The Ohio Wildlife Council received regulation proposals for fishing and white-tailed deer processing at its regularly scheduled meeting Wednesday, July 8, according to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources Division of Wildlife. If approved, these regulations will take effect Jan. 1, 2021.
Hunting and fishing season dates, bag limits and other wildlife regulations are proposed by the Division of Wildlife to the Ohio Wildlife Council. Included in the proposals are aligning the walleye daily bag limit on all of Ohio’s portion of Lake Erie, removing restrictions on channel catfish on small inland lakes as well as updating how white-tailed deer are handled by processors and taxidermists.
Division of Wildlife fisheries biologists recommended removing the daily bag limit restriction of four walleye in the Sandusky River and Sandusky Bay from March 1 to April 30, annually. The proposal would change the daily bag limit to six walleye, aligning the Sandusky River and Sandusky Bay with the rest of Ohio’s Lake Erie regulations.
Fisheries biologists also recommended removing the daily bag limit of six channel catfish at inland lakes and reservoirs less than 700 acres in surface area. The proposal includes no daily bag limit on channel catfish less than 28 inches statewide, and one channel catfish 28 inches or larger. Separate regulations for Hoover Reservoir channel catfish are not included in this proposed rule change. Removing the statewide channel catfish bag limit increases angler opportunities, promotes harvest, increases the growth rates of the remaining fish and improves the overall health of these populations.
A third regulation proposal updates how white-tailed deer and other cervids are handled by Ohio taxidermists and processors. This rule was proposed to provide certified Ohio taxidermists and processors the ability to accept out-of-state cervid carcasses legally harvested by Ohio hunters. This proposal was designed to ensure certified processors and taxidermists receive information about properly handling cervid carcasses to limit the spread of Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD), a debilitating disease that affects deer and other cervids.
A complete list of proposals is available at wildohio.gov. A statewide public hearing on the proposed rules will be held on Thursday, Sept. 17, at 9 a.m. For those unable to attend the hearing, comments will also be accepted via email. Comment submission information will be available in August at wildohio.gov.
• Hunters can apply now for any of the hundreds of controlled hunting opportunities available on Ohio’s public lands during the 2020-2021 season, according to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources Division of Wildlife. Controlled hunts include opportunities for white-tailed deer, waterfowl, mourning doves and more. The application period is open until Friday, July 31.
These special hunts are held on select areas to provide additional opportunities for Ohio’s hunting enthusiasts. Hunts are available through ODNR Divisions of Wildlife, Parks & Watercraft and Natural Areas & Preserves. Hunters may apply for the controlled hunts by completing the application process online using Ohio’s Wildlife Licensing System at wildohio.gov.
See the complete list of eligible hunts and locations in the 2020-2021 Controlled Hunting Opportunities booklet. There is a non-refundable application fee of $3 per hunt. Because of social distancing requirements, controlled hunt applications will only be accepted online or by phone for the 2020-2021 season. No in-person drawings will be available this year.
All applicants, youth and adult, are required to possess a valid Ohio hunting license and meet age requirements. Find more information at wildohio.gov on the Controlled Hunts page. Customers without internet access may call 1-866-703-1928 and apply for hunts by phone. There is an additional $5.50 service fee to apply for the phone option.
Hunters are randomly drawn from submitted applications. Successful applicants will be notified and provided additional hunt information by Monday, Aug. 10. Successful applicants will receive a permit, rules and hunting area map. Each controlled hunt opportunity is unique, and applicants are encouraged to thoroughly review all site-specific rules and requirements prior to applying. The application status can be viewed through Ohio’s Wildlife Licensing System.
New this year, all state parks waterfowl blinds drawings will be coordinated through Ohio’s Wildlife Licensing System. Successful applicants can choose a blind location on Saturday, Aug. 15. A $50 fee is charged to construct a blind for state park waterfowl hunts. Permittees are responsible for this additional fee.
Until next time, Good Hunting and Good Fishing!
Ken Parrott is an Agricultural Science teacher with Northmor High School.