Proposal would lift crappie regs on many Ohio waters
Columbus — Changes to the 2019-2020 fishing season were among the regulations proposed to the Ohio Wildlife Council at its scheduled meeting on Wednesday, July 11.
Several other changes that had been presented to the council earlier this year were voted on. These changes were approved and became effective in late July.
Several changes were proposed for black bass (largemouth, smallmouth, and spotted bass) in the Lake Erie sport fishing district.
Currently, the season for black bass there is closed from May 1 through the last Saturday in June. It was proposed to remove this closure to provide a year-round open season for black bass, providing anglers with more opportunities.
Additional proposed rules would establish a daily bag limit of one black bass with an 18-inch minimum size limit from May 1 through the fourth Saturday in June to continue to protect the fishery. Outside of this period, the existing black bass regulations of a five-fish daily limit with a 14-inch minimum size limit would still apply.
Changes were proposed to crappie size and bag limits at certain waters. It was proposed that the 30-fish daily bag limit and the 9-inch minimum size limit for crappies be removed at the following lakes and reservoirs: Acton, Clendening, Hargus, Highlandtown, Knox, Madison, Nimisila, Rush Creek, and Springfield lakes; and C.J. Brown, Clear Fork, Griggs, and West Branch reservoirs.
Removal of these regulations is expected to improve the crappie fisheries at these locations as well as provide anglers more opportunities to harvest fish.
Additional proposed rule changes include allowing camping at K.H. Butler Wildlife Area in Gallia County, increasing the annual fee for watercraft docking permits at DNR Division of Wildlife owned docks, and changes to ginseng harvest requirements.
New counties were approved to open for river otter trapping, as the species is now prevalent in many areas, according to the Division of Wildlife. All counties formerly in Zone A have been moved to Zone B. In addition, several counties were moved from Zone C to Zone B. These counties are: Athens, Gallia, Hocking, Jackson, Lawrence, Meigs, Perry, Scioto, and Vinton. All three river otter trapping zones season bag limits have not changed.
Total river otter trapping season bag limits are one otter for Zone B and three otters for Zone C.
Additional approved rule changes include increasing quail hunting opportunities at Tri-Valley and Crown City wildlife areas and allowing the use of range finders and other devices that utilize non-visible light when hunting with a longbow or crossbow.
A statewide public hearing on the proposed rules will be held at the DNR Division of Wildlife’s District 1 office on Thursday, Sept. 13, at 9 a.m. The office is at 1500 Dublin Road, Columbus.