DNR should dump filet rule

Steve PollickThe Ohio Wildlife Council needs to rescind its recent controversial rule requiring that fish be kept in the round or with skin attached to fillets till reaching home.

The DNR Division of Wildlife has been backpedaling on this one since news of its approval first began circulation this spring. Now Scott Zody, division chief, has issued an advisory to his lawmen to slow-walk enforcement until the Council can modify the rule this fall. Lawmen now are advised that just a patch of fish skin left intact, enough to identify the species, is sufficient.

Or is it? The whole issue is confusing and a huge inconvenience, as has been aptly pointed out already and often by many sources. The right thing to do is admit it that the rule was ill-conceived in the first place and dump it and move on. Being big enough to admit a mistake will earn the division, and Council, more respect from the public than slapping a Band-Aid on a festering sore. Somehow or another, Ohio’s fisheries resources have gotten along just fine for decades without it. Don’t blame poachers and piggish fishermen if, say, Lake Erie walleye stocks, are down; their impact in the big picture is negligible. If more anti-poacher law enforcement is needed, make it so. That’s partly what we pay the ODNR to do with all our license and permit fees and excise taxes. But design new enforcement and aim it at the troublemakers instead of penalizing the entire Ohio sport fishing community just to catch the supposed few bad apples we always talk about. Just because other states do the fish-skin rule is no justification for it, or a measure of its worth.

Categories: Ohio – Steve Pollick

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