COLUMBUS, OH The Ohio Department of Natural Resources' (ODNR) Division of Wildlife is holding open house meetings in all five districts to discuss proposed rule changes to Ohio's fish and wildlife rules. The meetings will be Saturday, Aug. 11, from 123 p.m. and are open to the public.
"Ohio's anglers, hunters, trappers and wildlife enthusiasts are encouraged to provide their input on any rule being considered for change," said Scott Zody, chief of ODNR's Division of Wildlife.
Rule proposals encompass new rules for wild animal hunting preserves, commercial bird shooting preserves and wild cervidaes to align with recently enacted legislation (House Bill 389). The rule package also includes proposals to define the geographical limits on reservoirs and bag limits on selected fish species.
Also proposed is a modification to the fish fillet rule. The following changes are proposed: fillets must be kept whole until an angler reaches their permanent residence or until the fish are prepared for immediate consumption; there will be no requirement to keep any skin on them; and this rule will not apply to anglers with a receipt from a fish cleaning house or charter captain which states the date, number and species of fish.
Each open house location will have a fish and wildlife biologist, as well as law enforcement officers available to answer questions. For those customers who are unable to attend an open house, comments will be accepted online at www.wildohio.com. The form will be available now until Aug. 12.
Public input gathered at these open houses and through the online comments will be forwarded to the division's central office and considered during the formulation of regulations.
Open house locations include:
Central Ohio - District One Wildlife Office, 1500 Dublin Road, Columbus. For more information, call 614-644-3925;
Northwest Ohio - District Two Wildlife Office, 952 Lima Avenue, Findlay. For more information, call 419-424-5000;
Northeast - District Three Wildlife Office, 912 Portage Lakes Drive, Akron. For more information, call 330-644-2293;
Southeast Ohio - District Four Wildlife Office, 360 E. State Street, Athens. For more information, call 740-589-9930;
Southwest Ohio - District Five Wildlife Office, 1076 Old Springfield Pike, Xenia. For more information, call 937-372-9261;
Eastern Lake Erie - Fairport Fisheries Unit, 1190 High Street, Fairport Harbor. For more information, call 440-352-4199; and
Western Lake Erie - Lake Erie Shores and Islands Regional Welcome Center West, 770 SE Catawba Road, Port Clinton. For more information, call 419-625-8062.
A statewide hearing on all proposed rules will be held on Thursday, Sept. 20 at 9 a.m. at the Division of Wildlife's District One office, located at 1500 Dublin Road, Columbus. This hearing is open to the public and comments are permitted. After considering public input, the Ohio Wildlife Council will vote on the proposed rules during the Oct. 17 meeting.
For more information or directions to the open houses, visit the Division of Wildlife's website at www.wildohio.com or call 800-WILDLIFE (945-3543).
ODNR ensures a balance between wise use and protection of our natural resources for the benefit of all. Visit the ODNR website at www.ohiodnr.com.