If you want to experience premium bluegill and largemouth bass fishing of the state's popular Lake La Su An chain of lakes in Williams County, make your reservations Monday between 9 a.m. and noon.
That is because the fishing season is closing on Aug. 29 for the rest of the year. "The early closure is due to a shift in manpower," said Mike Wilkerson, fish management supervisor for Ohio Wildlife District 2.
Up to now, staff at a check-station at the chain of 13 lakes and ponds has overseen reservations and monitoring of the carefully managed special limits and size restrictions that were designed to maintain good populations of large bluegills and moderate-sized largemouth bass.
The Ohio Division of Wildlife has decided that manpower demands elsewhere are such that a check-station system probably is no longer in the cards and management changes at the La Su An lakes are in the works beginning next year.
"Nothing is set in stone yet," said Wilkerson about the division's options. He did say that any management plan will retain the special limits and fishing restrictions in some form with an eye to maintaining high-quality fishing opportunities. He also said a new program likely would be for all lakes, rather than the long-standing lake-by-lake rules.
In any case, there will be no ice fishing allowed next winter, though a plan for 2012 should be ready this fall. Wilkerson said whatever program is settled upon, it would be closely watched the first year and tweaked as necessary.
The reservations telephone line for the final week of fishing is 419-636-6189.
A lottery drawing for 290 permits to hunt ducks and geese from blinds at state park lakes this fall will be held at 17 park sites and two state wildlife areas Saturday.
Applicants must appear in person at the respective park office with proof of a 2011 Ohio hunting license, state wetlands stamp endorsement in the applicant's name, and a signed 2011 or 2010 federal duck stamp. Applicants under 18 are encouraged to have a parent or legal guardian present to sign the permit contract and also must provide the required license and stamps.
Participating state parks in the region include East Harbor, Indian Lake, and Lake Loramie. Registration begins at 7:30 a.m. at most parks, with the lottery drawings at 8 a.m. at the park office, unless otherwise noted. Successful applicants must pay a $50 nonrefundable fee.
Waterfowl hunting opportunities are also available through lottery drawings for blinds at the Mercer Wildlife Area on Grand Lake St. Marys with a drawing at the area offices Saturday.
There is no fee for use of the blinds at the area. Lottery participants must also have a current Harvest Information Program (HIP) certification.
Results for lotteries for special controlled deer hunts on select areas are available online at wildohio.com. Click on Wild Ohio Customer Care Center.
A salmon of note: For those of you who read the you-shoulda-been-here-yesterday column here last Sunday, about being blown off the western Lake Ontario salmon fishing grounds the week before, here's a you-shoulda-been-here-the-next-day tale:
A northwest Ohio crew coincidentally was staying at the same campground and fishing out of the same 4C's Marina on the Oak Orchard River. They too were blown off Thursday, but were able to stay over and fish Friday, said Jim West, of Oregon, one of the lucky ones.
He got to watch his buddy, Tim Posadny, of Toledo fight and land a 37 1/2-inch, 32-pound king salmon. That is a trophy in any Great Lakes league. "It took him 26 minutes to land it," said West. "I timed it." The two anglers were joined by brothers, Jerry Northrop, of Dunbridge, and Terry Northrop, of Oregon, They fished with Mark Loomis, skipper of J-Team, and mate Trevor Wolf, of Toledo and a former Walleye hockey player.
West said after the Thursday blow, the lake "laid right down" on Friday. "You could have perch-fished out there. We're plan to go back next year." Good call.
Contact Steve Pollick at: firstname.lastname@example.org or 419-724-6068