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Saturday, August 31, 2013 12:13 AM

OHIO DEPARTMENT OF NATURAL RESOURCES

DIVISION OF WILDLIFE

Weekly Fish Ohio Fishing Report!

CENTRAL OHIO

Buckeye Lake (Fairfield/Licking/Perry counties) - As water temperatures start to cool, hybrid-striped bass will become more active; try chicken livers fished on the bottom or troll spinners along the north shore from Seller’s point to the north boat ramp at SR 79. Channel catfish are being caught using cut bait on the bottom. Crappie from 10-13 inches are becoming active; use minnows and jigs around points especially in the east half of the lake. Bluegill are hanging close to lily pads and other shoreline cover; use small pieces of nightcrawler or maggots to catch these fish.

O’Shaughnessy Reservoir (Delaware County) - This 912-acre reservoir north of Columbus is a good place to catch largemouth bass and channel catfish. For largemouths, try tubes, spinner baits and crankbaits around shoreline cover, drop-offs and points. Channel catfish can be caught on cut baits, nightcrawlers and shrimp fished on the bottom. Crappie will move shallower as water temperatures decrease; try fishing around woody cover using minnows and jigs.

NORTHWEST OHIO

Killdeer Plains Reservoir (Wyandot County) - Located 10 miles southwest of Upper Sandusky along SR 67, the reservoir features a new floating boat ramp and 241 acres of fishable water. Channel catfish should be biting this month; try fishing along the south and east shores. Nightcrawlers or cut baits tight-lined on the bottom, or just off bottom using slip bobbers, produce the best results. There is a 10-HP limit.

Clear Fork Reservoir (Richland/Morrow counties) - Located just 8 miles south of Mansfield along SR 97, this 971-acre site is well-known for its muskellunge population; it is one of 8 lakes stocked in Ohio. However, the reservoir also has good populations of largemouth bass and bluegill. Bluegill fishing should be excellent this time of year with fish ranging from 5-7 inches, with an occasional 9-inch fish; try wax worms or worm pieces under a bobber along the edges of weed beds. Largemouth bass fishing should also be excellent right now; try jigs tipped with pork fished near structure located on the bottom. There are three picnic areas with access to the lake located along the south side; shore fishing is only allowed along the south and west shorelines from the Orewiler Road bridge to a point 1,000 feet upstream of the dam. There are no motor size restrictions but an 8-mph speed limit is enforced by the city of Mansfield.

Pleasant Hill Reservoir (Richland-Ashland County line) - With 781 acres of water and 13 miles of shoreline located next to Mohican State Forest, 2 miles southwest of Perrysville, the reservoir has plenty to offer. The boat ramp and marina are located on Covert Road, right off SR 95. Good numbers of crappie from 9-10 inches can be found; try minnows under a slip bobber in 8 -12 feet of water near submerged trees. Catfish and yellow perch can also be caught using worms fished on the bottom near the fishing dock.

NORTHEAST OHIO

Akron Youth Fishing Area (Summit County) - This is the last weekend for this very accessible, family-friendly fishing area which is open to the public at Wildlife District Three in Akron. Plenty of sunfish and nice catfish are still lurking in the waters waiting to be caught by kids 15 years and younger. The area is open 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. today, Sunday and Labor Day. Kids can fish as long as they are accompanied by a guardian; bait, rods and tackle are provided and a Division of Wildlife employee is available for questions and to assist youngsters with fishing. Restrooms are available as well. Don’t let this opportunity be the one that got away! Visit the area at 912 Portage Lakes Drive, just off of SR 93/Manchester Road.

