Starter fly fishing classes available
Fly fishing is not only fun, it’s challenging and a lethal way to catch fish, so anglers who’d like to learn this favorite activity of Isaac Walton are invited to a beginning fly fishing clinic at the Castalia State Fish Hatchery in Erie County. There will be 125 slots available for this popular program, with sessions held on Fridays from Sept. 2 through Oct. 7 with the exception of Sept. 23.
In addition to fly-fishing instruction by ODNR Division of Wildlife staff and volunteers, attendees will be able to test their new skills by fishing for rainbow trout in Cold Creek. Slots will be chosen by lottery, so to apply, applicants should submit a postcard listing their name, address, Customer ID number, and phone number to Division of Wildlife District Two, 952 Lima Ave., Findlay, OH 45840 Attention: Beginning Fly Fishing Clinic. Applicants may bring one guest.
Two areas added to nature preserve system
The Ohio State Nature Preserve system is growing. The Division of Natural Areas and Preserves has added two additional parcels to the system, a beautiful xeric limestone prairie in Adams County and a sandstone slot canyon in Hocking County. The first, a 10-acre parcel, contains several dry, shallow soil, limestone prairies and cliffs with more than 200 species of plants on the parcel. The second, a 35-acre parcel will be managed as part of the Boch Hollow State Nature Preserve. It will support colorful spring flowers and 12 species of ferns.
Kayak fishing skills taught
Outdoor enthusiasts interested in the basic skills needed to kayak fish are encouraged to attend a free informational workshop provided by the ODNR from 5:30 to 9 p.m. Aug. 17. All equipment will be supplied and the workshop is free of charge, but pre-registration is required. Register by calling Jordan Phillips at 614-902-4196. Dress appropriately and be prepared to get wet. Items to bring include a valid Ohio fishing license for participants over age 16 and a dry change of clothing.
Get a loaner lifejacket
If you need to borrow a kids life jacket for the day or weekend, chances are there is one near you at one of the over 12,500 life jacket loaner sites cross the country at BoatUS.org/loanermap. The website list is the nation’s largest single source of life jacket loaner sites, which are located at marinas, boat clubs and firehouses, along with over 900 community loaner sites. Each year, the BoatUS Foundation lends out life jackets over 140,000 times, and saves a number of young lives.
Go on an ODNR planned hike
Summer is a good time to explore Ohio’s state parks and nature preserves, and the ODNR makes it easy with planned hikes at several places. Among those hikes is a Progressive Prairie Hike at Smith Cemetery State Nature Preserve 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. July 23. For more information, call 937-537-6173. Another hike will be a Wetlands Walk at Mentor Marsh State Nature Preserve from 2 to 3:30 p.m. July 24. For information, call 440-257-0777. A third hike will the Adams County Prairie Tour from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. July 30 at Shawnee State Park. Call 740-858-6652 for details.
Congress asking for money for wildlife
Recently, Congressman Don Young and Congresswoman Debbie Dingell introduced H.R. 5650, Recovering America’s Wildlife Act of 2016. The legislation would help promote conservation efforts across the country and provide the states with important conservation dollars. The legislation calls for $1.3 billion annually in existing revenues from oil and gas realities to be dedicated to the Wildlife Conservation Restoration Program. It will protect wildlife, habitats and natural resources for generations to come.
Dick Martin is a retired biology teacher who has been writing outdoor columns for 30 years. You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.