WILDLIFE COUNCIL APPROVES LOWER CATCH LIMITS FOR WALLEYES|
COLUMBUS, OH -- The Ohio Wildlife Council on Wednesday approved rules that establish a lower daily catch limit for walleyes, saugeyes, and sauger, according to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) Division of Wildlife.
Beginning March 1, 2001 Ohio anglers will be allowed through April 30 to take a daily limit of four walleyes, saugeyes, and sauger in Lake Erie and its tributaries upstream to the first riffle or dam. Between May 1 and February 28, beginning next year, the daily bag limit will be six walleyes, saugeyes, and sauger within the Lake Erie district.
Anglers will be allowed to take a daily limit of six walleyes, saugeyes and sauger, beginning March 1 in Ohio's inland lakes. The daily limit includes any combination of walleyes, saugeyes and sauger, either singly or in combination with one another.
The current statewide daily bag limit for all waters within the state, including Lake Erie and the Ohio River, is ten walleyes, saugeyes, and sauger. The daily bag limits for the Ohio River were not changed and remain similar to those rules in effect for portions of the river that are shared with West Virginia and Kentucky.
"These new limits are part of a cooperative strategy being implemented by the Great Lakes Fishery Commission's Lake Erie Committee to increase the lake's walleye population. Although fishing for smallmouth bass and yellow perch has been good this year, we need to do our part to improve walleye fishing, which made Lake Erie so popular during the past two decades," said ODNR Division of Wildlife Chief Mike Budzik.
The Wildlife Council also approved a rule change that established a nine-inch minimum length limit for crappies taken in Alum Creek, Deer Creek, Tappan, Seneca, and Caesar Creek lakes beginning March 1. Currently a nine-inch minimum length limit is effective for crappies only in Delaware Lake, including the Olentangy River upstream to the Waldo Dam and Whetstone Creek upstream to State Route 229 in Delaware County.
Council members approved a rule change that now allows young hunters age 17 and under to participate in the statewide young hunter's special upland season scheduled for October 21-22 and October 28-29. During this special season, hunters age 17 and under who are accompanied by a licensed non-hunting adult may hunt only on public hunting areas for rabbits, pheasants, and all other legal game that is in season on those dates. Previous young hunter's special seasons were open to those hunters age 15 and under.
The rule allows all hunters age 17 and under to be eligible for participation in all designated youth hunts, except the pre-season youth waterfowl hunt.
The Division of Wildlife noted that a statewide youth waterfowl hunting season previously scheduled for October 7 will instead be open October 14-15 for young hunters age 15 and under, in accordance with U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service regulations. The statewide fall waterfowl season previously scheduled to begin October 14 will instead open on October 21.
"In an effort to encourage youth participation in hunting, we are now beginning to expand our hunting opportunities to include young hunters age 17 and under. This means with the exception of the special two-day youth waterfowl season in October, hunters age 17 and under are now allowed to participate in all of our designated youth hunting seasons that include upland game, deer, and wild turkeys," said Budzik.
In other actions, the Wildlife Council approved:
New rules and permits that regulate Ohio's aquaculture industry, known also as fish farming, whereby certain species of fish may be raised for commercial sale.
A rule that will allow for trout and bluegills to be sold for stocking purposes only and to allow these fish to be sold when raised in accordance with a state aquaculture permit.
A rule that prohibits the import, export, and live possession of white perch, three-spine stickleback, sea lamprey, and eastern banded killifish.
A rule that allows fishing in the Mahoning River, except when signs are posted in areas 1,000 feet below the Berlin Dam.
A rule that changes and clarifies the definition of what legally constitutes as ginseng.
A rule that allows the Chief of the Division of Wildlife to designate a person or persons who are not wildlife agency employees to issue deer damage control permits. The rule is designed to allow for designation of soil and water conservation district personnel to assist the Division of Wildlife in its deer damage control program.