Tuscarawas River (Tuscarawas County) - The river is a great location to catch a large diversity of fish. Smallmouth bass, saugeye, channel catfish and flathead catfish are all being caught with a variety of baits. For 8- to 14-inch smallmouth, anglers should target rocky structure just out of the main current with jigs or crayfish fished on the bottom. Saugeye are also hitting on jigs and curly tails fished in the deeper pools of water near structure, such as woody debris, as well as tipping jigs with minnows or earthworms; a fair number averaging between 10-17 inches are being caught. Channel catfish and flathead catfish are ranging between 10-16 inches and 12-25 inches, respectively, and are being caught in better than average numbers. It is suggested that anglers should fish tight-line on the bottom with cut bait, stink bait, chicken liver, earthworms or live minnows in the 3- to 5-inch size; fishing these baits near undercut banks or wooden debris piles has enticed both species. The best access is the Dover Dam off of SR 800 to points south (public access). Note: Most of the land along the river is in private ownership and access from shore is limited. A public boat ramp has been constructed east of Tuscarawas on Tuscarawas Road; anglers should get permission from the landowner to access private shorelines. Canoe and boat anglers are experiencing excellent catches of fish.

SOUTHEAST OHIO

Piedmont Lake (Belmont County) - Largemouth bass fishing should be picking up; try a variety of crankbaits or spinner baits cast along the shore line. As shad begin moving into the lower end of the lake, shad-colored baits should be successful. Smallmouth bass are also present in this lake and can provide a fun opportunity for anglers; nighttime angling is especially productive this time of year, especially along rocky shore line in 6-9 feet of water using tube jigs and spinner baits. Short-arm spinner baits (7/16-oz.) with a pork trailer work well here; spinner baits should be retrieved slowly just along the bottom over rocky substrate.

Seneca Lake (Noble County) - Largemouth bass angling should start improving with the cooling trend in water temperature. Reservoir bass have a high tendency to stage near woody structure at near-shore locations; the preferred lure color is generally white plastics as tubes or grubs fished in water depths of 6-10 feet near irregularities associated with the lake basin. Saugeye fishing success should also start to improve; lead-head jigs with a white twister tipped with a minnow are effective here, while Shad Rap’s and other similar crank-bait imitations and worm harnesses can also be productive.

SOUTHWEST OHIO

Caesar Creek (Clinton/Greene/Warren counties) - Anglers casting in-line spinners and crankbaits are catching muskellunge; these are also being taken in the smaller creeks leading into the lake. If you catch a muskie, please report your catch to the DOW’s Muskie Angler Log at http://www.ohiodnr.com/muskielog/welcome.aspx; this log was developed in partnership with the Ohio Muskie Anglers as a resource for these anglers and to support muskie management efforts in Ohio by providing valuable catch data to the Ohio DOW. Saugeye anglers are catching a few 15- to 18-inch fish at 6-15 feet but most are small; troll medium- or deep-diving crankbaits along submerged points or underwater humps, cast or drift with live nightcrawlers on a bottom-bouncing harness rig or use a lead-head jig tipped with a piece of worm in the early morning and early evening. Channel catfish are being caught by shore anglers using nightcrawlers, shrimp and chicken livers fished tight-line along the bottom in 5- to 8-foot depths.

C. J. Brown Reservoir (Clark County) - A few walleye are being caught using crankbaits, jigs with plastic bodies or curly tails, small spinners, live minnows, leeches or nightcrawlers; good curly tail color choices are white, orange, pink or chartreuse. Fish by slowly jigging, trolling or drifting baits in 10- to 15-foot depths; anglers report that the most successful bait has been silver or gold blade baits, as well as reporting walleyes are being caught in the main lake river channel, around structure and over the humps, particularly in the very early morning. Most walleye are undersized but some legal fish are being caught. REMEMBER — all walleye less than 15 inches must be immediately released back into the lake. Channel catfish are being caught using shad, shrimp, nightcrawlers and chicken livers in the upper end of the lake fished tight-line or slowly drifting the bait along the bottom in 3- to 6-foot depths.

OHIO RIVER

Western Ohio River (Cincinnati to Adams County) - Fishing has been slow with most action around Meldahl Dam or the tributaries running into the Ohio; try chicken livers or cut bait for catfish. Blue cats are being taken in the downtown Cincinnati area on skip jack.

Hannibal Lock and Dam Tailwater (Willow Island Pool) (Monroe County) - Hybrid-striped bass up to 5 pounds can be caught in the hydro plant discharge at the Hannibal Dam; these can be caught at the surface and on the bottom of the river. Anglers should look for jumping schools of baitfish as signs of “hybrids” feeding on the surface; use surface/near-surface baits if fish are feeding near the surface. Soft-bodied swim baits (fished below a “launcher float”) and shallow-running or surface stick baits such as pencil poppers work well when fish are feeding near the surface. Channel catfish and flathead catfish can also be caught this time of year using cut bait fished on the bottom; most catfish and hybrids are being caught in current off of the most upstream fishing platform and in slack water along the sides of the hydro plant.

