Central Ohio – Wildlife District One
During the 2017-2018 trapping season, State Wildlife Officer Brad Kiger, assigned to Franklin County, received a Turn In a Poacher (TIP) call about a subject trapping raccoons and opossums illegally. After further investigation, it was found that the trapper did not purchase a fur-taker permit or complete a trapper education course. A citation was issued for not buying a fur-taker permit, and as a result of the citation the trapper paid $188 in fines and court costs.
In late April, State Wildlife Officer Austin Levering, assigned to Knox County, received a Turn In a Poacher (TIP) complaint regarding bags of trash dumped near Mt. Liberty. After further investigation, Officer Levering obtained mail with names and addresses from the trash. After locating the woman to whom the trash belonged, Officer Levering learned that she had made a social media post offering $75 to anyone to pick up and haul her trash to the dump. She stated that a male responded to her post and made arrangements with her to pick up the trash. The female provided a copy of their online conversation. Later, Officer Levering contacted the man who stated that he and one other person drove to the female’s house and placed the trash into the bed of his truck. The suspect admitted to driving a short distance from the house and dumping the trash bags off the bridge into the creek. The adult male suspect was charged with stream littering and was ordered to pay $355 in court costs and fines by the Mt. Vernon Municipal Court.
Northwest Ohio – Wildlife District Two
In August 2017, Lake Erie Investigator Jason Hadsell was checking sport fish boats coming in from Lake Erie. Most boats were not successful in catching their limit that day, but the last fisherman Investigator Hadsell contacted indicated he had caught his limit of walleye. Investigator Hadsell requested to see the fish and the man retrieved a bag of walleye from the cooler in his car. Upon measuring the fish, he found that one was under the 15-inch minimum length, and the fisherman was told it would be confiscated. When Investigator Hadsell tried to return the other fish to the cooler, the fisherman became nervous and requested to return the fish himself. This prompted Investigator Hadsell to ask to see in the cooler, where he located three additional walleye, two of which were under 15 inches. The fisherman admitted that he had taken too many walleye. The fisherman was issued summonses for possessing short walleye and over bagging.
One morning during the 2018 spring walleye run on the Maumee River, State Wildlife Officer Eric VonAlmen, assigned to Wood County, observed an individual leaving the river with his daily bag limit of four walleye. Later that same day, Officer VonAlmen located the same individual fishing the river. At the end of the day, the angler was contacted as he was leaving the river with three walleye on his stringer. Officer VonAlmen approached the man, who admitted to taking a limit earlier in the morning and then returning for a second trip and keeping three additional walleye. The three walleye were seized and a summons was issued for over bagging. The angler paid $167 in fines and court costs to Perrysburg Municipal Court.
Northeast Ohio – Wildlife District Three
During the deer gun season, State Wildlife Officer Tom Frank, assigned to Mahoning County, was contacted by a resident who stated that someone shot his residence. Officer Frank arrived at the scene and noted that the projectile had entered the house at an upward angle, going through the garage wall and stopping by the refrigerator. In addition to the single projectile, small-game shot had penetrated the outside of the building as well. State Wildlife Officer Jesse Janosik, assigned to Columbiana County, and State Wildlife Officer Supervisor Scott Angelo arrived and began collecting evidence. Further information provided to Officer Frank revealed the identity of a suspect who was hunting on an adjacent property. The results of the investigation revealed that the suspect had shot multiple times toward the ground in the direction of some white-tailed deer to scare them. The suspect was issued a summons and ordered to appear in court. Prior to the man’s court appearance, Officer Frank spoke with the homeowner to determine the cost to repair the damage. The suspect was convicted and paid $310 in fines and costs. He also paid $700 in restitution to the homeowner. In addition, the court revoked his hunting privileges for one year.
Southeast Ohio – Wildlife District Four
In May 2018, State Wildlife Officers Todd Stewart, assigned to Morgan County, and Eric Lane, assigned to Perry County, were checking anglers on AEP ReCreation land in Morgan County. The officers made their way to an area known as Hook Lake, which is a youth-fishing only area. Once there, they observed several young people fishing and two adult men who were also fishing. Both adults were cited and each paid $125 in fines and court costs.
While working sport fishing enforcement at Seneca Lake in Noble County on Memorial Day, State Wildlife Officers Anthony Lemle, assigned to Williams County, and Wes Feldner, assigned to Monroe County, observed an individual on one of the islands in the middle of the lake. The individual had anchored his boat and was standing in the shallows cleaning fish. The officers contacted the subject and discovered that he was in the process of cleaning five undersized saugeye. The legal length limit for saugeye on Seneca Lake is 15 inches. The five saugeye were all less than 15 inches. The individual was issued a citation for possession of undersized fish. He pleaded guilty in Noble County and paid $129 in fines and court costs.
Southwest Ohio – Wildlife District Five
State Wildlife Officer Gus Kiebel, assigned to Clermont County, was working the East Fork spillway after receiving several complaints about fishermen using nets to catch fish. Officer Kiebel watched two people throw netting and catch fish. The individuals were putting every fish they caught into a bucket. When Officer Kiebel contacted them, the bucket contained many crappie. One individual was cited for cast-netting game fish. The fish were all alive and returned to the water. The subject paid $185 in fines and court costs.