Youth invited to fish at stocked ponds Saturday
Youth interested in fishing in stocked ponds are invited to participate 9 a.m.-1 p.m. Saturday at any of five state-owned ponds.
About 500 young anglers ages 15 and younger participated in a similar event June 30.
Designated ponds are at Maumee Bay State Park, east of Toledo; Sycamore State Park, west of Dayton; Delaware State Park, north of Delaware; Caesar Creek State Park, southwest of Xenia; and Wildlife District 3 youth fishing ponds in Akron.
Bait and assistance from volunteers are to be provided at no charge. Youth are encouraged to provide poles, but some poles are to be available.
Young anglers must be accompanied by a parent or guardian, but adults are not required to have a fishing license. Adults are not allowed to fish in the youth area, but they may assist.
State park ponds are to be stocked with channel catfish and hybrid bluegill just prior to the youth-only fishing event and will be open daily. Youth may keep one fish per day from the ponds.
Squirrel season coming
Ohio's squirrel season is to open Sept. 1, beginning the fall hunting season, according to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources Division of Wildlife.
Legal hunting hours are a half-hour before sunrise to sunset daily. Squirrel season is to be closed during the one-week statewide deer gun season, Nov. 26-Dec. 2.
An abundance of nut crops is a good indicator of squirrel numbers the following year. Statewide nut production ratings for fall 2011 were lower in comparison to those from 2010. However, the predicted squirrel hunting outlook for the 2012-13 season is above average.
Although oak production was average, substantial increases in walnut production occurred throughout the state during fall 2011. Increased food supply in concert with an exceptionally mild winter should lead to high squirrel densities and increased hunting opportunities this fall.
Primary fox squirrel range occurs predominately in the agricultural landscapes in the northeastern and western regions of Ohio, whereas the primary gray squirrel range is in the extensively forested east-central, southeastern and south-central regions.
Gray squirrels are more dependent on hard mast, and their abundance is closely tied to the mast crop the previous fall.
Fox squirrels are less dependent upon mast crop resources and likely use supplemental food in agricultural areas.
Hunters who wish to participate in the Squirrel Hunting Diary Program, designed to track trends in nut crops and squirrel populations across the state, should contact the Waterloo Wildlife Research Station, 360 E. State St., Athens, OH 45701 or call (740) 589-9930 for more information.