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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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100 Days of Summer: June 2- Geocaching in Boardman Park

What is geocaching? It’s best described by this video:

And Thanks to a couple highly prolific Geocachers, TurnPikeTravelers, KKAB22 and CharlesIsland, the Boardman Area is home to dozens of Geocaches.

Grab yourTomTom, Garmin, or GPS enabled phone and head over to Geocaching.com and sign up for a free account. Go to the search page and type in 44512.

I just took the 5-year-old out last weekend and she discovered the “Just Off the Path” cache at Boardman Park herself. But there’s literally hundreds of other caches in our area. Have Fun!

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Coldwater Boating Safety Tips: Be Prepared

Boat at the Canal

COLUMBUS, OH – The swamping and capsizing of a small boat resulting in occupants being unexpectedly immersed in frigid water poses a serious threat to boaters and anglers getting out on the water this time of year as water temperatures slowly begin to warm.  The best way to survive a cold water immersion and guard against hypothermia and drowning is to properly wear a life jacket and be dressed for cold water temperatures instead of warmer air temperatures, according to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR), Division of Watercraft.

A few things anglers and boaters can do to be prepared for outings on the water is to wear an approved life jacket or inflatable vest.  This keeps a person afloat should they fall off a boat or a boat capsizes.  The second tip is to wear protective clothing, such as synthetics, wool or polypropylene that help reduce the loss of body heat when immersed in cold water.  A third safety tip is to ensure that boats are properly loaded with people and gear before launching on the water to reduce the chance of swamping and capsizing.

More cold water and other boating safety tips are available online at www.ohiodnr.com/watercraft.

The Division of Watercraft reports that among 15 fatal boating accidents last year, none of the victims were found to be wearing a life jacket or vest.  In seven of the accidents, life jackets and vest were not aboard the boats as required by state and federal laws.

The ODNR Division of Watercraft administers Ohio’s boating and scenic rivers programs.  The agency oversees watercraft registration and titling operations, provides funding to local communities for education, enforcement and boating access facilities, educates the public and enforces boating laws on Ohio’s waterways.

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

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Holiday Specials at Ohio State Parks

The Lodge at Geneva on the Lake
Image by kuddlyteddybear2004 via Flickr

COLUMBUS, OH – Stressed holiday shoppers looking for great gift ideas or for a relaxing getaway for holiday cheer can turn to Ohio State Parks for convenient shopping solutions and overnight stays.

An Ohio State Parks gift card is an appealing choice for anyone who likes to play outdoors or unwind in comfort.  Gift cards can be redeemed for camping, getaway rentals, cottage rentals or overnight stays in eight of Ohio’s luxurious state park lodges.  They can also be used for golfing at Ohio State Parks’ six public courses, for boat rentals at some state park marinas, or for food and merchandise purchases.

Ohio State Park gift cards, which are available in any denomination of $5 or more, can be purchased on-line from the state parks website, or in person at any state park office, or by calling 1-866-644-6727.

Ohio State Parks merchandise is now available on-line for the convenience of gift givers who prefer to provide a wrapped package.  Specialty apparel, books, toys, outdoor gear and nature themed items are offered through the on-line store at the state parks website, www.ohiostateparks.org.  All profits from the sale of these items benefit Ohio State Parks.

A variety of seasonal promotions and discounted rates on overnight stays are offered through the winter at state park lodges and cottages.  New Year’s Eve celebrations, along with specially priced theme weekends and family friendly packages are scheduled at the lodges at Burr Oak, Deer Creek, Geneva, Hueston Woods, Maumee Bay, Mohican, Punderson, Salt Fork and Shawnee.  Winter discounts at the state park cottages at Buck Creek, Cowan Lake, Dillon, Hocking Hills, Lake Hope, Mohican, Pike Lake and Pymatuning are $20 off the regular nightly rate on Sunday through Thursday nights, and $10 off on Friday and Saturday nights, January through March.  Information and reservations are available on the state parks website.

Customers who stay in Ohio State Park campgrounds or in select state park cottages can also receive extra value through the Ohio State Parks Rewards Card.  When they reserve their campsite or cottage, they can request a Rewards Card and earn points toward a free stay during a future state park visit.  Rewards card holders can also receive 25% off the regular nightly rate for overnight stays at the lodges at Burr Oak, Deer Creek, Hueston Woods, Maumee Bay, Mohican, Punderson, Salt Fork and Shawnee through April 1, 2011, based on availability.

The Ohio Department of Natural Resources ensures a balance between wise use and protection of our natural resources for the benefit of all. Visit the ODNR website at www.ohiodnr.gov.

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100 Days Of Summer: Day Nine-Bike the Towpath Trail, Catch a Train for $2

Rt. 82 Bridge, Brecksville
Image by Cuyahoga jco via Flickr

You’ve got to try the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad. Normally it runs from Northern Akron to Independence road in Cleveland. To hop on on one of these stations costs $15 per person per day. The train goes through the Cuyahoga Valley National Park and the round trip takes about three hours. But you can get off at any stop: Visit Hale Farm, The shops at Penninsula, Take in a special event at Boston Mills.

