Great Lakes residents recognize Asian carp threat


By Al Smith - Guest Columnist



The people who live near the Great Lakes are well aware of the threat and the importance of keeping Asian carp from moving out of Illinois rivers and into the Great Lakes.

According to a first-of-its-kind opinion poll, an overwhelming majority of that group support immediate action to install additional structural protections to keep the invasive species out.

Ohioans were among those surveyed for the poll of the Block Asian Carp partnership. The partnership was founded by Michigan, Ontario, Ohio and Wisconsin, and was recently joined by the City of Chicago. It was the first effort to survey residents in Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Ohio and Wisconsin about their understanding of the risk of invasive carp.

Great Lakes states and Ontario and Quebec are committed to protect the Great Lakes from Asian carp. They have committed monetarily as well by helping to fund the ongoing operations and maintenance of the additional security improvements based on each state’s respective or “fair share” share of the Great Lakes. Ohio’s portion would be $300,200 per year, which is based on Ohio’s 3.75 percent of the Great Lakes surface area. If has been approved by Gov. John Kasich.

Michigan has the largest risk of the group since its water surface of the Great Lakes exceeds 40 percent. Michigan also has offered to pay the share of any state that cannot pay its own portion to block Asian carp

Ontario is second in Great Lakes surface area with 36 percent. Wisconsin (nearly 10 percent), New York (4.27 percent), Ohio (3.75 percent), Minnesota (2.69 percent), Illinois (1.66 percent), Pennsylvania (.79 percent), Indiana (.25 percent) and Quebec (less than 1 percent) round out the group.

Highlights of the survey include:

More than nine in 10 respondents from each state believed it was important to immediately increase protections to block the spread of Asian carp to the Great Lakes at the recommendation of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

More than seven in 10 respondents from each state are likely to support the “fair share” funding proposal given the specific percent their state would be asked to pay.

Support rises to more than eight in 10 respondents likely to support the proposal when told Michigan would pay the share of any state that cannot pay its own portion to block Asian carp.

Support for the fair share funding proposal is bipartisan, with more than eight in 10 Republicans and Democrats in each state supporting their state’s funding contribution.

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Fall turkey hunters are reminded they are required to make their own game tag to attach to a 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. The season opens Oct. 13 and runs through Nov. 25.

All hunters must report their turkey harvest using the automated game-check system. Game-check transactions are available online and by phone seven days a week, including holidays. Hunters with a turkey permit have three options to complete the game check: online at ohiogamecheck.com; call 877-824-4864; or visit a license agent. A list of agents can be found at wildohio.gov or by calling 800-945-3543.

Landowners exempt from purchasing a turkey permit, and others not required to purchase a turkey permit, cannot use the 877-824-4864 option. Instead, those hunters have the option to call 866-703-1928 for operator-assisted landowner game-check (a convenience fee of $5.50 applies). Landowners may also visit a license agent.

The fall turkey season is open in 70 counties including six in Limaland. Auglaize, Mercer and Van Wert counties are not open for fall turkey hunting.

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A free deer processing workshop is being offered from 6-9 p.m. at the Fitchville Conservation League Clubhouse in New London on Oct. 18. The clubhouse is located at 2623 Jennings Road, New London. Although the workshop is free, pre-registration is required by Oct. 16 since space is limited. Interested persons can register by calling Andrea Altman at 419-429-8321.

Trained professionals from the Ohio Division of Wildlife (DOW) and Fitchville Conservation League will partner to cover topics including field dressing, skinning and butchering. This workshop is hands-on and portions will be held outdoors. Participants are encouraged to dress appropriately for the workshop and for the weather.

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The Ohio State Trappers Association is holding a free workshop on the basics of trapping Oct. 27-28 at the Mercer Waterfowl Management Area near Celina.

Although the class is free, pre-registration is required. To register and for class times, call Harry Kinnison at 937-548-7509. The Mercer Waterfowl Management Area is located at 6115 State Route 703, Celina.

All first-time trappers must successfully complete a hunter and a trapper education course offered through the Ohio DOW before purchasing a hunting license and fur taker permit to trap furbearers. Many of the OSTA workshops will offer the trapper education course. Ask the instructor if this is offered at the workshop you plan to attend.

For information on trapping in Ohio please wildohio.gov. For a complete listing of trapping courses offered by OSTA, visit ohiostatetrapper,org.

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By Al Smith

Guest Columnist

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