Outdoor briefs, Sept. 23

Deer season opens Saturday

COLUMBUS — Archery season for white-tailed deer opens Saturday and runs through Feb. 3, according to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources.

Other deer seasons this fall and winter are youth gun, Nov. 17-18; gun, Nov. 26-Dec. 2 and Dec. 15-16; and muzzleloader, Jan. 5-8.

New for the 2018-19 season, only one antlerless deer may be taken from Ohio’s public hunting areas per license year. In addition, from Dec. 3 through Feb. 3, no antlerless deer may be taken from public hunting areas in Ohio, excluding controlled hunts. A list of public hunting areas can be found at wildohio.gov.

Also, new carcass rules apply in Ohio chronic wasting disease-susceptible species — white-tailed deer, black-tailed deer, mule deer, elk, caribou or moose. No person is permitted to bring high-risk carcass parts into Ohio from any state, Mexican state or Canadian province, regardless of the CWD status of the exporting jurisdiction. High-risk carcass parts may be transported through Ohio if they are not unloaded within the state.

People who hunt outside of Ohio must bone the meat before returning to the state with an elk, mule deer, white-tailed deer, black-tailed deer, caribou or moose. The only parts that be transported to Ohio are meat with no part of the spinal column or head attached; meat that is boned out, securely and completely wrapped either commercially or privately; cleaned hides with no heads attached; skull plates that have been cleaned of all meat and brain tissue; antlers with no meat or tissue attached; cleaned upper canine teeth; hides and capes without any part of the head or lymph nodes attached; or finished taxidermy mounts.

As a reminder, portions of Holmes and Tuscarawas counties have been declared a disease surveillance area as part of the state’s ongoing efforts to monitor the disease. Specific regulations that apply to hunters who harvest a deer within the surveillance area can be found at wildohio.gov.

The statewide bag limit is six deer, and only one deer may be antlered regardless of location or method of take. Deer bag limits are determined by county, and hunters cannot exceed a county bag limit.

Hunting hours are 30 minutes before sunrise to 30 minutes past sunset for all deer seasons. Additional details and requirements can be found in the 2018-2019 Ohio Hunting and Trapping Regulations booklet, available where licenses are sold or at wildohio.gov.

Celebrate hunting, fishing day Saturday at Izaak Walton

National Hunting and Fishing Day at Tiffin-Seneca County Chapter of Izaak Walton League is toset for Sept. 29. Fishing is to begin at 9 a.m., with lunch at noon and riflery and archery after lunch. Free.

Lake Erie walleye, perch

fishing looks bright

COLUMBUS — Early data gathered by wildlife agencies in the western basin of Lake Erie indicate this year’s walleye hatch appears to be exceptional, the second highest in the history of the Ohio survey, and the yellow perch hatch was strong, well above its long-term average, according to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources.

Each year in August, wildlife agencies from around the western basin of Lake Erie sample the waters using bottom trawls in search of young-of-the-year walleye and yellow perch, with biologists from the ODNR Division of Wildlife conducting bottom trawls at nearly 40 sampling locations. Data from these bottom trawl surveys are combined into a basin-wide index, and fisheries biologists compare the figures to previous years to estimate the success of the walleye and yellow perch hatches. These data provide biologists with an initial estimate of how many young fish will enter the fishable population two years later.

The trawl survey found 112 walleye per hectare, the second-highest value on record and far more than the 20-year average of 27 walleye per hectare. This year’s outstanding hatch, combined with the excellent 2015 year-class, ensures an abundance of young walleye to complement the older and larger fish that make up the current walleye population.

The trawl survey found the yellow perch hatch to be very good at 511 yellow perch per hectare, above the 20-year average of 316 yellow perch per hectare. The hatch should help bolster the yellow perch population and maintain quality yellow perch fishing.

Initial reports from bottom trawl surveys conducted by the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry in Ontario waters of the western basin showed similar results, with walleye catches well above average and strong yellow perch catches.

The Ohio and Ontario bottom trawl data is to be combined to estimate the basin-wide hatches of walleye and yellow perch. These estimates will be used in the process to determine jurisdictional quotas.

Central basin trawl surveys in July and August usually are impacted by low oxygen conditions that cause young-of-the-year fish to school or concentrate in nearshore areas.

ODNR Division of Forestry

assists in wildfire protection

COLUMBUS — A new wildfire strategy recently announced by the U.S. Department of Agriculture has the Ohio Department of Natural Resources playing a role in the Toward Shared Stewardship Across Landscapes program, which is designed to forge stronger partnerships between state and federal agencies in support of healthy forests.

A key component of the new strategy is that state foresters are to work closely with the USDA Forest Service on an improved wildfire strategy to meet America’s wildfire challenges. The USFS is committed to using the forest action plans created by states, including Ohio, as guides for hazardous fuels management and to utilize emerging technologies for preventing, detecting and suppressing wildfires more quickly and safely.

This year has been an active wildfire year and the Division of Forestry has sent four 20-person interagency fire crews as well as equipment and single resources to Missouri, Idaho, Texas, Utah, Oregon, Colorado, Washington and Montana. Also, the division sent an incident management specialist to Puerto Rico.

In Ohio, 716 wildland fires, which burned 1,518 acres, were reported between July 1, 2017, and June 30. The leading cause of wildland fires in Ohio is debris burning.

In addition to wildland fire incidents, Ohio crews and single resource personnel have assisted with hurricanes and floods since 1986. Crews and overhead staff are dispatched out-of-state for two-week assignments. Travel and wage costs are reimbursed by requesting agencies. Last year, Ohio’s wildfire and engine crews responded to wildfire assignments in California, Oregon, Georgia, Arizona, Wyoming, South Dakota, New Mexico and Montana.

The Division of Forestry also coordinates cooperative agreements and wildfire training, prevention, suppression and enforcement with 325 fire departments in the southern and eastern parts of the state and around Maumee State Forest in northwest Ohio.

Mobility-impaired hunt is planned at Maumee Bay

OREGON — The Ohio Department of Natural Resources Division of Parks and Watercraft, in coordination with the Maumee Valley Chapter of the National Wild Turkey Federation, is to host a mobility-impaired controlled deer hunt at Maumee Bay State Park Nov. 10-11.

Lottery applications must be received by Oct. 26. To obtain an application, visit maumeevalleynwtf.com. Only one entry per hunter will be accepted, and permits are non-transferable.

Mail completed applications to Maumee Valley NWTF, ATTN: Gary Robison, 10277 Scarlet Oak Drive, Perrysburg, OH 43551, or call (419) 410-5824 for more information.

Drawings are at 8:30 a.m. Oct. 27 at the state park office. Only lottery winners are to have access to the boardwalk on hunting dates.