By Dan Armitage, host of Buckeye Sportsman, Ohio’s longest running outdoor radio show
It’s official: Inland Ohio anglers will be allowed to use up to three lines at once in 2023 and beyond. The Ohio Wildlife Council voted to approve a proposal to allow a maximum of three fishing lines statewide and the rule will take effect on Jan. 1, 2023. The change aligns statewide fishing regulations with those already in place in the Lake Erie Sport Fishing District, Ohio River fishing units, and Pymatuning Lake by increasing the limit to three lines per person.
The council also voted to remove site-specific catfish regulations for Hoover Reservoir and align the popular central Ohio fishing destination with statewide rules for blue and channel catfish. Beginning Jan. 1, 2023, catfish anglers can harvest one blue catfish 35 inches or longer and one channel catfish 28 inches or longer, with no restrictions on shorter fish. The decision to amend catfish regulations at Hoover Reservoir was based on research indicating that the reservoir’s catfish fishery meets angler and agency expectations. Removing the special regulations currently in place will improve fish growth, reduce the time for fish to reach trophy length, and simplify harvest regulations by returning them to statewide rules.
The council also approved the expiration of annual shooting range permits as one year from the date of issue, rather than the last day of February. An annual shooting range permit is required of all individuals age 18 or older visiting a Division of Wildlife Class A, B, or C range. That rule will take effect on March 1, 2023. Additional decisions by the wildlife council include:
- Remove of the size limit on crappie in the Mahoning River downstream of the Lake Milton dam.
- Extend camping dates in Woodbury Wildlife Area to include the Friday before Memorial Day, thereby including the wild turkey hunting season.
- Update of the descriptions and boundaries in the restricted migratory bird hunting zone in Muddy Creek Bay so that it can be located using readily available modern technology.
- Amend fishing regulations so float line restrictions apply only to public waters.
The Ohio Wildlife Council is an eight-member board that approves all Ohio Division of Wildlife (ODOW) proposed rules and regulations. Council meetings are open to the public. Individuals interested in providing comments are asked to call 614-265-6304 at least two days prior to the meeting to register.
Where’s the Waldo Youth Pheasant Hunt?
The annual Tom Fetter Memorial Youth Day Pheasant Hunting Event will be held on Saturday, November 12, a the Waldo Sportsman’s Club with the Marion County Pheasants Forever Chapter #594. The event is free for all the youths of any age and guardians involved. They will offer the opportunity for pheasant hunts to the first 50 youths age 9-17 with a valid hunting license signed up to go on a fully guided hunt with some great dogs and handlers. Hunt signups will be held from 7:30-8:30 a.m.
Firearms will be provided but youths are welcome to bring their own. No single action/hammer shotguns will be allowed, and youths who are not signing up for the Pheasant Hunts do not need to pre-register.
There will be an assortment of other outdoor related activities for youths of all ages (whether they participate in the hunts or not), including Trapshooting, Archery, Predator Calling, Trapping, Knife Sharpening, .22 shooting, Black powder Shooting and Wood Carving.
Lunch will be provided and each youth that attends will be given a ticket that will enter them into a door prize drawing for one of several firearms that have been donated and other outdoor related products from the Waldo Sportsman’s Club and event sponsors. Every kid will leave with something. For directions and more info, go to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Speaking of pheasants, each fall, the ODOW releases male pheasants (roosters) at 25 public hunting areas throughout Ohio. More than 14,000 pheasants are scheduled to be released this fall. The Division of Wildlife will release pheasants for the following dates:
- Friday, Nov. 4 (opening day)
- Friday, Nov. 11
- Thursday, Nov. 24 (Thanksgiving Day)
Pheasants will be released in the following locations:
- Central Ohio: Delaware Wildlife Area
- Northwest Ohio: Killdeer Plains Wildlife Area; Oxbow Lake Wildlife Area; Resthaven Wildlife Area; Ringneck Ridge Wildlife Area (by permit only, find additional information from the Sandusky County Park District); Tiffin River Wildlife Area; and Wyandot Wildlife Area (no youth releases).
- Northeast Ohio: Camp Belden Wildlife Area; Charlemont Metro Park; Berlin Wildlife Area; Grand River Wildlife Area; Highlandtown Wildlife Area (no youth releases); Spencer Wildlife Area; West Branch Wildlife Area (no youth releases); and Zepernick Wildlife Area (no youth releases).
- Southeast Ohio: Appalachian Hills Wildlife Area; Pleasant Valley Wildlife Area (no youth releases); Salt Fork Wildlife Area (no youth releases); and Tri-Valley Wildlife Area.
- Southwest Ohio: Caesar Creek Wildlife Area; Darke Wildlife Area; Fallsville Wildlife Area (no releases for Oct. 22-23, or Nov. 11); Indian Creek Wildlife Area (no youth releases); Rush Run Wildlife Area; and Spring Valley Wildlife Area.
Ohio’s ring-necked pheasant hunting season is open from Friday, Nov. 4, 2022, until Sunday, Jan. 8, 2023. The daily harvest limit is two male birds; no hens (females) may be harvested. A valid Ohio hunting license is required to pursue pheasants and other game birds.
Additional details on Ohio’s fall pheasant releases can be found at wildohio.gov, along with maps of public hunting areas, the current hunting and trapping regulations, and more.
Waterfowl hunting permits available
Controlled waterfowl hunting permits are available for Thursday openings at select wildlife areas, according to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) Division of Wildlife. Hunters may sign up to receive first-come, first-serve permits for Thursday hunts at Andreoff, Killdeer Plains, Magee Marsh, Mercer, Mosquito Creek, Pickerel Creek, and Pipe Creek wildlife areas, as well as Nimisila Reservoir, during waterfowl seasons.
Waterfowlers can obtain free controlled hunting permits through the Ohio Landowner-Hunter Access Partnership (OLHAP) system. Permits for each area become available the Wednesday before a hunt at 10 a.m. and remain available until Thursday at 10 a.m. or until all permits are drawn. Registrants can access the OLHAP system via wildohio.gov or on the HuntFish OH mobile app.
Controlled waterfowl hunting permits give hunters access to lands not typically open for hunting. One permit will be issued per unit each Thursday during open waterfowl seasons. The successful applicant is allowed up to two hunting partners. Permits are valid from the start of legal shooting time until 1 p.m. in specified areas. A hunter can obtain up to six permits per month.
If successful, applicants will receive their permits by email. An Ohio Wildlife Licensing System Customer ID is required to sign up for a permit. Your customer ID can be found via your HuntFish OH mobile app, on your Ohio Wildlife Licensing System account, or on your printed hunting license. Check the current Hunting and Trapping Regulations for waterfowl season dates and additional details.