Ohio Wildlife Council Approves New Waterfowl Rules and Hears New Proposal on CWD Surveillance
August 20, 2015 - 4:51 PM
COLUMBUS, OH - Ohio’s waterfowl season dates and bag limits
were approved by the Ohio Wildlife Council at its meeting on Wednesday, Aug. 19,
according to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR). In addition, the
council was presented a new proposal to strengthen the state’s ability to
address chronic wasting disease (CWD) in Ohio.
The proposed rule would allow the Chief of the ODNR Division
of Wildlife to establish a “disease surveillance area” when chronic wasting
disease has been detected in a wild or captive deer. This proposed rule would
not automatically make an area with a CWD positive sample a “disease
surveillance area,” but would allow the division to consider the situation and
establish the area as needed.
A “disease surveillance area” designation would include all
areas within a minimum of six miles surrounding any location where the disease
has been detected. If an area would be designated as a “disease surveillance
area,” the designation would remain in effect for a minimum of three years. The
area would be mapped and posted on the ODNR Division of Wildlife’s website at
wildohio.gov and would be available at any of the ODNR Division of Wildlife’s
The following regulations would apply within a “disease
surveillance area” if it is established:
- Required submission of harvested deer carcasses to Division
of Wildlife inspection stations for inspection and sampling during the deer gun
and deer muzzleloading seasons;
- Prohibit the placement of or use of salt, mineral
supplement, grain, fruit, vegetables or other feed to attract or feed deer;
- Prohibit the hunting of deer by the aid of salt, mineral
supplement, grain, fruit, vegetables or other feed;
- Prohibit the removal of a deer carcass killed by a motor
vehicle unless the carcass complies with the deer carcass regulations.
Normal agricultural activities including feeding of domestic
animals as well as hunting deer over food plots, natural occurring or
cultivated plants and agriculture crops would not be prohibited.
The proposed rule change is open to public comment and
subject to a vote by the Wildlife Council at its regularly scheduled meeting in
October. People interested in submitting comments about the proposed rule
change are encouraged to visit wildohio.gov.
The Wildlife Council also approved the 2015-2016 following
waterfowl season regulations and bag limits.
The South Zone, North Zone and Lake Erie Marsh Zones will remain
the same for waterfowl hunting this year. New this year, the canvasback daily
bag limit was increased to two.
Opening day for duck and goose hunting is Saturday, Oct. 17,
in the Lake Erie Marsh Zone and Saturday, Oct. 24, in the North and South
zones. See the 2015-2016 Waterfowl Hunting Seasons for more waterfowl hunting
information, including zone maps.
Hunters 15 years of age and younger will have the
opportunity to enjoy a statewide special youth waterfowl season Oct. 3-4. Bag
limits established during the regular season apply.
Ohio is divided into three zones for duck, coot and
merganser hunting. The seasons are split in each zone during the following
• Duck hunting season in the Lake Erie Marsh Zone is Oct.
17-Nov. 1 and Nov. 14-Dec. 27.
• Duck hunting season in the North Zone is Oct. 24-Nov. 8
and Nov. 21-Jan. 3, 2016.
• Duck hunting season in the South Zone is Oct. 24-Nov. 8
and Dec. 19-Jan. 31, 2016.
The daily bag limit for ducks is six, which may not include
more than four mallards (no more than one may be female), three wood ducks, one
black duck, two redheads, three scaup, two canvasbacks, two pintails and one
mottled duck. The daily bag limit for mergansers is five, of which no more than
two may be hooded mergansers. The daily bag limit for coots is 15. Possession
limits after the second day are three times the daily bag limit.
Ohio is also divided into three zones for goose and brant
hunting. The seasons are split in each zone during the following dates:
• Goose hunting in the Lake Erie Marsh Zone is Oct. 17-Nov.
1, Nov. 14-Dec. 27 and Jan. 14-Jan.
• Goose hunting in the North Zone is Oct. 24-Nov. 8, Nov.
21-Jan. 3, 2015 and Jan. 14-Jan. 31, 2016.
• Goose hunting in the South Zone is Oct. 24-Nov. 8 and Dec.
1-Jan. 31, 2016.
The daily bag limit for Canada geese is three. Light geese
(snows, Ross’s and blues) have a daily bag limit of 10, white-fronted geese
have a daily bag limit of one and brant have a daily bag limit of one. The
possession limit for brant and geese is three times the daily bag limit after
the second day.
Harvest Information Program (HIP) certification is required
of all migratory bird hunters prior to hunting. Migratory game bird hunters
must call 877-HIPOHIO (447-6446) and answer a few survey questions to complete
the HIP certification requirement. Once the survey has been completed, hunters
will be provided a certification number to write on their Ohio hunting license.
Waterfowl hunters age 18 and older must also purchase an
Ohio Wetlands Habitat Stamp, available at any hunting license agent or
wildohio.gov. In addition, all waterfowl hunters age 16 and older must possess
a signed federal duck stamp, which can be purchased at duckstamp.com, usps.com
and most post offices.
Copies of this season's waterfowl hunting regulations, which
include maps of the zones, are available at wildohio.gov or available at all
license agent outlets by late September.
ODNR ensures a balance between wise use and protection of
our natural resources for the benefit of all. Visit the ODNR website at
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