Friday, May 22, 2009

Friday's outdoor tidbits (fish to parks to gun club)

A fish species that is closely related to the ornamental carp and is a like member of the minnow family has been found in Ohio's waters of Lake Erie.

The invasive European rudd was caught by a commercial fisherman and is now alive in a fish tank at the Ohio Division of Wildlife's Sandusky Fisheries Research Station. In the words of a state fisheries biologist the specimen will be "sacrificed" for further research.

Rudds are an European and western Asia fish species and was introduced into the U.S. during the late 19th or early 20th century. It may be found in as many as 20 states.

The species has been living in Lake Erie since at least 1997 when it was first discovered over the line in Canada. It also thrives in the upper Niagara River and around Buffalo and has been caught over next door in Pennsylvania.

It looks like an over-sized golden shiner and can weigh up to four pounds and be as long as 20 inches. It lives up to 15 years.

The concern is that the rudd will compete with native fish species for living space and for invertebrates for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

Noteworthy is that the rudd is considered a game fish fit for the skillet in Europe and Asia. Of course over there they eat carp, too.

At least the European rudd hasn't spread very quickly though it remains an exotic species, says Wildlife Division fisheries biologist Jeff Tyson.

PARKS - The Ohio Division of Parks and Recreation have given visitors one more good reason to take a stroll. At 19 state parks beginning May 23 the agency placed hidden caches for geocachers, a growing past-time for those who understand how to use a GPS device.

Among the local state parks with geocatch in the parks Division's Northeast Ohio Geochallenge are Headlands Beach, Geneva, Punderson, Pymatuning, Cleveland Lakefront, West Branch, and Mosquito.

Coordinates for the hidden caches can be found atwww.geocaching.com. After logging onto the geocaching web site, treasure seekers can find the necessary information for the Geochallenge on the Ohio State Parks cache page.

After visiting the site, however, I discovered that you must register and log in as well as even getting cookies if you want a more direct route. Far better would it have been had the parks system also given the information on its own, non-commercial, web site. Pity, too.

NEW OFFICIALS - The Lake County Rod and Gun Club in Madison Township has elected its new slate of officers and trustees.

The officers are: president - Doug McLean; first vice-president - C.J. Land; second vice-president - Michael J. Haas; Secretary - Michael J. Evangelista; Treasurer - G. Lynn Harley Jr.

Trustees are: Mary Rekus, Pete Gosline, Lonnie Sparkman, Larry Davidson, Henry Demeza, Mike Timko Jr.

- Jeffrey L. Frischkorn
jfrischkorn@news-herald.com

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