OH: Cuffs and Collars Issue: 18

Central Ohio – Wildlife District 1

• Knox County Wildlife Office Mike Miller and wildlife supervisor
Curt Smith were working Hoover Reservoir when officer Miller
noticed a man fishing below the County Line Road Bridge. The man
had caught a crappie and put it in his basket, when the basket was
lifted up it was ¾ full of fish. The officer then watched the man
catch several more fish and he then packed up his stuff and started
to walk to a parking lot on the south side of the road. The
officers pulled their truck into the parking lot and the man saw
them and then went across the road to another parking lot. The
officers then drove around to the other lot and the man then tried
to go back to the original lot. Officer Smith then got out of the
truck and asked the man to stop and come over to the truck. At the
truck, officer Miller counted 52 crappies and 15 bluegills and a
small largemouth bass. The man was 22 crappies over the bag limit
and had 36 crappies under the nine-inch size limit and also
possessed a largemouth bass that was under the 12-inch size limit.
He was charged with possession of undersize crappie and over the
bag limit of crappie. He paid $310 in fines and court cost in
Delaware Municipal Court.

• Wildlife officers Chris Rice and Dirk Cochran were at Alum Creek
State Park Lake to enforce fishing regulations. The officers
located a group of fisherman and began to observe their activities.
During the next two hours, the officers documented all of the men
fishing as well as drinking from cans and eating snacks out of
bags. Empty cans were placed among the rocks along the shoreline;
fishing line and empty bags were left lying on the ground. Upon
leaving the fishing access area, the eight men took their fishing
equipment and an empty cooler and walked to their vehicles. The
wildlife officers contacted the group of men and determined that
four of the men did not have valid fishing licenses. The wildlife
officers told the men that they all been observed leaving litter
along the shore of the lake. Four of the men were issued summons
for fishing without a license as well as state land littering and
the remaining four were issued summons for state land littering.
All the men appeared before the Delaware Municipal Court and
pleaded guilty to all the charges. The judge sentenced each man to
a $25 fine and court costs of $109 on each charge.

• The Mad River in west central Ohio is the largest trout stream in
the state. It is known for its beauty and cold water, that rarely
gets over 70 degrees, even when it’s 92 degrees outside. The cold
water is what makes it suitable habitat for trout, but it also
makes it a popular place for people to cool off in the heat of the
summer. Unfortunately, with the increase in recreational use, the
river takes a beating with an increase of litter, with a large
amount of the litter being beer bottles and cans. Wildlife and
watercraft officers have combined efforts to work special
enforcement projects this summer on the Mad River in Champaign
County. A total of 75 tickets have been issued, to include tickets
for alcohol, drugs, and litter. The hope is to reduce the litter
problem and to promote safe boating.

Northwest Ohio – Wildlife District 2

• Wildlife officers Jason Parr and Brad Baaske were working
sport-fishing enforcement on Clear Fork Reservoir in Richland
County. They contacted a shore fisherman to check his fishing
license and see if he was having any luck. The man produced his
license but acted very nervous. The officers found a fish basket
approximately 10 yards from where the man was fishing. The basket
contained five crappies and numerous sunfish. Clear Fork Reservoir
has a nine-inch minimum size limit on crappies, and the five
crappies all measured approximately eight inches. Officer Baaske
recognized the man as the same angler he had checked a year ago at
the same location. At the first meeting, the man was in possession
of several under-sized crappies. Baaske recalled measuring and
marking the lid of the man’s five gallon bucket so he could easily
check the length of the crappies he caught and throw any back that
were less than the minimum. The man had the same bucket and lid
with him during the most recent contact, but chose not to measure
his crappies. He apologized to the officers and was cited for the
violation.

• Allen County Wildlife Officer Craig Barr received a phone call on
opening day of the 2011 spring turkey season concerning a complaint
of two hunters shooting too many turkeys and possibly hunting
without permission. After arriving at the area, officer Barr was
able to locate a turkey stashed in a brush pile near where a blind
had been set up in the woods along a field edge. Additionally,
three locations were discovered in the field where turkeys had been
shot. All the evidence at the scene supported the three separate
witness accounts of what had happened. After a quick check of the
new online license and game check system, it was discovered that
two men suspected of the violation had checked turkeys that
morning. The next morning, officer Barr received a voicemail
message from the landowner saying that no one had permission to be
hunting turkeys that morning. After a thorough investigation, both
hunters were charged with hunting without permission and one was
charged with taking more than one turkey in one day. The two men
were ordered to pay a total of $502 in fines and courts costs in
the Lima Municipal Court.

• Sandusky County Wildlife Officer Brian Bury recently teamed up
with Ottawa County Wildlife Officer Reid VanCleve to do some
fishing enforcement from a boat on Lake Erie’s East Harbor. The
weather was hot and so was the fishing. Thirty anglers were
contacted and five of them were found to not have purchased a
fishing license. One couple saw the officers coming and attempted
to make a quick get away in a golf cart. A third fishermen on a
nearby dock made it into his trailer as officers were concentrating
on the golf cart. All three subjects were located and issued a
summons for no fishing license. Two proud anglers were eager to
show off their catch of largemouth bass to the officers. Largemouth
bass need to be 14 inches to be kept legally in this area and none
of these fish were big enough. The size didn’t matter much because
bass season was closed. Two summons were issued for taking bass in
the closed season. Another man was contacted as he was coming in on
his boat. He was found to be over his daily limit of perch and was
also issued a summons. All subjects paid waivers of varying amounts
in Ottawa County Court.