Sounds fun. The Kids will like it. But there’s a way to save $13 per person and still get all the advantages. Bring your Bike. See, for $2, you can flag down the train at stations along the Towpath Bike trail and board the train. There are special cargo cars on each end to hold your bike. Then you can disenbark when you want.

Take the train north and Bike Back to your car. Or Bike until you’re exhausted and ride back in the comfort of a restored passenger car. The choice is yours.

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Lake Erie Access Portal: Info on 164 Ways to Get to the Lake

Aerial view of Vermilion, Ohio, USA on Lake Er...
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164 Public Access Sites in the eight counties along Ohio’s 312-mile Lake Erie Shore featured in new ODNR Publication and Web site

Sandusky, OH – Just in time for summer recreation, a new publication and companion Web site will guide you to Ohio’s public beaches, bluffs and bays along the state’s 312-mile Lake Erie shore, according to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources.

The Lake Erie Public Access Guidebook was developed by the ODNR Office of Coastal Management in partnership with the ODNR Office of External Affairs. The guidebook includes general information about Lake Erie and specific details about the 164 sites within Ohio’s eight coastal counties where the public can access the Buckeye State’s greatest natural resource.

Collectively, the 164 public access sites account for more than 15,000 acres, and nearly 53 miles of shore, which is approximately 17 percent of Ohio’s coast. Sites range from the well known to the rarely heard of and include state, county, city, village and township parks, preserves and reservations; state wildlife areas; public cemeteries; memorials and monuments; lighthouses; as well as dead-end road rights-of-way and scenic vistas.

Information in the Lake Erie Public Access Guidebook was collected by the Office of Coastal Management between 2005 and 2010, and verified via interviews with local officials and park managers. The 326-page printed guidebook is geographically organized from west to east, beginning in Toledo in Lucas County and moving to Conneaut in Ashtabula County.

Each site is represented by vibrant pictures, illustrative narratives, colorful maps, latitude/longitude coordinates, amenity keys and “Learn more” information to help you discover the perfect spot to spend your day or even your week. It’s the perfect size for backpacks, glove boxes and tackle boxes.

The online guidebook can be viewed by selecting “Access” in the top navigation line atohiodnr.com/coastal. Each access site can be downloaded and printed from its respective Web page; county chapters and the entire guidebook can also be downloaded and printed.

Printed copies of the Lake Erie Public Access Guidebook will be available at locations throughout Ohio’s Lake Erie watershed by July (a list of distribution sites will be available online). Later this summer, the guidebook will be distributed at the ODNR Natural Resources Park Information Booth at the Ohio State Fair from July 28 to August 8.

The Office of Coastal Management works to achieve a balance between use and preservation of Lake Erie’s coastal resources, in collaboration with our partners, by effectively administering the Ohio Coastal Management Program.

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

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100 Days of Summer- Day 7: Go Fishing

Angling with a rod.
Image via Wikipedia

It’s always been hard for me to write about fishing. While I really enjoy fishing, it’s one of those things that just seems too natural to be a problem. It’stoo easy to grab a pole, a couple pieces of bait and find a spot to relax. To me, describing and promoting fishing is kind of like promoting TV: I really don’t have to do it, do I?

So, rather than point you to a local stream, or Misquito creek, or Lake Erie, how about I just point to  FishOhio’s Best Fishing Spots in Ohio for Now?

On A related note, Please tell me what you’d like to see here. I do a lot of Day Hikes, Some Camping, a little Lake Paddling, and have been doing some Geocaching. So If you have an Idea for Hunters, or ATVs, or anything else, let me know and we’ll post it.

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Ohio Fishing Structure: Where the Habitat Is

The Pymatuning Reservoir, a man made lake in O...
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Andover, OH- Many things have changed in Ohio since the early 1900’s. Ohio’s deer herd has gone from scarce to world class, and the bald eagle, once on the edge of extinction, has rebounded dramatically. But, for most of Ohio’s lakes, the past century has not been so kind. Most of the natural habitat in Ohio’s reservoirs has disappeared due to natural causes. Fish naturally relate with habitat, and anglers typically key in on these spots, but what happens when the habitat disappears?

Thanks to the Ohio Division of Wildlife and numerous other state agencies and conservation clubs, anglers who fish Pymatuning have another hot spot to try out.  This past week, these groups collaborated on their annual structure placement project on Ohio’s largest inland lake. “The Short Plank Vertical Structures are ideal for shallow water that lacks natural habitat, while the rock reefs can be used at a variety of depths,” says Matt Wolfe, Fisheries Biologist for the Ohio Division of Wildlife, who oversees this project. “Both structure types are ideal for the fisheries that are available in Pymatuning,” added Wolfe.

