COLUMBUS – The Ohio Wildlife Council passed a rule change that will allow the creation of disease surveillance areas to monitor chronic wasting disease (CWD) at its regularly scheduled meeting Wednesday, Oct. 21, according to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR).
The rule permits the ODNR Division of Wildlife to establish a disease surveillance area when CWD has been detected. This designation, when enacted, will include all areas within a minimum of 6 miles surrounding a location where the disease has been detected. The designation will remain in effect for a minimum of three years and will be posted at wildohio.gov.
These regulations would apply within any CWD designated surveillance area:
Required submission of harvested deer carcasses to ODNR Division of Wildlife inspection stations for sampling during the deer-gun and deer-muzzleloading seasons;
Prohibit the placement of or use of salt, mineral supplement, grain, fruit, vegetables or other feed to attract or feed deer;
Prohibit the hunting of deer by the aid of salt, mineral supplement, grain, fruit, vegetables or other feed; and
Prohibit the removal of a deer carcass killed by a motor vehicle, unless the carcass complies with the deer carcass regulations.
Normal agricultural activities, including feeding of domestic animals would not be affected. Hunting deer over food plots, naturally occurring or cultivated plants and agriculture crops would still be allowed.
Also on Wednesday, the council passed a rule to include the Eurasian collared-dove in the definition of migratory game birds and game birds. The council also amended a rule to permit the possession of Eurasian collared-doves in the field, consistent with the exemption for mourning doves. The Eurasian collared-dove is a non-native species that has spread rapidly across North America. In flight, it is very similar in appearance to mourning doves.
The council also voted to amend rules to require trotlines used in the inland fishing district, and all float lines used statewide, be tagged by the user with their name and address or their unique ODNR Division of Wildlife customer identification number.
In addition, rules were amended to update the list of areas owned by American Electric Power that require a special permit to fish under an agreement with the ODNR Division of Wildlife, and amend the language for possession of fish and fish fillets at Pymatuning Lake.
The council voted to establish a daily bag limit of 30 fish, combined for striped bass, hybrid-striped bass or white bass from waters other than in the Lake Erie sport fishing district. Of these 30 fish, a daily limit of four fish longer than 15 inches in length was approved. The location specific daily bag limits for hybrid-striped bass taken from East Fork Lake, and striped bass from Senecaville Lake and Kiser Lake were removed.
The northern long-eared bat is now listed as threatened in Ohio because of a change in its federal status to threatened.
The next Ohio Wildlife Council meeting will be on Wednesday, Nov. 18. Council meetings are open to the public. Individuals who want to provide comments to the council should preregister at least two days prior to the meeting by calling 614-265-6304. All comments must be three minutes or less. The next ODNR Division of Wildlife public open house will be Saturday, March 5, 2016. ODNR Division of Wildlife staff will be available to answer questions and listen to concerns. For more information, visit wildohio.gov or call 800-WILDLIFE (945-3543).
The Ohio Wildlife Council is an eight-member board that approves all ODNR Division of Wildlife proposed rules and regulations. Appointed by the Governor, no more than four members may be of the same political party, and two of the council members must represent agriculture. Each term of office is four years.
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.