most harvested waterfowl in the Buckeye State and can be found in good numbers throughout Ohio. In-state giant Canada geese had the highest population estimate this spring and all indications are there was fair to good production across the state. Migrant interior populations (Southern James Bay and Mississippi Valley) of Canada geese have also had good production. With proper weather, the hunting outlook is good to very good.

With good habitat conditions, Ohio hunters will enjoy a liberal 60-day hunting season again this year. Pintail continued to increase in population which will allow a two-bird bag for the second year in a row. Scaup showed a slight increase in population, and will see a two-bird bag for the entire 60-day season. The canvasback population increased slightly, and there will be a full season in 2011.

The success of Ohio waterfowl hunters has more to do with weather conditions and local habitat conditions rather than continental ducks populations. State wildlife areas are in good condition with excellent fall food potential.

Details of the waterfowl and all other hunting seasons can be found in the Ohio Hunting and Trapping Regulations and in Ohio Waterfowl Hunting Seasons Publication 5295. Hunters can also review seasons and regulations 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 www.ohiodnr.com

 

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Ohio Fall Colors Near Peak

Veterans Park, Avon Lake, OH

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COLUMBUS, OH – Near peak conditions are becoming evident across the northern part of Ohio while the rest of the Buckeye State is still seeing predominantly green hues, according to Fall Color Forester Casey Burdick with the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR).

“Honey locusts and black walnuts are now adding yellows to the mix with near peak conditions beginning to take shape in the northern part of the state,” said Burdick. “For a scenic drive, I recommend the I-77 corridor from Marietta to Canton or in the Cuyahoga Valley area, which should be a picturesque backdrop amid the weekends forecasted sunny skies.”

Burdick also noted that walnuts and acorns are beginning to drop, providing opportunities to view native wildlife attracted to such a readily available food source.

Fall wild turkey hunting opens in 48 Ohio counties on Saturday, October 8 and continues through Sunday, November 27. Ruffed grouse hunting season also starts Saturday, October 8 and runs through January 31, 2012. For more info on fall wild turkey or ruffed grouse hunting, go towww.wildohio.com.

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

Fall Festival & CampoutAlum Creek (C) – Oct. 7-8. Celebrate the season with campsite decorating and costume contests, pumpkin carving, treats & crafts.  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 CampoutPaint Creek (SW) – Oct. 7-8.  Get ready for Halloween with campsite decorating and costume contests, hay rides & trick or treat. 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 (937) 981-7061 or (937) 393-4284.

Halloween CampoutLake Loramie (NW) – Oct. 7-9. Join fellow campers for seasonal fun including pumpkin carving, campsite decorating, trick or treat, movies, games & a potluck supper.  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 (937) 295-2011.

“Louie” Historical Drama, Malabar Farm (NE) – Oct. 7-9. Package includes a house tour, BBQ dinner, and theatrical production of Louis Bromfield’s life story.  Fri. & Sat. performances start at 7 PM; dinner at 6 PM; self-guided house tours 4-6 PM. Sun. performances start at 3 PM; dinner at 2 PM; self-guided house tours Noon-2 PM. Tickets are $35 per person. (419) 892-2784.

Fall Color WalkMalabar Farm (NE) – Oct. 8, 10 AM-Noon. Meet at the visitor center for a pleasant two-mile hike along color drenched trails through woods and meadows. (419) 892-2784.

Autumn Lighthouse FestivalMarblehead Lighthouse (NW) – Oct. 8, 10 AM-5 PM. This annual festival highlights the best of the community of Lakeside and its Lake Erie heritage with historic displays, entertainment, crafts, food & lighthouse tours. For more information about the event, call(419) 734-4424 ext. 2 or www.lake-erie.com.

Fall Color Canoe Paddle, Van Buren (NW) – Oct. 9, 2-4 PM. Get some exercise and an eyeful of stunning fall color. A limited number of canoes are provided, and a $10 donation is requested per canoe. Participants must pre-register. To pre-register and for more information about the event, call(419) 832-7662.

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 Near Peak
Harrison Lake Northwest Changing
Hocking Hills Southeast Changing
Hueston Woods Southwest Near Peak
Indian Lake West Near Peak
John Bryan West Changing
Lake Hope Southeast Changing
Malabar Farm Northeast Near Peak
Mohican Northeast Near Peak
Paint Creek/Pike Lake Southwest Changing
Punderson Northeast Near Peak
Salt Fork Southeast Changing
Shawnee Southwest Changing
Sycamore West Near Peak
Tar Hollow Southeast Near Peak
Van Buren Northwest Near Peak
Wing Foot Northeast Near Peak
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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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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