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News Release


July 29, 2009

Public Comment Welcomed On Wildlife Issues

Akron, Athens, Columbus, Findlay, Port Clinton and Xenia locations available

COLUMBUS, OH - The Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) Division of Wildlife will welcome the public to six regional Open Houses on Saturday, August 29, from 12:00 noon until 3:00 p.m.

"Anyone interested in providing input and participating in Ohio's professional wildlife management process is welcome," said David M. Graham, chief of the ODNR Division of Wildlife. Graham adds that fish and wildlife biologists along with law enforcement officers will be on hand to answer questions.

Open houses will be held the same day and time in Akron, Athens, Columbus, Findlay, Port Clinton and Xenia. Information recorded at the open houses is forwarded to the division's central office in Columbus, where proposed rule changes to the Ohio Administrative Code are considered.

Topics for the Open Houses include:

Lake Erie walleye and yellow perch -

A proposed change to the timing of when bag limits are set for Lake Erie walleye and yellow perch will be discussed. This proposal would make new bag limits effective on May 1 instead of March 1. Changing this effective date allows for the walleye and yellow perch quotas set by the Lake Erie Committee to be considered prior to setting the bag limits.

The Lake Erie Committee comprises fishery managers from Michigan, New York, Ohio, Ontario and Pennsylvania. The committee's work is facilitated by the Great Lakes Fishery Commission, a Canadian and U.S. agency on the Great Lakes. Each year, the committee sets the total allowable catch for walleye and yellow perch. Total allowable catch represents the number of fish that can be caught by sport and commercial fishers without putting the stocks at risk.

Crappies - A proposal to add 38 lakes to the current list of six lakes (Alum Creek, Caesar Creek, Deer Creek, Delaware, Seneca and Tappan) that have 9-inch minimum size limits is being considered. The proposal also includes setting a bag limit of 30 for crappies on all lakes with 9-inch size limits, which will then total 44 lakes.

The 38 new reservoirs considered are Acton, Atwood, Berlin, Buckeye, C.J. Brown, Clear Fork, Clendening, Dillon, East Fork, Ferguson, Grand Lake St. Marys, Griggs, Hargus, Hoover, Indian, Kiser, Knox, Leesville, Loramie, Madison, Milton, Mosquito, Nimisila, O'Shaughnessy, Paint Creek, Piedmont, Pleasant Hill, Portage Lakes (East, Long, North, Turkeyfoot, and West), Rocky Fork, Rush Creek, Salt Fork, Springfield, Veterans Memorial and West Branch.

Ohio River catfish - An extension of the statewide catfish regulations to the Ohio River is being proposed. Ohio River anglers would be allowed only one channel catfish 28 inches or longer with no limit for channel catfish under 28 inches. In addition, the proposal would allow for only one flathead and one blue catfish 35 inches or longer to be possessed with no limit for flathead and blue catfish under 35 inches.

2009-10 waterfowl regulations will also be discussed, letting hunters know the season dates and bag limits that will be available after the August 12 Ohio Wildlife Council meeting.

For more information or directions to an open house, please call 1-800-WILDLIFE (945-3543). Proposals and directions can also be access via the Internet at wildohio.com.

A statewide hearing on all the proposed rules will be held at 9 a.m. on Thursday, September 10 at the wildlife division'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 during its October 7 meeting.

Open House Location Information:

Central Ohio
Wildlife District One Office, 1500 Dublin Road, Columbus

Northwest Ohio
Wildlife District Two Office, 952 Lima Ave, Findlay

Northeast Ohio
Wildlife District Three Office, 912 Portage Lakes Dr., Akron

Southeast Ohio
Wildlife District Four Office, 360 E State St., Athens

Southwest Ohio
Greene County Fish and Game Club, 1538 Union Road, Xenia

Northern Ohio
Lake Erie Islands Regional Welcome Center, 770 S.E. Catawba Road, Port Clinton
(SR 53 north, just off SR 2)

The Ohio Department of Natural Resources ensures a balance between wise use and protection of our natural resources for the benefit of all. Visit the ODNR web site at www.ohiodnr.com.

For further information, contact:
Dan Huss, ODNR Division of Wildlife, Central Ohio
614. 644. 3925
John Daugherty, ODNR Division of Wildlife, Northwest Ohio
419. 424. 5000
Jeff Herrick, ODNR Division of Wildlife, Northeast Ohio
330. 644. 2293
Mark Hemming, ODNR Division of Wildlife, Southeast Ohio
740. 589. 9930
Todd Haines, ODNR Division of Wildlife, Southwest Ohio
937. 372. 9261
Kevin Ramsey, ODNR Division of Wildlife, Northern Ohio
419. 625. 8062
Beth Ruth, ODNR Media Relations
614. 265. 6860

For additional news online, check out the ODNR Press Room at Ohiodnr.com
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