• During the 2011 walleye run on the Maumee River, wildlife
officers Matt Smith and Tom Kochert were watching a number of
people fishing from boats and taking a number of walleyes. Smith
noticed one boat that had a man and a woman onboard. The man was
fishing but the woman sat in the front of the boat reading a book,
never once engaging in fishing. The officers contacted the couple
at the boat ramp and asked how they did. The man replied that they
each got their limit. Officer Smith then informed the man that they
had watched him the entire morning and the officers knew that he
caught all eight fish. The man admitted to being over his limit and
was cited for the violation.

• State wildlife officers Kevin Good and Josh Zientek were on
patrol in Huron County during the deer gun season when they
received information about some deer hunters who were hunting
without permission. Officers Good and Zientek responded to the
complaint and located five deer hunters on property that they did
not have permission to be on. While investigating the complaint, it
was discovered that one of the hunters involved had been arrested
for hunting without permission several years prior. Officers Good
and Zientek issued all of the suspects summonses for hunting
without written permission; they were all found guilty in the
Norwalk Municipal Court. The suspect that had the prior conviction
was fined $750 and is on probation for five years.

Northeast Ohio – Wildlife District 3

• While working sportfish enforcement on Pymatuning Reservoir,
Trumbull County Wildlife Officer Hollie Fluharty observed two men
in a boat returning to the dock. She met the fishermen and
inspected their cooler. When officer Fluharty asked them how many
fish they had caught they indicated that they didn’t know.
Unfortunately, the men were in possession of 18 walleye, six fish
over the legal daily bag limit. Both individuals were issued a
summons for the offense.

• While working sportfishing enforcement at Mosquito Lake, Trumbull
County Wildlife Officer Hollie Fluharty observed a group of
fishermen. The men indicated that they had been fishing for
approximately 12 hours and had caught numerous fish. Officer
Fluharty inspected their cooler and found catfish, yellow perch,
and a large number of crappies. She measured the crappies and found
six fish under the minimum length of nine inches. The short fish
were seized and a summons was issued to one of the anglers for
possessing six undersized crappies.

• Harrison County Wildlife Officer Nick Turner and Columbiana
County Wildlife Officer Scott Angelo decided to focus their
attention on Tappan Lake one weekend in June. After several hours
of surveillance, the officers were able to write numerous summonses
for fishing without a license, stream litter, and several drug
offenses.

Southeast Ohio – Wildlife District 4

• Late one evening in mid-July, Meigs County Wildlife Officer Josh
Shields was on patrol investigating dump sites near the Shade River
State Forest area. As Shields approached Forked Run State Park, he
noticed a group of six young people swimming at a popular fishing
spot. As Shields observed the group, he noticed a cooler in the
back of the truck and several empty beer cans on the ground. None
of the suspects were seen fishing, so Shields went ahead and made
contact with the group. Shields quickly learned that none of the
suspects were of legal drinking age. After collecting information
from the suspects, Shields requested that a Meigs County sheriff’s
deputy assist him to administer a portable breathalyzer test. After
the breathalyzer test was given, one of the suspects failed
miserably, blowing a .13 and was issued a summons for underage
possession and consumption of alcohol. During the investigation it
was determined that beer cans had been littered in the area. Both
suspects neglected to pay their fines or appear in court, and bench
warrants have been issued for their arrest. Division of Parks and
Recreation Officer Eric Frost also assisted with the case.

• On June 5, wildlife officers Darin Abbott, Roy Rucker, and Lee
Van Allen were working a project on the Ohio River in Lawrence
County. Officer Abbott witnessed two adult males, a father and son,
fishing at the Ironton City boat ramp. He contacted them and
requested to see their fishing licenses, which both men said they
did not have. Officer Abbott cited them into court. On June 14,
officer Abbott caught the same two individuals fishing again at the
South Point boat ramp, still without fishing licenses. He cited
them again to court for the same day that they were to appear for
the first violation. Both men appeared in Ironton Municipal Court
on June 20 and were ordered to pay a $75 fine and $95 in court
costs from Judge O.C. Collins. They, however, failed to appear in
Lawrence County Municipal Court for the second count of fishing
without a valid license. They were both recently picked up on bench
warrants and received the following sentencing after they both
entered a guilty plea: The son appeared July 25 in front of Judge
Donald Capper and received 10 days jail time, nine days suspended,
crediting one day served and a $100 fine plus $125 in court costs,
one year probation, and 30 hours of community service. The father
appeared on July 29 in front of Judge Don Capper and received 10
days jail time with credit for four days served and six days
suspended, he also received a $150 fine plus $125 in court
costs.

Southwest Ohio – Wildlife District 5

• Wildlife officers worked a special assignment at Lake Loramie in
Shelby County. The officers’ efforts were focused on anglers’
compliance with Ohio’s law concerning the snagging of fish, as well
as enforcing the legal bag limits. Lake Loramie’s spillway is a hot
bed of fishing activity at different times throughout the year. In
the spring, as many as 20 to 50 anglers will line up along the
creek below the dam and target saugeyes. Fishing conditions during
the project were not the best, so fish were not biting. Still, the
officers did have some success in catching violators. Shelby County
Wildlife Officer Tim Rourke issued citations to two anglers. One
was cited for snagging two saugeyes and another was cited for
stream litter. Fines for the offenses totaled $150 along with $105
court costs. Both fish taken illegally were confiscated and held as
evidence. They were eventually ordered forfeited by the court.

Categories: Cuffs & Collars

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