Labor Day weekendexpected to lure boaters
COLUMBUS -- Ohio's recreational boaters who take to Lake Erie, the Ohio River and other state waterways during the Labor Day weekend are reminded to keep safety their first priority, according to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources.
The most important safe boating practices include: avoiding alcohol consumption while boating and always wearing a life jacket. Obeying the rules of the road, keeping a proper lookout and being responsible for the well being of all boat passengers are also important.
"Most boating accidents are preventable because they are the result of carelessness," said Ken Alvey, chief of the ODNR Division of Watercraft. "We encourage everyone to keep safety first in their minds this holiday weekend."
Boating activity drops considerably after the Labor Day weekend, but September remains an excellent time to continue boating and fishing, particularly on state park lakes. Fall fishing opportunities increase as air and water temperatures begin to gradually decline.
Additional safe boating tips, information about boating education classes, and boating laws are available online at ohiodnr.com.
Opening day for hunters
COLUMBUS -- Ohio hunters can take to the state's fields and waters in pursuit of squirrel, mourning dove and Canada geese on Sept. 1, opening day of the fall hunting season, according to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources Division of Wildlife.
"Many hunters look forward to opening day each year," said Steven A. Gray, chief of the Division of Wildlife. "The early hunting seasons are a great time for friends and families to kick off the much-anticipated hunting seasons that continue through fall and winter."
The Division of Wildlife predicts hunting for doves and Canada geese will be excellent this year. Squirrel hunting should be very good -- especially in eastern and southern Ohio.
According to the Division of Wildlife, hunting is one of the state's best recreational bargains, with a one-year license for Ohio residents costing just $19. Those hunting waterfowl must also buy a federal Duck Stamp, along with an Ohio Wetlands Habitat Stamp, at a cost of $15 each. These licenses and permits can be purchased at any of more than 1,200 license vendors in the state, or online at ohiodnr.com.
Detailed information on these and other upcoming hunting seasons can be found in the 2005-06 Ohio Hunting Regulations, available where hunting licenses are sold, online at ohiodnr.com or by calling 1-800-WILDLIFE.
Game commissionersset to meet Oct. 2-4
HARRISBURG -- The Pennsylvania Board of Game Commissioners is scheduled to hold a meeting on Oct. 2-4 at the agency's Harrisburg headquarters, 2001 Elmerton Ave., just off the Progress Avenue exit of Interstate 81.
On Oct. 2, beginning at 1 p.m., the board will accept public comments on the proposed seasons and bag limits for 2006-07.
On Oct. 3, beginning at 8:30 a.m., the board will receive agency staff reports and updates.
On Oct. 4, the board is scheduled to take official action on agenda items, including giving preliminary approval to 2006-07 seasons and bag limits.
A true fish story
FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. -- Kevin VanDam is not only a great bass fisherman, he's also a good guy who, unlike many pro tournament anglers, tells the truth.
After he won the Citgo Bassmaster Classic in Pittsburgh last month, VanDam talked about the jerkbait he used to catch most of his smallmouth bass -- a 20-year-old Smithwick Rattlin' Rogue.
Although VanDam is sponsored by the rival Strike King Lure Co., that didn't stop him from praising the Rogue.
Video aired on ESPN2 and at the weigh-in at Mellon Arena showed VanDam catching fish on a jerkbait and most members of the media assumed he used Strike King's Wild Shiner, which he helped design.
The highly regarded Kalamazoo, Mich., pro probably could have gotten away with saying that he used a Wild Shiner, but at the post-Classic news conference VanDam explained that the bait ran too deep for the fish he was targeting. He used the old Rogue because it was more buoyant than current jerkbaits on the market.