Tag Archives: ODNR

ODNR Conservation Teen Advisory Council Accepting Applications

Presented By McDonald’s

(Columbus) – Highly-motivated high school students with a passion for Ohio’s great outdoors are invited to serve on the Conservation Teen Advisory Council (ConTAC).  The Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) is accepting applications for the 2022-2023 class of conservationists.

“I’m so excited to meet a new group of young people who understand the importance of protecting our natural world,” ODNR Director Mary Mertz said.  “ConTAC students come to learn from ODNR experts, but these bright, passionate students always bring with them a fresh perspective on the conservation work we do. We appreciate their energy and their drive.” 

ConTAC is a statewide network of student leaders working together to enhance ODNR’s youth outreach and program efforts. Members will develop and implement innovative and practical ideas that empower young people to protect and preserve Ohio’s natural resources. They will also provide feedback and make recommendations to enhance outdoor outreach.  Council members also get the chance to explore careers in the natural resources sector and develop valuable networking and leadership skills.

A new class of thirty teens will be selected to serve on ConTAC for the 2022-2023 academic year. Those selected will join several current members who will continue to serve as the group moves into its third year. Membership will reflect the diverse interests of the Ohio Department of Natural Resources and the state of Ohio.

The teams will begin meeting later this summer and will meet monthly, virtually or in-person, depending on health orders.

Students enrolled in high school for the 2022-2023 school year are eligible to apply. ConTAC is a great place for students to meet new peers, virtually or in-person, from across the state with similar interests.

How to Apply
High school students for the 2022-2023 school year interested in ConTAC should click here for information on how to apply. Applications are due by June 20, 2022.

Governor Visits Deer Creek Lake

Presented By Scioto Valley Dumpsters, LTD

(Deer Creek Lake)—Ohio Governor Mike DeWine and Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) Director Mary Mertz celebrated Ohio’s abundant inland fishing resources at the third annual Inland Fish Ohio Day at Deer Creek Lake in Fayette and Pickaway counties.

Governor Mike DeWine fishing at Deer Creek Lake

The event was co-sponsored by the Ohio Conservation Federation, Friends of Deer Creek, Great Ohio Lodges, and the ODNR Divisions of Wildlife and Parks and Watercraft.

“Fishing is one of my favorite outdoor activities,” said Governor DeWine. “Ohio offers many exceptional inland fishing locations, including Deer Creek Lake, which is close to some of our largest cities and is a popular fishing destination. I encourage Ohioans to get outside, cast a line, and enjoy the many outstanding fishing destinations our state has to offer.”

Deer Creek Lake” has more than 1,300 acres of water to explore and is well known for its saugeye, crappie, sunfish, and white bass fishing. Guests at the Inland Fish Ohio Day event participated in shoreline and small boat fishing.Deer Creek Lake sits between Deer Creek Wildlife Area and Deer Creek State Park. The lake and surrounding 8,662 acres of wildlife area provide public access to fish, hunt, bird, hike, and kayak.

The state park has more than 200 campsites, along with lodge and cabin rentals. Deer Creek Fishing Access provides boaters with free and easy access to the lake.Ohio offers extraordinary fishing opportunities in its lakes, reservoirs, rivers, and streams.

The Division of Wildlife’s six state fish hatcheries stocked more than 40 million sport fish throughout the state in 2021, including walleye, saugeye, yellow perch, rainbow trout, brown trout, muskellunge, channel catfish, blue catfish, and hybrid-striped bass. An estimated 1.3 million Ohioans fish in the Buckeye State every year. Visit wildohio.gov for more information.

Pike State Forest Among Two To Assist Disabled Hunters

Presented By Classic Brands

(Columbus) Pike State Forest and Blue Rock State Forest were the settings for two recent special hunts organized for disabled hunters to enjoy the outdoors while hunting for wild turkey. The Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) Division of Forestry hosts these hunts annually in Pike and Muskingum counties.

Caption: Hunters participated in the Wheelin’ Sportsmen and Thunder in the Hills hunts for wild turkey at Blue Rock and Pike state forests respectively.

“Forest management ensures natural tree regeneration and diverse habitat, and wild turkeys are among the many forest wildlife species that have certainly benefited,” said Dan Balser, chief of the Division of Forestry. “We are fortunate to be able to share these hunting opportunities with a great group of hunters and the many partners who make these weekends special for us all.”

The 15th annual Wheelin’ Sportsmen hunt for wild turkey at Blue Rock State Forest was sponsored by the National Wild Turkey Federation (NWTF) Wheelin’ Sportsmen program. The ODNR Divisions of Forestry and Wildlife worked with the Y-Bridge Longbeards and other chapters of the NWTF to coordinate the event with donations and volunteer efforts from many local individuals and businesses. Twenty-three hunters participated, and three turkeys were harvested during the event. More than 50 guides helped with the hunt.

The Thunder in the Hills wild turkey hunt was held for the fifth year at Pike State Forest. Fourteen hunters participated, and two turkeys were harvested during the event. The ODNR Division of Forestry hosted the event with cooperation from the Clinton County Chapter of the NWTF and the ODNR Divisions of Wildlife, and Parks and Watercraft. Approximately 50 organizations assisted with donations and volunteers.

Hunters at both events provided their own shotguns and ammunition, as well as the necessary licenses and permits. Guides were provided for each hunter. The participating hunters were from various parts of Ohio, with several being disabled veterans.

ODNR Announces Bill to Honor Fallen Officer with Memorial Designation

Presented By Chillicothe VAMC

(Columbus) – A section of State Route 73 which runs east-west throughout Caesar Creek State Park could soon be designated as the Natural Resources Officer Jason Lagore Memorial Highway, according to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR).

State Senator Steve Wilson (R- Maineville) is sponsoring Senate Bill 326 (S.B. 326), which was introduced this week. If it passes through the General Assembly and is signed into law by Governor Mike DeWine, road markers would be installed by the Ohio Department of Transportation in remembrance of Officer Lagore.

Officer Lagore died in the line of duty assisting in the rescue of two children who had fallen through the ice at Rocky Fork Lake in Highland County in February of 2021. He was a 15-year veteran with ODNR’s Division of Parks and Watercraft. In addition to coordinating the division’s K-9 program, Lagore was responsible for establishing the first ODNR K-9 Academy. He was well known in the law enforcement community for his experience with training K-9 units.

“I am humbled to have the opportunity to honor Natural Resources Officer Jason Lagore’s heroic sacrifice with the introduction of S.B. 326,” Senator Wilson said.

“It is fitting that the very roads patrolled by Officer Lagore and his K-9 partner could soon be dedicated in his honor,” ODNR Director Mary Mertz said. “We are grateful for Officer Lagore’s service and appreciate that Jason will be remembered for his dedication and sacrifice.”