• Angler Wader Safety Tips. Wader Safer Angler Reminders. Safer Angler Waders.

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    I Just can’t Get it right

    COLUMBUS, OH – With the start of the popular “walleye run” along the Maumee and Sandusky rivers and other early spring fishing opportunities soon to begin, the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) advises anglers to observe important safety tips while wading and boating in pursuit of their favorite game fish.

    The walleye run traditionally hits its peak and attracts the largest numbers of anglers to the Maumee and Sandusky rivers during late March through mid-April. Early fishing activity is expected to begin any day as seasonably mild temperatures remain throughout much of the state. The ODNR Division of Watercraft suggests boaters and anglers keep these basic safety tips in mind while wading and fishing from boats during early spring:

    • Properly dress for the water temperatures instead of the air temperatures to guard against the effect of hypothermia should you unexpectedly fall into the water. Keep available extra clothing on-hand.
    • Wear an approved inflatable life vest, life jacket or flotation coat anytime while wading in a river or stream and anytime while on a boat.
    • Be especially cautious in areas with high, fast moving waters.
    • Do not fish alone; fish with a wading or boating partner. Let friends or family members know of your fishing and boating plans.
    • Wear a pair of high-quality chest waders and tighten a cinch belt at the waistline outside the waders to help prevent them from filling with water should a water immersion occur. Water weighs about 8 pounds per gallon and can make walking to the shoreline extremely difficult if waders fill with cold water.
    • Never wear waders while fishing from a boat.
    • Carry a large walking stick or wading staff to help provide balance while wading in a river. Use a pair of metal crampons or cleats, which fit over the boot portion of waders, to significantly improve traction when wading across slippery rocks and other debris commonly found along river bottoms.
    • Be properly licensed and know all Ohio fishing regulations.
    • Avoid alcohol consumption and be aware of local ordinances and state laws that prohibit open displays of alcoholic beverages and public consumption of alcohol.
    • Be prepared to handle an emergency situation if it arises and stay informed of current and forecast weather and water conditions.

    The Ohio Department of Natural Resources ensures a balance between wise use and protection of our natural resources for the benefit of all. Visit the ODNR web site at ohiodnr.com.

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  • PA FIshing Licenses at 5 Year High

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    Harrisburg, PA – The number of Pennsylvania fishing licenses sold through September 13 – 871,499 –has already eclipsed the total yearly sales for each of the last four years and represents the largest one-year percentage increase since 1980, according to sales figures from the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission (PFBC).
    “Fishing license sales are up 5 percent and overall stamp sales are up 4.36 percent over the same period from 2008, reinforcing thinking by many that people have returned to fishing as an affordable, family-oriented activity,” said PFBC Executive Director Douglas Austen. “The commission is also finishing the second year of a multi-year direct marketing campaign in cooperation with the Recreational Boating and Fishing Foundation. We believe these efforts aimed at lapsed anglers have also had a positive impact on licenses sales.”
    Among license types, resident license sales are up 5.47 percent; on-resident sales are up 3.41 percent; 7-day tourist licenses are up 1.55 percent; and 3-day tourist licenses are up 3.61 percent. Among stamps, trout permits are up 3.79 percent; Lake Erie permits are up 3.18 percent; and Combo permits are up by almost 8 percent. The good news also extends to boating, where registration renewals are up by approximately 5 percent from the same period in 2008.
    This year’s sales are the highest since 2004, when more than 909,000 licenses were sold. In 2005, the cost of a license increased from $16.25 to $21 and sales for that year subsequently dropped to 823,175.

    The mission of the Fish and Boat Commission is to protect, conserve, and enhance the Commonwealth’s aquatic resources and provide fishing and boating opportunities. For more information about fishing and boating in Pennsylvania, please visit our website at www.fishandboat.com.

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  • Boat Safety For Waterfowl Hunters

    Duck hunters hunting from a boat in Pennsylvania are urged to wear a properly-fitted personal flotation device (PFD) while on the water, advised John Dunn, Pennsylvania Game Commission Game Bird Section supervisor.

    According to the U.S. Coast Guard, every year several hunters die from drowning and hypothermia. Many waterfowlers do not consider themselves boaters, Dunn said, so they often look past the preventive measures.

