Ohio Outdoor News Cuffs & Collars – Sept. 27, 2019
Division of Wildlife
Central Ohio – Wildlife District 1
During the spring, state wildlife officer John Coffman contacted a man fishing for baitfish in Fayette County. The man did not have a fishing license and was issued a summons. The man was assigned an arraignment date. During the summer, officer Coffman found the same man fishing in the same place again without a fishing license. He was issued another summons for fishing without a license. The man was found guilty on two counts of fishing without a license.
Northwest Ohio – Wildlife District 2
While working sport-fishing enforcement, state wildlife officer Jason Porinchok, assigned to Putnam County, observed a man fishing at Ottawa Reservoir with two children. The man handled the fishing rods several times while the children played nearby. The children were not observed fishing. Officer Porinchok contacted the man and asked to see his fishing license. The man denied that he was fishing and stated he had only been helping the children. Eventually the man admitted that he had been fishing without a license. He pleaded no contest in Putnam County Court and paid $200 in fines and court costs.
While working ice-fishing enforcement on Lake Erie near South Bass Island last winter, state wildlife investigators Kelsey Brockman and Brian Bury, assigned to the Lake Erie Unit, contacted people as they came off the lake. The first individual was found to have two walleyes over his daily bag limit, and a second individual did not have a fishing license. While checking the fishing license of a third individual, it was discovered that he had falsified his address and purchased a resident fishing license instead of a nonresident license to avoid purchasing a nonresident Lake Erie permit. All three individuals were cited for their violations and paid $178 in court costs and $156 in fines.
Northeast Ohio – Wildlife District 3
State wildlife officer Evan Huegel, assigned to Stark County, and state wildlife officer Tom Frank, assigned to Mahoning County, were conducting sport-fishing enforcement at Mogadore Reservoir when they observed two individuals fishing from shore. One was drinking from a beverage can. Several minutes later, the officers observed him discard the can in the bushes. He proceeded to continue drinking and disposed of the other cans in the brush as well. Shortly thereafter, the officers contacted the men as they returned to their vehicle. The individual who littered was issued a summons for the violation. He appeared in Ravenna Municipal Court, was convicted, and ordered to pay $317 in fines and court costs.
During beaver trapping season, state wildlife officer Aaron Brown, assigned to Wayne County, received a complaint about a great blue heron that was caught in a trap set to catch beaver. The caller freed the heron prior to officer Brown’s arrival. The investigation revealed that the trap was not set properly. Officer Brown also determined that the individual had not visited his traps once every calendar day, and he was trapping without a fur-taker permit. He located the man and issued him two summonses: one for failing to check his traps, and one for trapping without a fur-taker permit. The individual appeared in court, pleaded guilty to the charges, and was ordered to pay $195 in fines and court costs.
Southeast Ohio – Wildlife District 4
In August, state wildlife officers Chris Dodge and Mark Basinger were on ATVs patrolling public lands in Hocking County. The officers were targeting illegal off-roading activities and littering. While on patrol in the Wayne National Forest, the officers encountered five men on dirt bikes and ATVs. The men were riding off the legal trail system and using illegal trails to access other parts of the forest. They were each issued a $185 summons for operating a motor vehicle in a nondesignated area. The cases are still pending in Hocking County Municipal Court.
In August, state wildlife investigator Kirk Kiefer was patrolling in Perry County when he observed an individual riding a bicycle down the road. The subject matched the description of an illegal ginseng digger, so investigator Kiefer stopped the person and found the suspect to be in possession of yellow root and ginseng. Ginseng season does not open until Sept. 1 annually. The suspect could not provide a location where he had written permission to dig the out-of-season ginseng or the yellow root. State wildlife officers Eric Lane and Jeff Berry arrived to assist with the investigation and seized the yellow root, ginseng, and digging tool. The suspect was transported to the Southeastern Ohio Regional Jail and was later convicted in Perry County Municipal Court for three ginseng violations. The suspect was sentenced to serve 30 days in jail with 150 days suspended and pay $685 in fines and court costs. The suspect was also placed on two years of probation. Any ginseng violations can be reported to the Turn In a Poacher line at 1-800-POACHER (1-800-762-2437).
Southwest Ohio – Wildlife District 5
In July, state wildlife officer Ryan Schock, assigned to Hamilton County, was conducting sport-fishing enforcement on the Little Miami River in Hamilton County. He observed two men fishing in the river and contacted them. Both men stated that they caught multiple catfish, and then showed officer Schock photos of the fish on their cell phones. Officer Schock asked the men if they had fishing licenses. Both men said they did not. Officer Schock was writing their summonses into court when he noticed that they were being bitten by several mosquitoes. Officer Schock offered the men the use of some bug spray he kept in his patrol vehicle, and they gladly accepted. Both men pleaded guilty to the violation and paid $140 each in fines and court costs.