LAKE ERIE

Regulations to Remember: The daily bag limit for walleye on Ohio waters of Lake Erie is 6 fish per angler; minimum size limit for walleye is 15 inches. …. The daily bag limit for yellow perch is 30 fish per angler on all Ohio waters of Lake Erie. …. The trout and salmon daily bag limit is 5 through today; minimum size limit is 12 inches. …. The black bass (largemouth and smallmouth bass) daily bag limit is 5 fish per angler with a 14-inch minimum size limit.

Western Basin: Walleye fishing was good over the past week; the best areas were E of West Sister Island, around “L”, “C” and “E” cans of the Camp Perry firing range, NW of North Bass Island along the Canadian border, on West Reef, W of Rattlesnake Island and along the Canadian border NE of Kelleys Island. Trollers have been catching fish on worm harnesses or with divers and spoons, drifters by casting mayfly rigs or weight-forward spinners tipped with worms. … Yellow perch fishing was best 1-2 miles N of the Toledo water intake, near the turnaround buoy of the Toledo shipping channel, off Little Cedar Point, both SE and W of West Sister Island, around “B” and “C” cans of the Camp Perry firing range, NW of Rattlesnake Island and Green Island, on the dumping grounds E of Marblehead, off of Cedar Point and 1-5 miles E of Kelleys Island; perch-spreaders with shiners fished near the bottom produce the most fish. … Largemouth bass fishing continues to be good in harbors and nearshore areas around Catawba and Marblehead.

Central Basin: Walleye fishing has occasionally been good around the SW corner of the sandbar (N of Vermilion), W of Ruggles Reef and around the Huron dumping grounds trolling crankbaits or worm harnesses. Excellent fishing, the best of the year, was reported in 70-72’ of water NE of Ashtabula and in 68-72’ N-NE of Conneaut by trolling wire-line with pink, white, orange, yellow and green stick baits. … Yellow perch fishing has been fair in 47’ of water N of Edgewater Park and in 65’ of water N of Gordon Park. Excellent fishing in 56-58’ of water NW of Fairport Harbor, in 46-60’ of water NE of Geneva, in 58-70’ of water NE of Conneaut; spreaders with shiners fished near the bottom produce the most fish. Shore fishing off the Cleveland area piers has been slow. … Smallmouth and largemouth bass fishing has been good in 10-20’ around harbor areas in Cleveland, Fairport Harbor, Geneva, Ashtabula and Conneaut using nightcrawlers, soft-craws, leeches and tube jigs. … White Bass fishing has been good with larger fish being caught off the East 55th Street and East 72nd Street piers in Cleveland and the short pier in Fairport Harbor; evenings have been the best. On the lake, look for gulls feeding on shiners at the surface; the white bass will be below. Anglers are using agitators with jigs and small spoons. … Channel Catfish are being caught off the Edgewater and East 55th Street piers in Cleveland in the evenings; catfish are also being caught in the Grand River using nightcrawlers. … The water temperature is 72 degrees off of Toledo and 72 degrees off of Cleveland, according to the nearshore marine forecast. … Anglers are encouraged to always wear a U.S. Coast Guard-approved personal flotation device while boating.

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Ohio remains vigilant in Asian Carp testing

Only a single water sample, out of 225 samples from the Maumee River and 100 samples from the Sandusky River, contained traces of genetic material from silver Asian carp, according to the ODNR. The testing seeks to identify the presence of environmental DNA (eDNA) from bighead or silver Asian carp and the lone positive sample was collected in the Maumee River. The samples were collected as part of an extensive monitoring effort in the Maumee and Sandusky rivers by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service.

“The eDNA technology represents a tremendous early detection tool that will help us identify potential sources and vectors of Asian carp. It is important that we look at the persistence of eDNA over time to help guide us on future efforts,” said Rich Carter, executive administrator, ODNR Fish Management and Research.” Ohio appreciates the USFWS efforts in conducting this year’s eDNA sampling and analysis.”

