Ohio – Jane Beathard

Hiking trail honors science teacher

A new hiking trail, named for a beloved West Jefferson science teacher, opened June 2 at the Big Darby Headwaters Nature Preserve in Logan County. The Gary J. Jainshig Trail leads visitors on a 2.5-mile trek through the 900-acre preserve and provides a panoramic view of The (Ohio) Nature Conservancy's recently completed restoration of Big Darby Creek's headwaters. A generous…

Lack of life preservers can be costly, and deadly

Failing to wear or carry a life preserver while boating can be costly — and deadly. That’s the message the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) emphasizes as Ohio’s recreational boating season gets underway. “Our No. 1 cause of drowning is falling overboard and not wearing a life jacket,” according to Melissa Clark, Springfield-area supervisor for the ODNR Division of Watercraft. Paul…

Sales looking up for U.S. boating industry

There are signs the U.S. economy is improving as retail sales for recreational boats and accessories increased by 6 percent in 2011,according to the National Marine Manufacturers Association. The recreational boating industry has not seen an increase in retail sales since 2006 and the beginning of the Great Recession. Leading the recovery are sales of aluminum power boats – mainly…

Youth bassers finish near the top

Five members of the Cincinnati Youth Bass Club finished among the top anglers in the Ohio Bass Federation Nation tournament, held May 6 at Indian Lake in Logan County, according to club advisor Angela Poling. In the younger division, Nicholas Ball placed third, Brady Pfeiffer finished fourth, and Chase Fisher placed fifth. In the older division, Alec Kochendorfer won the…

Clark County fire results in fish kill

Springfield, Ohio – The Clark County oil company that was the scene of a devastating fire on April 19 may soon be hit with a civil lawsuit for a fish kill resulting from the blaze. Joel Buddelmeyer, acting law enforcement supervisor for the Ohio DNR's wildlife division, said the fire at R.D. Holder Oil Co., 2219 Folk Ream Road, killed…

No change in bag limit enforcement on charters

I was glad to hear this week that the Ohio DNR is not changing the way it counts the daily catch of customers on Lake Erie's charter fishing boats. I was concerned about a newspaper article that said several customers and the captain of a Port Clinton walk-on charter were cited on April 7 for over-bagging and snagging walleye. The…

Ohio fishing license sales soaring

An abundance of warm spring days sent Ohio fishing license sales soaring this year, according to the Ohio DNR Division of Wildlife. “An unusually warm spring is drawing increased numbers of anglers to Ohio’s streams and lakes,” said Vicki Ervin, the division’s communication manager. Between March 1 and April 5, overall license sales were up 76.5 percent over the same period in 2011, records…

New statewide trail link completed

Galloway, Ohio – Officials from Madison and Franklin counties gathered on the banks of Big Darby Creek on March 21 to dedicate the final link in the southern portion of the Ohio to Erie Trail. That link, dubbed phase one of the Camp Chase Trail, runs 5.25 miles from Wilson Road in eastern Madison County, over the confluence of Big…

Special hunt procedure to be reviewed

A rule change to allow bona-fide, non-profit outdoor organizations conduct special hunts for young and handicapped hunters is pending before the Ohio General Assembly's Joint Committee for Agency Rule Review (JCARR). Ken Fitz, acting administrator of law enforcement for the Ohio DNR's wildlife division, said the agency wants to streamline the permitting process for legitimate organizations and weed out the…

Ohio to Erie trail complete

The final link of the Ohio to Erie Trail through Madison County to Franklin County is now complete, allowing cyclists and other users to now travel unhindered from Cincinnati to Columbus' west side. Wayne Roberts, executive director of the Friends of Madison County Parks & Trails, said contractors paved portions of the trail between Wilson Road, east of London, and…

Cincinnati youth bass club honored

Cincinnati, Ohio – The Cincinnati Youth Bass Club (CYBC) was recently named the Outstanding Overall Junior Chapter for 2011 by the Ohio Bass Federation, according to advisor Angela Poling. The club also placed second in the area of community service. CYBC membership roster now stands at 25 with a waiting list of kids age 11 to 18 seeking to join….

