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Friday, November 08, 2013 9:22 PM

OHIO DIVISION OF NATURAL RESOURCES

Division of Wildlife

Welcome to the Weekly Fish Ohio Fishing Report!

INLAND LAKES AND RIVERS

These reports are updated April through October. The Lake Erie fishing report is delivered weekly year-round.

LAKE ERIE

Regulations to Remember: The daily bag limit for walleye on Ohio waters of Lake Erie from March 1 through April 30 is 4 fish per angler with a 15” minimum size limit. … 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 2 fish per angler; minimum size limit is 12”. … The black bass (largemouth and smallmouth bass) daily bag limit is 5 fish per angler with a 14” minimum size limit.

Lake-wide

Walleye

Where: Most walleye being caught have come from around Kelleys Island; from Cedar Point to Lorain within 5 miles of shore; and in or around Cleveland harbor at night.

How: Troll using deep-diving crankbaits such as Reef Runners or Deep Husky Jerks, fished in the middle portion of the water column or higher.

Yellow perch

Where: For some of the biggest perch of the year, try traditional fall spots such as the green buoy off Catawba State Park; Green, Rattlesnake and Ballast islands; Kelleys Island shoal; east of Kelleys Island airport; between Kelleys Island and Lakeside; the Marblehead lighthouse; north of Cedar Point; the south end of the sandbar offshore between Vermilion and Lorain; and just off most of the ports from Huron to Conneaut.

How: Perch-spreaders with shiners, near the bottom.

Smallmouth bass

Where: Bass start moving shallow to feed as water temperatures drop; try fishing rocky areas along both island and mainland shorelines to find feeding smallmouth bass. Areas with gizzard shad, shiners or gobies will be best.

How: Tube jigs, drop shots with goby imitations, crankbaits or jerkbaits.

Steelheads

Where: River conditions deteriorated as rain and gusty winds moved through the area earlier this week. Streams are moderately to highly turbid but river conditions should improve to fishable levels. Steelhead are moving upstream. Spin-fishing anglers have been using spoons, spinners, salmon or trout eggs, or small marabou jigs tipped with maggots under a bobber. Fly anglers have been using streamers, nymphs, wooly buggers and egg patterns.

Vermilion River: Fish from the Vermilion boat ramp upstream to Mill Hollow Park.

Rocky River: Fish from the Metroparks marina up to the Cedar Point Pools.

Cuyahoga River: Fish in Cleveland Harbor up to the State Route 82 dam.

Chagrin River: Fish from the soccer fields upstream to Daniels Park.

Grand River: Fish from the Fairport and Mentor Headlands piers and the harbor breakwalls up to Hidden Valley Metropark.

Arcola Creek: Fish the river mouth, estuary and creek in the metropark.

Ashtabula River: Fish from the breakwall, river mouth, and up to Indian Trails Park.

Conneaut Creek: Fish from the breakwall and in the river up to the state line.

The water temperature is 48 degrees off Toledo and 55 degrees off 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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Dressing for cold-weather boating

Everyone has stood in front of the closet at one time or another and exclaimed, “I don’t know what I should wear today!” Usually the worst outcome is a good scolding from the “fashion police.” But when preparing for a day of boating, not making the correct choice could be a life-threatening mistake.

Any outdoor activity in cool or colder weather conditions presents a risk of hypothermia. That risk is greater while boating because water robs the body’s heat 25 times faster than air of the same temperature.

When preparing to boat, clothing choices go a long way towards keeping the experience safe and pleasant. Each person is subject to hypothermia at a different rate. Recognize your body’s thermal capabilities or inadequacies; consider the current air, water and wind-chill temperatures; and dress accordingly. This serves the dual purposes of comfort and safety. Being comfortable adds to any experience.

Fabrics that protect against exposure to cold air and water can be broken into two categories: insulating materials and protective materials.

“Insulating materials” are fabrics that trap the body’s heat. Layering several garments is not only more effective at retaining the heat but also more comfortable, as items can be added or removed as needed.

Types of Insulating Fabrics: A variety of man-made and natural fabrics act as good insulators. Avoid 100 percent cotton garments, as they are most effective at drawing heat away from the body. Start with thin layers of polypropylene close to the skin. Add fabrics that retain heat even when wet, such as wool or synthetic fleece.

When boating in any water less than 70 degrees, a neoprene wetsuit should be part of the layer system. Cold water and weather may also require a dry suit, which keeps the body dry with the exception of the head, hands and feet.

Types of Protective Layers: A good protection layer prevents the elements from cooling the insulating layers.

There are a variety of products available that provide excellent wind and water protection. Parkas, rain suits, paddling gear, and jackets made of nylon, Gore-tex and some of the new microfibers are ideal.