    “Many hunters have a mindset that life jackets are uncomfortable and too bulky, therefore they get in the way,” Dunn said. “But today’s life jackets are comfortable. In fact, the Coast Guard approved manual inflatable life jackets offer great freedom of movement. Float coats are another good alternative. Available in hunting colors and patterns, they double as both outerwear and a flotation device.”

    Trouble often can start before the boat even leaves the shore, Dunn mentioned, because the watercraft’s weight capacity is exceeded. To avoid overloading, hunters should check the hull for the capacity plate to gauge how much gear and/or how many people can be carried safely.

    “When you have a crew of hunters, with decoys and equipment, and dogs, a boat can easily become unbalanced, especially if the wind comes up,” Dunn said, “Not only is it unsafe to overload a boat, exceeding the limits posted on the capacity plate is also illegal.

    “Sudden immersion into cold water is one of the leading causes of boating fatalities in the Commonwealth. It places a severe strain on bodily systems that can lead to hypothermia or, worse, cardiac arrest. Survivors of cold-water accidents have reported their breath driven from them on contact with the water.”

    Anyone falling into cold water should immediately ensure that their and any companions’ PFDs are intact, and work to find a way to exit the water or right the watercraft. Cover your mouth and nose – if possible – to prevent inhaling water.

    If you can’t get out of the water immediately and the shore is too far, raise your knees and wrap your arms across your chest to help reduce heat loss through the body’s core.

    “Most important,” Dunn suggests, “get into the routine of making the life jacket part of your hunting equipment, and wear it.”

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  • Boating Safety for July 4th

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    COLUMBUS, OH - The Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) Division of Watercraft encourages boaters to enjoy fireworks shows and to stay sober and boat safely on the July 4th holiday weekend, which represents among the busiest boating weekends of the year.

    Accidents happen quickly on the water and often come with no warning, which makes staying alert, staying sober and keeping a proper lookout for swimmers, objects in the water and other boaters a top priority. Properly wearing a life jacket also saves lives.

    Here are some basic safety tips to follow anytime while boating and enjoying fireworks shows while on the water:

    • Stay sober. Boat operators, like motorists, are considered legally impaired and may be arrested if their blood alcohol content is .08 or greater.
    • Stay alert. Drug usage also poses safety risks for boaters, especially when drugs are abused in combination with alcohol.
    • Keep a proper lookout. Operator inattention and failing to keep a proper lookout while operating a boat, especially at night, are among the leading causes of boating-related accidents.
    • Enjoy fireworks from a safe distance to the shore and in proximity to other boats on the water. Be sure your navigation lights are in proper working order.
    • Swim safe. Some boating-related fatalities result from swimming accidents. Boaters should always properly wear a life jacket while boating and while swimming in combination with their boating activities.
    • Stay weather-wise. Capsizing incidents can occur when boats become overloaded and when they become swamped. Sometimes this is due to poor boating conditions such as high winds and choppy waters. Keep alert to all weather forecasts.

    Boating safety tips and other boating program information is available online at www.ohiodnr.com.

    The Ohio Department of Natural Resources ensures a balance between wise use and protection of our natural resources for the benefit of all. Visit the ODNR web site at www.ohiodnr.com.

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  • New Ohio Boating Maps

    Boating on the Royal Military Canal at Hythe.
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    COLUMBUS, OH – Recreational boaters looking for a marina facility or convenient boat launch ramp can request the newly updated Ohio Boating Areas map and guide from the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) Division of Watercraft. The free publication is available online at www.ohiodnr.com and by calling toll-free 1-877-4BOATER.

    Recreational boating generates a statewide economic impact estimated at $3.5 billion annually, according to a 2007 Great Lakes Commission study. (http://glc.org/recboat/). Ohio’s recreational boating industry supports the fulltime equivalent of more than 26,000 jobs. Ohio also ranked ninth nationally in 2008 with a total of 411,366 registered watercraft.

    Local communities with marinas, boat launch ramps and other related facilities especially benefit economically by attracting boaters to spend money locally on lodging, meals, fuel, entertainment, shopping and more, according to the Division of Watercraft.

    The new Ohio Boating Areas map includes facility locations, amenities and phone numbers grouped by waterways based upon their horsepower rating and regional location such as Lake Erie and the Ohio River. Additional information on navigation rules, life jacket safety, boating safety tips and launch and loading tips for boaters is included as part of the map.

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