Central Ohio – Wildlife District 1
• While on patrol at Hoover Reservoir in Franklin County, state wildlife officer Tony Zerkle, assigned to Fairfield County, and state wildlife officer Chad Grote, assigned to Marion County, were checking boaters and anglers. During the boat patrol, the officers observed a kayaker pulling a float tube and struggling to paddle into the wind. The officers contacted the group and provided them a ride back to the boat ramp. The exhausted boaters were thankful for the assistance. Resuming patrol, the officers contacted many anglers that day and wrote six summonses for fishing without a license and possession of short crappies.
Northwest Ohio – Wildlife District 2
• While working sport fish enforcement, state wildlife officers Mike Ohlrich, assigned to Lucas County, and Eric VonAlmen, assigned to Wood County, observed a pair of fishermen aboard a boat at the ramp of Metzger Marsh Wildlife Area. The officers asked the men if they had any luck fishing that day, but the men stated they did not even get a chance to fish because they had motor trouble. However, both officers noticed three large coolers and several baited fishing rods on board. Further investigation revealed four walleyes in a cooler, three of which were undersized. The suspects later admitted that they had fished and caught the walleyes. The three undersized walleyes were seized as evidence and summonses were issued to both suspects for possessing walleyes less than 15 inches in length.
Northeast Ohio – Wildlife District 3
• On July 4, Lake Erie investigators Jason Hadsell and Matthew Fisher were checking vessels returning from Lake Erie at Conneaut Harbor public ramps. While speaking with one group of anglers, investigator Hadsell requested to look at their day’s catch and to see the three anglers’ fishing licenses. While counting the fish, investigator Hadsell found three walleyes that were shorter than the 15-inch minimum. He asked the boat owner how they were measuring their fish and was shown a stick-on scale that was placed on the inside of the gunwale of the boat. He compared his scale to the one in the boat and found it to be accurate. Investigator Hadsell issued a summons to the boat owner for being in possession of undersized walleyes. The case is still pending in court.
• During spring turkey season, state wildlife officer Nick Turner, assigned to Harrison County, received a call from a landowner stating that he had heard several shots on his property. Officer Turner contacted state wildlife officer Kyle Queer, assigned to Carroll County, and asked him for assistance. Both officers arrived on scene shortly thereafter and were able to locate a pile of fresh turkey feathers and shotgun hulls. The officers followed a set of boot tracks and feathers back to a nearby camp. The results of the investigation revealed that the owner of the camp had killed the turkey on the adjacent farm. The man was issued a summons for hunting without permission and appeared in the Harrison County Court. He was convicted and ordered to pay $200 in fines and court costs.
• Last fall, state wildlife officer Aaron Brown, assigned to Wayne County, received information that an individual had killed a buck with a firearm during the archery season. Officer Brown was able to identify a suspect over the course of the next two weeks. During a follow-up investigation, officer Brown and state wildlife officer Eric Moore, assigned to Medina County, uncovered additional wildlife violations committed by the suspect. The officers contacted the suspect at a storage facility where they seized the shotgun used in the offense as well as the deer meat. Summonses were issued to the man for taking a deer with a firearm during the archery season, hunting without a deer permit, possession of an untagged deer, and failing to game-check a deer. The man appeared in court, was convicted, and paid $691 in fines and court costs. In addition, he was ordered to pay $500 in restitution for the animal, and his hunting privileges were revoked for one year.
Southeast Ohio – Wildlife District 4
• During patrol in Scioto County, state wildlife officer Hollie Fluharty, assigned to Scioto County, contacted two men in a parking lot in Wayne National Forest. The two men had multiple firearms in their possession and were shooting at random objects. Both men were cited for shooting in a non-designated area.
• In March, state wildlife officers Todd Stewart, assigned to Morgan County, and Eric Lane, assigned to Perry County, were checking anglers on AEP ReCreation land. Both officers made several contacts along Weavers Haul Road and nearby ponds, and all but two anglers were in compliance with the slot length size limit regulations. Both of the anglers had two fish between 14 inches and 20 inches. Both individuals were issued citations and paid $150 for each fish.
Southwest Ohio – Wildlife District 5
• State wildlife officer Jasmine Grossnickle, assigned to Miami County, patrols private property throughout the year contacting individuals that may be hunting, fishing, or trapping without permission. Near Troy, a property owned by Martin Marietta Aggregates is one such property that anglers will venture onto without permission. The property is very clearly marked with “No Trespassing” signs along the bike trails and numerous access points onto the property. From April through July, Officer Grossnickle contacted 23 individuals fishing on Martin Marietta Aggregate’s properties without permission. Several individuals that were caught fishing without permission had previously been convicted of fishing on the property in the past, another had an outstanding warrant out for his arrest, and a third was bold enough to drag his kayak onto the property to fish. Convictions through the Miami County Municipal Court have resulted in $3,643 in fines and court costs.