FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 4, 2010
Ohio Wildlife Council Hears Length Limits for 16 Inland Waterways
If passed, all proposals would go into effect on March 1, 2011
COLUMBUS, OH - The Ohio Wildlife Council is considering a proposal for a 15-inch minimum size limit on walleye, sauger and saugeye on 16 inland waterways according to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR), Division of Wildlife.
The 16 lakes or reservoirs that are being proposed include Acton (Butler and Preble counties), Alum Creek (Delaware County), Atwood (Carroll and Tuscarawas counties), Buckeye (Fairfield, Licking and Perry counties), Caesar Creek (Clinton, Greene and Warren counties), Ferguson (Allen County), Findlay 1 & 2 (Hancock County), Indian (Logan County), Lake Snowden (Athens County), Metzger (Allen County), Piedmont (Belmont, Guernsey and Harrison counties), Pleasant Hill (Ashland and Richland counties), Rocky Fork (Highland County), Seneca (Guernsey and Noble counties), Tappan (Harrison County) and West Branch (Portage County).
This regulation is designed to improve the age and size structure of walleye, sauger and saugeye populations on these lakes, which means better fishing for Ohio’s anglers. This proposal would not go into effect until March 1, 2011.
A number of rules concerning the taking, possession and propagation of native Ohio amphibians and reptiles have been proposed. Two Ohio Administrative Code (OAC) sections that now deal with these species would be combined into one OAC section for ease of understanding.
In 2000, rules were implemented dealing with native Ohio amphibians and reptiles. Since that time, Passive Integrated Transponder (PIT) Tag technology has changed and the laws need to be updated to reflect the new technology and record keeping.
Rules dealing with certain turtles and frogs were also proposed. The daily bag limit for bullfrogs and green frogs would be raised to 15. There will be no possession limit on these frogs. Those pursuing frogs would still have to have a valid fishing license.
Snapping and softshell turtles would have a minimum shell size limit of 13 inches imposed for harvest. The closed season for these turtles would be extended from May 1 through June 30. Currently, the closed season for these turtles is May 1 through the second Friday in June. The proposal allows continued turtle harvest for food while restricting the take of the most viable breeding-age female turtles.
All lands owned, controlled, administered or under agreement with the Division of Wildlife would be closed to collection of reptiles and amphibians, with the exception of bullfrogs, green frogs, snapping and softshell turtles. This rule would take a holistic approach to the management of amphibians and reptiles, ensuring sustainable populations continue to persist on state lands.
Open houses will be held on Saturday, March 6 in each of the state's five wildlife districts to provide the public an opportunity to view and discuss proposed hunting and trapping regulations with state wildlife officials. For directions to the open houses, please call 1-800-WILDLIFE or visit wildohio.com on the Internet.
A statewide hearing on all the proposed rules will be held at 9 a.m., Thursday, March 4 at the Division of Wildlife’s District One Office, located at 1500 Dublin Road in Columbus. After considering public input, the Ohio Wildlife Council will vote on the proposed rules and season dates during its April 7 meeting.