The final layer for any cold-weather water activity should be a life jacket. The immediate risk of falling into the water is drowning after becoming disoriented from the shock of the cold water. In addition to providing vital buoyancy, a life jacket also serves as a good insulator. In fact, several styles of coats are Coast-Guard-approved devices that have built in flotation.

Remember that each boating outing presents a different combination of weather and water conditions. Choosing your attire wisely helps make any outing a pleasantly memorable experience.

Life Jackets: Knowing the facts about the different types of life jackets (also referred to as PFDs — Personal Flotation Devices) can help you decide which are appropriate for you. ODNR strongly encourages all boaters to wear life jackets, whether or not the law requires it.

Ohio law REQUIRES life jackets to be worn … while riding a personal watercraft; while waterskiing or being towed on a similar device; for children less than 10 years of age on any vessel less than 18 feet in length.

It is particularly important to wear a life jacket in the following situations: When the boater cannot swim or is a weak swimmer; When boating alone; When the water is dangerously cold (the months of October through May in Ohio); During rough water/waves and severe weather conditions; When boating at night; In emergency situations; In swift and fast current situations.

Life jackets fall into five different categories, each with different features that serve a variety of needs.

Type I - Offshore Life Jacket: Designed for extended survival in large, rough waters where rescue may be slow in coming, this life jacket is required on commercial craft. This type can turn an unconscious person to a vertical or slightly backward position. Unless it’s inflatable, this life jacket tends to be bulky and uncomfortable in warm weather.

Type II - Near Shore Buoyant Vest: Considered the “most common” life jacket, this PFD is for use in calm, near shore waters where there is a chance of fast rescue. It is available in a variety of sizes and is less bulky and more affordable than the offshore life jacket. It will also turn most unconscious people face up in the water.

Type III - Flotation Aid: This life jacket is regarded as the “most comfortable,” with a wide range of styles for different boating activities and sports. Ideal for calm water situations, this type generally will not turn an unconscious person face up in the water unless it’s inflatable.

Type IV - Throwable Device: Designed to be thrown to someone who has fallen overboard, this device should be immediately available for emergencies and should not be used for small children, nonswimmers or unconscious victims.

Type V - Special Use Device: This type of PFD is designed for a specific user and can include work vest and deck suits. The device contains varying levels of inherent buoyancy and is often inflatable to provide additional flotation. Some special use devices must be worn when the boat is underway.

Regardless of type, all life jackets must meet these U.S. Coast Guard requirements: Life jackets must have a “U.S. Coast Guard Approved” label with approval number listed.

Since May of 1995, boats less than 16 feet in length (including canoes and kayaks of any length) must be equipped with wearable PFDs for each person on board.

Each PFD must be the appropriate size for the person who wears it. Size, weight ranges and recommended uses are listed on the label.

All straps, buckles, zippers and stitching on a life jacket must be intact and the fabric should be in good condition.

Life jackets must be readily accessible to occupants of a boat. They should not be stored in sealed packages or in a locked or closed storage area.

Inflatables: Are They Right for You?: Inflatable life jackets are nothing new but are finally gaining wider acceptance as more agencies recognize that their comfort or wearability could translate to increased life jacket use by the public. After more than 10 years of debate on the appropriate minimum standards of fully-inflatable life jackets, the Coast Guard approved the first models in November 1996.

While inflatable life jackets are often cooler and less bulky than traditional life jackets, they are not the life jacket of choice for all boating situations. Inflatable life jackets are … Sized for persons 17 years and older weighing more than 80 pounds; Not recommended for weak or non-swimmers; Not for water sports like skiing or whitewater boating; Not for use with personal watercraft; Not for children younger than 16 years of age.

Inflatable PFDs have manual or automatic inflation with oral inflation as a back-up. Manual systems are the simplest to maintain and less susceptible to unwanted or inadvertant inflation but rely entirely on wearer activation. The user activates the manual system usually by pulling a lanyard, which inflates the device with a carbon dioxide cartridge.

Inflatable PFDs with automatic inflation are activated by submersion. When the PFD pouch is immersed in water, it automatically inflates.

All models also have an oral backup. The oral system requires the user to blow air into the device through a tube. Oral inflation is considered a backup system because the effort required for inflation might be greater than the wearer can provide in some circumstances. Orally inflating the device should not be done before firing the carbon dioxide cartridge, as damage can occur from over-inflation.

While all life jackets should be inspected from time to time to ensure they are in serviceable condition, inflatable devices should be looked over regularly to make sure the mechanism is working properly. Use the following checklist as a guide for evaluating inflatable life jackets: Don’t wear a life jacket that has torn or broken buckles; Don’t wear a life jacket that has rips, unattached webbing, or missing straps; Don’t keep life jackets with rotting material or parts showing excessive wear; Do check the inflatable lanyard to see that it hangs freely from the inflatable life jacket; Do make sure all inflatable life jackets have a properly armed inflatable mechanism.

