July 20, 2024

COLUMBUS, Ohio – Changes to bag and size limits for fish in certain bodies of water were among the regulations approved by the Ohio Wildlife Council at its scheduled meeting in October, according to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR).

Black Bass Fishing

Several changes were approved for black bass (largemouth, smallmouth, and spotted bass) in the Lake Erie sport fishing district. Currently, the season for black bass in the Lake Erie sport fishing district is closed from May 1 through the last Saturday in June. New rules changes will remove this closure to provide a year-round open season for black bass, providing anglers more opportunities. Additional rule changes will establish a daily bag limit of one black bass with an 18-inch minimum size limit from May 1 through the fourth Saturday in June to continue to protect the fishery. Outside of this period, the existing black bass regulations of a five-fish daily limit with a 14-inch minimum size limit will still apply.

Crappie Fishing

Multiple changes were approved to crappie size and bag limits at certain site-specific waters. The 30-fish daily bag limit and the 9-inch minimum size limit for crappie will be removed at the following lakes and reservoirs: Acton, Clendening, Hargus, Highlandtown, Knox, Madison, Nimisila, Rush Creek, and Springfield lakes; C.J. Brown, Clear Fork, Griggs, and West Branch reservoirs. Removal of these regulations is expected to improve the crappie fisheries at these locations as well as provide anglers more opportunities to harvest fish from these areas.

Additional proposed rule changes include allowing camping at K.H. Butler Wildlife Area in Gallia County; increasing the annual fee for watercraft docking permits at ODNR Division of Wildlife owned docks; and changes to ginseng harvest requirements.

A complete list of proposed and approved rules changes can be found at wildohio.gov.

The Ohio Wildlife Council is an eight-member board that approves all ODNR Division of Wildlife proposed rules and regulations. The council votes on the proposed rules and season dates after considering public input.

Council meetings are open to the public. Individuals who want to provide comments on a topic that is currently being considered by council are asked to register at least two days before the meeting by calling 614-265-6304. All comments are required to be three minutes or less.

ODNR ensures a balance between wise use and protection of our natural resources for the benefit of all. Visit the ODNR website at ohiodnr.gov.