Ohio – Jane Beathard

Dam removal near OSU to change campus landscape

There's a very interesting article in the November-December issue of the Ohio State Alumni Magazine about removal of a low-head dam on the Olentangy River near the Columbus campus. Anyone who attended OSU or frequents the Horseshoe on game days is probably familiar with the aging low-head, located north of the Fifth Avenue bridge. It was something of an eyesore…

MSNBC to air show on 2011 exotic animal incident

I just previewed an excellent British-produced documentary about the October 2011 incident in Muskingum County that resulted in new legislation to control the ownership of exotic wildlife in Ohio. "Shoot to Kill: The Ohio Animal Massacre" will air at 9 p.m. on Sunday, Nov. 11, on MSNBC. It is the first episode of a new series entitled Maximum Drama that…

Scientists studying drop in Erie algae blooms

Last summer’s drought led to significantly fewer toxic algae blooms in Lake Erie, according to Jeff Reutter, director of the Ohio Sea Grant College Program. "We had hugely reduced phosphorus levels," Reutter said. "There was a 90 percent reduction (in phosphorus) from farmland runoff." However, researchers are puzzling over a brief spike in blue-green algae that occurred in the lake's…

Illegal deer tag to benefit food bank

A Madison County food bank will benefit from a London-area man’s failure to properly check and tag the 9-point buck he harvested on the morning of Oct. 1. Richard L. Turvy, 23, of London, was convicted of the wildlife violation in Madison County Municipal Court on Oct. 24. Magistrate Christopher Brown suspended a 60-day jail sentence for the third-degree misdemeanor,…

Fishers making a comeback in Ohio

Athens, Ohio – Fishers, woodland furbearers extirpated in Ohio since the mid 1800s, are making a comeback, according to state wildlife biologists. Suzie Prange of the Ohio DNR’s Waterloo Research Station in Athens told state wildlife council members last month the agency has verified a handful of fisher sightings since 2009. “We do think they are coming back,” Prange said….

Low water levels impact recreation

A dry summer squelched recreational boating on some Ohio waterways — especially in the northeast, according to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR). “While most waterways were not impacted — some were,” said John Wisse of the ODNR Division of Watercraft. Lower-than-normal water levels closed some marinas, ramps and docks at Berlin, LaDue and Michael Kirwan reservoirs, as well…

Young angler earns trip to Red River

Nic Ball, a member of the Cincinnati Youth Bass Club (CYBC), is headed to the The Bass Federation Junior World Championship next year, after taking a first place in the Ohio Bass Federation's junior tournament. Ball will compete in the 11-14 age group. Ball earned a trip to the Red River in Louisiana in August 2013 by landing a 3.72-pound…

ODNR piling up retirees

Three former employees of the Ohio DNR's Division of Wildlife and one former member of the state wildlife council were recognized recently for their contributions to the outdoors community. Presentations came during the Aug. 15 meeting of the Ohio Wildlife Council. State widlife chief Scott Zody presented a certificate of service to Dave Scott, former administrator of wildlife management at…

Perch bite turns hot for OON writer

Cool temperatures turned on the yellow perch bite in Lake Erie last weekend. Aug. 19 marked our tenth annual family fishing outing and it proved to be the best one ever. Our charter, with 12 kids and adults on board and Capt. John Tibbels at the helm, left Marblehead about 8 a.m. Temperatures hovered in the low 70s as we…

Environmental groups speak out on drilling

An article in the summer/fall edition of the Ohio Environmental Council’s (OEC) Green Watch magazine said four conservation organizations joined forces in May to lobby for tougher rules regarding oil and gas exploration and drilling in Ohio’s state parks. The OEC, Buckeye Forest Council, Mohican Advocates and the Ohio Chapter of the Sierra Club formed the “Coalition to Protect Ohio’s…

Parks crack down on drugs, alcohol

State and local parks are not the places to unwind with drugs and alcohol on hot summer days. That’s the message officials are driving home, following nine recent arrests at Madison Lake State Park and Prairie Oaks Metro Park in Madison County. Jennifer E. Cockerham, 23, 2854 LaVista Dr., Columbus; Danyeal Saleh, 23, 5816 Parkside Crossing, Dublin; and Clayton Williams,…

Storm blacks out some state parks

The Ohio DNR is working to restore services and operations at nearly a dozen state parks and nature preserves damaged by storms between June 29 and July 1. At the same time, all recreational facilities in southern Ohio’s state forests remain closed as storm clean up continues. On July 6, Wolf Run, Lake Hope and Jackson Lake state parks in…

Drunk boaters arrested during sweep

Operation Dry Water, a nationwide crackdown on drunk boaters, resulted in 11 arrests on state waterways during the weekend of June 22-24, according to the Ohio DNR's watercraft division. Watercraft officers also issued 85 citations for other alcohol and boating violations during the weekend, including nine drug-related violations. Ironically, watercraft officers investigated two alcohol-related incidents, including a fatality, during Operation…

Oil spill in Gulf continues to affect

An article in the summer 2012 issue of National Parks, the magazine of the National Parks Conservation Association, says environmental impact of a massive 2010 oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico appears less serious than originally thought. However, the clean-up may run longer than expected. The article focuses on damage to the Gulf Islands National Seashore, a string of…

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…