Trees helpful in fishing

Al Smith - Guest Columnist

Bet you never thought trees could be one of your biggest aides in fishing.

Fish relate to structure and one of the best forms of structure are trees and for a variety of reasons.

On a hot summer day, many of us head to the shade for a cool respite. Fish do the same thing. And trees provide cool water for fish. That cooler water provides more dissolved oxygen fish need to survive.

Whether I’m fishing from shore or in a boat, I seek tree-lined areas so I’m more comfortable and I know my catch success rate will be higher in those areas.

It’s obvious a tree will fall into the water now and then along such shorelines. There you should have a fish producer. I love pitching for bass in areas like this. Downed trees provide cover for some fish and an attack point for predators. Smaller fish can hide in the branches, etc. of such trees while large fish can also use them as an attack point. This works out well for various species.

Trees also provide a food source for fish. Insects that live on leaves and woody debris will fall in the water providing meals for fish. Birds also can become a food source if they get too close to the water’s edge or surface and a bass or other large fish make a hearty meal out of them.

Trees also provide oxygen and help keep waters clean.

Riffles and waterfalls are created in rivers and streams from fallen trees. Oxygen goes into the water from the bubbles in the water that riffles create. Water becomes cleaner via a trees roots. Those roots help stabilize banks, which not only prevent soil erosion, but keep sediment – a water pollutant – from getting into waterways.

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A special hunt for both archers and gun hunters will be held on the Lake Katherine State Nature Preserve again this year.

Bow hunters have the opportunity to hunt two-week blocks while gun hunters will be drawn for two-day hunters, which will be held on Nov. 28-29 and Dec. 1-2. A hunt also will be offered during the first two days of the muzzleloader season on Jan. 7-8, 2017.

Special hunts are held on six nature preserves in Ohio. Hunters interested in these hunts must attend individual meetings. They must purchase a single ticket for $5 to enter the drawing. The drawings will be held at the preserve office, located at 1703 Katharine Road, Jackson 45640 on Saturday, Sept. 10, at 10 a.m. Contact Jeff Johnson at 740-380-8919 or to learn more about this opportunity.

These hunts are “doe first” hunts, meaning a buck can be taken only after an antlerless deer is harvested. The harvest of does helps manage the deer population. Other special regulations will be addressed at the orientation meetings following the drawings.

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The Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) is seeking to fill positions open for resources officers.

Officers not only provide law enforcement services to Ohio’s state parks, state forests, waterways and state natural areas, but they also help education the public and deal with public relations.

The Division of Parks and Watercraft is the lead agency for Ohio maritime security and instructs other state, county and municipal agencies in maritime law enforcement. Natural resources officers also would be responsible for supporting emergency operations during flooding, natural disasters, search and rescue efforts and recover.

The minimum qualifications for an applicant include the Ohio Peace Officer Training Commission certification for certain positions, 21 years of age, possess a valid Ohio driver’s license, successfully complete a background check, psychological exam and pass a drug screen. Applicants must also be able to successfully meet division swim and physical fitness standards and reside within 45 miles of report to work location.

Those looking for such positions should visit

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The public has an opportunity to use a new electronic gun range at Camp Perry, located six miles west of Port Clinton on Ohio 2, from Aug. 29-Nov. 7. The Petrarca Range will be open on Mondays. The fee is $10 per hour or $25 for three hours.

Those choosing to use the range must provide their own ammo and firearms.

According to the Civilian Marksman Program (CMP), there are 10 state-of-the-art electronic targets on the range. Each is capable of adapting to rifle, pistol and smallbore shooting. CMP staff members will be available during the open hours. They will be there to ensure safety and answer questions.

For more information check out the CMP website at

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The Farmers and Hunters Feeding the Hungry (FHFH) ministry distributed more than 110 tons of meat to the hungry this past year – enough to provide more than 880,000 servings to hungry people across America. Since 1997, FHFH has coordinated sand paid for the donation, processing and distribution of 17.8 million meals.

The organization welcomes new supporters and volunteers to join the cause. Those interested in learning more can visit, call toll free at 866-438-3434 or email for more information about the ministry.

Al Smith

Guest Columnist

Al Smith is a freelance outdoor writer. He may be contacted at or and you can follow him on Twitter @alsmithFL

Al Smith is a freelance outdoor writer. He may be contacted at or and you can follow him on Twitter @alsmithFL

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