Ohio Outdoor News Cuffs & Collars Report – September 9th, 2016

Division of Wildlife

Central Ohio – Wildlife District 1

• On Independence Day, state wildlife officers Matt Teders and Josh Elster were on patrol along the Scioto River in Franklin County. The officers observed a group of individuals across the river below the Griggs Reservoir dam. The officers documented three of the individuals fishing. One of the individuals then hiked up the spillway to the top of the dam and attempted to climb over a fence to reach the concrete abutment. When he failed to do so he jumped into the reservoir and swam out to the dam. He began to dislodge tree debris from the top of the dam by pushing it over into the spillway, where other individuals were below fishing. Officers Teders and Elster waded across the river and contacted the group. Further investigation revealed one individual was fishing without a license. The second individual denied fishing or swimming in the reservoir. He was asked for his ID but he declined to provide any information. The individual was advised of his violation and that he needed to provide his identity. He again declined to provide his identity. The individual was placed in handcuffs and Columbus police officers were requested for assistance. He was led back to the officer’s vehicle to meet with Columbus police, and he provided his identity. The first individual was issued a summons for fishing without a license and released. The second individual was issued a summons for fishing without a license and was then turned over to Columbus police. He was issued a criminal trespass summons and was prohibited from entry into Columbus parks for five years.

• State wildlife officer Tyler Eldred, assigned to Morrow County, was contacted by a concerned landowner during the spring about people trespassing on his property and fishing a private lake contained within. A few weeks later, officer Eldred and state wildlife officer Michael Budd, assigned to Knox County, were patrolling the area and entered the property to check the lake. The officers discovered three individuals fishing on the lake and using the landowner’s boat and other equipment. The individuals did not have written permission and stated that they had received verbal permission. The officers called the landowner who denied knowing the individuals and stated they did not have permission. The individuals were charged with fishing without permission. They pleaded guilty in Morrow County Municipal Court and paid more than $225 each in fines and court costs.

Northwest Ohio – Wildlife District 2

• While on patrol in Allen County, state wildlife officer Jason Porinchok, assigned to Putnam County, observed a subject fishing in some ponds that adjoin Sugar Creek. The subject was fishing with a child’s fishing rod, but no children were present. Officer Porinchok observed the subject cast and reel several times before the subject headed for his vehicle. Officer Porinchok contacted the subject and asked to see his fishing license. The subject stated that he had not been fishing. The man did not have a valid fishing license so officer Porinchok issued a citation to the subject. A few days later, the subject purchased a valid fishing license and presented it in Lima Municipal Court. The judge found him guilty of fishing without a license and ordered him to pay $120 in fines and court costs.

• In November 2015, state wildlife officers Greg Wasilewski and Austin Dickinson worked a deer spotlighting project. The DNR Division of Wildlife’s aircraft was flying over Richland County when officers in the aircraft spotted a vehicle with the occupants shining a spotlight from it. The officers in the aircraft directed officers Wasilewski and Dickinson toward the suspects’ location. The occupants continued to shine the spotlight into open fields, along a tree line, and up into the trees. As officers Wasilewski and Dickinson approached the area, they too observed the subjects in the vehicle shining the spotlight in multiple directions. A short time passed and the vehicle approached the roadway, and the officers conducted a traffic stop. The occupants admitted to shining the light, but indicated that they were looking for their dog. A rifle and ammunition were located inside the vehicle, in addition to the spotlight. Both subjects were charged with jacklighting and were fined $150 plus court costs.

Northeast Ohio – Wildlife District 3

• While on patrol at Jockey Hollow Wildlife Area, state wildlife officer Nick Turner, assigned to Harrison County, noticed a set of vehicle tracks heading off the roadway into the area. Officer Turner followed the tracks, found a pickup truck parked next to a pond, and located two men fishing in a small boat. The men had driven past a sign that read, “No vehicles beyond this point.” An inspection of a cooler on the boat revealed an undersized largemouth bass. The driver was issued a summons for driving in a non-designated area, and the second man was charged with the fishing violation. Both men appeared before a judge, were convicted, and paid more than $300 in fines and court costs.

• State wildlife officer Eric Moore, assigned to Medina County, was on patrol when he spotted a dead white-tailed buck deer hanging in an individual’s backyard. Officer Moore was familiar with the property owner because of his history of committing wildlife violations. Officer Moore stopped at the residence and contacted the landowner. He inspected the deer and noticed that the information on the temporary tag was not the property owner’s name or address. The man stated that he was simply holding the deer for another individual who had shot the buck on private property in a different county. Officer Moore left the residence but had reason to believe the deer had been shot nearby. He handed the case over to state wildlife investigators Rick Louttit and Brian Banbury. Armed with additional evidence, the officers met with the landowner again and determined that he had killed the deer and permanently tagged it using another person’s name and address. The deer was seized and the man was charged and ordered to appear in court. He was convicted and paid $3,304 in fines, court costs, and restitution. The venison and antlers were forfeited to the DNR Division of Wildlife.

