Sunday, February 5th, 2023
Sunday, February 5th, 2023

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Ohio Cuffs

Central Ohio – Wildlife District 1

• During the Fourth of July weekend, Logan County Wildlife Officer
Adam Smith and Champaign County Wildlife Officer Jeff Tipton were
on patrol on Indian Lake in a boat. They were leaving the state
campground when they noticed two men swimming outside of the buoys
at the campground beach. They noticed that one of the men was
holding a brown beer bottle. As the officers approached, the man
with the bottle noticed the officers and immediately sunk the
bottle. The officers contacted the man and asked about the bottle.
The man became defiant at their questioning. The officers attempted
to identify the man and he became even more agitated and defiant
and angrily hit the water with his hands and said to the officers,
“You guys are funny.” The officers ordered the man to swim to
shore. The man said, “I don’t have to swim, I can walk.” Once he
got within the buoys, he defiantly asked, “How’s this?” The
officers told him that he needed to continue to shore. The entire
time, the man argued with the officers and called them names, all
while families on the beach tried to enjoy their day. When the man
reached the beach, Tipton ordered the man to sit down. The man
said, “I’m not going to sit, I will stand.” Tipton drew his pepper
spray and again ordered the man to sit. He continued to argue and
said, “I’m not going to sit. I will kneel.” When the man kneeled,
the officers attempted to get him to sit. The man jumped up, waived
his arms and yelled and cussed. Tipton again prepared to spray the
man with pepper spray. The man said, “You’re not going to spray me
with that.” Right before Tipton was going to spray the man, he
kneeled on the ground and put his hands on his head. The officers
handcuffed the man and the entire time the man yelled and swore,
all in front of the people on the beach. Smith called for back up
from the Indian Lake Park officers. Soon after, Park Officer Bailey
arrived and put the man in the back of her cruiser. While the
officers were processing paperwork, they could hear a loud banging
coming from the back of the cruiser. The man was attempting to kick
out the window. Bailey opened the car door and prepared to use her
Taser on the man. He then became compliant until he was transported
to the Logan County Jail. When the officers examined the car door,
it had been kicked off of its frame by about three inches. The man
was then charged with swimming outside a designated area,
possessing an open container of alcohol, litter, and resisting and
deterring a state wildlife officer. He was also charged with felony
vandalism for the damage to the cruiser window. The case was
recently resolved in court. The man was ordered to pay a $150 fine
and spent five days in jail. He was also ordered to pay for the
damage to the cruiser, which totaled almost $1,300. 

• Over the Fourth of July weekend, Wildlife Officers Chad Grote and
Steve Harvey teamed up on a fish enforcement project on Alum Creek
Lake. Throughout the weekend, Grote and Harvey had made a few
contacts and a couple of arrests. When they made their last stop of
the night, they contacted two brothers who were fishing for catfish
off of a popular access point. Grote contacted the brothers and
found that the younger brother did not have a valid fishing
license. He asked the younger brother to reel in his line since he
didn’t have a license. When he got his line in, both officers
noticed he was using a bluegill as bait. The officers asked where
they got the bluegills and the older brother said he caught them
with his cast net in the lake. Harvey then looked in the bait
bucket and found they had 15 more bluegills. The older brother
received a citation for using a cast net to take game fish and the
younger brother received a citation for fishing without a license.
Both men paid a $155 waiver in Delaware Municipal Court.

• On July 3 around 1:30 a.m., while working at Deer Creek Wildlife
Area, Officer John Coffman noticed three young men on the lake
fishing. The men packed up their gear and went to their vehicles.
The officer could make out the movements of the men in the dark.
Two men got into the vehicles while the third made a large throwing
motion. A few seconds later, Coffman heard a loud thud on the
ground just a few feet away. He made contact with the men and asked
who had thrown a large fountain drink at the creek. The driver
admitted to littering and was issued a summons.

Northwest Ohio – Wildlife District 2

• Wildlife officers Brian Bury and Craig Barr were working litter
enforcement in Ottawa County when they observed a man and a woman
who were littering at Toussaint Wildlife Area. By the time they
were done fishing, they had left behind a six pack of beer bottles,
including the cardboard box; bait containers; food wrappers;
towels; napkins; and plastic bags. Then they got in their car and
threw more trash on the ground. Both people were issued a summons
for littering.

• Henry County Wildlife Officer Bob Hesterman was contacted by an
angler concerning an unusual catch. The angler was fishing in the
Maumee River near Grand Rapids. He was bottom fishing with liver
and caught a fish that he could not identify. Hesterman was called
to identify the fish. The fish was 18 inches long and looked like a
piranha but it did not have any teeth. It was identified by fishery
biologist Mike Wilkerson as a Pacu. Native to South America, the
fish was undoubtedly placed in the Maumee River by a hobbyist
looking for a new home for his pet. It is illegal to put fish in
the waters of the state without a permit from the Division of
Wildlife. Although this species of fish is not cold tolerant, many
exotics are and they can cause damage to native wildlife. Report
any illegal stocking to the Division of Wildlife.

• Wildlife officers Kevin Russell and Ryan Kennedy were recently
working fishing enforcement at the Port Clinton Pier in Ottawa
County. The officers observed a female subject fishing in the
river. After observing her fish for approximately 30 minutes, the
officers approached her to check for a fishing license. Upon seeing
the officers, she immediately dropped the pole and began walking
away. It was determined that she did not have a valid fishing
license and she was issued a citation. The court fined her
$110.

