Outdoor enthusiasts have a chance to state their opinions and ask questions of biologists and law enforcement officers during open houses at Ohio Division of Wildlife (DOW) district offices March 2-6.
The weeklong format is new, changing from a one-day event. Hours for the open houses are 8 a.m.-5 p.m. each day with extended hours on March 4 to 7 p.m.
The primary reason for the open houses is for DOW staff to hear from the public and discuss hunting and fishing regulation proposals. A complete list of proposed hunting season dates for 2020-2021 is available at wildohio.gov.
Two district offices cover the Lima area. The District Two office is located at 952 Lima Ave. in Findlay while the District Five office is located at 1076 Old Springfield Pike in Xenia. The District Five open house has previously been held at the Greene County Fish and Game. This year, the District Five open house will be held at the district office.
Directions to the open houses can be found at wildohio.gov or by calling 800-945-3543. The phone number for the District Two office is 419-424-5000 while the number for the District Five office is 937-372-9261. If you are unable to attend an open house, you may offer comments online at wildohio.gov until March 9.
“Division of Wildlife open houses provide the opportunity to share input and participate in Ohio’s professional fish and wildlife management process,” said Division of Wildlife Chief Kendra Wecker. “All interested Ohioans are encouraged to attend. We welcome all comments on proposed hunting and fishing regulations.”
A complete list of proposed hunting season dates for 2020-2021 is available at wildohio.gov.
* * *
The 2020-2021 Ohio Fishing Regulations are now available. People may check them out or download them online at to browse and download them at wildohio.gov/fishingregulations
To obtain a printed copy of the regulations, you can pick them up at the nearest district office or license vendor at the end of of this month.
* * *
With warmer weather expected this weekend, some anglers are getting ready for opening water fishing.
Now is a perfect time to organize and clean all of your tackle and supplies. Find out if you are missing any key elements, and source new lures and equipment to set yourself up for the coming season.
While the end of February use to mark the time to get a new license, that all has changed. Annual fishing licenses are valid for 365 days from date of purchase. That means if you waited until April or May or even the summer to purchase a license, you don’t have to renew it until that date this year. Licenses may be renewed up to 30 days before the expiration date.
* * *
A couple of incidents involving Lima area wildlife officers show that people should not be breaking the law while there are warrants out for them.
Two men were arrested on statewide warrants in Hardin and Logan counties while also committing wildlife violations.
The first occurred during last fall’s youth deer-gun season. A man, who was supposed accompany a youth during the hunt, was sighted by Hardin County Wildlife Officer Ryan Kennedy with possession of a crossbow. He admitted he was hunting deer, which was illegal since adults must accompany all youth hunters and are not eligible to hunt at the same time.
The adult was cited for that violation. The adult also had a state warrant for his arrest. The hunter pleaded guilty and received a $145 fine and court costs.
The Findlay Police Department assisted Kennedy during the investigation.
In the other incident, Logan County Wildlife Officer Adam Smith observed a man fishing in the same spot Smith had cited him a few months prior for taking several game fish with a cast net below the spillway at Indian Lake.
Those fish were returned to the water alive and the man was cited. After giving the man a summons, Smith told the man if he failed to take care of the citation, a warrant would be issued for his arrest. The man had not responded for the summons and Smith arrested him on the outstanding bench warrant and took him to the Logan County ail.
The man pleaded guilty to his previous charge and was ordered to pay $350 in fines and court costs.
Al Smith is a freelance outdoor writer. You may contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter @alsmithFL