Southeast Ohio – Wildlife District 4

• In late May, state wildlife officers Chris Dodge and Eric Bear were joined by state wildlife investigator Travis Abele on a state property protection project in Hocking County. The officers were working from ATVs and were targeting illegal off-roading activity on O’Dowd Wildlife Area. The officers contacted three individuals on ATVs. The riders were aware that they were driving in an area where ATVs were not allowed. They were each given a summons for operating a motor vehicle in a non-designated area. Each rider paid $205 in fines and court costs.

• State wildlife officer Jeff Berry, assigned to Muskingum County, was doing paperwork and retuning phone calls when he noticed two individuals fishing at the Dillon Dam near the spillway. One individual was documented snagging several sheepshead, two carp, and one shovelhead catfish. The angler immediately released the sheepshead and carp, but placed the shovelhead catfish in a stagnant pool of water that was a few inches deep. The second individual was seen removing some fishing line from his reel and throwing it on the ground. The first individual later released the shovelhead catfish back into the water; however, the second individual failed to pick up the discarded fishing line. Officer Berry made contact with the anglers. The first individual received a citation for unlawful method of take of a gamefish and failure to immediately release an illegally caught gamefish. The second individual was cited for stream littler. Both individuals appeared in court and each entered a guilty plea. They paid a combined total of $850 in fines and court costs.

Southwest Ohio – Wildlife District 5

• State wildlife officers from southwest Ohio conducted an enforcement project for overbagging violations of trout at Clark Lake in Clark County. Officers made six stops and issued four citations. Three citations were issued for overbagging and one was issued for littering. In Ohio, it is illegal to fish for a group’s bag limit. Ohio law only allows for individuals to fish for their own bag limit. State wildlife officers encountered individuals who indicated they were unaware that group bag limits were illegal and the officers explained why it is not allowed. One officer used the example that individuals cannot lawfully shoot someone else’s deer for them during deer season, and fishing works the same way. An angler can take one limit of five trout per day. The angler can give fish he or she catches away, but every fish caught and retained into possession is part of that angler’s bag limit.

Division of Watercraft

Northwest District 

• While patrolling the Maumee River, watercraft officers responded to a call of individuals jumping off of a railroad bridge. The officers and the U.S. Coast Guard made contact with a boat that was in the area of the bridge that fit the description. Four males under the age of 21 were on board the vessel and told the officers about jumping off of the railroad bridge and that they had several containers of alcohol on board the vessel. The owner and operator of the vessel was cited for obstruction and underage consumption. The individual later pleaded no contest to the underage consumption charge and has been ordered to complete an alcohol diversion program.

• While patrolling Mary Jane Thurston State Park, a watercraft officer observed a couple of elderly gentlemen carrying what appeared to be two newly purchased kayaks and fishing equipment. The officer cautioned the gentlemen and advised them that it was extremely windy and that the kayaks were very small for the rough conditions. The men agreed to at least wear their life jackets. Approximately 20 minutes after the men departed, the officer observed one of the kayaks had capsized in front of the marina entrance. One elderly man was in the water struggling to hold onto his kayak and fishing pole and it appeared his life jacket was slipping over his head. The other man was attempting to reach his friend but could not due to the wind and waves. The officer immediately drove his patrol vessel and retrieved the man from the water. Upon helping both the men to shore, they agreed not to take their kayaks out in rough conditions.

• While patrolling Lake Erie in Ottawa County, watercraft officers observed a boat operating above idle speed and creating a wake in a no-wake zone. The officers stopped the operator and advised him of the violation and performed a vessel safety check. He was missing one life jacket, one Type IV throwable device, and the boat was overloaded with 10 people on a boat that was only rated for six people. He had no flares onboard, no registration, and had not completed a boating safety course. The officers issued a summons for not having completed his boating safety course and gave him a warning for the other violations. He was then towed safely back to the dock until all the violations were corrected.

• While patrolling Lake Erie in Ottawa County, a watercraft officer observed a person paddling a kayak to a courtesy dock and observed an expired registration decal. The operator was advised of the violation and asked for his registration paperwork.  He gave the officer his expired paperwork, which the officer ran to confirm that it was expired. He was then issued a citation for the expired registration.

• While patrolling Sandusky Bay in Erie County, a watercraft officer observed a vessel on plane past the no-wake buoys into a no-wake zone. He did not slow to idle speed until he was approximately 1⁄3 of the way into the zone. The officer came along side of the vessel and advised the operator for the reason of the stop and directed him to the dock so they could talk. At the dock the officer did a vessel safety check and found that the operator had one Type II life jacket and three people onboard. He also had four Type V inflatable life jackets that were still in their original packaging and were not armed. The officer advised the operator that the Type V inflatable life jacket must be armed with a CO2 cartridge and worn in order for it to count as a life jacket. The officer then made the operator arm all of the Type V life jackets. The operator was given a warning.

Categories: Cuffs & Collars

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