OH: Cuffs and Collars Issue: 20

Central Ohio – Wildlife District 1

• Pickaway County Wildlife Officer Ken Bebout assisted Lake Erie
law enforcement investigators Richard Barna and Gary Manley in the
western and central basins of Lake Erie. Activities were centered
on open-water sportfishing enforcement, which included fishing
license, bag limit compliance and method restrictions. In some
situations, Bebout boarded sport-fishing vessels to accurately
count the number of fish the vessel had on board. Most violations
were for fishing without a license or using too many fishing
rods/methods. Some boats had lures attached to downrigger balls
without rods in an effort not to be detected as an extra method to
catch fish. Ohio law allows two rods per person and the downrigger
method counts as one. As the officers approached these boats, it
become apparent when the downrigger cables were in the water and in
the process of being raised, electronically, prior to contact.
Wildlife officers have statewide jurisdiction and it is not
uncommon for officers to work different areas of the state
depending on sportsmen’s activity levels or special project
needs.

• Late in August, Logan County Wildlife Officer Adam Smith checked
anglers on Indian Lake. Smith contacted 13 anglers by using a
Division of Wildlife patrol boat and issued five citations. He
wrote three citations to anglers fishing without a license and two
citations for open container of alcohol. All five subjects who were
cited later paid their fines and court costs, which accumulated to
$559.50.

• On the Fourth of July weekend, Fairfield County Wildlife Officer
Tony Zerkle and Madison County Wildlife Officer Matt Teders were
patrolling Dillon Wildlife Area. They arrived at a popular swimming
location on the Licking River and found several large groups of
people. One group was observed drinking alcohol and throwing the
cans into an old fire pit. As the officers watched, part of the
group lit a fire as the others shared what appeared to be a
marijuana cigarette. Contact was made with the group. A bag of
marijuana was discovered and three members of the group who were
drinking were under the age of 21. Eight charges were filed on six
individuals of the group. While four charges are still pending,
$1,031 in fines and court cost has been levied by the Licking
County Municipal Court.

Northwest Ohio – Wildlife District 2

• Paulding County Wildlife Officer Duane Bailey and Wildlife
Officer Supervisor Robert Radcliff were contacting anglers at
Stokley Pond when they observed one fisherman packing up his gear,
about to leave. The officers approached and asked how the fishing
had been. The man replied that he had fished for a couple of hours
and had caught three small bass. The officers noticed the man was
carrying a covered plastic bucket of water and asked if they could
take a look inside. The man removed the lid to show the officers
three bass, each measuring approximately 12 inches. The officers
asked the man if he had read nearby signs, which clearly indicated
that any bass less than 18 inches must be immediately released. The
man said that he had, but explained that he had only kept the fish
in the bucket so he could take a picture of them before being
released. He stated that he was just about to do so when the
officers approached. The officers asked if there was any reason why
a picture of each fish could not have been taken right after it was
caught and then released immediately as required. The man simply
answered, “No” and was issued a citation. He later pleaded guilty
to the charge filed in the Paulding County Court and paid fines and
costs totaling $160.

• Wildlife officers Brad Buening and Jason Porinchok were working
along the Lake Erie shoreline, checking anglers for fishing license
compliance. Buening watched one individual fishing and drinking
from a 24-ounce beer can. After a short time of watching the
individual, the officers went out on the pier to check his fishing
license. As the officers were walking down the pier, the individual
looked back and observed the officers walking toward him. The
individual decided to toss the half empty can in the water. The can
was still floating when the officers contacted him. The individual
just shook his head in disbelief that the can did not sink before
the officers got to him. The individual was issued one citation for
stream litter in Sandusky Municipal Court. He paid $92 in court
costs and a $35 fine.

• Officers Brian Bury and Matt Smith were working from their patrol
boat in downtown Toledo one afternoon when they spotted a woman
drinking from a can wrapped in a paper bag. As the officers watched
from a distance the woman quickly finished the drink, placed the
can in the rocks, and got on a bicycle. Officers Klima and
Porinchock were just down the street but were currently issuing two
other individuals summons for not having fishing licenses so Smith
maneuvered the boat close to the rocks, allowing Bury to jump off
and follow the woman. After a three-block run, Bury caught up with
the woman and issued her a summons for stream litter. When Bury
returned to the place the woman had left the trash, he discovered
over a dozen identical beer cans wrapped in paper bags. Clearly
this was not the woman’s first stop at that location.

• While working the annual Maumee River walleye run, Putnam County
Wildlife Officer Jason Porinchok and Van Wert County Wildlife
Officer Brad Buening received a call from the 1-800-POACHER
hotline. The caller stated that two individuals had caught their
springtime daily bag limit of four walleyes and left the river,
only to return and continue fishing a half hour later with empty
stringers. The information the caller gave allowed the officers to
locate the two fishermen and watch them catch and place three
additional fish on each of their stringers. Buening and Porinchok
contacted the individuals at their truck and were able to
investigate the allegations against each fisherman. After a short
time, the officers were able to ascertain that the men were in fact
on their second trip of the day and were, as a result, three fish
over their daily bag limit. The poachers were cited into Maumee
Municipal Court for the violation. Each man paid a fine and court
costs totaling $189.