Burr Oak state lodge closes

Glouster, Ohio – Burr Oak State Park Lodge in Morgan County closed on Tuesday, Jan. 31, but the Ohio DNR remains committed to both the park and facility, according to agency spokesperson Bethany McCorkle. The DNR is currently formulating plans for reopening Burr Oak Lodge as a destination park with an “action-adventure” facility. McCorkle wasn’t specific, but said details would…

Purchased trout eggs prove to be right recipe

London, Ohio – Purchasing rainbow trout eggs from a commercial hatchery in Washington state is providing positive results for the Ohio DNR, according to Doug Sweet, superintendent of the London State Fish Hatchery. Nearly 100 percent of the 50,000 rainbow trout eggs purchased in December from Troutlodge of Orting, Wash., hatched successfully, Sweet said. Those 50,000 fry are now about…

District 1 investigator earns award

Kandy Klosterman, an investigator with the Ohio DNR’s District One wildlife office, was recently named Ohio Wildlife Officer Of The Year for 2010 by Safari Club International (SCI). SCI’s Tony Gioffre presented Klosterman with her award at the Jan. 4 meeting of the state wildlife council. Although Klosterman was aware of the recognition in the summer of 2011, official presentation…

Deer, hunters, thriving in Franklin County park

Whitetails are thriving in and around the last remaining public hunting grounds in Franklin County, as a result of a management strategy that encourages both archers and gun hunters, according to John Watts, resource manager for the county’s metro park system. There’s no need for sharpshooters or culling on 2,000 acres of public hunting area at Battelle Darby Creek Metro…

Man forfeits $1,300 in hunting gear

London, Ohio – A Columbus man forfeited $1,300 in archery gear and lost hunting privileges for a year after pleading guilty on Monday, Dec. 5, to multiple state wildlife violations, stemming from a Nov. 12 incident on land owned by Battelle Memorial Institute in eastern Madison County. Derek M. Ranney, 23, 1277 Burnham Dr., was convicted in the county's municipal…

Programs increase awareness on Darby system

Two events last week on central Ohio’s Darby creek system will increase public access to these state and national scenic rivers. On Tuesday, Nov. 1, Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine and a battery of local officials broke ground for a new, 14,000-square-foot nature center at Battelle Darby Creek Metro Park on Big Darby Creek in western Franklin County. The center…

Land, Water Conservation Fund in trouble

A struggle is shaping up in Washington over a little-known federal program that significantly improves outdoor recreational opportunities in Ohio and elsewhere in the country.A handful of Congressional Republicans, mostly from western states, are proposing drastic cuts to the 46-year-old Land & Water Conservation Fund (LWCF). The Obama Administration is opposing the cuts, saying they would bring conservation funding in…

Fall a busy time for Ohio’s skunks

Fall is not all football and foliage. It’s also a busy time for Ohio’s striped skunks. That distinct whiff in the early morning air is evidence that skunks have been out and about while everyone else was sleeping. Suzie Prange, a fur-bearer expert with the Ohio DNR, said the recent hot summer kept skunk activity at a minimum. They don’t…

Trappers and fur dealers come indoors to raise money

More than 1,500 trappers, fur dealers and outfitters attended the annual Ohio State Trappers Association (OSTA) convention on Sept. 9-11 at the Madison County Fairgrounds in London. Saturday night’s benefit auction featured 175 donated items, including a handmade log bench from Chainsaw Carvings of Buchtel. Melissa Fraizer of Albuquerque, New Mexico, purchased the bench for $350. Melissa’s brother, Mark Fraizer…

Clarifying Separate Pots of Marine Money

There were more than a few distortions about the state budget and water quality testing in Ohio’s inland lakes in a story published on Sunday, Aug. 14 in The (Columbus) Dispatch. The story implies the state is short changing testing for water quality in its inland lakes and streams, while spending millions to build recreational facilities on those waterways and…

Big turnout for Family Fun Day

Eighty-eight children, as well as their friends and family, attended the first-ever Family Fun Day at Madison Lake State Park near London on Saturday, Aug. 6. The event, held from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the park beach, was sponsored by the Madison County Sheriff’s D.A.R.E. Program and the Ohio DNR’s wildlife and state parks divisions.County wildlife officer Matt…

Young Cincinnati bass anglers headed to state tourney

Eight members of the Cincinnati Youth Bass Club will advance to the 2011 Bass Federation State Tournament for Ohio Youth, based on total points they accrued during this year's fishing season. Central Ohio's O'Shaughnessy Reservoir will host the statewide tournament on Sunday, Aug. 21. The eight finalist anglers are Jack Tamborski, Gabe Dubois, Harbor Lovin, Max Kaufman, Noah Meiers, Garrett…

Waters Recede and Deer Creek Marina Finally Open

The marina at Deer Creek State Park is finally open, after a soggy spring that kept the business under water well beyond the start of Ohio’s boating season. The marina is located at 21001 State Route 207 on the park’s west side.An employee said managers power washed and painted the building in April. But heavy rains for the next six…

Countin' Fish on a Ladder

You've heard of shooting fish in a barrel? I met a man last week in the Pacific Northwest who counts fish on a ladder. No joke. Ron Mcpeak of the Washington Department of Fish & Wildlife spends his workday in a cramped cubicle inside the Bonneville Dam, counting fish – one by one – as they migrate up the Columbia…