Ohio teamed with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) and Michigan DNR last year to conduct an exhaustive targeted survey for bighead and silver Asian carp after Asian carp eDNA was detected in both Maumee and Sandusky bays and rivers in 2011 and 2012. No live fish were captured during last year’s cooperative search. There is also extensive and ongoing routine sampling being conducted by all the states that border Lake Erie, as well as an extensive commercial and recreational fishing effort, with no live fish captured in these efforts.

ODNR will continue to collaborate with USFWS on follow-up sampling. Monitoring for live fish will continue through an extensive ongoing annual inter-agency fish sampling program, commercial fishery catch reporting and reporting by recreational fishermen.

eDNA can be left in the environment in the form of scales, cells, feces or mucus. At present, eDNA evidence cannot verify whether live Asian carp are present, whether the DNA may have come from a dead fish, or whether water containing Asian carp DNA may have been transported from other sources such as bilge water, storm sewers or fish-eating birds. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the U.S. Geological Survey are leading a 2-year Asian Carp Environmental eDNA Calibration Study (ECALS), funded through the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative to reduce the uncertainty surrounding Asian carp environmental DNA (eDNA) results. For more information on ECALS, please visit www.AsianCarp.us.

For more information on the science of eDNA in the fight against Asian carp, watch the video at: http://youtu.be/xXwply6ahQ8.

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Ohio to establish more than 28,000 acres of pheasant habitat

Ohio landowners in select counties are now eligible to enroll in the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) which seeks to restore pheasant habitats across the state, according to the ODNR. This habitat improvement program is called the Ohio Pheasant State Acres for Wildlife Enhancement (SAFE) and Ohio expects to establish 28,700 acres through the program.

“Pheasant and quail hunters have been ambassadors for grassland conservation in Ohio for many years,” said ODNR Director James Zehringer. “Enrollment in the Ohio Pheasant SAFE program is an exciting way to honor the tradition of upland game hunting and to celebrate nearly 100 years of pheasants in Ohio.”

Pheasant SAFE utilizes a wildlife management practice specifically developed by conservation organizations and agencies located within Ohio to establish and restore habitats to support declining populations of game bird species. The program specifically targets declining pheasant and quail populations in areas of greatest impact and the applicant may elect a contract period between 10-15 years. Pheasant SAFE allows for enrollment of whole fields.

The SAFE program is available as a continuous sign-up practice under CRP on a first-come, first-served basis. Grasslands created through the program will benefit populations of ring-necked pheasants and other wildlife that depend on those habitats. Habitat improvement is particularly beneficial to pheasants and quail, which are species that have severely declined over the past few decades from habitat loss. The CRP program is maintained by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Farm Service Agency (FSA). Ring-necked pheasant introductions to Ohio were considered successful by 1914.

The Ohio Pheasant SAFE was first made available in 2010 with 6,600 acres. The conservation practice was popular with Ohio landowners and those with available acres were quickly enrolled. The DOW teamed with Pheasants Forever to request that the USDA make an additional 22,100 acres available for Ohio’s pheasants. It is hoped the Pheasant SAFE will offset some of the 154,806 acres of Ohio grassland scheduled to expire out of CRP during the next five years.

To maximize the benefits to game bird populations, Ohio Pheasant SAFE is available in the state’s core pheasant range: Auglaize, Champaign, Clark, Clinton, Darke, Defiance, Fayette, Fulton (partial), Hardin, Highland (partial), Huron, Knox, Logan, Madison, Marion (partial), Morrow, Paulding, Pickaway, Ross (partial), Seneca, Shelby, Union and Wyandot (partial) counties.

Ohio Pheasant SAFE participants will be eligible for sign-up and practice incentive payments, cost-share assistance for establishment and management and annual rental payments. Interested landowners with eligible cropland should sign up before all available acres are enrolled, or by Sept. 30. Approximately 18,000 acres are still available. More information about the Ohio Pheasant SAFE program can be obtained from an ODNR Division of Wildlife district office or the USDA Farm Services Agency.

 

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