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PARKS



Published: Sat, April 16, 2005 @ 12:00 a.m.



PARKS

Lottery set for bog tour

Nature enthusiasts throughout Ohio are encouraged to enter a lottery to tour Ohio's only floating island -- Cranberry Bog State Nature Preserve in Buckeye Lake -- during the bog's annual open house from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. June 25.

Attendance at this popular open house is limited to 480 people each year in an effort to curtail potential damage to the bog's delicate sphagnum moss surface. Anyone interested in touring the bog on June 25 should send a postcard to the Division of Natural Areas & amp; Preserves, 2045 Morse Road, F-1, Columbus, Ohio 43229. Postcards must be postmarked between May 1 and May 31 and contain the following information: contact name, address with ZIP code, daytime phone number and total number of people in the party (not to exceed four). Only one postcard will be accepted per family.

The names of the 480 visitors will be determined in a lottery drawing in early June, and lottery winners will be notified by mail. In case of cancellations, a limited number of walk-ins are accepted on the day of the open house. Boat transportation to and from the island will be provided by the Greater Buckeye Lake Historical Society for a donation of $5 per person.

PENNSYLVANIA

FBC meeting April 25-26

HARRISBURG -- The Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission will hold its spring quarterly meeting April 25-26 at agency headquarters, 1601 Elmerton Ave. Committee meetings will begin at 9 a.m. April 25. Starting at 8 a.m. April 26, the full commission will meet for formal consideration of the agenda. All committee meetings and the review of the agenda are open to the public and attendance is encouraged.

Among the items to be considered at the meeting is proposed rule making for establishing 16 as the minimum age for operators of perssonal watercraft.

OHIO

Amendment to protect wildlife funding passed

The Ohio House of Representatives responded to sportsmen who rallied at the Statehouse this week by amending the state budget to prevent a diversion of wildlife conservation funds to pay for other government programs.

The House voted 96 to 1 in favor of a budget amendment, proposed by Rep. Tony Core, R-Rushsylvania, that forbids tapping the Wildlife Fund for Central Support and other direct or indirect charges.

The amendment ensures that the Wildlife Fund, which is to be used for conservation programs and is funded by sportsmen's license fees, will not be raided for $3.6 million in Central Support fees over the next two years.

The amendment also provides $250,000 from the General Revenue Fund for the DNR. The Legislature would need to propriate $1.8 million to fully fund Central Support.

BOATING

Web site offers boat info

A new Web page, showcasing 26 of Ohio's most popular waterways for boating, has been created by the Ohio Department of Natural Resources Division of Watercraft. The new site, available at ohiodnr.com, includes audio actualities and planning materials for all kinds of recreational boating.

The Boating Destinations Tour highlights 26 waterways with a general description of what boating services are provided, other water-related activities that include sport fishing and wildlife viewing, plus additional information on boating access sites and information on state parks that may be located nearby. Ohio is the first state to offer a high-tech audio boating destinations tour.

Liability may hit skippers

Most boaters understand the risks involved when someone drinks alcohol and gets behind the helm. But what happens if an inebriated boating guest is injured or even dies? The startling answer lies in May 2005 issue of Seaworthy, the damage avoidance magazine from BoatU.S.

In "Alcohol, Guests and the Question of Liability" two recent cases from the BoatU.S. marine insurance claim files bring light on the issue. "It's no secret that if you've been drinking heavily and your boat is involved in a serious accident, you could be held liable," says author and BoatU.S. Damage Avoidance Program Director Bob Adriance. "What may not be as apparent is the liability you assume for other people aboard who have been drinking. This is true even if you haven't had a drop of alcohol and are completely sober," he added.

The Seaworthy feature describes an incident where a drunken man passed out on a boat's stern bench seat. Later that evening he apparently woke up, fell overboard and drowned. In another case, a vessel was returning from a bar when an inebriated guest went overboard unnoticed and perished.

In the event of a serious accident, courts apportion liability - with the boat owner's share ranging from 0 to 100 percent - depending on the degree of perceived negligence. The dollar amount depends on the victim's age and what he or she expected to earn had they lived. There may also be awards for conscious pain and suffering and loss of companionship.

When you total the potential for these awards they could easily surpass $300,000 - the amount of the & quot;average & quot; boating liability policy - especially if the deceased was young, in a high paying career field, or had children. To protect yourself, especially if you have significant assets at stake, Adriance advises purchasing an & quot;umbrella & quot; policy, which typically covers damages beyond standard boating liability policies. Umbrella policies are usually purchased with a homeowner's policy.

& quot;The lessons here are that you are responsible for the safety of all aboard, you should do whatever you can to discourage excessive drinking by anyone on your boat, and you should seriously consider adding umbrella coverage, & quot; said Adriance.

FISHING

Tournament results

Results for the Lakes Trail Tournament opening event at Mosquito Lake on Sunday included:

1. Nick Provonozac and Sean Mosch, Warren, 11.41 pounds, $1,000.

2. Mike Tharp and Mike Stephy, Louisville, 10.83, $800.

3. Kevin Watkins and Donald Eddy, Bedford Heights; Minerva, 9.37, $600.

4. John and Matt Schneider, Massillon, 9.12, $500.

5. Larry Farmer and Howard Sterling, Macedonia,

S. Euclid, 8.86, $450.

6. Dan and Joe Watson, Massillon, Macedonia, 8.69, $400.

7. Mike Miller and Charlie Walker, Alliance, Malvern, 8.50, $350.

8. Sam Capestrain and John Werren, N. Lawrence, N. Canton, 8.47, $300.

9. Tony Lopane and Wally Masink, Cuyahoga Falls, Streetsboro, 8.21, $250

10. Mike Phillips and Ken Anderson, Uniontown, Canton, 8.13, $200.

Big Bass- Kevin Watkins (Bedford Heights) 3.76 $1,000.

Complete standings and photos available at dobass.com

Next tournament at Portage Lakes, May 1. For information call (330) 825-5702.

Walleye contest

Results of the Western Reserve Walleye Association's Gander Mountain Open at Mosquito Reservoir April 9:

1. Dan Clark, Uniontown, North Royalton, Greg Polverine, 13.42 pounds, $1,575

2. Andy, Canton, John Jackson, Louisville, 11.58, $1,016

3. Joe and Darren Dossi, Canton, 11.14, $566

4. Chris Durkin, Anthony Naples, Austintown, 10.70 $433

5. Larry Osborne, Ravenna, Bill Peska, Hiram, 10.64, $367

6. Mark Hull, Brandon Wine, Liberty, 9.72, $267

7. Ron Bradway, Scott Wilson, Alliance, 9.58, $233

8. Chic Massaro, Chuck Papas, Niles, 9.40 $100

Big Walleye was a tie Greg Polverine, Dan Clark and Jim Williard, Larry Evans from Ravenna, 3.94, $225

The next event is at Pymatuning Reservoir April 23; late registration will be at the New Bowers Road ramp from 5:45 to 6:30 a.m. the day of the event. For info call (330) 821-8861 or (330) 530-3909




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