The eight-member Ohio Wildlife Council made its corporate decision to (again) follow lock-stop in action what the agency has determined as being best for the resource.
At least in this case the yes-men were right on in adopting the Wildlife Division's recommendations as to the length limits and bag limits on crappie for 38 reservoirs.
And they were equally correct in agreeing to when to set new bag limits for Lake Erie-caught walleye and yellow perch.
The council has added Mosquito Creek Reservoir and West Branch Reservoir to the list of lakes where anglers can keep no more than 30 crappies, each of which must measure a minimum of 9 inches. This action is designed to protect a valuable resource that is being well utilized by a large contingent of anglers.
As for the Lake Erie rule, what happens now is that new bag limits on Lake Erie-caught walleye and yellow perch will become effective May 1 instead of March 1. Changing this effective date will allow for the walleye and perch quotas set by the Lake Erie Committee of the Great Lakes Fisheries Commission to be considered prior to the setting of bag limits.
Translation: Instead of relying on a guess as to what the quotas MIGHT be the committee will set the bag limits on what are the actual quotas.
One change the angling community will note by this change is that the 2010 fishing regulations will not have Lake Erie walleye and perch bag limits. Those rules will come in a supplemental document in much the same fashion that waterfowlers have grown accustomed to with duck and goose hunting regulations.
It is a proper and necessary step in the right fisheries management direction. And for once the Ohio Wildlife Council got something right and not just agreeing as a rubber-stamp of the agency.
- Jeffrey L. Frischkorn