Life Jackets Save Lives: No matter what the type of life jacket, the most significant fact about life jackets is that they save lives. It is important for recreational boaters to take the time to choose a life jacket that they will wear, that meets the need of the activity they are participating in and that will work for the environment to which they are exposed.

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New antlerless deer muzzleloader season a success for hunters

COLUMBUS – Ohio muzzleloader hunters enjoyed warm weather as they harvested 5,608 antlerless white-tailed deer during the new antlerless-only muzzleloader hunting weekend Oct. 12-13, according to the ODNR.

“Ohio’s first antlerless-only muzzleloader deer season was a success and we are pleased so many hunters participated,” said ODNR Director James Zehringer. “We remain committed to providing Ohio’s sportsmen and women with some of the best hunting opportunities in the nation.”

The new weekend was the first opportunity to take advantage of Ohio’s new extended hunting hours. A half hour of golden opportunity hunting time after sunset was added to all of this year’s upcoming deer-gun hunting seasons.

The Ohio counties that reported the most checked deer during the 2013 antlerless-only muzzleloader season: Ashtabula (200), Licking (164), Guernsey (144), Muskingum (143), Knox (141), Coshocton (138), Adams (135), Columbiana (128), Carroll (120), Athens (117) and Trumbull (117).

The ODNR Division of Wildlife remains committed to properly managing Ohio’s deer populations through a combination of regulatory and programmatic changes. This new early muzzleloader season also serves to help manage the state’s deer herd. Progress toward reducing locally abundant herds can be expected, and strides have been made to reduce deer herds in many counties closer to target levels.

Ohio hunters are encouraged to hunt more does this season to help the needy in their area. The ODNR Division of Wildlife is working with Farmers and Hunters Feeding the Hungry (FHFH) to help pay for the processing of donated venison. Hunters who donate their deer to a food bank are not required to pay the processing cost as long as funding for the effort lasts. More information about this program can be found online at fhfh.org.

Deer hunting in Ohio continues to be a popular activity for many who enjoy the outdoors. Ohio hunters checked 218,910 deer during the 2012-13 season. Ohio ranks fifth nationally in resident hunters and 11th in the number of jobs associated with hunting-related industries. Hunting has a more than $853 million economic impact in Ohio through the sale of equipment, fuel, food, lodging and more, according to the National Shooting Sports Foundation’s Hunting in America: An Economic Force for Conservation publication. Find more information about Ohio deer hunting at wildohio.com.

A list of all white-tailed deer checked by muzzleloader hunters during the 2013 antlerless muzzleloader hunting season is shown below. The antlerless muzzleloader harvest numbers do not include archery numbers.

Adams: 135; Allen: 46; Ashland: 111; Ashtabula: 200; Athens: 117; Auglaize: 39; Belmont: 99; Brown: 94; Butler: 57; Carroll: 120; Champaign: 36; Clark: 28; Clermont: 91; Clinton: 34; Columbiana: 128; Coshocton: 138; Crawford: 32; Cuyahoga: 5; Darke: 26; Defiance: 48; Delaware: 38; Erie: 25; Fairfield: 51; Fayette: 7; Franklin: 9; Fulton: 29; Gallia: 60; Geauga: 63; Greene: 26; Guernsey: 144; Hamilton: 18; Hancock: 31; Hardin: 43; Harrison: 115; Henry: 14; Highland: 79; Hocking: 103; Holmes: 89; Huron: 80; Jackson: 62; Jefferson: 82; Knox: 141; Lake: 18; Lawrence: 54; Licking: 164; Logan: 77; Lorain: 83; Lucas: 28; Madison: 19; Mahoning: 75; Marion: 27; Medina: 68; Meigs: 88; Mercer: 26; Miami: 20; Monroe: 68; Montgomery: 18; Morgan: 65; Morrow: 53; Muskingum: 143; Noble: 83; Ottawa: 10; Paulding: 56; Perry: 54; Pickaway: 18; Pike: 51; Portage: 64; Preble: 41; Putnam: 33; Richland: 105; Ross: 85; Sandusky: 27; Scioto: 64; Seneca: 69; Shelby: 63; Stark: 66; Summit: 9; Trumbull: 117; Tuscarawas: 115; Union: 32; Van Wert: 19; Vinton: 79; Warren: 39; Washington: 72; Wayne: 83; Williams: 93; Wood: 16 and Wyandot: 58. Total: 5,608.

 

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