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Man convicted after posting picture of fish he caught by hand

• Oct 24, 2018 at 11:00 AM

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

Central Ohio – Wildlife District One

While following up on a complaint, State Wildlife Officer Patrick Muldovan, assigned to Licking County, met with a man who had harvested an antlered whitetail deer. While looking through the ODNR Division of Wildlife’s records database, Officer Muldovan noticed that the man had checked in the deer with a permit that was purchased after the deer had been harvested. The man was issued two summonses in the Licking County Municipal Court and paid $375 in fines and court costs.

State Wildlife Officer Adam Smith, assigned to Logan County, received a complaint of possible trapping violations taking place on private property. Officer Smith responded to the area and investigated the incident, which revealed two untagged foot encapsulating traps along with a bucket of suspected poison. The items were seized as evidence. Officer Smith later identified the person responsible for setting the poison and traps, and the man was issued a summons for using poison to kill wildlife. The man was found guilty in the Bellefontaine Municipal Court and paid a total of $210 in fines and court costs.

Northwest Ohio – Wildlife District Two

During the Fourth of July weekend, State Wildlife Officer Jason Porinchok, assigned to Putnam County, observed an adult female fishing alone at Ottawa Reservoir in Putnam County. The reservoir has an agreement with the ODNR Division of Wildlife that requires anglers to have a fishing license to fish there. Officer Porinchok checked the database and determined that the woman had not purchased a 2018 fishing license. When Officer Porinchok verified her identity for the citation, he discovered that she had a warrant for her arrest from the Bowling Green Municipal Court. The woman was issued a citation for fishing without a license and transported to the Wood County Jail. On her assigned court date in Putnam County, Officer Porinchok noticed that the defendant was not present in court. Officer Porinchok contacted the woman and escorted her to court, where she pleaded guilty and paid $200 in fines and court costs.

Northeast Ohio – Wildlife District Three

At the Killbuck Marsh Wildlife Area, State Wildlife Officers Aaron Brown, assigned to Wayne County, Eric Moore, assigned to Medina County, Randy White, assigned to Lorain County and Jeremy Carter, assigned to Holmes County were conducting surveillance on potential suspects who had been damaging farm fields, roads, and ditches. Officers Carter and Brown were observing a group of individuals when they heard an ATV approaching. At the same time, a sport utility vehicle entered the field where the officers had positioned their vehicle. Officers White and Moore conducted a traffic stop on the vehicle and shortly thereafter, the ATV approached their location and stopped at the intersection where they were located. Officer White identified himself and shouted for the operator to shut off the ATV but the individual fled. Officers Carter and Brown arrived shortly thereafter and located the ATV in a ditch with the engine shut off. It was later discovered that the machine had run out of fuel and the occupants had fled on foot. The officers impounded the ATV pending further investigation. Although no suspects were discovered during the investigation, the original owner of the ATV was located. It had been reported stolen several years prior and had never been recovered. Fortunately, the ATV was returned to the original owner. The individual operating the sport utility vehicle was charged with operating a vehicle in a non-designated area and ordered to appear in court. He was later convicted and paid $140 in fines and court costs.

Southeast Ohio – Wildlife District Four

During the summer of 2018, State Wildlife Officer Jeff Berry, assigned to Muskingum County, received information that an individual had posted a picture of a flathead catfish on social media with a comment about “noodling,” or catching a fish by hand. Officer Berry made contact with the individual and explained the laws pertaining to fishing methods in Ohio. Noodling is legal in Ohio except for bullheads, catfish, coho, chinook or pink salmon, brow, rainbow and steelhead trout statewide; and walleye and sauger in the Maumee and Sandusky rivers. Officer Berry asked the individual if he had caught any other fish that year. The individual informed Officer Berry that he had also caught smallmouth bass and a white bass using a fishing pole. Officer Berry found that the man had not purchased a 2018-2019 fishing license. The individual was issued a summons for fishing without a valid fishing license. The individual appeared in Muskingum County Court and received 30 hours of community service.

State Wildlife Officer Jeff Berry, assigned to Muskingum County, and State Wildlife Investigator Kirk Kiefer came across a large pile of trash at Powelson Wildlife Area. The officers sorted through multiple bags of household trash, mattresses, TVs, wood debris, and remodeling debris and were able to locate the names of two individuals who were connected to the trash. After the two individuals were interviewed, one was arrested on an outstanding warrant. Both suspects were charged with littering and convicted in the Muskingum County Court. Each suspect was sentenced to 50 days in jail and required to work off their court costs at the Muskingum County Fair. Anyone wishing to report illegal dumping is encouraged to contact your local state wildlife officer.

Southwest Ohio – Wildlife District Five

While on patrol at Grand Lake St. Marys, State Wildlife Officer Mark Schemmel, assigned to Auglaize County, was performing fishing license compliance checks along the lake’s eastern shore. Officer Schemmel was in an area popular among catfish anglers, with several rock piers protruding out into the lake. Officer Schemmel observed an individual fishing at one of the rock piers when the individual was observed tossing an empty Styrofoam worm container and an empty shrimp bag down into the rip-rap. Officer Schemmel contacted the individual a short while later, and a summons was issued for littering. The individual appeared in the Auglaize County Municipal Court and was found guilty of the charge. He was ordered to pay $181.20 in fines and court costs.

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