Ohio Wildlife Council approves new regulations


COLUMBUS, Ohio — The Ohio Wildlife Council passed a slate of new rules and regulations at its regularly scheduled meeting on Wednesday, Oct. 7, according to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) Division of Wildlife. White-tailed deer carcass taxidermy and processing regulations take effect Nov. 1, 2020. Other rules that take effect on Jan. 1, 2021, include new walleye and catfish daily limits as well as changes to aquaculture production.

“The Division of Wildlife constantly strives to remain current with the best management practices and regulations for Ohio’s wildlife, while also increasing recreational opportunities for our outdoor community,” said Division of Wildlife Chief Kendra Wecker. “The latest action by the Ohio Wildlife Council keeps our fish and wildlife populations healthy while simplifying our regulations to make them easier for the public to follow.”

The Ohio Wildlife Council approved a six-walleye daily limit across Lake Erie from March 1 to April 30, 2021. A separate walleye daily limit for the Sandusky River and Sandusky Bay from March 1 to April 30 has been rescinded. This change aligns the walleye daily limit with the rest of the Lake Erie Sport Fishing District.

Wednesday’s vote also removed the six-fish daily limit of channel catfish on inland lakes and reservoirs less than 700 acres. The statewide daily bag limit of one channel catfish 28 inches or larger remains in place. The statewide changes do not include Hoover Reservoir, which has site-specific regulations. Removing the channel catfish bag limit on smaller lakes and reservoirs increases angler opportunities, promotes harvest, increases the growth rates of the remaining fish, and improves the overall health of these populations.

A third change allows certified Ohio taxidermists and venison processors to accept legally harvested out-of-state white-tailed deer and other cervid carcasses. Information about properly handling cervid carcasses will be distributed to certified taxidermists and processors to limit the spread of Chronic Wasting Disease, a fatal disease that affects deer and other cervids. This change takes effect Nov. 1, 2020.

A final regulation change affects how American bullfrogs, green frogs, and their tadpoles are handled at aquaculture facilities. This regulation defines the American bullfrog and green frog as Class A aquaculture species, allowing the aquaculture operation to take naturally occurring bullfrogs, green frogs, and tadpoles for sales, propagation, or rearing. Tadpoles of these species are required to originate from the aquaculture facility and may not be taken from the wild.

The Ohio Wildlife Council is an eight-member board that approves all Division of Wildlife proposed rules and regulations. A complete list of changes approved by the Ohio Wildlife Council is available at wildohio.gov. Council meetings are open to the public. Individuals who want to provide comments on a topic that is currently being considered by the council are asked to register at least two days before the meeting by calling 614-265-6304.

The mission of the Division of Wildlife is to conserve and improve fish and wildlife resources and their habitats for sustainable use and appreciation by all. Visit wildohio.gov to find out more. ODNR ensures a balance between wise use and protection of our natural resources for the benefit of all. Visit the ODNR website at ohiodnr.gov

Staff report

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