to be stocked in Lake Erie
COLUMBUS - Ohio Department of Natural Resources Division of Wildlife has joined forces with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to implement a pilot project to continue the restoration of native lake trout populations in Lake Erie.
Lake trout are listed as a species of concern in Ohio because the population was reduced greatly by sea lamprey predation, particularly in the lake's eastern basin.
This week, about 120,000 surplus lake trout fingerlings are to be stocked in Ohio waters of Lake Erie, including the central basin (Fairport Harbor) and western basin (Catawba). These surplus lake trout were raised at the newly renovated Service Allegheny Fish Hatchery in Warren, Pa. About 200,000 lake trout are raised annually at the hatchery for lake trout restoration efforts in Lake Erie's eastern region.
Furbearer populations ripe for hunting, trapping
COLUMBUS - Ohio's annual furbearer hunting and trapping seasons begin Saturday for some species and good furbearer populations are expected this year, according to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources Division of Wildlife.
"Following the mild winter of 2011-12, most populations of furbearing species are doing very well," said biologist Suzie Prange. "We anticipate fur takers will have a good season for most species."
Fox, raccoon, opossum, skunk and weasel hunting and trapping seasons are open Saturday through Jan. 31. Mink and muskrat trapping seasons open Saturday and run through Feb. 28.
However, raccoon, opossum, skunk, weasel, mink and muskrat trapping seasons will remain open through March 15 only in Erie, Ottawa and Sandusky counties as well as Lucas County east of the Maumee River.
Coyote hunting and trapping has no closed season with an unrestricted bag limit. Special hunting regulations for coyotes apply during the statewide deer-gun season, Nov. 26-Dec. 2 and Dec. 15-16, and deer-muzzleloader season, Jan. 5-8.
Beaver and river otter trapping seasons are open Dec. 26 through Feb. 28. Beaver trapping is open statewide.
Hunting and trapping information can be found online at www.wildohio.com.
Researcher to rewrite state's phosphorus index
COLUMBUS - Grand Lake St. Marys has lost an estimated $60 million to $80 million in tourism due to harmful algae blooms.
An Ohio State University researcher has launched a $2 million project to evaluate and, as necessary, revise the U.S. Department of Agriculture Natural Resources Conservation Service Ohio Phosphorus Risk Index to better predict the risk of phosphorus moving off farm fields.
Elizabeth Dayton, a soil scientist in Ohio State's School of Environment and Natural Resources, garnered a $1 million USDA Conservation Innovation Grant and $1 million in matching donations from Ohio agribusinesses to complete the project.
Her goals are to make the index accurate, add more best management practice options for farmers, and create an interactive web-based tool.
The research is to focus primarily on Grand Lake St. Marys and western Lake Erie, two of the most problematic watersheds.