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Wildlife officers catch fishermen engaging in illegal activities

• Aug 30, 2018 at 12:00 PM

Here are recent field reports from Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) Division of Wildlife officers:

Central Ohio – Wildlife District One

This summer, State Wildlife Officer Matt Teders, assigned to Madison County, has been patrolling areas of the Scioto River in Columbus popular among anglers using cast nets to collect bait. Evening enforcement by Officer Teders along the Scioto has yielded multiple summonses to individuals who used cast nets to illegally take gamefish species, such as bluegill and crappie. When using a cast net, only forage fish and minnows maybe taken. All other game species must be returned to the water immediately.

Northwest Ohio – Wildlife District Two

This past July, State Wildlife Officer Ryan Kennedy, assigned to Hardin County, was working at Killdeer Plains Wildlife Area when he observed a vehicle that matched the description of one involved in multiple litter incidents on the area. Officer Kennedy initiated a traffic stop on the vehicle and identified a female occupant. After speaking with the woman for some time, she admitted to littering on the area on multiple occasions. She later paid $350 in fines and court costs.

Northeast Ohio – Wildlife District Three

In the spring, State Wildlife Officers Brennan Earick, assigned to Ashland County, and Jeremy Carter, assigned to Holmes County, were patrolling the Killbuck Marsh Wildlife Area with Officer Carter’s K-9 partner, Finn, when they observed a vehicle in a parking area along State Route 83. Due to the large area, Officer Carter utilized K-9 Officer Finn on a person track to locate the individual. Shortly thereafter, the officers observed a man fishing in the Killbuck Creek. Officer Carter and Finn stayed back while Officer Earick proceeded toward the man. As he approached, Officer Earick observed the man walk out of sight and then he heard an item hit the vegetation. The man then reappeared and moved further downstream where he proceeded to fish. Officer Earick walked to the location where the object had landed and located an alcoholic beverage container in the vegetation. He contacted the man and asked to see his fishing license. After seeing the man’s license, Officer Earick asked if he had thrown an item into the weeds. The man indicated that he had discarded a water bottle. The man spent several minutes attempting to locate the water bottle but was unsuccessful. Officer Carter then approached with K-9 Officer Finn and conducted an article search. K-9 Officer Finn walked past several old cans and bottles but alerted on the fresh alcohol container. The suspect was advised that K-9 Officer Finn was alerting to fresh human odor on the container. At that time, the man admitted to drinking from the container and discarding it into the weeds. He was escorted back to Officer Carter’s patrol vehicle where he was issued two summonses: possession of an open container of alcohol in a public place and stream litter. The individual appeared in the Holmes County Municipal Court, was convicted, and ordered to pay over $300 in fines and court costs.

Southeast Ohio – Wildlife District Four

While on patrol, State Wildlife Officer Roy Rucker, assigned to Gallia County, contacted several anglers at the R.C. Byrd Locks and Dam Fishing Access Area. While checking anglers for valid licenses and bag limit compliance, Officer Rucker contacted two anglers who had 10 hybrid striped bass on their stringer that were over 15 inches. One of the anglers admitted to putting two extra fish on the stringer which put him over his limit. Officer Rucker issued the man one citation for possessing more than four hybrid striped bass over 15 inches from the Ohio River. The suspect paid $160 in fines and court costs in the Gallia County Municipal Court.

In the past two years, state wildlife investigators and officers have worked multiple dump sites in Pike, Vinton, and Lawrence counties. They have made over 40 arrests for dumping violations and continue to patrol the area. The violations have included the dumping of beverage containers, old computer equipment, furniture, household appliances, tires, and brush cuttings. Please respect Ohio’s great outdoors and don’t discard old items of trash on a wildlife area, National Forest Lands, or private property. If you see a litter violation or notice a dump site, please contact the ODNR Division of Wildlife or call our Turn In a Poacher (TIP) hotline to report the violation.

Southwest Ohio – Wildlife District Five

State Wildlife Officer Eric Lamb, assigned to Brown County, received information from a complainant regarding the illegal receipt of an untagged deer. The complainant had knowledge that an acquaintance of his had received three untagged deer from an unknown individual. During the investigation, Officer Lamb discovered that five deer had been harvested during the 2017-2018 hunting season and had not been checked in by the individual who had harvested them. The deer had been harvested by two individuals from Pennsylvania and one from New Jersey who had hunted on a leased property in Brown County. A total of six individuals were charged and convicted for either the illegal taking of the deer or illegally checking a deer taken by another. The individuals paid over $2,200 in fines and court costs.

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