The Plank Structures can be found from N 41o 39’ 58.9” / W 80o 29’ 57.9” to N 41o 40’ 2.4” / W 80o 29’ 59.7” to N 41o 40’ 3.6” / W 80o 29’ 52.9”  in about 6 – 7 feet of water. The rock reefs can be found at N 41o 32’ 12.9” / W 80o 30’ 45.5” in about 6 feet of water and at N 41o 32’ 1.3” / W 80o 30’ 49.0” in about eleven feet of water. The map datum on your GPS unit should be set at NAD 83 to find the structures.

The goal of this project is to introduce 500 structures into the waters of Northeastern Ohio annually. With limited funding available, none of this would be possible without the help of local organizations who have contributed to this effort. The Pennsylvania Fish and Boat CommissionOhio State Parks,Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, and the Pymatuning Lake Association partnered up with the Division of Wildlife on this particular project in its attempt to recruit the next generation of anglers and retain the anglers who already enjoy the sport of fishing.

View video slideshow of structure placements

View a Pymatuning Lake fishing map

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Consumption Advisory Lifted For Pymatuning

The Pymatuning Reservoir, a man made lake in O...
Image via Wikipedia

Harrisburg – The departments of Environmental Protection and Health, and the Fish and Boat Commission have lifted the “Do Not Eat” consumption advisory for all species of fish taken from Pymatuning Reservoir and Tamarack Lake in Crawford County. 

Fish tissue samples tested by the Fish and Boat Commission and Cornell University determined the large fish kills in both lakes were the result of a Columnaris outbreak. Columnaris is a naturally occurring bacterium that was triggered by several stressors, including rapidly warming waters during the spawning season.

The commonwealth’s Interagency Fish Consumption Advisory Technical Workgroup verified the findings. 

DEP also tested water quality and fish tissue samples. The preliminary results show no contaminants of concern for persons who consume fish from the lakes or for downstream water supplies.

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ODNR's "National Get Outdoors" Day Evants and Activities

Mountain Biking photo
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COLUMBUS, OH – The Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) invites Ohioans and visitors to celebrate the annual National Get Outdoors Day this weekend by ramping up participation in outdoor activities. Get outside and get active at one of Ohio’s scenic state recreation areas.

There are many ODNR activities and events scheduled across the state that will help individuals and families reconnect with the outdoors and jumpstart a healthy lifestyle.

Many of State Parks have an array of events and activities slated for this Saturday and Sunday.  Go to www.ohiodnr.com/parks for the latest on events in your area.

Those who are seeking beautiful trails can visit ODNR’s Ohio trails web site, www.ohiotrails.gov. It provides a comprehensive list of ODNR hiking, biking, mountain biking, ATV and equine trails statewide. Once the final phase of the web site is complete, it will provide outdoor enthusiasts with interactive features that will allow them to find trails that best suit their needs and abilities.

For the wildflower lover, don’t miss the latest ODNR Natural Areas Discovery Series event on Saturday, June 12.  The Ladyslipper Open House will be held from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. in Portage County and is a rare opportunity to see one of Ohio’s most lovely wildflowers – the pink lady’s slipper orchid – blooming naturally in this unique wetland area.  This event is limited so please reserve your place by calling 440-632-3010.

For parents who are looking for an exciting, hands-on outing that will get the youngsters involved in the outdoors, this weekend is a great time to get involved in the ODNR’s free Explore the Outdoors program. It provides Ohio parents and youth leaders with an easy guide to lead Ohio’s young people, particularly those in grades 1-5, into the outdoors. The program also provides an interactive online resource that families can use to find exciting outdoor activities and events.

The program’s engaging activity guide recommends a variety of fun outdoor activities, including Spot a BirdHike a Trail or Camp Under the Stars. All of the activities in the book can be accomplished at state parks, forests, preserves and wildlife areas throughout Ohio. Families can also complete some of the activities at local parks, green spaces or even at home.

Explore the Outdoors participants can find special activity completion codes posted at welcome centers and kiosks in participating ODNR and partner facilities statewide. Children who enter at least two codes on the Explore the Outdoors web site, www.exploretheoutdoorsohio.com, will receive a printable certificate signed by Gov. Ted Strickland. Participants are also eligible for prizes the more codes they enter online and if they send in the detachable postcard.  Special Explore the Outdoors events are also posted on the Explore the Outdoors web site.

The Explore the Outdoors web site provides activity guides for free download and a listing of special Explore the Outdoors events. Parents can contact 614-784-PLAY (7529) or explore@dnr.state.oh.usfor additional information or to request activity guides and program resources.

ODNR appreciates Explore the Outdoors sponsors who share a desire to improve the health of Ohio children and families by getting them outdoors. Sponsors include ODNR Division of Recycling, ODNR Division of Watercraft, American Heart Association, GreenBird and Highlights.

National Get Outdoors Day is an inclusive, nationwide effort focusing on a single day when people are inspired and motivated to get outdoors. Partnerships between federal, state and local agencies help make Get Outdoors Day a healthy, fun day of outdoor adventure aimed at reaching first-time visitors to public lands and reconnecting children to the outdoors.

The Ohio Department of Natural Resources ensures a balance between wise use and protection of our natural resources for the benefit of all. Visit the ODNR web site at www.ohiodnr.com.

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