ODNR asks Ohioans use caution during dry period
COLUMBUS - Residents statewide are urged to take special precautions during this dry summer weather, according to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources Division of Forestry.
A lack of rain and increasing high temperatures allow dried grasses, weeds, leaves and crops to become fuels for wildfires, and conditions may continue throughout the summer.
"We are asking all residents, woodland owners and farmers to be very aware of their surroundings during this dry time," said Robert Boyles, chief and state forester of the ODNR Division of Forestry. "Our state is exceptionally dry this summer, and these conditions are ideal for spontaneous wildfires."
Recommendations include avoiding burning trash and debris, keeping grass trimmed, not discarding cigarettes and other smoking materials outside, proper care of open cooking fires and campfires and being vigilant with equipment that produces heat and sparks such as catalytic converters, hot mufflers, welding equipment and chainsaws.
In case of a wildfire, call 911 immediately and do not attempt to put it out.
Report fish violations
COLUMBUS - Anglers can do their part to protect Ohio's high-quality fishing by reporting fishing violations they observe to the Turn In a Poacher hotline at (800) POACHER or online at www.ohiotip.com, according to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources Division of Wildlife.
Each year, the TIP hotline receives about 4,800 calls for violations involving the poaching, or illegal taking, of fish and game, trespassing, commercialization of wildlife and the over-harvesting of fish and game. Since its inception in 1982, more than 3,000 convictions have been made using information from the hotline.
While the majority of TIP reports are received during hunting seasons, anglers should remember the TIP hotline is available year-round.
"Double-tripping, keeping fish over the daily bag limit and snagging walleye and other species of game fish are serious violations of the law," said Ron Ollis, law enforcement program administrator for the Division of Wildlife. "Ohio's state wildlife officers rely on law-abiding anglers to be our eyes on the water, and we request that people report any suspicious activity that they observe."
TIP is staffed 24 hours a day, seven days a week, including holidays.
Impaired boaters cited
in Operation Dry Water
COLUMBUS - The Ohio Department of Natural Resources Division of Watercraft participated in Operation Dry Water, a nationwide crackdown to remove impaired boaters from public waterways June 22-24.
State watercraft officers contacted 3,097 recreational boaters and made 11 arrests for boating while intoxicated. As with motor vehicle operators, boat operators in Ohio are considered legally intoxicated if their blood alcohol limit reaches 0.08 percent.
Watercraft officers additionally issued 85 citations and 826 written warnings for other alcohol and boating-related violations, including nine drug-related violations.
Compiled by A-T Staff Writer Vicki Johnson.