• Officer Tom Kochert received a tip from a concerned citizen who
reported that an individual had killed two wild turkeys and
assisted his son in killing a third. Additionally, the suspect was
reported to be hunting without permission and without proper
licenses and permits. Finally, the turkeys were reportedly never
tagged or checked as required by law. After interviewing the
complainant, Kochert and Agent Weihrauch obtained enough
information for a contact with the suspect. Wildlife Officer
Supervisor Radcliff and Weihrauch contacted the suspect, who
admitted to the violations when presented with the facts. Kochert
and Wildlife Officer Wolfrum assisted with the collection of
evidence that included meat, beards and fans from three turkeys
along with numerous untagged deer antlers. The suspect was charged,
following prosecutor approval, with 13 violations, including no
hunting license, no turkey permits, hunting without permission,
failing to tag and check a turkey, and possession of untagged deer
antlers. After initially pleading not guilty, the suspect pleaded
no contest to all charges at a pre-trial conference. He was found
guilty and ordered to pay over $1,850 in fines and costs. In
addition, he lost his hunting privileges for two years and all
turkey and deer parts that were seized were forfeited to the state.
Finally, he was also placed on supervised community control for two
years.

• Huron County Wildlife Officer Josh Zientek was contacted one
spring evening by Wildlife Investigator Jeff Collingwood about coon
hunters who had just shot a coon in the closed season. Collingwood
told Zientek that he heard some coon dogs that had a coon treed.
Collingwood then listened for awhile and heard one of the hunters
shoot and kill the coon. In the meantime, Zientek was traveling to
Collingwood’s location. Collingwood then contacted the suspects and
found one of them to be in possession of a .22 caliber rifle. One
of the suspects later admitted to shooting and killing a raccoon.
When the suspect was questioned on why he was coon hunting in the
closed season, the suspect told the officers that he was training
his young pup. The suspects then went on to tell the officers that
they knew that Collingwood lived near the woods that they were coon
hunting in and that they did not think they would get caught.

Northeast Ohio – Wildlife District 3

• While working sport fishing enforcement, Cuyahoga County Wildlife
Officer Hollie Fluharty checked three men in a boat returning to
the dock after a day of yellow perch fishing on Lake Erie. She
counted 39 fish in their cooler and asked the men to show her their
fishing licenses. Unfortunately, only the owner of the boat had a
fishing license. The other two men denied participation in any
fishing activity that day. This left the owner of the boat with an
over bag of nine fish. The man was issued a summons for taking over
the legal limit of yellow perch and ordered to appear in Cleveland
Municipal Court.

• In Ashland County, wildlife officers conducted a project along
the Pleasant Hill Lake spillway for people illegally snagging
saugeyes. Ashland County Wildlife Officer Brian Banbury observed an
individual hook a fish by the tail and put it on his stringer.
Before the officers could contact the individual, he snagged
another saugeye. Banbury contacted the suspect, who stated that he
knew that you could not snag fish out of the Maumee River, but was
unsure if it was allowed below the Pleasant Hill dam. Banbury
advised him that snagging with a hook to pierce and hook a fish in
a part of the body other than inside the mouth was illegal for all
sport fish. The suspect was issued a summons.

• Ashland County Wildlife Officer Brian Banbury and at-large
wildlife officer Brennan Earick worked sport fishing enforcement
along Charles Mill Lake. After midnight, the officers began
watching two men fishing under a bridge. The two anglers had tossed
several cans and placed trash on the ground around their fishing
location. After several hours, the men collected all of their
garbage and returned to their car. The officers contacted the
fishermen at their vehicle and complimented them on their
cleanliness. The two anglers were then asked to see their fishing
licenses. Unfortunately, both men were unable to produce fishing
licenses and were issued summonses for the offense.

Southwest Ohio – Wildlife District 5

• During the summer, Clinton County Wildlife Officer Matt Roberts
and Investigator Joel Buddelmeyer worked a fishing enforcement
project at Stonelick Lake and East Fork Lake in Clermont County.
The officers checked 42 fishermen and issued five tickets for
fishing without a license, one for stream litter, and one for
possessing drug paraphernalia. The officers also arrested one of
the individuals on an outstanding warrant. All individuals posted
bond or were found guilty in Clermont County Court.

• In May, Field Supervisor Dave Warner and Officer Aaron Ireland
conducted fishing license compliance on the Great Miami River in
Butler County. Warner and officer Ireland checked 21 anglers and
wrote seven individuals citations for fishing without a resident
license

• While on patrol at C.J. Brown Reservoir, Clark County Wildlife
Officer Byron Rice observed a subject fishing. The older man
appeared to be doing quite well, as Rice had watched him place
several fish into his bucket. As Rice approached the subject, the
man walked over to a park rules sign and appeared to be reading it.
He then returned to his spot and continued to fish and Rice made
contact with the man. When Rice looked into the man’s bucket, he
could see several crappies that were under the nine-inch
regulation. When questioned about the fish, the subject stated that
he did not believe that the rule applied to this lake. Rice told
the subject that the fishing regulations were very clear about
which lake the rule applied to. He was cited for possession of
crappies less than nine inches.

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