2022 an eventful yr for Ohio’s out of doors lovers, a recap


Memories, pop singer Dean Martin once asserted in a 1950s hit, are made of it. Now updated for 2022, here are some of the high and low notes for the Ohio outdoors:

Turkey hunters were down to a single bearded bird for the first time in 30 years this spring. Intake totaled 11,872, or 2,674 fewer than in 2021. The fall turkey season was shortened to three weeks.

Hunters killed 196,988 deer in the 2021/22 season, including 96,184 or about 48.8 percent with a bow. Epizootic hemorrhagic diseases killed large numbers of deer during the summer and fall, particularly in several southwestern counties.

The number of free-roaming deer known to be infected with the deadly and environmentally persistent chronic wasting disease (CWD) has risen to more than a dozen in an area previously limited to Wyandot and Marion counties. Hardin County was included in a CWD protection area, which had special hunting regulations for deer.

Fourteen people have been convicted of numerous infractions related to their role in a ring illegally trapping deer in Gallia County. Jeremy Bennett, a taxidermist close to Logan, was awarded $5,000 to cover legal costs and offered an apology from the Ohio Division of Wildlife for the apparently overzealous and constitutionally questionable prosecution of Bennett’s labor records.

After a two-year hiatus due to Covid-19, the Open Season Sportsmen’s Expo, formerly known as Ohio Outdoor Life/Field & Stream Expo, formerly known as Deer and Turkey Expo, took place in Columbus.

A Fremont teacher landed the largest smallmouth ever caught in the Great Lakes in November; The 10.15-pound giant won’t be an Ohio record because it hails from the waters of Lake Erie, Ontario.

Regulators ruled that by 2023 it will be okay to fish with three lines anywhere in the state. A six-week cold snap enabled ice fishing on Lake Erie and a few other locations.

Lake Erie Walleye Hatch has been awarded a smiley face emoji by the Wildlife Division. The world took notice when two fishermen were caught cheating during a walleye fishing tournament in Cleveland.

Native Ohio brown trout, restricted to a short stretch of stream in the headwaters of the Chagrin River, have been downgraded from threatened to endangered. Two critically endangered freshwater mussel species have been found in an upper section of the Olentangy River – the tobacco can Epioblasma triquetra and the ray bean Villosa fabalis.

Ohio is required to come up with a plan to stem the flow of nutrients down the Maumee River into Lake Erie as a result of a negotiated settlement of a lawsuit. The nutrients come primarily from farm runoff — fertilizer and manure — which help trigger toxic algal blooms. A draft of the state “environmental diet” must be ready by the end of the year.

H2Ohio projects to mitigate water pollution, in part by restoring wetlands upstream on many of Ohio’s rivers, have continued at a brisk pace under the direction of Gov. Mike DeWine. A trial using herbicides on invasive yarrow, an invasive weed, at Indian Lake has shown some success and will resume in the spring.

A new marina has opened at Alum Creek State Park. Groundbreaking for Great Council State Park in Greene County.

Nearly 6,900 acres were added to the Appalachian Hills Wildlife Area in southeast Ohio, increasing the size of Ohio’s largest such area to 54,525 acres for hunting, fishing, trapping, bird watching and outdoor recreation.

Acres have been added in these designated wildlife areas: Big Island in Marion County, Woodland Trails in Preble County, North Turkeyfoot in Henry County, Moxley in Erie County, Whipple Preserve in Adams County, and Beaver Creek Scenic River in Columbiana County.