• On June 19, 2010, Ottawa County Wildlife Officer Reid Van Cleve
was checking anglers fishing at East Harbor. At 11:30 a.m. that
morning, the officer observed two young men fishing off a dock. Van
Cleve made contact with the fishermen to check them for a fishing
license. Neither of the two had purchased a fishing license for
2010. Both of the men were issued a summons for fishing with out a
license. While the officer was waiting for the information of the
two men to come back, he received a hit on his computer informing
him that one of the fishermen had an active warrant from Wood
County. The warrant was for failure to show up to court on a
traffic violation from several years ago. The officer verified the
warrant and transported the man to the Ottawa County jail. Fourteen
days later, Van Cleve was working the same area and noticed one of
the same men fishing from the same location as before. He
approached the individual, who made it clear he was not happy to
see Van Cleve. The officer asked to see his fishing license and was
shocked to see that he did not have one. The fisherman was issued a
second summons and ordered to appear in the Ottawa County Court on
July 11, 2011. While in court, the defendant told the judge that
the officer had been down there a lot and the judge said “Yeah,
where do you think he is going to be Cedar Point?” The fisherman
was found guilty and ordered to pay $266 in fines and court
cost.

Northeast Ohio – Wildlife District 3

• Over the Memorial Day weekend, Wildlife District Three officers
worked projects at the Beach City Wildlife Area to address the
problem of illegal drug activity and litter. During the course of
the weekend, numerous groups were observed using the Dundee Falls
section of the wildlife area. Twenty six individuals were issued
summonses for several violations including public land litter,
possession of open containers of alcohol on a public area, fishing
without a license, and possession of marijuana and drug
paraphernalia. In addition three different groups were observed
smoking “synthetic marijuana,” which is marketed as a type of
herbal potpourri. These items were seized as evidence and six
individuals were charged for inhalation of a toxic substance for
the purpose of inducing intoxication.

• While working one evening recently, Tuscarawas County Wildlife
Officer Wade Dunlap observed two subjects fishing from the bank of
Atwood Lake. One individual in the group was observed catching
several fish and placing them in a five-gallon bucket. Dunlap
contacted the man as he was loading his gear into his vehicle and
preparing to leave the area. “I’ll let them go!” the man uttered.
Further inspection of the anglers catch revealed a total of 18
fish. One largemouth bass and 15 crappies measured under the
minimum legal length limit and were seized as evidence. The man was
permitted to keep the two legal fish and was issued a summons for
the violations.

• Holmes County Wildlife Officer Jeremy Carter and Wayne County
Wildlife Officer Jason Warren were checking fishing licenses at the
Killbuck Marsh Wildlife area. Officer Warren observed a man fishing
along Killbuck Creek and contacted him to inspect his fishing
license. The subject did not have a valid license and further
investigation revealed that the individual was wanted on a felony
warrant out of Wayne County. The individual was placed under
arrest, transported, and booked into the Wayne County Jail.

Southeast Ohio – Wildlife District 4

• In July, the Noble County Sheriff’s Office received a call from
an individual who reported his dog and a raccoon were apparently
killed by some type of poison. After receiving the call, the
sheriff’s office contacted Brad St. Clair, state wildlife officer
assigned to Noble County, for assistance since the violation
involved a wild animal. St. Clair was unable to respond to the
scene immediately, so he contacted Wildlife Officer Wes Feldner to
assist the sheriff’s office with the investigation. Noble County
Sheriff’s Deputy Andrew Myers and Feldner responded to the scene
and located the dead dog and one dead raccoon near a small orchard.
Both dead animals were found with the poison in and around their
mouth. The raccoon died approximately 30 feet from where it
consumed the poison. The dog, an Australian shepherd, made it
approximately 100 yards from the poison before it died. Myers and
Feldner spoke to several individuals in the area in an attempt to
determine who was responsible for placing the poison in the
orchard. Upon investigation, the officers were able to identify the
property owner, but they were unable to make contact with him. In
addition, the officers were able to determine that the type of
poison used to kill the animals was fly bait. Myers and Feldner
collected the evidence and documented the information they obtained
and turned it over to St. Clair. A few days later, St. Clair and
Wildlife Officer Jerrod Allison made contact with the landowner and
interviewed him about the violation. The landowner admitted to
placing the fly bait in the orchard to kill animals, which were
causing damage to his trees. The man was issued a citation for
taking a raccoon by illegal means and was ordered to appear in a
Noble County court. The man was found guilty and was ordered to pay
$319 in fines and court costs. In addition, he was sentenced to 15
days in the Noble County Jail. The man served four days of the jail
sentence before he was released. The 11 remaining days were
suspended and the man was placed on probation for a period of two
years.

Categories: Cuffs & Collars

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