Central Ohio – Wildlife District One
While on bicycle patrol at Quarry Park, State Wildlife Officer Chad Grote, assigned to Marion County, observed a man and woman fishing from the banks of the lake. He contacted the pair and asked how the fishing was going. They both admitted to fishing without a license, which is required at Quarry Park. They were each issued a summons for fishing without a license. Both were found guilty in the Marion Municipal Court and paid $226 in fines and court costs.
Northwest Ohio – Wildlife District Two
In the spring of 2018, Lake Erie Investigator Brian Bury and State Wildlife Officer Craig Barr, assigned to Allen County, were patrolling from a boat near East Harbor State Park on Lake Erie. While on patrol, the officers encountered two anglers fishing for bass. The anglers stated they had a few bass on board their vessel. Since the bass season on Lake Erie was closed, the anglers were instructed to meet the officers at a nearby boat dock. During inspection, the anglers were found to have a total of 20 bass in their possession, including both largemouth and smallmouth bass. In addition, five of the fish were under the 14-inch minimum size limit for the open season, including one that was only 10 inches. Both anglers were found guilty in the Ottawa County Municipal Court and ordered to pay a total of $716 in fines and court costs. Additionally, each was given five days in jail which was suspended pending no further violations for one year.
During the 2017 deer archery season, State Wildlife Officer Nathan West, assigned to Wyandot County, received a tip from a hunter at Killdeer Plains Wildlife Area. The hunter stated that he had witnessed two individuals walking into the Killdeer Plains Wildlife Area refuge. As the pair walked into the refuge, the hunter was able to obtain a photograph of the suspects’ vehicle and license plate. As a result, the two suspects were later identified. State Wildlife Officer Brad Kiger, assigned to Franklin County, and Officer West contacted the two suspects that had entered the refuge property without a permit. Both admitted to trespassing on the refuge and were issued summonses. Each was ordered to pay $155 in fines and court costs.
Northeast Ohio – Wildlife District Three
During the 2017 statewide muzzleloader season, State Wildlife Officer Brennan Earick, assigned to Ashland County, received a complaint of two individuals hunting without permission. Officer Earick and State Wildlife Investigator Banbury responded to the scene. State Wildlife Officer Aaron Brown, assigned to Wayne County, arrived a short time later and waited along the adjacent roadway. While Investigator Banbury spoke to a witness, Officer Earick proceeded toward the back of the complainant’s property and located two individuals with muzzleloaders. He contacted both men and instructed them to walk to Officer Brown’s vehicle. Once at the vehicle, Officer Earick issued both individuals summons for hunting without permission. Both individuals appeared in court and pleaded no contest to the charges. The men were convicted and ordered to pay over $700 in fines and court costs.
Southeast Ohio – Wildlife District Four
While on patrol, the Glouster Police Department located two men who had active warrants and arrested them. The individuals were carrying a bag of freshly dug illegal ginseng and yellow root. State Wildlife Officer Mark Basinger, assigned to Athens County, followed up with the police department and interviewed the suspects. Each man was charged with digging ginseng during the closed season and harvesting ginseng and yellow root without permission of the landowner. The case is still pending in court.
During the recent summer holiday weekends, state wildlife officers from District 4 worked at Lake Rupert in Vinton County due to litter complaints received from the public. During their patrols, the officers observed multiple stream litter, fishing, and drug-related offenses. The officers issued 17 summonses to individuals for the violations.
Southwest Ohio – Wildlife District Five
State Wildlife Officers Brad Buening, assigned to Mercer County, and Mark Schemmel, assigned to Auglaize County, were working sport fishing enforcement at Grand Lake St. Marys over the Memorial Day holiday. While patrolling from a boat, the officers found two individuals who were trespassing on the Mercer Wildlife Area refuge. The officers approached the individuals and checked them for valid fishing licenses. As the individuals provided their fishing licenses to the officers, they admitted that they had chosen to ignore the posted signs against trespassing and continued to fish. Both individuals were charged for trespassing onto the refuge and were later arraigned into the Celina Municipal Court. Each was ordered to pay $175 in fines and court costs.