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Outdoor briefs, April 7

Birding photography workshop Saturday in northwest Ohio

FINDLAY — Photographers, birders and outdoor enthusiasts interested in learning to photograph birds in the field are invited to attend a free informational workshop 8 a.m.-noon Saturday, according to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources Division of Wildlife.

The workshop is to take place at Magee Marsh Wildlife Area, 13229 W. SR 2, Oak Harbor. Advanced registration is required by Friday. To register, contact Meredith Gilbert at (419) 429-8359.

Division of Wildlife photographer Tim Daniel and professional photographer Nina Harfmann are to cover topics such as camera types and settings, finding a photography target and capturing a clear and interesting photo. Participants then can test their new skills in Magee Marsh’s extensive bird habitat.

Participants are encouraged to take along camera equipment, including a tri- or monopod, binoculars, sturdy walking shoes and insect repellent. A large portion of the workshop is outdoors.

Wild turkey season starts soon, with youth next weekend

COLUMBUS — Spring wild turkey hunting season starts soon, according to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources.

The state is divided into two zones this year for the spring season. The south zone is to open April 22 and a northeast zone is to open April 29. The youth wild turkey season is to take place Saturday and next Sunday. Hunters can view the 2019 spring turkey season zone map at wildohio.gov.

The Division of Wildlife anticipates 50,000 licensed hunters will hunt turkeys before the season ends May 19 in the south zone and May 26 in the northeast zone.

Hunting hours from April 22-28 in the south zone and April 29-May 5 in the northeast zone are 30 minutes before sunrise until noon. Hunting hours from April 29-May 19 in the south zone and May 6-26 in the northeast zone are 30 minutes before sunrise to sunset. Hunting hours during the two-day youth season are 30 minutes before sunrise to sunset.

The spring season bag limit is two bearded wild turkeys. Hunters can harvest one bearded turkey per day, and a second permit can be purchased at any time throughout the season.

Turkeys must be checked no later than 11:30 p.m. the day of harvest. Hhunters must report their turkey harvest using the automated game-check system, which is available online, by phone or at a license agent. A complete list of participating license agents can be found at wildohio.gov.

Visit the Turkey Hunting Resources page at wildohio.gov, or call 800-WILDLIFE (945-3543) for more information about the game-check process.

Hunters may use shotguns or archery equipment. It is unlawful to hunt turkeys using bait, live decoys or electronic calling devices, or to shoot a wild turkey while it is in a tree. The division advises turkey hunters to wear hunter orange clothing when entering, leaving or moving through hunting areas in order to remain visible to others.

Fishing outlook for Lake Erie region has great news for anglers

COLUMBUS — The fishing outlook looks excellent for Lake Erie anglers, according to Ohio Department of Natural Resources Division of Wildlife.

Walleye harvest rates set records in 2018, and numerous large hatches point to a bright future for the Walleye Capital of the World, the release said.

Ohio’s Lake Erie daily bag limit for walleye is four fish per angler and the yellow perch daily bag limit is 30 fish per angler through April 30. The daily bag limit is six walleye per angler from May 1 through Feb. 29. A 15-inch minimum size limit is in effect during the entire season for walleye. The yellow perch daily limit will remain at 30 in all of Ohio’s Lake Erie waters through April 2020 with no minimum size limit.

Seneca County anglers should be aware that Lake Erie fishing regulations now apply on the Sandusky River downstream of Water Works Dam.

“Lake Erie walleye and yellow perch fisheries are managed through an interagency quota system,” Kendra Wecker, chief of the Division of Wildlife, said in a news release. “Each jurisdiction regulates its catches to comply with annually determined safe harvest levels that minimize the risk of over-fishing. Bag limits are based on the quota allocations determined by the interagency group.”

Walleye anglers are expected to catch abundant 4- to 5-year-old fish that average 19-21 inches and could be as large as 26 inches. Abundant young fish from the 2017 and 2018 hatches are expected to show up in anglers’ catches ranging from 9-14 inches. Anglers are encouraged to release the too-small fish with as little handling as possible, so they can contribute to the fishery in the future.

Anglers can expect good perch fishing in the western basin as fish from the large 2014 hatch are approaching sizes up to 13 inches. Hatches from 2015 through 2017 also are expected to provide some smaller 7- to 9-inch fish. The 2018 class is projected to be larger than the 2014 class and provide increased numbers of fish in coming years.

Smallmouth bass and largemouth bass fishing should provide good catch rates and trophy-size opportunities.

Anglers are reminded that new regulations were implemented for largemouth and smallmouth bass for the 2019 fishing season. The previously-closed spring season now allows the harvest of one black bass per day with a minimum size limit of 18 inches from May 1 until the fourth Saturday of June, which this year is June 22, and the daily bag limit continues to be five black bass per day with a 14-inch minimum size limit the remainder of the season through April 30.

Updated Lake Erie fishing reports are available at wildohio.gov or by calling (888) 466-5347.

Call the Sandusky station at (419) 625-8062.

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