Cleanup efforts under way in Indian Lake

By Dan Armitage, host of Buckeye Sportsman, Ohio’s longest running outdoor radio show

Following a visit from Governor Mike DeWine, the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) shared information about how residents, business owners, and visitors can find up-to-date information on the ongoing effort to combat the unprecedented aquatic vegetation growth that has impacted boating on Indian Lake.

“ODNR is working hard to control the vegetation at Indian Lake,” said Mary Mertz, ODNR Director. “We will provide regular updates through online and in-person channels to ensure that everyone who loves this lake knows the status of improvement efforts.”

ODNR staff will participate in Indian Lake Watershed Project (ILWP) and Indian Lake Development Corporation (ILDC) and other community meetings to discuss ongoing action and hear stakeholder feedback. ILWP and ILDC meetings are held monthly and are open to the public.

Interested Ohioans will also be able to see weekly plans, photos and videos, and operational reports of vegetation removal posted on the Indian Lake Aquatic Vegetation Management tab of ODNR’s website and on the Indian Lake State Park Facebook page.

Residents are reminded that aquatic spraying may be conducted only by approved companies, to include Aqua Doc and Aquatics Plus Pond Management. The approved private aquatic vegetation harvesting companies are Burrey Aquatic Restoration and Shoreline Construction. Two aquatic vegetation drop off sites are available for residents to deposit aquatic vegetation removed from private docks. Sites include the gravel pull-off parking lot by Moundwood Marina located off State Route 368 on the east side of Moundwood Boat Ramp Entrance and the helipad parking lot on the southeast corner (large parking lot located off State Route 366 near Artist Island, between Russell’s Point and the Spillway).

Additional signage will be placed throughout the park to provide direct links to vegetation removal information.

ODNR has three dedicated aquatic vegetation harvesters running at Indian Lake during the 2022 season and has contracted with the Indian Lake Watershed Project for additional harvester services that began in early June. ODNR anticipates two additional harvester contracts will be signed in the coming weeks. Aquatic herbicides are also being used to manage the overgrowth, and staff have been added to increase the operation’s efficiency. 

ODNR is working with Aqua Doc, a lake and pond management company, to determine the current vegetation community, analyze the effectiveness of current methods for vegetation control, and develop a Lake Vegetation Management Plan to address maintaining overall water quality and recreational use of the system.  

Feedback and recommendations from stakeholders is important to this effort; share them with ODNR staff by emailing Indian.lake.parks@dnr.ohio.gov.

Controlled hunt applications accepted

Applications for Ohio’s controlled public land hunting opportunities will be accepted beginning Friday, July 1, 2022, according to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) Division of Wildlife. These hunts provide special chances for hunters to pursue deer, waterfowl, doves, and more on public lands during the 2022-23 season. The application period is open for all hunters until Sunday, July 31.

Controlled hunts are held on select areas around Ohio and are available through the Division of Wildlife and the Division of Parks and Watercraft. Available hunts for the 2022-23 season include deer, waterfowl, dove, pheasant, squirrel, and quail. The Division of Wildlife offers hunts for adults, youth, mobility impaired, and mentors with apprentices. Firearm and archery options are available.

Hunters may apply for controlled hunts by completing the application process online using Ohio’s Wildlife Licensing System or via phone by calling 1-800-703-1928. There is $5.50 service fee for the phone option. Each hunt requires payment of a non-refundable $3 application fee. Customers may apply for more than one hunt but can only apply to each hunt once per year.

All applicants, youth and adult, are required to possess a valid Ohio hunting license and meet age requirements. Youth hunters must be under 18 at the time of the hunt to participate. Adults must be 18 or older at the time of the application. Those applying for deer hunts will also need a valid deer permit to apply. Find more information at wildohio.gov on the controlled hunt page.

Participants may use a deer management permit during controlled deer hunts. Deer management permits cost $15 and can be used to harvest antlerless deer only. Deer management permits are valid on private land and select public hunting areas until Nov. 27, 2022. They are also valid during authorized controlled hunts between Sept. 10, 2022, and Feb. 5, 2023.

Hunters are randomly drawn from submitted applications. Successful applicants will be notified and provided additional hunt information by Monday, Aug. 8, including a permit, rules, and hunting area map. Each controlled hunt opportunity is unique, and applicants are encouraged to thoroughly review all site-specific information, including rules and requirements, prior to applying. Application statuses can be viewed through Ohio’s Wildlife Licensing System.

You can explore detailed information about each hunting area, its habitats, and its species through the Find a Destination webpage at ohiodnr.gov. For more information about hunting in Ohio download the HuntFish OH mobile app or visit wildohio.gov. Follow the Your Wild Ohio Hunter Facebook page for hunting tips and useful information as you get outside this season.

Cranes on the comeback

Once gone from our landscape, the sandhill crane is making a comeback in the Buckeye State, according to the Midwest Crane Count conducted in mid-April by a group of volunteers. Statewide, 371 sandhill cranes were found in a count coordinated by the Ohio Division of Wildlife, the International Crane Foundation, and the Ohio Bird Conservation Initiative. 

Conducted in pre-selected counties known to have sandhill crane nesting habitat (wetlands), Wayne County topped the list with volunteers documenting 84 birds. Geauga County was second with 56, followed by Trumbull with 47, and Holmes County with 18. Volunteers in Ashland County counted 11 sandhill cranes. 

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